Saturday, August 12, 2017

Where and How to Buy Flame Retardant Free Furniture

Meet our two newest home additions: our tan leather chairs.   What was one of the main things I took into consideration before purchasing them for our home?  I wanted to make sure they would not expose my family to flame retardant chemicals.....
The reason?  
Due to laws that have been in place for 40 years (and that recently changed on some fronts) flame retardant chemicals were required to be used in upholstered furniture, baby car seats, interior of cars and home electronics and even mattresses.

These laws made these chemicals so prevalent in our homes that flame retardant chemicals are still found in the umbilical cord blood of 100% of American babies born today
Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to  cancer, infertility, obesity, lowered IQ and learning problems, and other diseases and disorders.

The good news?  

Thanks to changes in Californian laws last year, furniture companies no longer have to use highly toxic flame retardant chemicals ... BUT many still do contain them so it is up to you, the consumer, to make sure your new sofa (or other piece of furniture) does not contain these chemicals.   Luckily its as easy as looking at the tag.

Types of Furniture

To be clear, we are talking about upholstered furniture. All furniture that has polyurethane foam inside and is covered by fabric. This type of foam is the most common cushioning material used in all furniture. This includes, among others, sofas, love seats, rocking chairs, children’s soft seating, office seating, armchairs etc.


Before buying new upholstered furniture you want to look at the tags. There are 3 tags you might find:

- AVOID: “ TB 117” label: This will, by definition, contain flame retardant chemicals. Avoid.


TB 117-2013 label: Items labelled with this tag might contain flame retardant chemicals, but they might not. If you see this label call the manufacturer and ask if that specific item is flame retardant free. Most store employees you will find are not knowledgeable on this subject so I recommend calling customer service.

The best label to find are compliments of California Senate Bill 1019, the most recent flame retardant California law passed. This tag specifically tells you if the item contains flame retardant chemicals or not. It requires upholstered or foam-filled furniture offered for sale to carry a label with two boxes, one of which must be accurately checked stating:

This product meets California’s furniture fire safety standard and:
_____ contains added flame retardant chemicals
_____ contains NO added flame retardant chemicals

Some furniture companies that we have confirmed sell flame retardant free furniture include:  
(please note not all of the furniture they sell is necessarily free of these chemicals.  Always check the tags first to confirm!) 

 Room & Board: 
Crate & Barrel
West Elm
Design Within Reach: 
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams :
Ashley Furniture:  
Ethan Allen 
Ekla Home
Anthropologie Home
The Tot

*Mattresses can still contain flame retardant chemicals  For more information read our post: STOP! READ THIS BEFORE BUYING A NEW MATTRESS OR SOFA!

*Infant and childhood car seats also mostly contain flame retardant chemicals.   You can read more on that and find out what the safest least toxic options are  in our blog post:  


  1. the current season!! Every piece might not be 100% exact, but I feel like if they aren't exact they are extremely close. To shop the items, just click on the images or link below the pictures. Enjoy!! Demir Italian Lounges