Non-Toxic Corner Sectional, by Olivia Amitrano

In 2013, HBO released a documentary called “Toxic Hot Seat.” My cousin told me to watch it because it opened her eyes to the truth about the furniture industry, and it did the exact same for me. This is where I originally learned about flame retardants in couches, and it’s a big reason why I went so far as to make my own furniture before I was sure that I was making the right decision for my health as a consumer.

My search for a couch included these requirements:

1) Wood that is finished with a low or zero VOC finish (as many wood finishes can emit formaldehyde).

2) Low or zero VOC wood glues.

3) NO flame retardants in the foam.

4) Fabrics with no flame retardants or finishes.

I searched far and wide and found a few different companies on the internet that hit all of these points. I suggest doing your own research in order to find what’s best for you, but when it came down to choosing, the company and model that was right for me, I went with Medley. They met all my criteria but also had the bonus of gorgeous, modern design that you can fully customize to your needs – all done virtually online.

Lastly, they offer a 100 day in-home trial to make sure you love it. I’ve had mine for over 3 months now and couldn’t be happier. It’s extremely comfortable, has absolutely no chemical smell, and is easy to spot clean. The style I chose was the Mota Bumper Sectional. It’s an investment, but one I’m glad I made. Non-toxic couches are not cheap, and it’s all about finding the one that’s right for you.

Story by Olivia Amitrano. She can be found at and @organic_olivia.