Non Toxic Sofa Brand Medley – What Makes A Sofa Truly Non Toxic?

I was sponsored by Medley, a nontoxic furniture company to write this post. This post contains affiliated links. That means I will get a commission if you click the link and buy an item (but at no extra cost to you). Your support helps my work in bringing you useful information about non toxic products. Thank you!


Non Toxic Sofa Brand Medley

Non Toxic Sofa Brand Medley – What makes a sofa truly non toxic?


Surprisingly, sofas can have many toxic materials. Just because some sofas claim they are eco-friendly, it doesn’t mean all of their materials are truly non toxic. Often only one or two components of those sofas have non toxic materials. Then what makes a sofa non toxic?  Sofas contain many different parts including frames, frame wraps and fillings, cushions, adhesives and so on. Materials from all of these parts can contribute to how toxic a sofa can be. Only a small percentage of sofas in the market have non toxic materials in most or all parts of a sofa. In this post, I want to share with you what materials in a sofa can be toxic and a non toxic sofa brand that I have found.  



Toxic Sofa Materials

Sofas can emit harmful volatile organic compounds from flame retardant chemicals, frames, adhesives, upholstery materials including fabrics with stain or wrinkle resistance treatment. Let’s find out how each material can be toxic.


Toxic Flame Retardant Chemicals

According to a U.S. Government Publishing Office paper, flame retardant chemicals are linked to cancer, reduced IQ, and hyperactivity. They are especially harmful to children. Unfortunately, flame retardant chemicals are commonly added to upholstered furniture. Before 2015, flame retardant chemicals were required for upholstered furniture to pass California government’s open flame test. Therefore, most sofas had flame retardants in them since California’s market share was big and manufacturers made sofas with flame retardants chemicals to cater to all markets in US including California. Under California’s new standard TB117-2013, flame retardants are not required any more.  However, they are not banned. Therefore, some sofas still have flame retardant chemicals in them.  However, now we can check if sofas contain flame retardant chemicals under the new standards. All upholstered furniture in California is required to have a label stating whether it contains added flame retardant chemicals or not. (effective since 2015) 



Toxic Frame Material

Sofa frame can be made of particle board, hardwood, kiln dried hardwood or metal. Most often, wood is used as a sofa frame material. However, not all wood materials are the same.  Composite wood such as particle board is made with wood chips, sawmill shavings or sawdust glued together and then compressed under heat. Composite wood such as particle board or MDF commonly use formaldehyde-based adhesives such as urea formaldehyde or phenol formaldehyde glue. A toxic chemical called formaldehyde is released from adhesives of these composite wood products into the air we breathe in. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen. It is highly toxic and is absorbed well by inhalation.



Toxic Glue

Adhesives are used in some parts of a sofa so that parts can be attached together. Sofas can have toxic adhesives which contain solvents or formaldehyde. Solvent-based adhesives often contain toxic chemicals such as toluene and naphthas.  Formaldehyde-based adhesives are another main source of formaldehyde emission other than composite wood in furniture. These harmful adhesives will emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at your home.


Toxic Stain or Wrinkle Resistance Treatment

Sofa’s exterior can be wrinkled or stained easily since we sit on sofa on a daily basis. Therefore, sofa fabrics are often treated to be stain or wrinkle resistant. Stain repellant typically used on fabric is perfluorochemicals (PFC’s).  Perfluorochemicals (PFC’s) which are found in stain resistant finishes on fabric includes  perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).  PFOA and PFOS can cause negative health effects such as cancer, thyroid disorder, decreased fertility, developmental problems in fetus and child. Exposure to PFOA and PFOS can come from PFC-containing materials such as carpets, upholstery, and clothes at home. Dust can get contaminated with these toxic chemicals and floats or settles around the house. This is particularly dangerous for infants, toddlers and children since they can have higher exposure due to their hand-to-mouth behavior. 

Also for a wrinkle-resistant finish, formaldehyde resin is used. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen as I mentioned earlier. We can inhale formaldehyde off-gassed from wrinkle resistant fabrics and also formaldehyde residue on fabrics can also be absorbed by skin. 



Non Toxic Sofa Brand Medley


I found a non toxic furniture company that carries sofas with non toxic materials. Medley is an eco furniture company and they do not use any of the materials I have mentioned above. They use eco materials that are healthy for your home and the environment. All of their sofas use the following materials.


FSC Hardwood Frames : Medley sofas use FSC certified, kiln-dried domestic solid Alder hardwood. (No plywood or cheaper wood). Kiln-dried wood is stronger and more durable than hardwood that is not kiln-dried.  The Alder wood they use comes from trees that took 25 years to grow and they are harvested in a sustainable manner.  Frames have a lifetime warranty against cracking, breaking or warping.

Frame Wrap & Filling : Frames are padded with high grade foam or latex. For all of their sofas, you can choose poly foam cushions, poly foam with down cushions, natural latex frame & cushions/ wool pillows.  Some sofas have more options.

Option 1.  Natural Latex Frame Wrap & Filling 

Entire frame, arms and seat cushions are layered with 100% natural GOLS certified organic latex.  Back pillows are filled with OEKO-tex certified wool. Oeko-Tex textiles and fabrics are certified free of harmful chemicals and additives. All internal linings are lined with GOTS certified organic cotton. This is their most non toxic sofa option.

Option 2. Poly foam with down cushions Frame Wrap & Filling 

CertiPUR-US® certified poly foam (high resilience) is used on seat cushions. Back pillows are filled with down feathers. Down feathers are a by-product of the food industry and cleaned with non toxic methods.  All of these materials have no fire retardants. Many poly foam sofas in the market contain flame retardants. However, Medley does not use flame retardants in their sofas and sectionals.  

Option 3. Poly foam cushions Frame Wrap & Filling

CertiPUR-US® certified poly foam (high resilience) is used on seat cushions. Back pillows are filled with polyester fiber. Certified organic cotton is used for all internal linings. All of these materials have no flame retardants.

Glue: Medley sofas use water-based glues with zero VOCs.

Wood Finish: Their sofas use zero VOC finish called Daddy Van’s which is simply made of beeswax, carnauba wax, and olive oil.

Flame Retardants: Medley sofas have no harsh chemicals or flame retardants.

Made In:  Their furniture is handcrafted in California, USA and takes about 4-6 weeks to make.

Returns: You can try their furniture for 100 days. You can return it for free.


Here are some sofas and sectionals Medley carries. They actually have a lot more choices in styles and colors but I couldn’t list them all here.


Medley Mota Sofa


More Info

5% Discount Coupon Code : gonewmommy5





Medley Zavis Sofa


More Info

5% Discount Coupon Code : gonewmommy5






Medley Strata 2-Piece Sofa


This sofa has a lot more material customization options.

More Info

5% Discount Coupon Code : gonewmommy5





Medley Rio Chaise Sectional

More Info

5% Discount Coupon Code : gonewmommy5





Medley Mota Bumper Sectional XL


More Info

5% Discount Coupon Code : gonewmommy5






Medley Rio Corner Sectional XL


More Info

5% Discount Coupon Code : gonewmommy5





Final Thoughts

Medley sofas are not only made with non toxic materials but also they are custom-made. You can customize sofa length, seat depth and seat height for your comfort with Medley sofas. You can also choose a different leg style or materials for your sofa. If you are looking for a totally non toxic sofa option, choose their GOLS certified organic latex frame wrap and cushions, and OEKO-tex certified wool fiber pillows. Most sofas in the market do not have non toxic materials for all components of a sofa like Medley’s sofas do. If you are looking for a sofa or a sectional, consider its materials. A non toxic sofa is not only healthy for your home but also eco-friendly and sustainable for our planet.





For non toxic sofa companies that you can shop from, please read my next post, ‘Non Toxic Sofa Guide – Which Sofa Brand Is Non Toxic?

If you want to find out how sofa can be toxic, please read my previous post, ‘Non Toxic Sofa Guide – How Sofa Can Be Toxic Or Non Toxic.’

If you are interested in organic latex mattress, please read my post , ‘Non Toxic, Organic Mattress – The Best Organic Latex Mattress Brands.’

If you are interested in non toxic, solid wood platform bed frames, please read my post ‘Solid Wood Bed Frame – What To Look For When Buying A Solid Wood Platform Bed‘.

If you want to find out which bottled water brands are safe, please read my post ‘Safe Bottled Water Guide: Which Bottled Water Brands Are Safe?



  • go_new_mommy

    Isabelle has been an entrepreneur for last 16 years in retail and educational industry. She is also a mom. She is a mom entrepreneur who is always trying to find a better, easier way to run her business. She also tries to provide organic and non-toxic living environment for her child. She likes to research for the most non-toxic products or safe alternatives and share them with parents. In addition, she is against animal testing and supports cruelty-free products.


  1. Sandhya Rani September 10, 2019

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