Choose a Nontoxic Bath Mat

bathroom textiles Jan 02, 2018

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée


Showers and baths are meant to get us clean. Yet, when we step out of the tub and onto the bathmat, our wet feet are collecting bathmat fibers.

Those fibers, as our feet dry and we walk through our homes, become part of the household dust. Depending on what our bath mats are made of, materials can break down over time, releasing chemicals that will become part of our house dust. Dust re-circulates throughout our homes, settling in corners, on countertops and, eventually, into our bodies.

So, what’s the harm in that?

The Harmful Effects of Conventional Bath Mats

Well, in and of itself, it isn’t… depending on what your bath mat is made of.

Bath mats have been found to contain chemicals that may be harmful to health, some of which are potent in tiny amounts.

  • Chlorine – affects eyes, nose, lungs (respiratory) (1)
  • Dioxins – affects skin, development of organs, immune system, and reproduction (having children), cancer (2)
  • Formaldehyde – affects skin, digestive system, immune system, nose, lungs, cancer (3)

Further, when chemicals are combined they may create an unintentional toxin.

That certainly makes a difference, doesn’t it?

Nontoxic Bath Mats

Consider buying nontoxic bath mats as one way to start D-Toxing your bathroom. There are two types of nontoxic bath mats that are easy to find:

1. Organic Cotton

Organic cotton bath mats are made from cotton that is free of chemicals commonly used during the cotton-growing process.  

Some bath mats are made from polyester, nylon and other materials that are petroleum-byproducts that may pose health risks.

Organic cotton bath mats, also known as bath rugs, can be easily found at ‘mainstream’ retail stores such as Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn and so many more.

Additional natural fibers that can also be healthy include bath mats made of bamboo, hemp, and linen.

2. Mats without Backing

Choose bath mats with no backing.

Many times bath mats come with an anti-slide backing made from PVC (plastic), or polyurethane foam. Both are made from chemicals that can be toxic.

Cotton and organic cotton bath mats are often made of heavier, thicker cotton, and are free of backing.

Detox your bathroom and your home by swapping bath mats made with PVC for nontoxic options. It’s an easy step in detoxing your home!

Enroll in the D-Tox Academy to gain access to specific brands of products, and tips on how to use and maintain products.  The academy includes short videos and checklists that are helpful when making healthier changes. Detox your home and life at a pace that’s comfortable for you!



(1) Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry - 1 

(2) Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry - 2 

(3) Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry - 3 




Stay connected with nontoxic lifestyle news and updates!

Receive our free Ruan Living Nontoxic Cleaning Guide when you join our email list.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.

About Ruan Living

Ruan Living simplifies a nontoxic lifestyle through its Practical Nontoxic Living podcast, free detox workshops, online D-Tox Academy, and transformative 40-Day Home Detox. It aims to help you avoid toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from what you buy, own, and do— without compromising your joy and convenience. Ruan was founded by Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of the bestselling critically acclaimed book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Toxic Exposures and several detox workbooks. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School, Sophia has served on the Brown University School of Public Health Advisory Council and Well+Good Council. A popular nontoxic living speaker, consultant, and teacher, Sophia lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters. Her passion for empowering others to enjoy nontoxic living began with the birth of her first daughter in 2007. Everything she creates is a love letter to her children and for the healthiest, brightest future possible. You can learn more here: Sophia’s Impact.


This article is for informational purposes only. This information is provided “as is” without warranty.

It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. We do not offer medical advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other opinion on your conditions or treatment options. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Ruan Living.

In no event will Sophia Ruan Gushee or Ruan Living be liable for any damages or loss of any kind resulting from the use of this website. Anyone relying upon or making use of the information on this website does so at his or her own risk.

Some of the services and products recommended on this website provide compensation to Sophia Ruan Gushee or Ruan Living. All recommendations are based foremost upon an honest belief that the product, service, or site will benefit our site visitors in some way.  

Detox Your Inbox

Easy tips, podcasts, workshops, updates, and more!


For You

40-Day Home Detox



D-Tox Academy




Ruan Living

Our Mission

Sophia Ruan Gushée

Corporate Wellness

D-Tox Academy





Stay In Touch

[email protected]