8 min read

OEKO-TEX Standard 100, Explained

Learn about this independent testing system that evaluates if a product contains harmful levels of chemicals or substances. 

Written by:

Christi Farrell, RA, Leed GA


November 8, 2022

Image source:

Studio Marlowe

Creating a healthy home extends beyond clean air and water to encompass every element in our living spaces, including furniture and textiles.

As consumers become increasingly aware of the potential health impacts associated with the fabrics in their homes, certifications like OEKO-TEX Standard 100 become crucial.

What is OEKO-TEX Standard 100?

OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is an independent global certification system for textiles that ensures products are free from harmful levels of more than 100 substances that can be hazardous to human health.

From raw materials to finished products, items are tested for toxic content, providing a scientifically-founded reassurance that textiles are safe against the skin and for overall health.

The Relevance in Healthy Interior Design

Interior design with health in mind leads to thoughtful choices about the products that populate one’s living environment.

OEKO-TEX Standard 100 plays an essential role in this decision-making process by identifying products that meet rigorous safety standards and support a non-toxic, healthy home.

OEKO-TEX Certification's Impact on Product Choice

When selecting textiles for the home, whether for furniture, curtains, or bedding, a certification like OEKO-TEX Standard 100 can guide buyers toward products that will not contribute to indoor pollution or pose other health concerns due to the presence of substances like formaldehyde, heavy metals, and phthalates.

FAQs on OEKO-TEX Standard 100

What exactly does OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certify?

OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification ensures that every component of a textile product, down to threads and buttons, has been tested for harmful substances and is free from levels of toxic chemicals that are legislated and beyond.

Is OEKO-TEX certification the same as organic?

No, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 focuses on testing products for harmful substances, whereas organic certifications typically ensure that no pesticides or other harmful farming practices were used in the production of the raw materials.

How often are certified products tested?

OEKO-TEX certified products are subject to annual reassessment to ensure continued compliance with the set substance criteria, which frequently becomes stricter.

How can consumers verify OEKO-TEX certification?

Each OEKO-TEX certified product comes with a unique label number that can be verified on the OEKO-TEX website for authenticity.

OEKO-TEX Standard 100 in Home Textile Brands

A growing list of home decor brands have adopted the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification, showcasing their commitment to providing safe, high-quality textiles. Renowned names include:

  • West Elm: Known for modern furnishings, many of West Elm's linens carry the certification, representing both style and safety.

  • CB2: Partnering comfort with a contemporary look, CB2's OEKO-TEX certified products range from bedding to bath towels.

  • Hay: This brand is no stranger to the allure of cleanly certified design with Scandinavian simplicity.

  • Crate & Barrel: A stalwart in the home goods market, Crate & Barrel boasts a selection of certified textiles that promise safety in craftsmanship.

  • Pottery Barn: Not only stylish, but Pottery Barn also values health within the fabric of their products, offering a selection of OEKO-TEX certified goods.

  • Batten Home: A purveyor of fine home goods that emphasizes both ethical sourcing and health-conscious certification.

  • The Citizenry: Offering handcrafted goods from all over the world, The Citizenry takes pride in products bearing the OEKO-TEX label.

  • Anthropologie: Known for their bohemian luxury, Anthropologie includes OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification among their health-conscious offerings.

Benefits of Choosing OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Products

Ensuring Healthier Indoor Environments

By selecting certified textiles, homeowners can improve their indoor air quality and limit exposure to harmful substances.

Fostering Consumer Confidence

With easily verifiable certifications, consumers can shop with confidence, knowing that the products adhere to global health safety standards.

Supporting Sustainable Practices

Choosing OEKO-TEX certified products often encourages manufacturers to adopt more environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.

Considerations and Critiques

Not All-inclusive

It is important to note that OEKO-TEX certification does not consider sustainability or ethical labor practices in its assessment, focusing solely on chemical safety.

Costs and Accessibility

Additionally, the cost of certification can pose hurdles for smaller brands and may result in higher product prices, potentially limiting accessibility for some consumers.

Industry Standards and Regulations

While some criticize that OEKO-TEX standards could be more rigorous, it's essential to recognize that the organization frequently updates its criteria and remains more stringent than many industry regulations.


In today's health-conscious consumer market, certifications like OEKO-TEX Standard 100 are not just labels but reassurances of safety and quality.

They symbolize a conscious choice towards a healthier lifestyle, impacting how we select everything from furniture to fabrics.

By opting for products bearing the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label from trustworthy brands, we take yet another step toward the ideal of a healthy home.

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Christi Farrell

Christi is a licensed architect and interior designer specializing in sustainability. She enjoys teaching design and bringing transparency to the impact that furniture has on our planet.

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