8 min read

GREENGUARD Certification, Explained

This article offers an in-depth exploration of the Greenguard Gold Certification, its criteria, benefits, and its relevance in the contemporary setting.

Written by:

Christi Farrell, RA, Leed GA


November 8, 2022

Image source:

Studio Marlowe

In an age where we spend a considerable amount of time indoors, the health of our home environments is becoming an increasingly important consideration.

In this context, GREENGUARD Certification emerges as a pivotal aspect of healthy interior design.

Here, we delve into the significance of GREENGUARD Certification and spotlight how it helps ensure that furniture and building materials contribute to a safe and healthy indoor space.

What is GREENGUARD Certification?

GREENGUARD Certification is a widely recognized standard for products that have low chemical emissions.

Overseen by UL Environment, a division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), it aims to improve indoor air quality and reduce people's exposure to chemicals and other pollutants.

Products that are GREENGUARD Certified have been rigorously tested for their chemical emissions and are verified to meet stringent chemical emissions standards.

These standards take into account over 360 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as a limit for the total VOCs emitted.

Given the potential for VOCs to contribute to health issues like headaches, respiratory problems, and others, this certification plays a crucial part in the quest for healthier homes.

Relevance in Healthy Interior Design

The relevance of GREENGUARD Certification in interior design cannot be overstated.

By opting for certified products, interior designers, homeowners, and corporate purchasers can be confident that the products they choose contribute to a healthy living environment.

The certification applies to a range of products, including furniture, flooring, paints, and building materials.

The Benefits:

  • Improved Air Quality: GREENGUARD Certified products emit lower levels of VOCs and other pollutants.
  • Healthier Living Spaces: Reduced exposure to potentially harmful chemicals helps safeguard the health of occupants.
  • Mindful Materials Selection: Designers and buyers can make informed choices, prioritizing the long-term implication of materials on occupants’ well-being.
  • Sustainability Commitment: Often, these certifications overlap with eco-friendly practices, reflecting a commitment to sustainability.

Claiming GREENGUARD Certification: Leading Brands In Focus

Several prominent home furnishing brands have adopted this certification, showcasing their commitment to promoting healthier living spaces.

Here's a closer look at some of them:

West Elm

West Elm stands out for its range of modern furniture and home décor that is both stylish and responsible.

The brand emphasizes products with GREENGUARD Certification as part of its mission to fuse great design with sustainable practices.

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel offers an array of home furnishings that blend quality craftsmanship with an eco-conscious approach.

Their portfolio includes a diverse selection of GREENGUARD Certified products, demonstrating the company’s dedication to customer health and environmental stewardship.

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn's classic American styling is matched with a mindful approach toward the products they produce.

By offering GREENGUARD Certified items, they align with healthy home principles without compromising on aesthetic or quality.

Restoration Hardware

Known for its luxurious and timeless pieces, Restoration Hardware has recognized the importance of health in living spaces by incorporating GREENGUARD Certified options into its high-end collections.


As a massive online retailer, Wayfair provides an extensive range of home goods, including products that meet GREENGUARD Certification standards.

This variety ensures that health-conscious consumers have access to a breadth of choices.


Maisonette’s focus on children's furniture and accessories underscores the importance of this certification, especially for the most vulnerable.

Their selection of GREENGUARD Certified products shows a special attention to the health needs of younger family members.

The Impact of GREENGUARD Certification in Home Living

By prioritizing products with GREENGUARD Certification, you're taking a significant step in ensuring the health of your home's interior.

This is especially relevant for those with allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities, but it also benefits anyone who wants to proactively protect their health and contribute to a greener planet.

FAQs: Navigating GREENGUARD Certification

Q: How can I tell if a product is GREENGUARD Certified?
A: Look for the GREENGUARD Certified mark on the product or its packaging, or search the product database on the UL website.

Q: Are all product components tested for certification?
A: Yes, all components and materials in the product are tested to ensure that they meet the GREENGUARD standards.

Q: Can I request certification for a product?
A: Certifications are granted to manufacturers after thorough testing. If you’re a consumer, you can encourage manufacturers to seek GREENGUARD Certification or choose to purchase only certified products.

Q: Does GREENGUARD Certification mean a product is free of all chemicals?
A: No, it indicates that the product meets strict limits for chemical emissions, thereby reducing the exposure to harmful compounds.

Q: How often is a product tested for certification?
A: Products are initially tested and then monitored at regular intervals to maintain certification status.

GREENGUARD Certification embodies an essential aspect of today’s interior design landscape.

As individuals become more health-conscious and environmentally aware, the demand for certified healthy home products is expected to rise, reinforcing the responsibility of brands to offer solutions that promote wellbeing.

As a consumer, the power is in your hands—choosing GREENGUARD Certified furnishings by reliable brands like West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, and Maisonette not only contributes to a healthier home environment but reflects a conscientious approach to living.

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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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