The Health of the Matter: Are Zebra Skin Hides Hypoallergenic?

zebra rug midcentury modern chaise lounge

They’re beautiful, can tie a room together, and in some cases, cover imperfections. The benefits of purchasing real zebra skin hide abound. There are, however, a couple of reasons why some are hesitant to do so—one of which is allergies.

This is a valid reason. There’s no point in having a magnificent piece in your home if it can trigger an allergic reaction, right?

But can zebra rugs really do that? We’ll find out in a little while. First, let’s define what hypoallergenic truly means.

What does hypoallergenic mean?

This word gets thrown around easily. Hypoallergenic doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is devoid of any allergens—a substance that causes an allergic reaction.

The prefix “hypo” means low or below; while “allergenic” pertains to the ability of a substance to cause allergy. Hypoallergenic means a product that contains fewer allergens.

Here are some examples of allergens:

  • Dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold spores
  • Cockroach
  • Latex
  • Wool

According to the FDA, “There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term hypoallergenic.”

Are zebra rugs hypoallergenic?

It depends on how they’re made. Our zebra hides undergo the normal washing-and-drying process. We don’t use any toxic chemicals that may induce allergic reactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are one example of toxic chemicals. They’re typically found in adhesives or glues used for carpets. Because of this, the American Lung Association prefers “rugs that can be removed and cleaned outside.

Our products are unbleached, too. Our felted zebra rugs are lined with black felting on the underside of each skin. This is to protect the hide from direct contact with the floor thus reducing dirt accumulation and overall wear and tear.

Keeping your zebra rug clean

Even if a zebra rug is as au naturel as they come, that doesn’t mean that they can’t get dirty over time. Zebra hides can trap particles, too, and this can be a good thing. Instead of floating on air (and the risk of being inhaled), the allergens remain trapped in the rug…until you remove them through vacuuming.

Real zebra rugs are easier to clean and maintain than synthetic rugs, and they last longer, too. Unlike other type of rugs, it's easier to vacuum off dust and other particles from a real zebra hide.

Weekly vacuuming is all it takes to keep it clean and looking like new. You don’t need to steam clean it. A good vacuuming will do just fine. It’s best not to get your zebra rug wet because it might ruin it. Here are other helpful tips for keeping your zebra rug clean.



We believe in being honest and transparent with our customers. We’re also against using something without solid scientific evidence to induce a sale. Given the definition of hypoallergenic, we can say that real zebra hides are. But we can’t say with a hundred percent certainty that all zebra hides will not induce allergies. We don’t know how other hides are processed, after all.

Just to be safe, it’s better to do your thorough research first. Ask allergy-sufferers who bought a real zebra hide if it causes an allergy attack.



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