Why I'm Glad I Waited to Buy Hypoallergenic Carpet for My Kids Rooms

This tale of my epic search for loveable hypoallergenic carpet is brought to you by Mohawk Flooring Air.o Unified Soft Flooring.
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When we bought our house two-and-a-half years ago, one of the things we wanted to replace immediately was the carpet (you can see all of the before pictures of the house here). It was sixteen years old, stained and stretched out - in two of the rooms the carpet was so stretched out that it formed giant ripples big enough that you could pinch!
We decided to replace the flooring in all the main areas with hard floor and leave the bedrooms carpeted for comfort. The carpet in the master bedroom was in terrible shape, though, so we felt like we HAD to replace it right away (check out those ripples and staining!).
replace old carpet with air.o hypoallergenic flooring
We tried shopping around for zero VOC, wall-to-wall carpet and the choices were not good. They were scratchy. They weren't plush. They required too much special care. We did find one place whose carpet we felt good about, but it would have cost more than $1000 to buy enough carpet to put in our small bedroom! And that price was JUST for the carpet and did not include the cost of hiring someone to remove the old carpet and take it away and install the new stuff. Not in the budget and my husband said no way.

So we made a choice that I really regretted: We bought conventional carpet for just our bedroom. I regretted the choice nearly immediately based just on the terrible smell alone. We left the window open and ran an air purifier 24/7 and you could still smell the "new carpet" smell for nearly a year. Gross.

Hypoallergenic Carpet for the Kids' Rooms

Because I couldn't find a zero VOC, eco carpet that I felt good about, we decided NOT to replace the carpet in our kids' rooms. The carpet in their rooms was ugly and in terrible shape but it was basically done off-gassing and I didn't want to introduce a high VOC carpet into the areas where they played and slept.

Thank goodness I waited!

We had been in the house for two years (and putting up with the terrible carpet in the bedrooms for that long!) when Mohawk got in touch with me. They have a new product called Air.o that technically isn't "carpet" because the pad is integrated into it - but it's a soft flooring option that is zero VOC, latex free and hypoallergenic. Not only that, but it is 100% recyclable. Would I be interested in trying it in my home and writing about it on Creative Green Living? YES. Yes I would.  

Now that it's installed in my kids' bedrooms I can honestly say: I am SO glad I waited to buy hypoallergenic carpet for the kids' rooms. When we had originally been shopping for zero-VOC soft flooring options, Air.o wasn't on the market yet - but it's everything I had been looking for!

Air.o was easy to install

Getting Air.o installed was super easy. Jeremy and his team from Macadam Floor & Design in Portland did a great job pulling out the old carpet and putting the new stuff in. It started just about like any carpet installation:
Easy to install carpet
installing hypoallergenic carpet

But here is where things got interesting: Instead of installing a pad, laying carpet on top and then stretching it to fit and securing it with nails or tacks, they brought in the Air.o and cut it to fit EXACTLY into the room (as opposed to traditional carpet which is stretched to fit).
Flooring made from recycled materials
Then they used a zero VOC, pressure sensitive adhesive around the edges of the room. The installers told me that because it is pressure sensitive, it holds the carpet in place without being permanent and if the flooring ever had to come up for any reason, it would just be able to peel back.
Easy to install recyclable carpet
The installation team told me that with how new this product is to the market, this was the first time they had ever installed Air.o, and they were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to put in. They said the installation went a lot faster than a traditional carpet install because the carpet and pad were integrated and they loved how easy it was to put down. I, of course, loved that I had the look and feel of fresh carpet without any of the stinky "new carpet smell" or the VOCs that are bad for your health.

Before and After: K's Room 

My seven year old's room was the biggest transformation. Since you need to remove anything that is standing on the floor for an Air.o install, we use the opportunity to help declutter and reorganize. We also had a chance to reconfigure his bed to give him more usable space. 

He loves making LEGO stop motion videos so we gave him a little stop motion making station. We also reorganized his clothes by getting rid of his dresser and moving his clothes to bins in the closet. Where the dresser used to be is now a LEGO display shelf. The "Do or do not. There is no try." art is made from LEGOs and he made it himself! I'm so proud.

hypoallergenic carpet and room makeover
black and white kids room with air.o soft flooring
Lego Star Wars room makeover with non-toxic carpet

Before and After: A's Room

You guys, I cannot even believe how gross this floor is in the before shot! This is what happens when you wait sixteen years to replace your carpet. Ew!
hypoallergenic soft flooring carpet alternative
Now, three year old A has a soft, plush floor to play on and he loves it so much. He has probably spent more time playing on the floor in his room since we have had Air.o installed than he has for the entire last two years put together. And I can't blame him. Even I love playing on his floor now!

Reasons I love Air.o

I want to be really honest with you guys: I LOVE this flooring. I'm so glad I waited while I was searching for hypoallergenic carpet so that Mohawk had time to invent a soft flooring option perfect for my family. My only regret about this whole experience was that I didn't get it installed in my master bedroom as well!

If you are looking for a hypoallergenic, soft flooring option to replace your carpet, check out all these great features that Air.o has to offer:
  • Air.o is hypoallergenic. because the integrated cushion and fibers don’t absorb moisture. And mold, mildew and other allergens need moisture to grow.  
  • No VOCs. Everyone can have peace of mind because it’s no-VOC (that’s volatile organic compounds, the gasses emitted from many construction materials. We personally strive to choose zero VOC options whenever they are available in order to maintain better indoor air quality.
  • It's odor free. Air.o won't off-gas stinky gases like other flooring options. No "new carpet smell!"
  • It's latex free. If you or a loved one is sensitive to latex, Air.o might be the perfect choice.
  • It's super clean. Air.o’s unique construction provides superior airflow, which releases dirt, dust and soil from the floor when vacuuming, leaving you with a cleaner home. Because the fibers do not absorb moisture, it's also less likely to end up with stubborn stains you can't get out.
  • It's 100% recyclable. Second only to diapers when it comes to taking up landfill space, the amount of carpet filling America's landfills is shameful - 3.5 billion pounds of carpet end up in our landfills each year. Air.o helps put a stop to that by making the fibers and cusion from the same type of material so the whole thing can be recycled. Check out this article on Fast Company to read more about it.

Get Air.o for Your Home

If you are ready to ditch your carpet or put in a great, hypoallergenic soft flooring option be sure to check out Air.o on the Mohwak website. You could win a $1000 to use toward installing Air.o in your home!

About the Author:

Carissa is a green lifestyle advocate and mom of two active boys. The owner and lead writer for Creative Green Living, she is also the author of several e-books as well as the hardcover cookbook, Beautiful Smoothie Bowls (Skyhorse, 2017). Her goal is to empower families to make easy projects and healthier choices that are beautiful and delicious! 
Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living community group.
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Sponsored post disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mohawk. All opinions expressed are 100% mine and reflect my authentic experiences. I only recommend products I personally enjoy and think my readers will as well. For more information, see my full sponsored post and review policy.


  1. This is such a great idea. Will definitely consider for when we redo our kids rooms!

  2. I got to see this carpet up close and personal recently and it's AWESOME! I love your kids' room decor BTW :D

  3. I had this same carpeting installed in my basement two weeks ago. The new carpet smell is awful. Currently in talks with Mohawk to have this carpeting removed which will leave us with no flooring options for the space. Could not be more disappointed with how Mohawk has misled us.

    1. What an awful experience. I'm not sure what to say other than that this was not my experience at all. Everyone in my home is very sensitive to smells and we did not feel like our Air.o had any smell to it. It wasn't anything like the conventional carpet we installed in just one room two years prior which smelled terrible and gave me sore throats for nearly a year.

      I hope Mohawk customer service is able to sort this out for you.

  4. We had this same carpeting installed in our basement in January 2019. We were told the carpeting would have no odor. After install the entire house smelled like new carpet. My wife has had continual headaches since the install. Mohawk has agreed to remove the carpeting, leaving us with no flooring options for our basement.

    Don't trust everything you hear or read about no-VOC flooring. This is an unregulated business filled with disception. Be prepared to ask questions. Request samples to make sure they have no odor. Ensure you have a backup plan in case this flooring smells every bit as bad as any other carpeting. It happened to me.

  5. Can you please tell me the style and color? Did you have the I or II installed? Thanks!

    1. The one I have is “Fresh Start II” in tumbleweed

  6. We also just installed this carpet yesterday and the smell is awful! My throat has been itchy since we installed it. We had the Relaxed Comfort 1 carpet installed.

    1. Thanks for your comment. After hearing this, I reached out to Mohawk to ask about this.

      They advised airing out the room but thought it might be possible the installer did not use the correct air.o adhesive or Air.o tape to install and that might be creating the smell. They suggested reaching out to the installer to ask about the adhesive product they used to install air.o.

      They also said you can contact their consumer affairs team at: mailto:consumer@mohawkind.com

      I hope that helps.

  7. Are you still liking the air o? I am in search of new carpet and have extreme allergies to off gassing. Never understood why folks liked new car smell or new carpet smell . Always gave me a headache and more.

    1. I do still like my carpet. I WILL say though that if you read the other comments on this post, you can see some people got the carpet and had off-gassing issues.

      It may be different batches of the carpet.

      Or it may be installers using different adhesive or different tape than they are supposed to use.

      Others had the same positive experience I did.

      If I were shopping for carpet, I would be sure to visit a show room that has samples of the actual carpet on hand that you can give the sniff test to be sure it isn't going to cause issues for you.


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