Ionic liquids based on tetraalkylphosphonium salts combined with different anions (decanoate and dodecylsulfonate) have been used as intercalating agents of layered double hydroxides (LDHs) by ion exchange. The synthesized phosphonium-treated LDHs display a dramatically improved thermal degradation and a significant increase in the interlayer distance as confirmed by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD), respectively. To highlight the effect of thermostable ionic liquids, a very low amount of LDHs has been introduced within a polylactide (PLA) matrix and PLA/LDHs nanocomposites have been processed in melt by twin-screw extrusion. Then, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis has been used to investigate the influence of ILs on the different morphologies of these nanocomposites. Even though the thermal stability of PLA matrix decreased, an excellent stiffness-toughness compromise has been obtained. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.