- Stephanie Donnelly
What to Look for in Quality Bedding
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
The amount of time we spend in bed is the most we spend in any single spot, accounting for a minimum of 7-9 hours a day, every single day, and that's just sleeping. Not counting the hours in bed spent reading or writing, cuddling with loved ones, or relaxing on Sunday mornings, more than a third of our lives are spent here! This is close contact to your body and breathing, making it the most important area that needs to be free of toxic chemicals in your home, even if you don't choose anything else in your home to be toxin free.
A quick, easy first step to get started is the sheets.
Organic cotton or linen are the best materials to look for. Organic linen is rather rare while conventional linen is a lot more common to find as well as a good second option. Linen is made from flax which is an eco-friendly choice since it uses very little water to grow and manufacture. Typically no pesticides are used on conventional linens as well which makes it a safe choice, although organic is always preferred.
Almost on the opposite side of the spectrum, conventional cotton is highly sprayed with pesticides and is extremely processed in order to get the final product. However, organic cotton is a much more sustainable option very similar to organic linens.
Bamboo is quick growing and uses very little water to grow and process into fabric, but it is still questioned about it's eco-friendliness based on where it's grown. Bamboo is a very soft fabric but it has never held up long term for me personally.
Synthetic fibers are more durable than most natural fibers and many synthetic fibers offer consumer-friendly functions such as stretching, waterproofing, and stain resistance but these treatments are created by being chemically processed. However, sunlight, moisture, and oils from human skin cause all fibers to break down and wear away, including synthetics. Synthetic fibers are also made from plastics, which is derived from petroleum. No thank you!
Another thing to be aware of in any fabric item is the finishing process as formaldehyde is often in "wrinkle-free" or "wrinkle-resistant" textiles. Dyes are used to create colorful or patterned sheets, and these dyes often contain heavy metals. So how do you look for quality bedding that is eco-friendly, non-toxic, and good for your health?
Look for GOTS-certified or OEKO-TEX certified materials when it comes to choosing your bedding. These are labels that follow the growing, processing, and manufacturing processes from start to finish to make sure the entire process is eco-friendly and uses safe dyes and chemicals. Made Safe-certified is another certification that makes sure materials used in consumer goods are safe for consumers, and doesn't allow materials that are not safe. While these certifications are a step in the right direction, they are still flawed. Therefore, purchasing from a respectable company that is dedicated to making the very best sustainable choices is one of the best options.
One of the leaders in organic bedding is Coyuchi. They have GOTS-certified, fair trade, and Made Safe-certified options available in both organic cotton and organic linen. Their flannel sheets in particular are extremely soft, thick, and create less pilling than other flannel sheets which causes them to outlast cheaper options.
~This blog was brought to you by S. Donnelly Interiors. Learn more about the interior design project process by following Stephanie Donnelly and her interior design services in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and the surrounding areas!