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What you sleep on is important. You spend half your life in your bed; it is where your body rejuvenates through the night.
You don't want to burden your body with toxic chemicals; you want to sleep with natural, non-toxic sheets and blankets. The best organic bedding is going to be toxin-free, comfortable, and last you a long time. It is going to be healthy for you and healthy for the planet.
In this article, you will learn:
- Why you should use organic bedding
- What your fiber options are
- What certifications to look for
- Why you should avoid cheap organic bedding
- What the different types of bed sheets are
- Where to buy your organic bedding
Why Organic Bedding?
- Conventional fabrics can contain an abundance of chemical residues.
- The production of textiles is one of the most polluting industries in our world.
Cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops on the planet. The application of tons of pounds of pesticides every year contributes to the poisoning of farmers and animals. Pesticide residue affects the quality of water surrounding farms. Organic cotton production reduces the number of pesticides that get into our water supply and is healthier for the farmer and surrounding community.
Synthetic (ahem, plastic) textiles are no better, being completely processed from oil, an unsustainable and dirty industry. They also don't break down. Think of all the synthetic fabric sitting in landfills, not decomposing. It makes my heart ache.
These toxins pollute the planet, and they pollute our bodies. The choices we make as consumers have a major effect on the world. We vote with our dollars. Let's make a decision to cast our vote for green products, products that don't pollute and products with integrity. Choosing organic bedding helps rid the planet and our bodies of this toxic burden.
Natural Fabric Options
Organic and natural fibers are softer and more inviting than synthetic fabrics. Organic bedding is made of plants that have not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, protecting the farmers and the earth that surround them from toxic chemical exposure.
Hemp is a fast-growing crop that doesn't need as much water as cotton and bamboo, and doesn't require chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It is a higher producer than cotton, yielding 200% more fiber for the same amount of land. It is not as readily available as other fabrics, making it expensive, and it results in a somewhat stiff material when used alone (though it does soften up with repeated washes). Hemp-Cotton blends create a soft, yet durable bedding fabric.
Cotton's growth consumes a lot of water, but organic cotton is grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Many cotton farmers are switching over to organic, and by supporting organic cotton, you are helping to change one of Earth's most dirty industries. Cotton is soft, cozy and comfortable.
Linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant. Flax takes minimal water to grow, thrives in bad soil and works well in crop rotation cycles. Flax is still hand-harvested, making it more expensive than cotton. Linen fabric is much stronger than cotton fabric, and it makes luxurious bedding that is soft and breathable. Linen requires less water to wash and less energy to dry than cotton.
Bamboo grows very quickly and doesn't require fertilizers or pesticides, but the manufacturing of bamboo fabric may use toxic chemicals. Read more about bamboo in our article: Bamboo vs Cotton Sheets.
Certifications and Standards to Look For
- Certified Organic
- GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) Certified
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100
- Ethically or fair-trade produced
- 100% natural fabric, not mixed with synthetics
Types of Bed Sheets
When shopping for bedding, you are going to run into a few terms. It is best to know what these terms mean before you start shopping.
A closely woven plain-weave fabric. Percale has a thread count of about 200 or higher and is noticeably tighter than the standard type of weave used for bedsheets.
- Medium weight.
- Firm and smooth with no gloss.
- Washes very well.
- Durable and softens with age.
- Cool and crisp, perfect for those who are hot sleepers or during hot weather.
- Wrinkles easily.
A weave in which many threads are aligned tightly together in the vertical direction, creating a smooth, lustrous and very soft surface on one side of the fabric and a slightly matte one on the other.
- Slightly shiny and very soft.
- Holds colors well and doesn't wrinkle.
- Easy to care for.
- Matte on one side and soft and shiny on the other side.
- Warmer to the touch than percale and has a cozier feel.
- More susceptible to wear than other weaves.
Jersey sheets are knit, rather than woven.
- Most affordable type of sheet.
- Have some stretch to them.
- Very breathable.
- Basically a T-shirt fabric, very soft and comfortable.
- Effortless to care for.
- Prone to wear and pilling.
A medium-weight, plain-weave fabric that’s brushed on both sides to create a supple, fuzzy surface and an extremely soft feel.
- Great for cool weather.
- Very cozy, yet breathable.
- Feel warm as you slip into bed.
- Can replace a blanket on warm nights.
Woven from the fibers of the flax plant, linen is strong yet supple, with a faint natural texture and soft drape.
- Can absorb many times its weight in moisture without feeling damp.
- Keeps you cooler on warm nights and warmer on cool nights.
- Static-free, nonallergenic and naturally antibacterial.
- Very durable and gets better with age.
I hope that this article has helped you in your search for the best organic bedding. The most important thing to look for in your search is third-party certification from GOTS or Oeko-Tex. If you shop at The Ultimate Green Store, you are guaranteed that your new bed sheets will be truly Eco-friendly.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments, I always answer!
This post was originally published on February 1, 2016.