We spend almost one-third of our life in our bedrooms, so it makes sense if we want to reduce chemical exposure in our homes to start there. Conventional cotton mattresses, blankets, sheets and pillowcases contain a lot of chemicals. Cotton accounts for up to 25% of the insecticides used worldwide and many are classified as possible human carcinogens. Cotton is also usually bleached and treated with chemical dyes and color fixers. Synthetic fabrics such as polyurethane foam and polyester are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource and not good for our health. Additionally, mattresses and pads must be treated with fire retardants, which emit formaldehyde and pose health risks. Less expensive bed frames use plywood and particleboard containing formaldehyde that is off gassed into our bedrooms, contributing to allergies.
The solution? Buy untreated or natural bedding such as organic cotton, linen, hemp or bamboo. Often more expensive, but without environmental and health costs, you can transition slowly. First buy a chemical free pillow, ideal for allergy sufferers. Next try organic cotton sheets and mattress pad. Later buy an organic mattress made from natural rubber and covered in organic cotton and wool. Wool has superior insulating qualities and is therefore comfortable all year long. It is also dust mite resistant and naturally fire resistant. Good old-fashioned wool blankets are still best.
There are many options for organic bedding online, but some department stores also carry organic bedding. Have a safe night’s sleep!