It's that time of year to snuggle up in some flannel sheets and I put my organic cotton flannel sheets on my bed this week. There are such delightful bedding! So this great article about organic bedding is oh, so timely.
Sleep is very important. Without it you can't do anything right, you look awful, you’re constantly grumpy, and eventually your health suffers. You’re supposed to spend about a third of our lives asleep, so you had better make sure your bed and sleeping environment are as healthy and safe as possible, right? That’s why organic bedding is worth investigating. Organic bedding is totally natural and produced using totally chemical free processes. So whether it’s a bamboo throw, cotton sheet or a silk pillow cover, organic products help to ensure your sleep environment is as safe and healthy as can be.
Why Choose Organic Bedding?
For those committed to living a more environmentally sustainable life-style, choosing organic bedding is a “no brainer”. Like starting a household recycling program, it is an expression of your desire to create a win-win situation for yourself and the environment. The majority of people, however, choose organic bedding for health reasons.
Non-organic bedding often contains harmful chemicals such as flame retardants like formaldehyde (also a carcinogen), and toxins like antimony, arsenic, and phosphorous, which are added to make the fabric easy to care for and wrinkle free. The danger is that these chemicals break down over time and emit toxic fumes. The consequences of sleeping in this sort of toxic soup can be coughing, nausea, headaches, insomnia and skin rashes. Obviously some people will be more sensitive to these chemicals than others.
In contrast organic bedding is produced using 100% hypoallergenic materials and chemical free growing and manufacturing processes. Not only is there nothing released into the environment at any time, but organic fibers are generally grown using sustainable farming practices.
Lastly, organic materials are well known for being soft, breathable and comfortable. Some products do not come in an organic version. For such items it can be a good idea to protect yourself against and chemical residues by using an organic cover.
For example, a foam mattress pad may be great for extra comfort and support while sleeping, but it’s hardly organic! However, it is a good example of a product that should probably be wrapped in an organic based protective cover to not only keep it clean, but also give protection against chemical residue.
What Materials Are Used To Make Organic Bedding?
Organic materials can be used in nearly any type of bedding product you can think of, including sheets, duvet covers, comforters, pillows, mattresses and mattress toppers. Often the fibers used are colored with non-toxic dyes and blended with biodegradable laminates. So what are the most common organic fibers and what are their benefits?
* Organic Silk
Organic silk is a pure silk that is very high quality, very smooth and soft, and possessing an attractive sheen. Silk fibers are generally produced in Asia by silkworms as they spin their cocoons, and are often blended with other fibers to create different strengths and textures. Organic silk is often called peace silk because the silkworms are usually allowed to emerge as moths, whereas in traditional silk production the worms are often killed before harvesting.
* Organic Wool
Organic wool is produced from many animals including sheep, alpaca and llamas. It is naturally antibacterial, anti mold, hypoallergenic, anti mildew and a natural flame retardant. To be considered organic it must be certified to have come from livestock that were humanely treated, the fleece is treated without chemical and free of the residue of any all chemicals, pesticides and tropical medications.
It comes as a surprise to most people to hear that bamboo fibers possess a lightness and texture similar to silk, along with the antibacterial and anti-mildew qualities of hemp. It also has the benefits of being hypoallergenic and UV-resistant. Like hemp, bamboo has an extensive, eco-friendly root system and grows without the need for chemicals or pesticides.
* Organic Cotton
Probably the most commonly known organic fiber, organic cotton is produced from non-genetically engineered plants and without the use of synthetically produced fertilizers and pesticides. In the USA, production of organic cotton is monitored by the National Organic Program, under the USDA. It is particularly well known for its absorbency and breath-ability.
Hemp is often confused with marijuana, but actually does not contain the active ingredient THC. The fiber it produces is very strong and durable, can be bleached without the use of chlorine, and is naturally antimicrobial and anti-mildew – meaning it also resists moisture and dampness. To top it off, the hemp plant takes far less land to grow than cotton and has deep roots that help protect the soil.
Other Factors To Consider
The main drawbacks of organic bedding are that it is more expensive than conventional bedding, and it has a tendency to wrinkle more easily – particularly organic cotton sheets. To fix this, remove them quickly from the washing machine and hang dry them. If necessary, apply a light iron. An important final note: when purchasing organic bedding, make sure the manufacturer certifies it to be organic, therefore manufactured without pesticides and chemicals. The USDA’s National Organic Program generally provides the certification in the U.S.A. Similarly, the European Union, Canada and Japan also have rigorous certification processes.
Alan Riley is the publisher of BeautifulBeddingSets.com, which was created to help you with all of your bedding needs. Alan can help you with any bedding question, from organic bedding, to the best goose down comforter to advice on the beautiful Pinzon Pyrenees comforter.