Are you tired of giving the typical sweater, tie, or fruit cake as a gift for Christmas this year? Would you like your gift to mean something and impact someone’s life? This is the next one in the series of 12 “green” gifts I’m suggesting for this year – Non-Toxic Bedding! All of the gifts are either eco-friendly, non-toxic, organic, or educational. Make a positive difference with your gift this year!
Are You Getting Optimal Sleep?
Most of us spend 6 – 8 hours sleeping in our bed. If you also count the amount of time you might lay in bed watching TV, or reading, that can add up to many hours! Our skin is our largest organ and easily absorbs toxins. Non-Toxic bedding is something worth considering. Many sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillows are synthetic and use chemicals in their material and dyes. Even cotton sheets that are not organic have been doused with pesticides while growing the cotton.
According to Dr. Mercola, “Many synthetics fail to help your body thermo-regulate appropriately. For example, studies show polyester simply gets too hot to keep you within the comfortable range for optimal sleep.” In addition, because of the chemicals used to create the bedding, synthetics can pose health risks.
Sleeping with Toxic Chemicals and Other Uncomfortable Things
Are your sheets labeled “wrinkle free”? They probably contain perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
In order to make sheets softer and not shrink, chemicals are added. Those chemicals can emit formaldehyde gas. In June 2011, the US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen”. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde can cause “neurotoxicity, cancer, damage to the lymphatic system, or liver toxicity”.
Flame retardants may also be added to bedding. Flame retardants are toxic! I, personally have had reactions from the flame retardants on mattresses. Flame retardants can be linked to neurological damage, endocrine disruption, and even cancer.
Dr. Mercola says, “many fabrics include other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dioxin-producing bleach.”
Are you using pillows, or comforters that are polyester? They are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is essentially plastic and can pose damaging health problems over time.
Fungus on your pillow may contribute to increasing the symptoms of asthma or allergies.
Dust mites can also cause allergic reactions. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid conditions. They also feed on dead skin cells. These factors make beds a natural place for dust mites to thrive!
Non-Toxic Bedding Options
Unlike typical cotton, organically-grown cotton grows without soil poisoning pesticides and chemicals. It is the purest form of cotton, grown without toxins and even GMOs. Here are some options: Magnolia Organics; Gaiam Organic Cotton Sheets; Organic Textiles
Organic wool is sustainable and environmentally friendly. It’s produced without the use of any hormones, chemicals or pesticides. Wool is inherently thermo-regulating and allows your body to breath naturally. It’s also hypoallergenic and naturally flame resistant. Dr. Mercola recommends American Wool. Organic Merino Wool is another option.
If you would like maximum comfort, bamboo sheets might be just what you’re looking for. Bamboo Sheets are nice and soft. They are resistant to dust mites. Bamboo is also grown without pesticides.
Creating a non-toxic bed should not only help protect your health from the damaging effects of chemicals but should also help you sleep better.
Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I just got an new wool mattress from Mercola.com and have been very happy with it. My allergies are better and it seems to have helped my wife with her arthritic hip. Our mattress arrived within a week of ordering it and I very happy with it. I also recommend the all natural wool pillows and comforters from mercola.com
Glad to hear you found a mattress you like and are already noticing health benefits from it! It’s so important to find a mattress that’s non-toxic.
Do you think it will help by just purchasing the organic topper to separate the toxic from the original mattress?
We can only afford the topper at the meantime.
Hi Renae –
I understand about the cost of an organic, toxic free mattress. It’s too bad that most of them are so expensive. When I was looking for one, Naturpedic seemed to be one of the more reasonably priced (it’s still expensive though). However, when you consider you’ll have it for a long time and you don’t have all of the toxins, it’s worth it.
I imagine an organic topper would help, so you’re not sleeping directly on the toxic mattress, but there are still toxic fumes and off gassing. I’ve heard that can go on for many years. As someone who has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, I couldn’t even stay in the room all night with our “newer” mattress. I’ve heard of people wrapping their mattress in plastic. I’ve never tried it, but maybe it would help, especially if you’re sleeping on the organic topper.
Sharon Devi says
Thank you for the article. I was intrigue when you mentioned about how some people wrap their mattress in plastic. Isn’t plastic just as toxic? I’d probably buy a mattress protector which goes all around the mattress, not one of those fitted one, but, a zipper one, so, it totally covers the whole mattress.
Hi Sharon – You’re right. Many plastics are toxic. I would recommend a food grade plastic like polyethylene. That’s what Naturepedic uses. Here’s another good article about off-gassing mattresses and using plastic to cover them: http://www.healthychild.com/prevent-toxic-off-gassing-when-you-cant-afford-to-buy-an-organic-mattress/
Hope this helps!