Purple and white, quilted and textured, silky and furry. My bed is an inviting place that I want to crawl into at night. I wash the sheets irregularly and never change the blankets for the season because I’m lazy like that.
The bed is made! What else do I have to worry about?
My bed is dirty? Toxic dirty?
If you like to worry and want to spend three hours down a rabbit hole of fear and toxicity, click here.
Looking to save time and get the important nuggets so you can get down and dirty in a nontoxic bed ASAP? Then stay here. Sometimes we feel like saying, “Just tell me what I need and who I can trust.”
Unfortunately, we can safely assume any traditional mattress or pillow bought at the average mattress store is unhealthy for us. Even though we may not have heard about it yet, research has already proved that several ingredients in mattresses and pillows are connected to cancer, asthma, allergiesa, neurological disorders, SIDS, reproductive problems, thyroid disruption, plain old bad sleep, and a stuffy nose. Some claim that the chemicals we absorb at night could also be causing ADD.
However, I think everything but the kitchen sink has been blamed for ADD, so that’s a rabbit hole you can go down on your own if you choose.
Key things we need to look for when cleaning up our boudoir:
Clean Bed (mattress/pillow/sheets) Ingredients:
100% Natural Latex (shredded latex for pillow)
Buckwheat or Buckwool
Trusted Certifications from GreenGuard, OekoTex, or GOTS
Toxic Bed Ingredients:
Flame Retardants PBDE (hormone disrupting)
Can’t buy a new mattress right now?
Here’s what we can do to mitigate the negative effects of our mattress.
- Buy a low density, food-grade polyethylene cover to wrap around your mattress. Unlike the production of vinyl, dioxins and other toxic chemicals are not released into the environment during the production of low density polyethylene.
- Add an organic wool mattress pad over it because the low density polyethylene makes a lot of noise.
What do we do about sheets?
We don’t have to worry as much about our sheets, but ideally we should have organic cotton, wool, linen, or hemp using natural dyes.
- Wash sheets regularly to rid of dust mites (I need help in this arena)
- Don’t use dryer sheets. There’s a whole list of negative effects of fabric softener dryer sheets here.
- Get wool dryer balls
Safe Sheets and Blankets:
So what do I buy? You can trust these sellers:
$$$$$ Savvy Rest
$$$$$ Soaring Heart (check out their futons for some cost savings)
$$ White Lotus (but don’t get their Evergreen Foam which uses an alcohol used in production of polyurethane)
Research has shown that babies are much more susceptible to absorbing toxins trough their skin because of their larger surface area to volume ratio. Their skin is also softer and more porous than ours, which is why they are so nice to snuggle. Check out this article for excellent options for organic bedding for children and babies
Can’t Trust Completely: Mattresses that claim they are safe, but are just half way there.
Details about mattresses here.
No need to freak out about this. Don’t worry about damage done. Exhale and let it go.
Moving forward, we can make a couple small changes that could help us live longer and feel healthier. Let’s try it and then turn our attention to this moment, enjoying the life we have right now.
About the Author
Jenny Arrington is a yoga teacher and founder of Karma Trik, a garment made from one piece of cloth that can be worn 15 ways. She attended the MIT Global Entrepreneur Bootcamp where Karma Trik was chosen to pitch. She is also mother of two girls, fundraiser, community collaborator, and amateur aerialist.