How to transform your bedroom into a haven for peaceful slumber
The bedroom is the heart and soul of any home. It’s hard to believe, but we spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping. So it only makes sense to ensure that the bedroom is as clean and chemical-free as possible.
But unless you really pay attention, most likely, that is not the case. According to Mack Hopper, showroom director, Environment Furniture, in New York City, “Most bedrooms are a chemical dump, with luxurious mattresses and thick feather beds full of formaldehyde, off-gases and toxic fumes that you inhale for eight hours every night.” (Off-gases are chemical vapors released by traditional mattresses.)
According to Hopper, sheets and even wall paint add to the chemical cocktail that is absorbed by our lungs and our skin as we sleep. They can make the environment worse—or better—depending on how thoughtfully you choose your bedding and design your space. Even the colors you select can have an impact on how well you sleep. “It’s a proven fact that cool tones, blues, light greens, grays and soft yellows have a very serene and calming effect, which is great in a bedroom,” says Hopper.
Start with the mattress, he advises. Conventional cotton is grown with some of the highest amounts of pesticides by volume of any crop. Look for a mattress with an organic cotton casing, natural latex and/or untreated wool batting, with labels that indicate it is Oeko-Tex (an independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)-certified. GOTS means it contains 95 percent organic fibers and has not been treated with the usual formaldehyde, bleach, toxic dyes, ozone depleters, flame retardants or heavy metals, and is produced in a facility with strict environmental standards.
If the mattress comes from a small producer without certification, ask them to provide transparency about their supply chain.
Also important: “Look for 100 percent organic linen or cotton sheets,” Hopper says. This season, we’re seeing a resurgence of bed linens that are, literally, made of organic linen, which may be more of an investment, initially, but linen lasts forever. It is naturally hypoallergenic and especially good for those with allergies or sensitive skin. “Linen just gets better over time,” says Hopper. “The color doesn’t fade. The touch is very pliable and it adapts to your body temperature. You sleep better on linen—and organic cotton.” In this era of rampant insomnia, who wouldn’t want that?
Examples of some of the softest, most beautiful organic bedding out there
Savvy Rest The company offers 100 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton bedding and mattresses. Its rubber tree plantations are certified organic to the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) for both growing and processing. savvyrest.com
Coyuchi This spring, Coyuchi—known for stylish GOTS-certified organic cotton bedding and loungewear—islaunching organic linens and mattresses by Naturepedic. coyuchi.com
Under the Canopy With its colorful designs and GOTS-certified organic cotton sheets, shams, duvets and coverlets, Under the Canopy is becoming a go-to for well-priced bedding. The company also offers organic cotton throws, and just expanded into loungewear. underthecanopy.com
Earth Sake The first retailer of 100 percent organic GOTS-certified mattresses and natural-fiber bedding in the U.S., featuring wool sourced from local U.S. farms. earthsake.com
Bambeco Along with a collection of gorgeous reclaimed wood beds, Bambeco offers organic cotton and super-soft washed linen bedding, and eco-wool and GOTS-certified organic cotton mattresses. bambeco.com
PalmPring Environment Showroom is the only store authorized to sell these naturally antimicrobial and bed-bug resistant 100 percent organic European mattresses in the U.S. environmentfurniture.com
Affina These 100 percent organic cotton coverlets, sheets, towels and shams are also Oeko-Tex Standard 100-certified. affinashop.com
Haiku Designs Featuring absolutely stunning earth-friendly beds and furniture, Haiku is also an excellent source for 100 percent organic Oeko-Tex Standard mattresses, bedding and futons. haikudesigns.com