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A good healthy lifestyle requires proper nutrition, exercise and most importantly a good night’s sleep. When you’re in good health you’re better equipped to handle stresses of life while thinking more clearly and physically up to what ever challenge the day throws at you. For people who are concerned about what chemicals are put into their body and the toxins they expose their body too eco-friendly beds and bedding may be the easiest part of a healthy lifestyle change available.
Eco-friendly beds and bedding currently not subject to industry standards as of yet will be made with natural fibers and no toxic chemical treatments. For those considering an eco-friendly bed and bedding, here are some things to keep in mind.
The most common beds and bedding on the market are made with synthetic products like polyurethane foam mattresses and polyester sheets. Synthetic products are made from nonrenewable petrochemicals while eco-friendly beds and bedding are made with renewable agricultural fibers. It’s not just chemically sensitive persons that can be affected by ingredients like formaldehyde and and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Beds and bedding made with natural fibers not only benefit chemically sensitive persons but those who are not sensitive. Natural fibers can even add comfort and better breathability throughout the night.
Today there’s a lot more natural-fiber bed products to choose from than there were a decade ago. When it comes to pillowcases and sheets, cotton is the most affordable natural fiber and it’s also easy to find. Other natural fiber bedding products include bamboo, hemp, linen, modal and silk. Blankets made from cotton and wool are also affordable and easy to find. Today’s market offers natural pillows made with cotton, down, feathers, kapok, wool and milkweed. Quilts, comforters and duvet covers contain cotton, down, hemp, silk or wool fillings.
Mattresses are manufactured three different ways – innerspring, foam or stuffed. Inside, some mattresses are comprised of synthetic products while others have cotton, wool, hemp or latex rubber.
When you shop for an eco-friendly mattress a part of the mattress will be made with cotton. But the cotton you want is organic. More pesticides are used on conventional cotton per acre than is used on growing foods and exposing our bodies to more potential risks. When buying sheets and pillowcases, look for products without added formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is applied to fabric to make them wrinkle resistant. Unfortunately, formaldehyde in high concentrations causes asthma attacks, nausea, burning in the eyes, nose and throat and in some cases cancer. Less expensive furniture like pieces made from composite wood emit formaldehyde as well. So look for formaldehyde-free wood products. To be sure of pureness in your bedding look for third party credibility from organizations like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) which certifies the entire manufacturing process; from the land, through the cotton gin and the complete process of manufacturing your covers and bed.
All-natural mattresses are harder to find and may cost you more than mattresses made from synthetic materials. But all natural mattresses are certainly worth the effort and extra money when you consider that natural beds increase the air flow around your body, allowing you to sleep better. If an all-natural bed is out of your budget you can start your transition one piece at a time. Start by purchasing natural fiber sheets, then pillow cases, mattress covers and blankets. Consumers also make the mistake of over-washing their bedding, wearing out natural fabrics sooner. Washing your natural fiber sheets only once every week or two weeks will make them last longer.