Guide to natural & organic bedding including sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo, the certifications to look for and the best eco-friendly bedding brands.
Toxic chemicals. Environmental harm. Social justice.
Is that what you want to think about as you drift off to sleep each night?
I’m not trying to give you nightmares (seriously!) but before you crawl under your sheets tonight, give some thoughts to how those bed sheets were made and where they came from. It may not be as simple & cozy as you think.
But here’s the good news – making the switch to natural, organic bedding from Fair Trade sources could help you sleep a little easier. Let’s explore why….
Why Buy Natural & Organic Bedding?
It always pains me to say that many of the products we buy for our homes and lives are not as safe as we think they are – either for our health or for the environment. This is even true of something as basic as the bed sheets you go to sleep with every night.
From a health perspective, your bed sheets may contain chemical residues from pesticides, dyes, formaldehyde, phthalates and more. Some sheets are even infused with chemicals to make them wrinkle resistant or stain resistant. I bet you’d rather not have those things touching your skin!
From an environmental perspective, your bedding may be a huge resource hog and involve environmentally destructive processes. Conventional cotton uses up 30% of the world’s pesticides and the chemicals used to process and finish it adds to the problem. Polyester is a type of plastic that comes from petroleum, a non-renewable resource.
From a social good perspective, your sheets may have been produced using child labor or in a factory with unhealthy working conditions for its employees. Yeah, not something pleasant to think about, but it’s important.
Natural and organic bedding is an important part of creating a healthy, non-toxic environment in your bedroom. Along with a non-toxic mattress (read more about how to buy a mattress and the best non-toxic mattress brands) and fresh, purified air in your bedroom, your eco-friendly bedding will set you up for a healthy night’s sleep.
Natural & Organic Fabrics
These are the sustainable fabrics to look for in your eco-friendly bedding:
- Organic cotton: Certified organic cotton is grown without pesticides and using sustainable farming practices.
- Bamboo: Bamboo grows without pesticides and is a renewable resource that grows extremely quickly (up to 4 feet per day!)
- Viscose is the type of fabric produced from bamboo. It does involve resources to manufacture, but care is taken to produce it in a sustainable manner.
Certifications for Natural & Organic Bedding
Since most sheets and bedding do not go through any special testing for safety or evaluations of environmental or social impact, it’s important to look for independent certifications to guide you to the best bedding choices. Here are some certifications to look for:
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) – Internationally recognized as the toughest organic textile standard because it goes beyond verifying the organic farming process to include every step of manufacturing. Products must contain at least 95% organic fiber, use non-toxic dyes and not be treated with bleach, formaldehyde or any other toxic substances. Strict social and environmental standards are also required.
- OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 – A comprehensive, third-party testing and certification system for textile products at all stages of production. All components of a product are required to be free from a variety of harmful substances including formaldehyde, banned colourants, pesticides, heavy metals and more.
- MADE SAFE – A certification that ensures products are non-toxic. Products are screened for a wide range of toxins including behavioral toxins, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals and more. In addition, MADE SAFE goes above and beyond by lab-testing products for safety.
- Fair Trade Certified – A product certification that promotes equitable trade practices, working with farms and factories around the world to empower workers and improve wages, benefits and conditions.
Favorite Natural & Organic Bedding Brands
I may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article. Full Disclosure
In order to do a proper review of eco-friendly bedding brands, I received some product samples to check them out!
But more than simply sleeping on these sheets, I did a lot of research to find out more about these brands – how the products are made, the certifications they have, and their commitment to making safe and eco-friendly products.
First a few notes:
- Most sheets are made overseas, not in the U.S. (I’m guessing for cost reasons.)
- It is recommended to wash all new bedding prior to first use – which helps relax the fibers for a softer feel.
- Cold water washing is better for the environment and has been shown to be just as effective as hot water for cleaning clothes.
On to the brands:
Coyuchi makes thoughtfully designed bed, bath and home textiles that are both friendly to people and the planet.
- Beautifully luxurious organic cotton sheets, duvet covers and comforters.
- Organic cotton fabric is minimally processed and colored using low impact dyes (many fabrics are undyed).
- Available in percale, sateen, linen, jersey and flannel fabrics.
- Certifications: GOTS, MADE SAFE, Fair Trade Certified
- My take: I received samples of the Sea Glass Printed Organic Sheets and the Monterey Duvet Cover. The sheets are 200 thread count and are very well made. The nature inspired print is beautiful – by far the prettiest sheets I own! (shown in the top image in this post) The duvet cover is made from woven fabric that feels like a blanket yet is backed with organic cotton percale, so you can use it with or without a top sheet.
- Price: Sheets start at $198 for a Queen set. Full/Queen duvet covers start at $168. Comforters start at $248 for a queen.
BUY COYUCHI (Deal: Receive $30 off $200 when you sign up for their newsletter)
Luxury, organic bedding brought to you buy the company that makes Saatva, ZenHaven and Loom & Leaf mattresses (read more about those non-toxic mattress brands here).
- A new product line with only one type of sheets so far (they have organic pillows too!)
- Certifications: GOTS, Fair Trade Certified
- My take: The Lofton Organic Sheet Set (300 thread count) arrived in gorgeous packaging (would make a great gift!) and are excellent quality sheets.
- Price: Queen sets are $195.
Cariloha specializes in luxurious bedding and mattresses made from sustainable bamboo.
- Bamboo fabric is super soft, very breathable and naturally odor-repellent. It’s 3 degrees cooler than cotton and wicks moisture away from the body, keeping you cool and dry all night long.
- Cariloha is committed to promoting sustainable bamboo harvesting practices worldwide
- Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100, Fair Trade Certified
- My take: Softest sheets ever!! I’m serious! I have the Resort Bamboo Sheets, with the sateen finish (400-thread-count but apparently they surpass the softness and durability of 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton.)
- Price: Queen sets start at $179 for the Classic Twill and $239 for the Resort Sateen.
BUY CARILOHA (Use code MINDFULMOMMA15 for 15% off sitewide)
California based, family-owned company aiming to provide affordable eco-friendly bedding and mattresses by selling factory-direct with a low-overhead business model.
- Carry both organic cotton and bamboo sheets, as well as mattresses and other bedding products.
- Showrooms in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Seattle
- Certifications: GOTS and Fair Trade Certified (for organic cotton sheets)
- My take: Great affordable brand! I have tried the Luxury Bamboo Sheets and the Organic Cotton Sheets from Nest and have been pleased with both. Both are 300 thread count.
- Price: Queen sets start at $129 for bamboo and $159 for organic cotton.
BUY NEST BEDDING (Use code MINDFUL for 5% off your order)
Alterra Pure is dedicated to creating change in the textile industry by being completely transparent about their production process, while producing exceptional quality organic sheets.
- Percale sheets are woven in a 1 x 1 construction (tighter than a typical sheet) for added durability, crispness, and smoothness.
- The tight weave creates more surface area to draw heat from the body for a cool sleep.
- Certifications: GOTS, Fair Trade Certified, LEED-certified factory
- My take: These heirloom quality sheets (310 thread count) have beautiful top-stitching and come in gift-worthy packaging. They are a bit crisper than typical sheets but will soften over time with repeated washings (wash twice before use). The idea is they will last a lifetime!
- Price: $150 for a Queen set.
BUY ALTERRA PURE (Use code MINDFULMOMMA for 15% off)
Threshold by Target
Target’s popular store brand Threshold offers budget priced organic cotton sheet sets.
- Available in solid colors and prints.
- Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
- My take: A great entry point for organic bedding. I’ve had a set of organic cotton sheets (300 thread count) for quite a few years now. They are starting to show some wear and tear but have served me very well.
- Price: $46 for a Queen set.
More Natural & Organic Bedding Brands
Here are a few other eco-friendly bedding brands that I have not personally tried but have good reputations for quality.
Under the Canopy – Organic cotton
Naturepedic – Organic cotton
Boll & Branch – Organic cotton
Crate & Barrel – Organic cotton
West Elm – Organic cotton
Ettitude – Bamboo
Natural & Organic Bedding Giveaway
Now’s your chance to try out these eco-friendly sheets for yourself! Five lucky Mindful Momma readers will win a sheet set in the size and color of your choice! Here’s what you could win:
- Coyuchi – Organic Cotton Percale Sheet Set
- Saatva Dreams – Lofton Organic Cotton Sheet Set
- Nest Bedding – Organic Cotton Sheet Set
- Cariloha – Resort Bamboo Sheet Set (2 winners)
Enter using the Rafflecopter link below. Must be 18 years or older and have a U.S. shipping address. The giveaway will go through midnight, Central time on Friday, October 19th. Good luck!
How do you create a healthy, eco-friendly sleeping environment? Leave a comment – I’d love to know your thoughts!