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Bare Home Blog
What's In Your Bed?

How chemicals in bedding affect your health, and why buying organic matters

Did you know that the average person spends one-third of their life sleeping? During that time, they're constantly exposed to any chemical additives in their bedding. In this blog post, we'll outline the dangers of these substances and how to avoid them. We'll also discuss the benefits of using organic cotton sheets and what to look for when buying organic sheets. Read on for everything you need to know.

 

Common Harmful Chemicals in Bedding

FORMALDEHYDE

One of the most common toxic substances found in bedding is formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is commonly used in textiles to help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, but it is also used to make material wrinkle resistant. It is added to the fabric during processing, but it can also be released over time because of regular use or exposure to sunlight or air. Formaldehyde can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems, and it has also been linked to cancer.

PHTHALATES

Phthalates are a class of chemicals used in a variety of consumer products, including the manufacture of mattresses and waterproof mattress protectors. Phthalates have been linked to hormonal disruptions, birth defects, and reproductive problems. They can also cause developmental problems in young children, such as delays in motor skills and language development.  When exposed to heat (such as sunlight or body heat), these substances have been known to "off-gas" and release into the air.

HEAVY METALS

Heavy metals are commonly used in textile production as dyestuffs, pigments, and mordants (dye fixatives).  They can also be released into the environment during fabric production, washing, and wearing. Exposure to heavy metals can cause a range of adverse health effects including skin irritation, headaches, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems. In severe cases, exposure to heavy metals can lead to organ damage and even death.

OTHER HARMFUL SUBSTANCES

There are many other harmful chemicals found in bedding, including flame retardants, chlorine bleach, and pesticides. If you want to protect your health, it is important to choose a sheet set that is free of these toxins.

 

OK, So How Do I Avoid These Harsh Chemicals?

The best way to avoid unwanted toxins in your bedding is to invest in a set of high quality organic sheets.  Organic cotton sheet sets are a great place to start, and luckily Bare Home offers several options!  But how do you know that what you are purchasing lives up to the claims? Here are two certifications you can look for to ensure your bed will be safe.

 

Left: a woman sits in the middle of a bed with gray sheets.  She is holding a craft paper card that says “Bare Home” up to the camera.  Right: The same woman lies on her stomach on the same bed.

 

GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD

GOTS is the Global Organic Textile Standard, and it's the leading certification for organic materials used in textile products. GOTS covers every step of the manufacturing process, from the initial harvest of the cotton fibers to the final product that reaches the consumer. To achieve GOTS certification, a textile product must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibers. The remaining 5% can be made up of non-organic materials that are essential to the finished product, such as dyes or buttons.

GOTS also sets strict standards for how organic materials are processed and manufactured, with a focus on minimizing environmental impact. As a result, GOTS-certified products are widely considered to be the gold standard for organic textiles.

 

Left: GOTS and OEKO-TEX Logos.  Right: a close-up of cotton buds still on the stem.

 

OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100

The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is a certification that guarantees that a product is free of harmful chemicals. It is awarded to products that meet the strictest standards of safety, and it is recognized all over the world. When you choose organic cotton bedding that is certified by the OEKO-TEX Standard 100, you can be sure that it is free of toxins such as formaldehyde, PVC/phthalates, and heavy metals.

 

The Benefits of Organic Cotton Sheets

Organic cotton sheets have many benefits that make them a great choice for your bed. For one, they are made from natural fibers, which are more skin-friendly than man-made materials. They are also breathable, making them ideal for year-round use. In addition, organic cotton is a sustainable resource, so you can feel good about using it without harming the environment.

WHY COTTON IS AN EXCELLENT CHOICE

Cotton is an extremely soft and comfortable fabric, making it an ideal choice for bed sheets. It's natural luster and feel make it both luxurious and soothing, providing a perfect haven for rest and relaxation. What's more, cotton is incredibly durable and can withstand regular use without showing signs of wear or tear. This makes it ideal for long-lasting, high-quality sheets that stay looking and feeling great no matter how many nights they've been slept on. Additionally, cotton is known to be highly absorbent, wicking away excess moisture quickly to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night. With all these great benefits, it's easy to see why cotton sheet sets are so popular.

 

A woman with curly hair lies on a bed, snuggled in a comforter. Her eyes are closed and she is smiling.

 

ORGANIC FIBERS: GOOD FOR YOU AND FOR THE PLANET

Organic cotton is a natural fiber grown without the use of pesticides or other synthetic materials. Because it contains no harmful additives, it is ideal for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Beyond its natural properties, organic cotton is also a more sustainable material than conventional cotton, because it can be grown and harvested all year round. Unlike conventional cotton, which requires intensive irrigation and large amounts of chemical fertilizer, organic cotton uses natural rainwater and relies on natural methods of pest control. Overall, there are many reasons why organic cotton is a better choice for anyone looking for natural fibers and long-lasting textiles.

HOW TO SHOP FOR THE BEST ORGANIC SHEETS

When shopping for organic cotton sheet sets, there are a few key things that you should keep in mind. The first is quality. Organic bedding is not always more expensive than regular cotton, so it's important to do your research and find quality products that deliver value for your money. Look for high thread counts (the number of threads woven into one square inch), as this is an indicator of softness and durability.

Be sure to also think about the specific design and feel of the sheets that you're looking for, as this can affect both comfort and style. It's important to consider the weave of your sheets – most high-quality organic cotton fabrics come in classic options like sateen weave, percale weave, and jersey. And don't forget to look for the label indicating they are OEKO-TEX and GOTS certified. By following these tips, you can rest easy knowing that your bed is both comfortable and healthy!

SO, ARE ORGANIC SHEETS REALLY WORTH IT?

Yes! Organic cotton is soft, comfortable, and luxurious, and it's a great choice for anyone looking for a healthier option. With a little research, you can find the perfect organic sheets for your bed. Additionally, be sure to check the fabric content before making your purchase. When you're shopping, it's important to look for certifications like GOTS and OEKO-TEX Standard 100. These certifications ensure that the sheets are made of organic cotton and free of toxic substances.

 

Right: A view of a bed with a wooden frame shown from the foot of the bed.  It is dressed in white sheets.  Center: A photo of the same bed taken from the side.  Right: A photo of the same bed, taken from the foot, but this time the dressing includes a white duvet and pillow shams.

 

FROM BARE HOME

Bare Home Organic Sheet Sets are made from GOTS certified organic cotton. Queen sheet set includes one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases.  Currently available in percale, twill, and jersey weaves and soon to be available in a sateen weave.  Complete the look with an organic cotton duvet cover set.