When time comes to replace bedding, consider choosing items made from natural materials over polyester or nylon (which leach microplastics in the washing machine, unless you use a microplastic catcher). It is more expensive (find sale bargains online). Just buy a couple of sets and they should last longer, as fibres are not damaged by chemicals. Try to arrange your bed so that coloured bedding does not fade in sunlight.
Little Leaf Organic sells nice organic cotton bedding, including sets that include a duvet cover, sheet and pillowcase in a nice organic cotton canvas cover. It also sells organic cotton cot sheets. Avoid pillows and don’t use cot bumpers (still sold by major stores, against NHS advice). The Lullaby Trust has safe sleeping tips, to help prevent crib death.
There are three main fabrics for sustainable bedding. Organic cotton is softer than regular cotton (recycled cotton is more affordable). Hemp is naturally organic and not narcotic (unlike its cousin cannabis). It’s cool in summer and warm in winter, and makes a lovely material choice, and can also be grown locally (unlike cotton). Linen is made from flax, so also easy to grow locally. It’s soft and crumply, so whether it suits depends on whether you like crumpled or not!
luxury stone-washed linen bedding
Piglet in Bed (also sold at Buy Me Once) makes nice sustainable bedding, from stone-washed linen that gets softer with each sleep. In a wide range of colours to suit all homes. Linen is from the flax plant, and these lovely naturally crumpled linen bundles are sure to go down a treat. Linen is soft and breathable, and the bundles include a duvet cover, pair of pillowcases and fitted or flat sheet, plus optional extra sheets and pillowcases. Pre-washed for softness.
This company also sells linen nightwear. Safe to say that the ‘organic side’ say to avoid flame retardants and to simply not use cigarettes and dodgy heaters (and use a smoke alarm). The ‘conventional side’ say adding chemicals to clothing is better. It’s up to you to decide which camp to fall in (there are UK laws covering children’s clothing).
simply-labelled organic cotton bedding
Dip & Doze is one of the many brands offering beautiful organic cotton bedding. Of course this is better for the planet and oceans, and better for you (more comfy too as it keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer). So why do we recommend this brand? For a start, it’s more affordable than most. But secondly, because the founders have made it clear they wish to dispense with all the chat to confuse about bedding (housewife and Oxford pillowcases). It’s just sheets and pillowcases!
George knows that however intelligent we are, most people have no idea what thread counts mean, so he decided to use his knowledge of textiles to simply create great bedding, but you don’t need a bedding degree to choose! With matching organic towel bale sets, the range is muted, for a relaxed Scandi feel to your bedroom.
These sets are made with organic Fairtrade cotton, with piped edges and a reversible design. They have an online size guide, and the thread count is 300 (good!) with sewn-in labels and a stop pocket to prevent your duvet poking out. With a concealed corozo nut button closure and reusable drawstring bag (made from product offcuts). Machine-washable.
organic cotton blankets (with 20-year guarantee)
Luks Linen makes lovely organic cotton blankets ideal to put on beds. These are expensive (made by Turkish artisans) but carry a whopping 20-year guarantee! If donating old blankets/towels to animal shelters, avoid giving ones with strings and tassles (could tangle in boxes).
choose duck-friendly duvets!
Avoid duvets made with feathers or down. Although a few companies take Icelandic down from birds that naturally moult, most of industry plucks from birds, a bit like factory-farming. You can buy nice alternatives like Fou Furnishings organic cotton duvet with organic cotton fill.
To be realistic however, most people can’t afford almost £200 for a duvet, so use the one you have for now and then buy the greenest alternative you can afford, and choose organic cotton duvet sets. Or even give the duvet a miss and go back to sheets and a blanket!
tips for a zero-waste bedroom
Rather than keep buying more items for your bedroom, have a good clear-out and donate or sell or recycle items you no longer need. Create a capsule wardrobe, open the windows ajar to let fresh air in, give it a good eco-clean and vacuum, and remove items you no longer need.
Never spray perfumes or essential oils near pets or children (and air rooms after using). Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing and affected medical conditons. Indoor plants don’t clean the air (a myth based on out-dated NASA research – many indoor plants are toxic to pets including lilies and sago palm (even brushing a tail against them can harm animal friends).
Nobody should have a bedroom full of electrical gadgets, ashtrays, clutter or items you don’t love. Even if you’re on a budget, you can afford a nice pure cotton duvet set (don’t leave laptops or phones on it, as they are fire hazards). Likewise, replace dangerous convector heaters with an oil-powered radiator that is safer around people and pets, and use a humidifier if the air is stale.
Get rid of shop receipts, old vitamins and capsules, wires and cables you don’t need etc. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, if possible remove the TV unless you really like to watch it in bed. Think rest and sleep and relaxation. Good books by the bedside, a glass of filtered water, thick comfy sheets and cosy pyjamas. Choose safely-tacked rugs if you don’t have carpet,s and block the light from windows with blinds or curtains at night. Make your bedroom so inviting that you love being there. You could even visit charity shops to find nice artwork that inspires along with a couple of ornaments. Don’t have pictures of war or misery above your head, as you go to sleep! Go to town on a few things you love.