A Quick Guide to Natural, Non-Toxic Bedding

Even though we’ll spend at least one-third of our lives in bed1, few of us think much about the safety and purity of our bedding. And while news has gotten out about the deplorable amount of harmful chemicals allowed in mattresses, there’s still not much awareness about toxins hidden in bed linens. You read right; sheets, quilts, duvets, feather beds, pillows, mattress covers, etc. all have the potential to contain harmful chemicals (like formaldehyde) that disrupt your health while you sleep. While this may be disheartening to hear, the good news is it only takes a little knowledge and shopper-savvy to learn how to spot toxic bedding.

Why bother worrying about bed linens?

With everything we have to think about when it comes to health, bed linens may seem like a low-priority. However, creating a safe haven during sleep is crucial, as this is when our bodies heal and rejuvenate. Now, imagine you’re doing everything you can to get more sleep, maybe you even invested in a non-toxic mattress, but you’re still having trouble sleeping and/or waking up feeling weak or like you need more sleep.

This could be a symptom of a body stuck in detoxification-mode when it’s supposed to be healing. How does this happen? Science has proven that our skin absorbs the toxins it comes into contact at an average rate of 64% absorption2. Thus, when your skin is covered in chemically-treated sheets while you sleep, your body is forced to process those toxins night after night. Add in the chemicals or fragrances you’re also breathing in from laundry detergents, etc., and it explains why so many of us wake up feeling exhausted despite our best efforts to eat well, exercise, etc. So yes, if you’re waking up feeling less than energetic, then your bed linens are definitely worth a second-look.

How to choose the safest, natural bedding

  • Choose only 100% natural fibers to sleep in, including: cotton, linen, silk and wool. These allow your skin to breathe while naturally wicking moisture away from your body.
  • Avoid synthetic fibers, like satin sheets for example, which may feel good to the touch but are treated with chemicals and do not allow your skin to breathe. They also create static electricity that affects the electro-climate of your bedroom.
  • Avoid mixed/blended fibers. These might look and feel like cotton or silk, but often they’re mixed with synthetic fibers to improve the texture and reduce costs for the manufacturer.
  • Avoid all chemically-treated sheets which bear the names:
    • Anti-static
    • Easy-care, wrinkle-free, or shrinkage-free—these garments release toxic formaldehyde3. Formaldehyde is a “complete carcinogen”, meaning it affects tumor cells at all stages of development 4, and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer of the nose and accessory sinuses, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal cancer, and lung cancer in humans5. It also causes contact dermatitis which may present in either subtle or extreme skin flare ups.

Our favorite natural bedding brands

Just like with food, organics are your best bet for non-toxic bed linens; and they’re a lot more affordable than they used to be. For example, you can get a beautiful set of organic cotton, 300-thread-count, twin-size sheets at Target for under $30.00. However, if you follow the advice above, you can find quality non-organic sheets too. Here are some of our favorite brands for every budget:

For the best quality sleep, we highly recommend sleeping in 100% natural and organic materials. This is especially important for anyone with existing health challenges, sleeping disorders, pregnant mothers, babies, and children. Plus, when you choose natural and organic bedding you’re also making a safer choice for the environment…a win-win for everyone’s health.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21056174
  2. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.74.5.479
  3. https://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10875.pdf
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/carcinogen
  5. https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.1048AppC

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  1. Hi there, thank you for this great post. I’d appreciate it so much if I could get your advice on allergen pillow covers. Our doctor recommended pillow, mattress, and duvet encasements to help with dust allergies. We cover our mattresses and pillows, but then put organic sheets over it, so we are not sleeping directly on the encasement. But I have noticed that even with an organic wool duvet insert, then this encasement, then an organic cotton duvet cover, I sweat at night vs when I just use a cotton quilt. I’d love your thoughts as to if this system of using this encasement, then organic sheets/pillow covers, increases static electricity. Many thanks in advance!

    A description of the encasements:
    “microfiber pillow encasings are strong but silky-soft and lightweight, totally imperceptible beneath the pillowcase. Made of an extremely tightly woven true microfiber fabric with a mean pore size of only 2 microns (the smallest of any commercially available microfiber encasing) they allow the free passage of air and moisture, but prevent the escape of allergens, both dust mite allergens as well as the smaller animal dander allergens. They are suitable for individuals with allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis (eczema)—or simply for good hygiene.

    Allergen-Proof Pillow Encasings are made with the highest quality sewing construction. The differences from competitive products are immediately apparent. All seams and edges are bound with seam binding for durability. All zippers are highest quality, with interior zipper flaps to prevent allergen escape through the zipper webbing, and exterior zipper covers to prevent contact with the zipper. They are the ultimate allergen-barrier pillow encasings for comfort, protection from allergens, and durability. 100% microfiber polyester. Lifetime warranty. Made in USA”

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I really appreciate that you take the time to help your customers transform their lives to living in a non-toxic home (beyond just household cleaning). I am definitely changing my sheets after this!

  3. For those who cannot afford organic (or who need something different than what they can find organically at a lower price), you can opt for Oeko-Tex 100 certified bedding (and towels, etc), as well. These items are certified to be free of certain chemicals and/or free of dangerous levels of chemicals, though not organic. While not quite as pure or safe, it’s a good option for those who don’t have organics within their reach at this time.

  4. Hi! I was curious what comforters you guys use?
    I was looking for 1 that is
    – washable
    – can keep me and my husband warm in fall/winter in MD with our thermostat set to 68°
    – don’t need other layers. Just the comforter, flat sheet, and duvet cover of course

    I know ur not a blanket expert lol but was curious of what you had, especially if you have similar criteria. With so many options (cotton, tencel, hemp, bamboo, etc), I just don’t know what to choose. I don’t want down bc it seems prone to dust mites, allergens etc

    1. We always suggest organic natural fibers for beds. Look at the brands we mentioned in the blog post for comforters. The material (wool, cotton, etc) is really a personal preference.

    2. We ordered a Buffy Cloud Comforter recently and we love it. It is light-weight, soft and warm but does not make you overheat because there are no synthetic materials used. They have other products as well. A little on the pricey side but we felt it was worth it for our one comforter!

  5. Hi, any information on the Bearaby weighted blankets and comforters. I have asked the company several questions but am still wondering if I need to dig further before purchasing. Thank you for all you do. We have recently purchased all new mattresses. 2 Avocados, 1 Happsy, 1 Holy Lamb Organics (and then mattress protectors from each of the corresponding companies). We have a bunk bed, so the Happsy and Holy Lambs mattresses were better fits than the avocados. and then we have started using the Avocado pillows and organic sheets from target. I am currently trying to decide on comforters and would like weighted blankets for my 3 girls and my husband and I. I purchased the girls’ blankets from Sensory Goods and they say they are 100% organic but don’t show any certifications. I am trusting that what they say is true. Any info on them? Thank you so much, krista

    1. Hello Krista. It sounds like you are taking some amazing steps in creating healthy sleeping environments for your whole family! We are not familiar with Sensory Goods, so cannot weigh in on their products.

      1. Do you have any thoughts regarding the Bearaby products? I read all of their information online, emailed them several questions but when I received the weighted sleeper (comforter) the tag stated that it was a polyester filling. I was really disappointed and will email the company. Nowhere did it mention that they used polyester only organic tencel and cotton. Has anyone else found weighted comforters/blankets that are 100% organic. Thank you

  6. Just wanted to say I purchased a few sets from Target based on these recommendations and our family loves them. Seriously. Over half the price of some of the more expensive brands that never lasted. Thank you so much from all of us for your research!

  7. I’m having difficulty finding a cute, organic comforter that isn’t super expensive. One I found at target had polyester filling, so that’s out. I looked at the links in the articles but they were so pricy for comforters. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    1. Hi Heather, if you can not find organic, 100% cotton or other natural fibers can be okay too! Also, an Allersoft duvet protector might be something to look into if you cannot find an inexpensive option for comforters that do not have down or polyester. IKEA might also be a place to check out!

    1. Look for 100% natural fibers, like cotton or linen. Organic if possible. If you choose a different option, you will want to sun or outgas it when you receive it.


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