If your health has been suffering, don’t discount the fact that it could be caused by the sheets you sleep on every night. A multitude of chemicals goes into their manufacturing process. This, in combination with the heavy use of dyes, makes it no wonder your health and the health of others may be compromised.
From dyes, to weave, to fabric types, no two sheets are created equally. Another frustrating element is the fact that many products are packaged in a misleading way. Options on the market today include: non-toxic, chemical-free, and organic. Which one is honestly the best? Below is a breakdown of what to watch for the next time you’re shopping for a new sheet set and which type is really the healthiest.
Signs of a Reaction
If you fear chemical exposure might be creating or exaggerating your poor health, consider the following symptoms. If any of these are affecting you currently, or have in the past, you may want to consider purchasing new sheets.
- Skin Rash
- Respiratory Issues
Think about how you feel each day. Has anything changed since you purchased your last set of sheets? The aforementioned symptoms are classic signs of exposure to formaldehyde which is commonly used in manufacturing to prevent wrinkles in both bedding and clothing.
Stick to Breathable Cotton
Though plain cotton may not be as much fun as highly decorated sheets, the use of cotton sheets promotes better air circulation and offers improved absorption at night as you sleep so if you do sweat on a hot night, you will not be feeling sticky and uncomfortable. The best sheets for breathability are:
- Plain Cotton
- Egyptian Cotton
Plain cotton is known for being a lighter sheet that breathes well. Although more expensive and slightly lighter than plain cotton, Egyptian cotton is made from cotton that is grown in Egypt. It is considered to be the most expensive and the most luxurious of all cotton. However, bamboo sheets are quickly growing in popularity and perform the same way as plain cotton and Egyptian cotton. The difference is more about the weave than anything else.
Sleep loss can affect your overall health. When you do not sleep well, your immune system cannot work as effectively. It also is dangerous to operate a motor vehicle because you could fall asleep at the wheel. Sleep loss also affects certain health conditions and makes them worse. So, when you’re tossing and turning because you cannot get comfortable due to night sweats, it’s important to realize that this is affecting your health in a negative way.
Sheets with dark colors involve the use of heavy dyes. Darker, bolder colors absorb heat and promote sleep loss. They also don’t allow for the pores of your skin to breathe as well either. This can lead to clogged pores and acne issues along with an increase in allergy issues. Choose colors that repel heat. Colors such as white, off-white, and light-colored patterns. You’ll feel a difference as soon as you slide into bed.
More and more manufacturers are walking away from chemicals that were once used in the finishing process. Organic sheets are far healthier for you than traditional sheet sets. Now, you may wonder what exactly an organic cotton sheet set entails. According to the Global Organic Textile Standard, no harmful or toxic chemicals are used during the process of turning the fibers into fabric. It also means that the cotton used was from certified organically grown cotton.
Stay away from sheets that claim they are “non-toxic.” These sheets are not certified organic or certified chemical free. Non-toxic is simply defined as “free of toxins.” What this means is that at some point during the manufacturing process the “non-toxic” sheets have something dangerous in them you do not want to expose your health (or your lungs and skin) to as you sleep.
Stick to organic cotton in light colors if you are searching for the healthiest bed sheets. You have a less-likely chance of overheating with lighter colors, and your skin and lungs will never be exposed to chemically laden material colored in heavy dark dyes. Less tossing and turning means you might actually wake with a smile.