Best Eco-friendly Materials for Your Bed

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We’re all just a little bit in love with our beds, craving a few extra hours on a Sunday morning at the very least. So it’s no wonder we want our bed linens to be the best quality possible.

Top image Eco bedding

L to R: Tencel Fibre Rich Pillow from Bambi, 100% Organic Bamboo Sheet Set from Mulberry Threads Co, and Waterproof Cotton/Bamboo Towelling Pillow Protector from Bambi. Shop bedding on Zanui.

The average person spends around 26 years asleep (yep – Google confirmed!). With so much of our lives cradled in our winter quilts or tossing the covers in the throes of summer, it’s important to take the time to know what you’re sleeping on.

What are you really nestling into at the end of the day? Are there better options than the standard cotton and polyester of our parents’ generation? How do you go eco-friendly in the bedroom?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH COTTON AND POLYESTER?

If you’re not too fussed about the state of the planet then the cotton and polyester you buy from the shops might suit you just fine – it feels soft and cosy, right?

The difference is in how the cotton and polyester fibres are grown and processed.

Cotton bed linens may contain genetically-modified chemicals (used to grow crops quicker), heavy dyes, synthetic resins or nasty pesticides.

Polyester is synthetic, and is produced using a large amount of energy and clean water. It’s also non-renewable and non-biodegradable so it’s not ideal for the Earth.

But there are other options aside from the two main bedding materials, options that feel just as cosy and are bound to make Mother Earth happy.

BAMBOO, WE LOVE YOU!

Bamboo is fast becoming a favourite for those on the look-out for eco-friendly bedding. It’s organic, renewable, and biodegradable – and it’s definitely got our attention.

The bamboo fibres are broken down from the woody pulp of the plant and then spun into oh-so-cosy textiles that are strong and resilient but still super soft.

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The 100% Organic Bamboo Sheet Set from Mulberry Threads Co. Shop sheet sets at Zanui.

If you could believe it, bamboo sheets are actually just as soft (if not softer) than regular cotton – a more comfortable fabric feel than the highest thread counts.

Plush bamboo quilts are ideal all year round, being not too hot or too cold, and a bamboo mattress protector is a must-have since the fibres are hypoallergenic – ideal for those with sensitivities.

Why We Love It

  • Hypoallergenic for sensitive types
  • Breathable and thermal-regulating
  • Sustainably grown and biodegradable

SMOOTH AS SILK

An alternative material, silk not only ticks plenty of eco-chic boxes but it’s hailed as an anti-aging aide (we won’t say no to that!).

Silk production is a bit out-there (we should know – we watched a documentary on the ABC one time) using caterpillars who spin silk cocoons and then harvesting their little homes for the long, strong threads.

SILK BLEND quilt & pillow (QSO & PSO)
The soft Silk Blend Pillow with Cotton Cover from Odyssey Living. Shop pillows on Zanui.

But unlike synthetic fibres, silk is a renewable resource and its natural quality makes it entirely biodegradable as well.

‘But how is it anti-aging!’ I can hear you asking. Well, hold on, we’re heading into a science lesson.

As a natural fibre, silk is full of amino acids and these are like super foods for your face. Your skin cells absorb the amino acids in say, a silk pillow case, and it helps to tighten the aging skin and even help with acne.

Why We Love It

  • Great for the skin
  • Hypoallergenic for better health
  • Super soft and thermal-regulating

ECO-CHIC ORGANIC COTTON

Ahh, the old favourite ‘cotton’ is back in our good-books – but only for its organic, eco-friendly benefits!

The best cotton to buy is the organic kind, the kind that’s been lovingly grown without chemical nasties, the kind that’s free of toxic dyes so it’s good for your skin and good for the world (aw).

You don’t have to sacrifice the comfort and quality of your favourite bedding when you can have the raw, natural fibres of organic cotton sheets to snuggle into.

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The 400TC La Via Quilt Cover Set from Jenny Mclean. Shop quilt covers on Zanui.

We’re smitten with Jenny Mclean organic cotton – it’s OEKO-TEX certified and Greenpeace approved through a detox program that ensures no pesticides or harmful chemicals get through.

Why We Love it

  • Chemical-free for those with sensitivities
  • Just as resilient as regular cotton
  • That old-fashioned ‘cosy’ feel

SPECIAL MENTION: TENCEL

We couldn’t forget Tencel, one of the more environmentally friendly fibres out there on the market. It’s a bit obscure and newer than bamboo or organic cotton (first produced in 1990) but Tencel bedding is gaining recognition.

Tencel, also known as Lyocell, is a natural material made from dissolved wood pulp (commonly Eucalyptus) that has been dried and spun. Tencel has a good reputation as an eco-friendly alternative, as it’s biodegradable and renewable.

Tencel
Image Credit: Legacy Lane Fiber Mill via Pinterest.

It’s a cellulose-based fibre so it feels a bit like natural rayon, making it super soft but breathable and ideal for all-year-round use (just like cotton and bamboo).

Caring for Tencel is also a cinch because it’s anti-wrinkling so there’s no need for added softeners or extra chemicals in the wash.

Why We Love It

  • Soft and lightweight fabric feel
  • Absorbent for those with night sweats
  • Durable and wrinkle resistant

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Kyra Thomsen is a writer and editor from Sydney, NSW. She has experience in copywriting, blogging, journalism, and social media. After completing two degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature in 2013 she began work with the content team at Zanui. Kyra was the winner of the 2012 Questions Writing Prize and her work has been published in print and online for numerous sources, including Writer's Edit, Seizure, and Fairfax Media among others.