People spend about a third of their lives sleeping. And that means they are spending a third of their lives in their beds. What most people do not realize is that their bedding can be a source of many harmful chemicals and allergens. Bedding products can harbor dust mites, bed bugs, and other allergens.
In addition to allergens, many modern mattresses are seeping with toxic chemical agents that are used in the manufacturing process and as flame retardants. These chemicals can off-gas from bedding products for years after the mattress is purchased. Clearly, these are not things that you want to be in contact with for a significant portion of your life. Luckily, there are many natural bedding alternatives available that you can use in place of these toxic products.
Why Traditional Mattresses Can Be Harmful to Your Health
The first issue you should address is you mattress. Your mattress is the foundation of your bedding and can also be one of the biggest sources of allergens and chemicals. Traditional innerspring mattresses usually contain flame retardant chemicals, stain protectants, and other chemicals left over from the manufacturing process. Innerspring mattresses are also a breeding ground for dust mites and bed bugs. The older your mattress is, the more likely it is to be full of allergens.
Therefore, you should start by replacing your old mattress and getting one that is made of natural materials. If you cannot afford a new mattress, consider covering you existing one in a cotton zippered casing to minimize the off-gassing effect.
Selecting a New Mattress
If you decide to get a new mattress, there are a few options here. You can go with an innerspring mattress constructed of natural materials like organic cotton and wool, or you can build your own mattress using natural materials, or you can purchase a 100% natural latex mattress.
The innerspring mattress is the easiest solution, as you just have to pay close attention to the materials and manufacturing process used. Building your own mattress is time consuming but can be a rewarding project if you have the patience.
Purchasing a latex mattress can be costly, but they make great beds and they last for many years. It is important to make sure that the mattress is 100% natural latex because synthetic latex is a man made material that uses toxic chemicals. You should also make sure the covering fabric is a natural material as well. Another benefit of latex mattresses is that they are naturally allergen, dust mite, and bed bug resistant.
Buying Bedding and Accessories
After you decide on a mattress, you need to focus on pillows, sheets, and blankets. Make sure to get pillows with natural filling such as wool, cotton, or down.
Memory foam may be tempting but it is a petroleum product and can outgas up to 60 chemicals. Natural latex pillows should be purchased instead of memory foam.
Sheets and blankets should be made of natural wool or cotton. These materials are not only natural, but they off superior performance in terms of comfort, temperature control, and durability. So choose a blanket with 100% wool or organic cotton batting.
So the next time you are in the market for new bedding, shop around for natural alternatives instead of chemically treated ones. With as much time as you will be spending in close contact with them, you should make every effort to make sure it is as safe and natural as possible.
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