Organic Bedding Guide

This organic bedding guide has information on organic pillows, organic sheets and organic comforters.

It is designed to help you understand what options are available to you and help you make the right purchasing decision.

The organic movement is extending beyond just food now and there are many household products that are available in organic form. 

Organic bedding is one that is really taking off now.

It began with cotton clothing, when fabrics first became recognized as organic. Now organic cotton is being used in bedding, and it is joined by organic wool, organic kapok, organic buckwheat and natural options such as latex and natural memory foam to give you a wide variety of organic bedding choices.

A quick note on natural latex and natural memory foam. These two materials are not strictly organic but they are discussed here because they are close enough to being organic. In order for a product to use the title "organic" it must meet a set of criteria and be proven so by an approved third party certifying organization. This is highly regulated.

Such an organization does not currently exist for natural latex, although hopefully it will in the near future. Therefore even if it were to be organic it could not be marketed as such. The same is true of natural memory foam because its base material is natural latex. So when the term "natural latex" is used it is referring to latex that comes from the rubber tree rather than synthetic latex made in a lab. This is all harvested organically, the only non-organic material is a small binding agent that must be used.

Organic Bedding Guide - Pillows

organic bedding
image by Helga Weber

Before deciding which pillow you like it is a good idea to determine if you are a back sleeper, side sleeper or stomach sleeper. The reason for this is that some pillows are better suited than others to a particular sleeping style.

If you sleep on your stomach you need a very thin pillow. If you sleep on your back you need a pillow of medium height. If you sleep on your side you need a bigger pillow. This is because as you roll onto your shoulder your head is further off the surface of the bed. To prevent neck problems and to keep proper alignment you need the right pillow.

To figure out what type of sleeper you are just take note of the position you wake up in the mornings. This is generally your prefered sleep style.

An organic buckwheat pillow is made up of individual dried husks of the buckwheat fruit. The beauty about these pillows is that you can adjust the fill to your desired level of comfort. Because of the individual fillings the pillow also molds perfectly to the shape of your head and neck, which allows the muscles to relax more as they are not fighting against a solid pillow. This style of pillow is used extensively in Japan and other parts of Asia.

A natural shredded latex pillow works in the same way. Instead of individual buckwheat husks you have individual pieces of natural latex foam. You can also adjust the fill and the same principle about fully relaxed muscles applies. The difference is merely one of texture and that comes down to personal opinion. Buckwheat is known to be quite noisy when you shift around, latex not so much.

Natural latex also comes in a solid foam piece. This is known for its comfortable feel which is often described as "springy." The medium height is best suited to a back sleeper and the pillow has a medium firmness. Natural latex is an excellent moisture regulator and has anti bacterial properties which make it dust mite resistant.

While natural latex is an excellent moisture regulator wool is even better. Most people sweat 1 liter of fluid a night so having good moisture regulation in your bedding is important if you want to prevent mold and mildew. Wool not only regulates moisture but regulates temperature very effectively. A wool pillow maintains its height well and is of medium firmness.

An organic cotton pillow is a firm pillow so suits those that like a harder surface. This is a more traditional choice however the popularity of latex and wool is making a dent. The main benefit of cotton is less in the pillow than it is in the environmental benefits. Regular cotton is a major pollutor so by choosing organic cotton you are mitigating the impact done by standard cotton farming.

Organic kapok is another excellent eco-friendly choice. Kapok fibers grow around the seeds of the tree and can be harvested sustainably with no damage to the tree itself. Kapom is renowned for its lightness and is often compared to down. However down is based on animal cruelty, whereas kapok is a sustainable vegan choice.

Natural memory foam pillows are made just by Essentia. The small networked air channels displace your weight as you lie on the pillow and simultaneously offer comfort and support.

Organic Bedding Guide - Sheets

In days gone by your just bought cotton sheets and that was it. Now an abundance of choice is available in this organic bedding niche, not only in material but style and weave. It helps to know a bit of the jargon before you do your shopping so you can determine what choice is right for you.

Cotton is still the number one organic choice. Natural bamboo and natural silk are available but they are not genuine organic. Within the cotton range itself there are varying qualities of fiber, with organic Egyptian cotton being the most durable, soft and luxurious.

One area people can get a bid muddled is understanding the difference between fiber, weave and fabric. The fiber is the raw material, the weave is how that fiber is stitched and the fabric is the end result.

So take satin and sateen for example. These are two different fabrics. Satin is made from silk fibers and sateen is made from cotton fibers. They are woven in the same way but because the raw material is different you get a different fabric.

Likewise if you start with the same raw material, say cotton. The weave it in two different ways then you will get two different fabrics. This is what sateen and percale are for example. Both cotton fibers but different weaves create different fabrics.

Organic sateen sheets are made from cotton with a four over one under weave. This means that they are amazingly comfortable but less durable.

Organic percale sheets are made from cotton with a one over one under weave. This means they sacrifice comfort but instead have amazing durability.

Do not be deceived by high thread counts. This does not automatically mean a sheet it better. Thread count refers to how many threads there are per square inch of fabric. Generally the higher the thread count the better quality the sheet is, but this is only the case if the raw material is itself of a high quality. It is better to get a sheet with a lower thread count if the fibers used are of a high quality than have a high thread count but a low quality raw material.

Organic Bedding Guide - Comforters

When it comes to choosing your comforter the thing to really consider is temperature. Are you buying for a particular seasons or all year round? Are you the kind of person who feels the cold or do you often overheat? Do you and your partner have similar needs or do you prefer one thing and they prefer another?

An organic wool comforter is the best when it comes to regulating temperature, keeping you warm when it's cold and cool when it is warm. It is the most breathable natural fiber on the planet. It also prevents moisture build up and this helps keep dust mites at bay.

An organic kapok comforter is the luxurious comfort choice. It is often compared to down in terms of comfort and lightness. Unlike down this is an eco-friendly option as the fibers are sustainably harvested from trees without harming them. Kapok is also an excellent moisture regulator, an effective insulator and hypoallergenic.

An organic cotton comforter also breathes well but is more suited to summer than winter as they tend to be of lighter construction. However depending on where you live you may be able to use it all year round. Cotton is regarded as being very comfortable, and while perhaps not as comfortable as kapok it is regarded as more comfortable than wool.

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