Purchasing bedding and bed linen is an important decision, particularly if you suffer with mould allergy, are chemically sensitive or have a sensitivity to dust mites.
If you see information on the packaging such as ‘easy care,’ ‘wrinkle free,’ or ‘non iron’ then this should alert you to the fact that the bedding will usually have been subject to chemical treatments. The materials may also have been bleached and treated with fire retardant. Other labels include anti-wrinkle and moth-proof.
Selecting untreated bedding will reduce the chemical load on your body and the addition of natural fillings will also provide additional health benefits.
Focus on untreated bedding
Here at The Healthy House we focus on untreated bedding. We choose products from our suppliers very carefully, mindful of our customers' concerns and needs. We are dedicated to selecting healthy products, thereby minimising the risk of our customers having a reaction to the products. However, since sensitivities are so individual we cannot guarantee that no one will react to any of our products!
What options are there?
Well, wool is a material that has traditionally been used in bedding for centuries owing to its availability, renewable nature and temperature regulating qualities.
This natural material offers a range of benefits that synthetics and to some degree other natural bedding materials cannot offer.
Our down and feather bedding – either pillows or duvets have been certified with Downafresh which means that the feathers are washed with water and dried at temperatures of at least 100°C ensuring that they are sterilised and comply with animal welfare regulations.
For something a little different, an alpaca duvet or pillow is has many benefits including being naturally temperature regulating and dust mite resistant. The ranges that we offer are all made with an organic cotton casing too, so a luxurious choice overall.
Our organic bedding includes organic wool duvets, plus standard, jersey and flannelette sheets and pillow cases. All of these carry an organic certification.
Mould and dust mites
House dust mites are a key allergy trigger. Over time they will be present in the majority of pillows, mattresses and duvets and also soft furnishings. They are commonplace and do not indicate an unclean home. Although many people do react to them, other people co exist with dust mites without any issue.
It may surprise you to learn that the increasing weight of an older pillow is the result of dust mites faeces contained within!
Up to 2% of the world’s population may be affected by dust mite allergy and for this group symptoms range from sneezing, wheezing, and coughing to aggravated eczema and asthma.
Due to the lanolin and tiny bristles which are naturally occurring in wool, it is naturally inhospitable to dust mites. The wool will also wick away the moisture which removes one of the key components necessary for dust mite survival and proliferation.
The moisture repellent properties also make it naturally resistant to moulds and mildew because the wool allows moisture to be released back into the atmosphere.
Although we recommend that the mattress is covered with a dust mite proof barrier case, wool is still considered to be one of the best bedding materials for natural dust mite resistance.
Down and feathers are also naturally resistant to dust mites and the NOMITE certified cases guarantee that the tightness of the weave prevents dust mites from entering the duvet.
A sensible choice if you are chemically sensitive
Chemical sensitivity can mean that you react to even the smallest concentration of residues in synthetic or treated bedding due to the chemical processes it has undergone. The bedding will look absolutely fine in its packaging, but it has often been subject to bleaching and treatment for fire retardants and easy care additives. When this bedding is removed from its packaging, chemicals such as formaldehyde can be released into the atmosphere. This off gassing can continue for some time and may never truly disappear. Washing the bedding (according to the specific washing instructions) may help to reduce any reaction but this will depend on how sensitive a person is.
Symptoms range from headaches to skin rashes, chronic exhaustion, mood changes and depression to ear, nose and throat issues. Read more about chemical sensitivity here.
Selecting non-toxic bedding will reduce the chemical load on your body. We suggest looking for bedding that has an organic accreditation or the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification as a minimum.
Organic wool is a completely natural fibre that has never been subject to any chemical processing. The organic wool bedding that we offer is encased in organic cotton too so the complete product is organic.
Temperature regulating qualities
Sheep are lucky to be able to wear wool! It is both breathable and able to insulate heat, so this is perfect for all year round comfort.
Natural bedding that has been untreated is a sensible choice if you suffer with any of the sensitivities outlined in this article, or if you want to reduce the chemical load on your body.
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Disclaimer: Information included in this blog post is intended for information purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical practitioner. Images not necessarily to scale.
Natural untreated bedding
Choose untreated bedding made from natural fibres.