When the mercury rises, a truly great night’s sleep can feel elusive. (It’s hard to catch zzz’s when you’re searching for the cool spot on the pillow.) But rather than crank the AC, a more comfortable snooze session could be as attainable as sliding between the right sheets and laying your head on a cushion that won’t capture heat—plus a few other sustainable swaps—say healthy home experts Lisa and Ron Beres.
“Creating a sleep sanctuary is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity.”
Wondering how to kick off your hot weather bed revamp? If you can’t swing a full-on overhaul, start small. “Look at your bedding: Are the materials certified-organic, including the pillows, mattress, and linens? If not, take baby steps to replace these as your budget allows,” Ron suggests.
In the end, he says, the investment will pay off in way more than 40 winks. “Creating a sleep sanctuary is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity,” Ron says. “We spend one-third of life [sleeping], so it’s essential that [our bed is] a toxic- and technology-free space. Plus, it’s the only time in the day your body and mind can settle, rest, and recuperate.” At least before nap bars become a thing in the States.
Until then, here are the Beres’ 5 summer swaps guaranteed to turn your bed into the cool sleep sanctuary of your dreams.
1. Ditch your flannel sheets for organic cotton
“Lightweight, natural-fibered fabrics allow our body and skin to breathe—and stay cooler,” Lisa says. (She likes the 300 Percale Sheet Set from Coyuchi for Life.) “Percale’s a tightly woven material that creates a strong, durable fabric with a cool, crisp texture, akin to the crisp sheets you often find in fine hotel rooms; it’s perfect in hot summer months,” she says. For a splurge, Ron suggests the luxe, ethically made Banded Sheet Set from Boll & Branch.)
2. Breathe easier while slumbering
“A portable air purifier is essential to good health,” regardless of the season, Lisa says, but it’s particularly important in the summertime, since “microorganisms can thrive in humid environments, and units with an added UV-C filtration can kill 99 percent of airborne germs via short-waved ultraviolet light.” Consider the Dyson Pure Cool Link, an all-in-one fan and purifier that monitors air via a smart phone app, with alerts when pollution levels are too high.
3. Toss that synthetic or down pillow
“There’s a definite ‘eww factor’ with pillows: Warm temperatures and moisture released during sleep make them perfect breeding ground for dust mites, bacteria, germs, and fungi to thrive,” Lisa says. Swap out synthetic material-filled pillows (they have the highest fungi spore counts) and down, which can be inhumanely harvested and retains moisture. Instead, rest easy on wool—it’s naturally dust mite-resistant, flame retardant, moisture-wicking, and breathable—Kapok or Bucky filling, or natural latex from rubber trees (natural memory foam feels cool and retains shape).
4. Upgrade to a linen duvet
Retire your current comforter cover (be it quilted, velvet, flannel, or cashmere) for linen: “It’s inherently non-allergenic and antibacterial, so it’s great for allergy sufferers, and it has an amazing capacity to breathe,” Lisa says, But it’s also a great all-seasons duvet pick: “Linen absorbs many times its weight in moisture—[and] the moisture in the fabric evaporates, equating to less moisture on your skin, so it’ll keep you cool during hot summer months and hot during cool winter months,” she adds. A wool duvet insert is also a great all-year choice; if you have a down-fill insert, keep in mind that lots of down is inhumanely processed, Lisa says, so make sure yours is Responsible Down Standard-certified.
5. Eliminate clutter, feel healthier
Here’s more motivation to trash those tchotchkes: “Be sure to remove any and all clutter—check under your bed—since it attracts dust, and 20 million Americans suffer from a dust-mite allergy,” Ron says. After paring down, be mindful about what enters your sleep haven, and take a minimalist tact: “Consider everything you bring into this space,” he advises. And save the steam for your hot-yoga savasanas instead.
Once you’ve created the ultimate snooze set-up, try out “The Sleep Whisperer’s” hacks for perfect zzz’s, or continue to spruce up your bedroom to make it completely Instagram-worthy.