When you imagine your perfectly comfortable dream bed, what does it feel like? For me, it’s plush and cloud-like, while not being so squishy it feels like I’m sinking into a bottomless foam pit when I lie down—and covered with sheets that feel like a (not too hot) hug.
The mattress I’ve had for the last several years covered off on all those points… when I first got it. After many nights of snoozing, it’s started to lose some of its plushness, and an imprint of my body has worked its way into the pillow-top to the point that I automatically roll to the middle whenever I get into bed. And my sheets? Let’s just say they haven’t held up too well after countless washes.
As I began looking into replacements, I realized I might want to be as cognizant of the ingredients in my mattress (and sheets, pillows, etc.) as I am of the ingredients I stock in my fridge—you know, considering that I face-plant on it every single day.
I might want to be as cognizant of the ingredients in my mattress as I am of the ingredients I stock in my fridge.
Here’s the deal: Conventional mattresses are often treated with chemical flame-retardants and made from materials that can emit volatile organic compounds—AKA not things I want in my bedroom, especially considering the average person spends a third of their life sleeping (and with a strict 9 p.m. bedtime, I definitely fall into that camp). And most sheets and bedding are definitely not organic.
My research led me to Under the Canopy, the new bedding found exclusively at Bed Bath and Beyond. Made from organic and sustainable materials, it’s free from all the potentially harmful chemicals and dyes I was hoping to avoid, so I decided to give my bed a full organic overhaul.
The first step of my organic bedroom makeover was the Under the Canopy mattress, which is made from cruelty-free New Zealand Joma wool and a silica exterior to provide a natural flame retardant (instead of the chemical stuff).
It was delivered to my door in a box so small I couldn’t believe a queen-sized bed was inside. But sure enough, it unfurled into the softest, comfiest mattress I’d ever slept on. Once I outfitted it with the sheets, pillows, and duvet, I felt like my bedroom had been transformed into a fancy hotel room.
You know that feeling when you slide into bed on vacation and you just know you’re about to get a fantastic night’s sleep? That’s how I felt the first night in my sustainable bed. And despite the increased weight of the duvet and sheets compared to the flimsy ones I was using before, I never woke up sweating in the middle of the night thanks to the temperature-regulating wool outer layer of the mattress.
The best part about the sheets? Because the fibers of the organic cotton continue to expand after every wash, the sheets kept getting softer each time I washed them, which served as an incentive to stay on top of laundry day. (And let’s be honest, everyone can always use some laundry-day encouragement.)
Plus, opting for organic bedding benefits more than just my own personal sleep situation. Under the Canopy supports rural communities near Kohlapur, India (where one of its cut-and-sew facilities is located) by bringing thousands of people health-care services, education opportunities, and job training—so it’s a feel-good scenario from start to snooze.
My research into organic bedding benefits also got me thinking about other less obvious areas of my life where I might want to make more sustainable choices—like my wardrobe, my coffee habit, and more. Switching to a better-for-me bed situation didn’t make me a new person (though I did wake up feeling like a new person after each glorious night of sleep), but it did push me to become more mindful about my impact on the environment. I just had to sleep on it.
SHOP ORGANIC BEDDING
Sponsored by Under the Canopy exclusively at Bed Bath and Beyond
Top photo: Andrey Pavlov/Stocksy
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