Whether or not you’re into green living, it makes perfect sense to make your bedroom, the place where you spend at least half your life, as sweet-smelling and non-toxic as possible. I can never get over the fact that the air quality inside of most homes in America is 7-10 times worse that outside air quality, and this is especially scary when it comes to the one room, which should be a cozy sanctuary. So how can you do it Gorgeously in your bedroom? There’s a couple of items that I strongly suggest you invest in. It’s all about prioritizing and dealing with the worst culprits first. So let’s get started:
Mattress & Pillows:If you can’t afford to now – put them on your wedding/baby registry or start saving up. The first and most important is a good non-toxic mattress. Mattresses, unless otherwise stated, can contain a host of toxic chemicals including PCB’s (fire retardants), plastics, vinyls, toxic adhesives, and pesticides. Ugh – to think that you could be breathing in these chemicals for 7 plus hours, every night! Older mattresses are even worse, because as the materials degrade, the mattress can off-gas these chemicals, which bind to household dust around your bed.
The challenge is to find a truly non-toxic company. Many are now touting their latest “green” or “natural” mattress, but since there are no regulations in place, it’s hard to trust that you’re getting a really “clean” mattress. I recommend visiting Nirvana Safe Haven, which is owned by a lady with extreme chemical sensitivities – she knows what she’s selling and wouldn’t accept anything less-than perfect into her store, as her health depends on it.
I also love The Wool Bed Company, who carry mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows and just about everything you need for sweet dreams (babies to adults). This is a family-run company who was the first to produce organic wool bed products. The quality is hard to beat, as each piece is hand/custom made.. Keep in mind that there’s sustainably sourced, “clean” wool, and then there’s the bad stuff – these guys source the best. I have an organic wool comforter and I love it because wool is a natural flame retardant.
If you can’t afford a new non-toxic mattress, I highly recommend purchasing an organic mattress topper from The Wool Bed Company, as this will go a long way to mitigating any toxic chemicals that could off-gass from your current mattress. It’s a worthwhile investment as these toppers are handmade, made to last for life, and are exquisitely comfy.
Be especially wary of “Memory Foam”, as it can emit VOC’s (causing respiratory problems), and formaldehyde. Memory Foam mattresses have been found to contain 61 toxic chemicals – not very pleasant!
One of my favorite pillows, which is absolutely brilliant if you suffer from back or neck pain, is the Pillo1 – a genius design that works even if your are a side sleeper like me. You can purchase your Pillo1 from my collection at Open Sky – good idea to follow me, as there are often flash sales on products like this.
You could even consider making your own wonderful buckwheat pillow – I show you how in my latest book, Do It Gorgeously – really easy to make!
I’m obsessed with the Satin Serenity pillowcases – that’s a must-have for my pillows. I wash them really carefully in hair conditioner to keep them soft!
It’s hard to get your whites really white when you’re using eco-friendly, phosphate-free detergents. The more commercial kinds like Tide, use optical brighteners (those little blue specks you can see,) which give the illusion of white, however, it doesn’t mean your linens are any cleaner. I recommend phasing out your white linens and for your next go-round, buying cream, beige, sage or any other color – that way it won’t bother you too much if they’re not neon white! The same thing goes with towels. I do suggest adding 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to your white load to notch up the white as much as possible, without using chlorine bleach.
I recommend investing in a set of bamboo sheets. Bamboo (if the real thing,) is chemical-free, naturally anti-microbial, a sustainable resource and feels just wonderful. It’s also sturdier than a high thread-count cotton, so will last longer. You can find very inexpensive “bamboo” linens, but they are often combined with cheap cotton. Here’s a company that I like.
While we’re on the subject of bamboo, the most beautiful towels I have ever felt are by Nandina. If you have a registry, I’d add a few of these for sure.
I love my linen spray from my book, Do It Gorgeously. This is great way to scent your bedroom and sheets. You may want to spritz your pillows and comforter everyday. Here’s the recipe:
You will need:
1 16oz spray bottle
2tbsp vodka (cheapest you can find)
Either 1tsp ylang ylang EO & 1tsp of patchouli EO
1tsp lavender & 1 tsp lemongrass EO
Pour the vodka into the spray bottle,
Add the distilled water, leaving 1 1/2 inches at the top of bottle
Add the essential oils, shake gently and you’re set.
Store the bottle in a cool, dark cupboard.
Cleaning Tip: To air/clean your comforters and pillows, leave them out in the hot sun for a few hours when you can. Make sure you vacuum your mattress with a HEPA filter vacuum at least once a month and vacuum around your bed at least once a week.
Carpeting and Rugs
Here’s another area that can be problematic as far as air quality is concerned. You really need to make sure that you have an eco-friendly carpet. Natural fibers like wool are by far the best. I am a fan of the fantastic company Flor, as they carry natural fiber carpet squares, which are really easy to install. Whether you want wall-to-wall carpeting or a rug, Flor is perfect for easy, no-mess installation.
How you cover you windows is an integral part of an eco-friendly bedroom. For winter and summer you really need to have heavily insulated drapes or shades. Keeping the sun out by drawing insulated drapes, can cut down dramatically on the amount of A/C you’ll need to pump at night, and will naturally keep you toasty in those freezing months.
On no account should you use any kind of air freshener, unless you know it has been made with only high-grade essential oils. Most commercial fresheners contain phthalates, which can impact your health. I love to use organic essential oils in either a vaporizer or on an aroma stone (electric) – I use both and I believe you can find them at most health food stores, (Wholefoods for sure,) and Mountain Rose Herbs. I love to combine lavender with either geranium or lemongrass for my bedroom.
Although you can buy soy candles, be very wary of what they might be scented with. I prefer to make my own beeswax candles (recipe in Do It Gorgeously,) as it’s terribly easy, inexpensive and natural beeswax is beneficial for anyone suffering form allergies.