How to Find the Best Organic Sheets

Anything labeled “organic” today carries promises of better health for you and the environment, as it’s produced without harmful chemicals.

It makes sense that many shoppers would prefer organic food-after all, nobody wants to ingest toxic chemicals. But what about organic products other than food? When it comes to bedding in particular, are organic sheets really better than conventionally-produced ones?

As a maker of organic cotton sheets, we happen to think organic bedding is a better choice, for a variety of reasons. Here, learn about the benefits of organic sheets and get tips for choosing the best organic sheets for you.

Why should you choose organic sheets?

Here are some points to consider if you’re still unsure whether or not to buy organic sheets.

Pros of organic bed sheets

Here are the top three benefits of sleeping on organic sheets:

  • Grown without chemicals. Conventional cotton accounts for as much as 25% of global pesticide use, according to the Organic Trade Association. Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton is grown without any chemical insecticides or synthetic fertilizers, meaning it doesn’t have the negative impact on soil and local water systems that conventional cotton does. Additionally, textiles that are produced from organic cotton are often undyed or are made with environmentally-friendly dyes. All this means that when you spend eight hours a night in close contact with these sheets, you’ll have much less possibility of skin irritation.
  • Better for farmers and factory workers. Organic often goes hand in hand with Fair Trade, which means it’s better for farmers and factory workers. For example, organic cotton is often hand-picked rather than harvested with machinery, meaning that workers avoid contact with potentially toxic chemicals. In general, organic cotton production that follows Fair Trade practices must ensure the workers’ safety, rights, and wellness overall.
  • Softer, more breathable, and more durable. While all cotton is naturally breathable, you may notice that organic cotton produced without chemicals is softer and cooler. Plus, according to the Organic Cotton Initiative, a joint campaign between the Soil Association and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), organic cotton fibers typically produce better quality yarns than conventional ones, which may result in more durable, longer-lasting goods.

Cons of organic bed sheets

There are a couple of drawbacks to organic sheets. Before buying, keep these points in mind:

  • More expensive than conventional cotton. The biggest downside to organic bed sheets is that they’re pricier than their conventional counterparts. That’s because organic cotton is more expensive to grow, harvest, and manufacture. Organic cotton sheets usually cost 20%-30% more than regular cotton sheets.
  • Water-intensive to grow. All cotton takes a lot of water to grow, but whether organic cotton uses more or less than conventional cotton is a matter of some debate. According to Textile Exchange, a nonprofit organization, most organic cotton is rain-fed rather than irrigated (irrigation requires more water).

Where can I find high-quality organic sheets for my bed?

How can you make sure you’re choosing the best organic bed sheets? Look for the following third-party certifications when shopping:

  • The GOTS symbol on the packaging is one good indicator of product safety. Products that carry the GOTS symbol must be made with at least 95% organic fibers and must meet other strict environmental criteria.
  • Another good certification system is The Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX. Products with this certification must be made of 100% organic cotton fiber and are tested for harmful chemicals.
  • Fair Trade is another certification you can trust. The Fair Trade logo means harmful chemicals aren’t used during the manufacturing process and factory workers are fairly compensated.

Still need help buying new bedding? Check out our definitive guide to buying sheets for more advice on shopping.

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