Question: It's getting cold outside and that means that my family and I need warm and cozy blankets for inside. I'm wondering what the world of eco-friendly blankets and comforters looks like.
Covers made from organic cotton or soft wool are so soft, cuddly, and warm, even Mother Nature would use them on a chilly night.
For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs, according to the MidWest Alliance.
What makes them so special? Natural fibers breathe more easily than synthetic fabrics, wicking away moisture if you sweat, and creating a layer of insulation when you generate your own body heat. Plus, organic and natural comforters and quilts don't contain ‘finishing' chemicals like formaldehyde, which can irritate the skin, nose, eyes, and respiratory system, especially of babies.
When shopping for eco-friendly bedding, follow these helpful tips:Choose organic and natural. Look for covers made from natural fibers like organic cotton, wool, silk, hemp or bamboo.
Favor plant-based dyes. You can also look for fabrics made from unbleached cotton. Natural bedding doesn't have to mean dull, bland colors; just avoid those products that have been treated with harsh chemicals.
Think layers. A simple organic cotton blanket may be all you need in summer. Pile on a warm wool blanket in winter for extra warmth and insulation.
Here are some starters:Coyuchi: All bedding products are made from 100% organic and Fair Trade cotton. Their fabric is free of solvents and resins, resulting in a natural softness. Fabrics are also machine washable and come in a variety of colors.
Dreamsacks/BambooDreams: These covers are made with organic bamboo certified by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA). They include woven blankets, coverlets, and silk filled comforters. You can even by a "dreamsack" if you want your own organic covers when you travel. The organic bamboo fiber adjusts to your body temperature so they can be used year-round.
Sleep & Beyond: These classic organic comforters are hand-filled with WoolGanique, a USDA- and WOOLMARK-certified organic merino wool fiber. Naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, mold and mildew, they also regulate and maintain stable body temperatures while keeping moisture away from your skin, allowing for a more restful sleep.
Loop Organic: Loop blankets and bedding are made with high quality organic cotton fibers, low impact dyes, and zero toxic chemicals. They are hypoallergenic, long lasting, and machine washable. Available in many vibrant colors and modern geometric patterns.
Rawganique: You'll find beautifully made blankets and bedspreads woven from two of the earth's most sustainable fibers: hemp and flax. Both fibers are organically grown and processed without pesticides. The extremely durable fibers create comfortable covers that can be easily washed.
With all these great blankets, you shouldn't mind turning down the heat at night. Not only will you sleep better in a cooler house; you'll use less energy, too.
What green qualities do you look for when you shop for bedding? Comment below!
Diane MacEachern is the author of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, and a popular blog, Big Green Purse.