Affordable Ways to Detoxify Your Bedroom: by Chris Chamberlin
Adults spend about one-third of each day in bed. This should be a time of rest and recovery for the mind and immune system, but modern bedrooms are often a nightmare of off-gassed toxins and airborne allergens. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors”. The exposure can lead to a host of physical ailments, from asthma and headaches to respiratory disease and cancer.
The boudoir’s biggest bogeyman is the conventional mattress, typically comprised of oil, polyester, flame retardants, polyurethane foam and chemicals. Replacing a conventional mattress with a pure cotton, organic cotton or natural latex option will make an immediate difference — but it’s a significant investment. Here is some inspiration for seven smaller, affordable ways to clean up and detoxify your bedroom:
Mattress Topper: A pure wool, latex, cotton innerspring or natural rubber mattress topper is an affordable alternative to buying a new mattress. Mattress toppers provide a barrier of protection from a conventional mattress, and offer extra cushioning, soft comfort and additional pressure point relief. A topper goes right on top of the mattress and then the mattress pad and fitted sheet go over both the topper and the mattress itself, holding the topper in place.
Tip: Mattress toppers can be easily rotated and help add longevity to any mattress.
Pillows: Choose pillows made with untreated cotton, organic cotton, buckwheat hulls for neck support, wool for better moisture wicking or natural rubber with 97 percent natural latex. They provide superior support and protection from dustmite allergens, offering relief to allergy and asthma sufferers.
Tip: Remember to replace pillows every two years for continued correct support.
Bedding: Natural and organic bedding use materials raised and processed without chemicals. The soft, gentle fibers provide greater comfort than man-made fabrics that don’t breathe well. In addition, organic blankets and pure wool comforters are warm and cozy without overheating.
Tip: According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to wash bedding often in hot water at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit to kill dust mites.
Furniture: Crafted to be beautiful, functional and kind to the earth, eco-friendly bedroom furniture—like a bed frame, side tables and dresser—is usually crafted from solid, sustainable wood, without harmful chemicals and with no off-gassing concern.
Tip: Whenever possible, purchase furniture made in the US and as locally as possible to reduce the emissions caused by transportation.
Air Purifier: Breathing clean air is of great benefit to overall health; an air purifier’s sole purpose is to clean the air. Choose an air purifier that uses HEPA filtration, which eliminates 99.97 percent of all particles three microns in size or larger, making a difference that is immediately noticeable; if possible, have one in each room or install a whole-house purifier.
Tip: For the best results, invest in a hospital-grade unit.
Dog Bed: Don’t forget Fido! Conventional dog beds are as unhealthy for dogs as conventional beds are for dog owners. Eco-friendly alternatives are crafted of all-natural or organic cotton, with removable covers that can be easily laundered in hot water.
Tip: Dog beds aren’t just for dogs, of course; choose an organic or all-natural bed for each indoor animal.
Fresh Air: The EPA and the National Lung Association recommend regularly opening windows to recycle the air. For those with seasonal allergies, a window guard stops pollen, dust and dirt particles from entering the bedroom.
Tip: An unmade bed allows the bedding to air out and breathe—so consider this permission not to make the bed every day.
Chris Chamberlin is co-founder of The Clean Bedroom. Celebrating its 10th anniversary later this year, The Clean Bedroom has sleep showrooms in Greenwich, CT, Wellesley, MA, Portland and Kittery, ME, New York, NY, Santa Monica, CA, and Austin, TX. For more information, visit TheCleanBedroom.com or call 207-438-9778. See ad, page 5.