Getting a solid night´s sleep is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Researchers at the University of Harvard state that “in studies of humans and other animals, they have discovered that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions.” Unfortunately, one recent study found that “50 to 70 million people in the US suffer from one or several sleep disorders. 48% of people in the U.S. reported snoring problems. 4.7% reported falling asleep or nodding off while driving in the preceding month. 37.9% of people reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day or at work in the last 30 days.” While there are dozens of reasons and causes that negative affect people´s sleeping patterns and habits, having the right type of bedding is essential. Organic cotton blankets play an extremely important role in creating a healthful and comfortable sleep environment.
The best organic cotton blankets on the market are manufactured from 100 percent pure cotton that is produced without reliance on potentially dangerous agro chemicals and pesticides. Historically, cotton has been one of the most chemical-intensive crop and has relied heavily on a wide array of pesticides and other chemical inputs. Not only have these agrochemicals damaged the natural ecosystems where they are found, but they also leave dangerous chemical residues in the final product. Sleeping on a cotton blanket that is imbued with pesticides is obviously dangerous for your health.
Fortunately, there are ways of growing cotton in a safer, healthier, and more organic way. With the right approach, cotton can be grown completely without reliance on agro-chemicals, thus protecting the environment while also allowing for the production of healthy textiles. Below, we offer a complete run down on the most important benefits or organic cotton blankets, and then review eight of the top organic cotton blankets on the market today.
What Are The Benefits Of Having Organic Cotton Blankets?
What most people don’t understand is that the vast majority of sheets, blankets, and other bedding that we use today are made from synthetic fabrics. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, many types of nylon, and acrylic fibers are all petroleum based, which essentially means that you are sleeping on oil. Petroleum based fibers and fabrics run the serious risk of contaminating your bedroom and home with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can lead to a host of serious health risks.
Some of the health effects associated with VOCs can include eye, nose and throat irritation to more serious issues such as headaches and organ damage. Furthermore, other VOCs such as benzene, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde have been associated with increased cancer risk. Protecting your indoor air quality is certainly important, and finding VOC-free blankets, sheets, and mattresses is especially important due to the fact that most of us spend at least one third of our days in bed.
Organic cotton blankets, when they are certified 100 percent organic, will contain absolutely zero VOCs meaning that you will be able to enjoy a safe night´s sleep without having to worry about potential organ damage or even developing cancer. For a more holistic approach, consider investing in a 100 percent natural Japanese Futon, which we have written about here. Speaking about better sleep, here at Natural Cave we recently wrote an article about the benefits of sleeping on the floor. Because many types of mattresses (and especially Memory Foam options) are made from products linked to the petrochemical industry, sleeping on the floor with organic cotton blankets is a surefire way to protect your health.
Other benefits associated with organic cotton blankets include:
Increased Comfort: Simply put, organic cotton blankets simply feel better. Throughout the manufacturing process, these types of blankets have virtually zero contact with harsh chemicals meaning that your bedding will stay soft. Also, due to the softness of the individual fibers, organic cotton blankets also can incorporate thick weaves which offer either crispness or a natural softness, depending on your individual sleeping preferences. When manufacturers of organic cotton blankets focus on the weaving pattern instead of harsh chemical processes, the end result is a blanket that incorporates consistent softness, even after years of use and regular washing.
Great for Hot Sleepers: A large percentage of people suffer from sleeping uncomfortably hot at night. Organic cotton blankets have the natural ability to keep you warm at night while also being naturally breathable. Furthermore, they can wick away moisture from your body if you do suffer from night sweats meaning you will not wake up hot and sticky.
Naturally Biodegradable: Organic cotton blankets are also naturally biodegradable, meaning that after years of use, your blanket can actually be composted instead of adding to our already overfilled municipal landfills around the country.
Supportive of Sustainable Farming Methods: Lastly, by purchasing an organic cotton blanket, you will also be supporting small farmers who rely on the sustainable production of crops. While large, chemical intensive cotton plantations harvest with huge machines that subsequently rely on chemicals to “clean” the cotton, organically produced cotton is often hand-picked and sorted by farming families, thus negating the need for chemical processing.
What to Take Into Consideration before Buying an Organic Cotton Blanket?
Before you purchase the first organic cotton blanket that you find online, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Firstly, make sure to search for blankets that are have the GOTS certification. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is “the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.” By finding organic cotton blankets that have GOTS certification, you can make sure that you are getting the absolutely best material on the market with the least amount of chemical infiltration.
Secondly, you will also want to take a close look at the type of dyes that are used, if you don’t opt for a naturally white blanket. It doesn’t do a lot of good to opt for a 100 percent natural cotton blanket if it is dyed with harsh chemical dyes that can negatively affect your health. Make sure to opt for organic cotton blankets that include natural, biodegradable dyes as well.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers and companies around the world understand that consumers are interested in healthy and organic materials. For this reason, some blanket manufacturers will list their products as organic when they in truth only include a small percentage of organic materials. Make sure you choose a product that is listed as sourced from 100 percent organically grown cotton, and check any relevant certifications that uphold that claim (such as the GOTS certification mentioned above).
Lastly, you will want to check for any relevant washing instructions. While almost all organic cotton blankets are machine washable, it is important to read the labels and instructions so that you don´t accidentally ruin your blankets.
Our Top 8 Best Organic Cotton Blankets Picks
There are literally hundreds of companies around the world making and marketing organic cotton blankets. Instead of spending hours searching the internet, we have done the research for you and offer our advice on the top eight organic cotton blankets that you can purchase today.
While all of us should take measures to protect our health and make sure we are getting a good night´s sleep, infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable. This high quality organic cotton baby blanket made by the company Burt´s Bees, is a great option to keep your child safe from VOCs while still offering a cozy night´s sleep. This organic cotton baby blanket comes as a set of 2 and is 29″ x 29″ in size. The 1 x 1 single ply rib makes it cozy for the baby and easy to swaddle, and is also made from 100 percent organic, GOTS certified, breathable cotton.
This beautiful and cozy organic cotton blanket is crafted from high quality organic yarns. The available dimensions are: Twin: 66×90″, Full/Queen: 90×90″, King: 108×90″. The Elite Home organic cotton blanket collection is also 100% GOTS Certified, assuring breathability and hypoallergenic qualities. The blankets also come in a wide variety of colors so that you can match your bedding with the color tone of your room, and all they are safe to be machine washed and dried.
Whisper Organics is another leading company that brings high quality and affordable organic cotton blankets to the market. Their 100 percent cotton throw blankets have full GOTS Certification and incorporate a beautiful weave pattern with a diamond design that will catch the eye of your guests. These natural organic cotton blankets are also naturally colored to make sure you don’t have to suffer from dangerous chemical dies. Lastly, the company also offers a full 90 day satisfaction guarantee on their blanket products.
This set of two organic cotton baby blankets are made from 100 percent organic cotton muslin. The GOTS certification assures that the product will be extra soft on your baby´s skin and equally caring for the natural environment. These baby blankets are also 100 percent chemical free as they include no harmful dyes, pesticides or fertilizer residues. Due to their small size, they are great as an infant blanket and can subsequently be used for other uses as your child grows, including as a playtime blanket or as a stroller cover.
This beautiful and extremely comfortable organic cotton blanket is made from 100 percent organic cotton sourced from the valleys of Tibet. The fiber is pre-washed and is dyed by plant-based dyes. The multi-layer muslin cotton can be used as both a blanket and a bedspread, and is light enough to be taken with you on trips. The blanket is certified to not fade and comes with a one year manufacturer warranty.
This is one of the few weighted blankets on the market that is made from 100 percent certified organic cotton. While most weighted blankets are specifically designed for only cold sleepers, the natural breathability of the organic cotton fibers make this a great option for people who are both hot and cold sleepers. The organic, cotton cover is filled with hypoallergenic and non-toxic premium glass beads that are actually woven into the fibers of the cotton blanket. Weighted blankets rely on deep pressure stimulation (DPS) to provide an overall sense of calmness and thus leads to a deeper and more satisfying night of sleep.
Zoog is another company that specializes in healthy organic cotton baby blankets. Like the other two baby blanket products reviewed above, this blanket is GOTS certified and is also naturally dyed. The blanket is 100 percent machine washable which makes it easy to clean up if your baby wets the bed.
Lastly, HillFair organic cotton blankets are yet another GOTS certified blanket option to keep your comfortably warm even on the coldest of nights. This company also uses a unique Azo-free dyeing practice for added health and sustainability benefits. They come packed in a re-usable organic cotton tote bag, which makes it easy to carry your blanket with you during vacations and even on camping trips. These 100 percent certified organic cotton blankets that are dyed with eco-friendly fiber-reactive dyes are an ideal product for any eco-conscious household.
Of course, finding the best organic cotton blanket is only half the battle, as you will want the rest of your bedding to be similarly natural and organic. At Natural Cave, we have written a thorough review of organic cotton sheets that you can find here. Also, for more ideas in how to create a naturally healthy home and sleeping area, check out our posts on related to sleep, healthy homes, and natural bedrooms.