Most of us spend at least eight hours every day in bed, and longer than that on those lazy Sunday mornings. Few people ever stop to consider, however, the materials that make up the bed sheets where we spend a third of our lives. While awareness has been growing in recent years about natural, organic lifestyles, the majority of this increase in consumer consciousness is limited to organic aisles at the grocery stores and perhaps alternative and holistic medicines. The best organic cotton sheets, however, are another essential aspect of sustainable and healthy lifestyles. Below we explain why you should consider purchasing organic cotton sheets before looking at the health and environmental benefits that come with opting for the best organic cotton sheep products. Finally, we offer a short and concise buying guide before offering a complete review of the top 14 organic cotton sheets on the market today.
Why Should You Choose Organic Cotton Sheets?
Most sheets and bedding materials are sourced from synthetic fibers that are made from the petrochemical industry. Polyester and polyester blend sheets are by far one of the most commonly used fabrics in bedrooms, and this is especially the case for bed sheets. Many polyester bed linens, especially those that are advertised as no-iron, contain formaldehyde resins in their finishing process. Formaldehyde resins are known to keep sheets wrinkle-free. However, crisp bed linens might be a high price to pay for some of the potential adverse health effects that come with sleeping on formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde off-gasses over several years and will subsequently fill your bedroom with volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that will dramatically affect the indoor air quality of your bedroom. Studies have shown that formaldehyde is a potential human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) and long-term exposure to formaldehyde fumes and vapors can lead to serious health problems such as headaches, skin rashes, respiratory problems, fatigue, and insomnia.
Organic cotton sheets, on the other hand, are sourced from 100% natural and organic materials and contain absolutely zero added materials that could release VOCs and affect your health.
Furthermore, synthetic bed linens might also contain certain fire retardant chemicals. While these chemicals used to be mandated by law, it was recently found that Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, cause health problems in people. PBDEs are one of the most common fire retardant chemicals used on everything from bed sheets to couches, and one recent report found that long-term exposure to these dangerous chemicals could lead to thyroid hormone disruption, neurodevelopmental deficits, and even cancer.
Fire retardant chemicals are no longer required for bed sheeting, and most organic cotton bed sheets will be free of these potentially dangerous chemicals.
Benefits of Organic Cotton Sheets
Besides being completely free of VOCs caused by formaldehyde, fire retardants, and other toxic chemicals, organic cotton sheets also offer several other benefits that we list below.
1. Cotton has historically required large amounts of agrochemical inputs to grow. This has led to the poisoning of the soil, groundwater, and complete ecosystems. Agrochemical inputs have also made their way into the food chain. Organically grown cotton, on the other hand, uses no dangerous agro-chemicals and thus improves the ecological resiliency of the areas where it is grown.
2. Because no chemicals are used in the fibers made into organic cotton sheets, there is a much lower likelihood for people with sensitive skin to suffer from allergic reactions that come with other sheets made from synthetic fibers or cotton grown with the use of agrochemicals.
3. Organic cotton sheets are extremely soft and naturally lend themselves to a comfortable night´s sleep.
4. Organic cotton products “breathe”, and thus organic cotton sheets have the ability to keep you cool during summer nights while simultaneously offering warmth during colder nights. These sheets are also a great option for people who suffer from night sweats as they have the ability to wick moisture away from the body and provide for maximum breathability to ensure a good night of sleep.
5. Unlike synthetic sheets, organic cotton sheets are extremely durable and can be manufactured to last for a lifetime. When it does come time to get rid of a pair of old and well-used organic cotton sheets, the natural fibers are naturally biodegradable and will thus not end up taking up space in a landfill.
6. Lastly, the process of harvesting organic cotton is often done by hand. The seeds of the cotton plant are then separated with hot water and vegetable-based soaps. Traditional and non-organic approaches to cotton harvesting rely on harsh chemicals to treat the cotton. Thus, organic cotton sheets will be free of these tough chemicals that are bad for the environment and also bad for humans.
What to Consider Before Buying Organic Cotton Sheets
If you are ready to trade in your old “wrinkle-free” polyester bed sheets that are hot, sticky, sourced from unsustainable and non-renewable resources, and probably giving you a headache at night, here are three things that you should definitely keep an eye out for when shopping for the best organic cotton sheets.
1. Avoid any product that is labeled as “wrinkle-free” or “easy care.” Even if the sheets are sourced from organic cotton, these products will almost always include certain chemicals such as formaldehyde resins to provide the wrinkle-free feature. While you might want a crisp and ironed shirt before heading into the office, bed sheets are bed sheets and a few wrinkles shouldn’t make a difference, especially when it comes to protecting your health.
2. Look for Products that are GOTS certified. GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard and is leading textile processing standard for all types of organic fibers. Their certification system looks at both ecological, environmental and social criteria in how the fibers were sourced and is backed up independent certification. Organic cotton sheets that are GOTS certified will almost certainly be chemical free from harvest to manufacture.
3. Choose quality of the yarn or thread over thread count. Many companies producing bed linens will advertise a higher number of horizontal and vertical threads for each square inch of fabric. To the average customer, that might sound like a good quality to include. However, high thread counts have little to do with overall comfort, especially when it comes to the sheet. Rather, the quality of the yarn or thread used is much more important than the thread count. You can usually tell the quality of the yarn or thread used simply by touch.
Top 14 Best Organic Cotton Sheets
Now that you know what to look for in the best organic cotton sheets, below are our picks for the top 14 products on the market today. While not all of these organic cotton sheet products are GOTS certified, they are high quality, highly reviewed, and make for fantastic options to increase the health and sustainability of your home.
1. Cifelli Home: This 6-piece organic cotton sheet set comes in an extremely wide range of colors. Furthermore, the cotton that makes up these sheets is soured from 100% Turkish cotton which has long, staple fibers for added softness and texture. Furthermore, the cotton used for these sheets is not only GOTS certified, but also has received organic certification from two other private certification agencies. Not only is the raw cotton organic, but all of the dyes used to give these sheets a wide range of color are also organic. You can find these sheets in twin, full, queen, and king sizes.
2. The Green Farmer: This organic sheet company is certainly aptly named and their products live up to the name. The Green Farmer sheets are GOTS certified and are manufactured in an eco-friendly process that minimizes damage to the environment. The 300 threat count allows for maximum softness and increases the fade resistance ability of the sheets. The high tensile strength of the sheets also helps to protect against potential rips and tears. These comfortable sheets will make you feel like you are at a 5-star hotel, but without the potential VOCs from polyester and other synthetic sheet products.
3. Alterra Pure: Alterra Pure is another company specializing in organic cotton bed sheets. Their 100% organic cotton sheets are unique in that they are manufactured with a crisp and tight percale weave. Heirloom percale is a high-quality variety of cotton that has a natural coolness that is similar in characteristics to Egyptian cotton, which is world renowned. Furthermore, these cotton sheets are sourced from fair trade cotton and are manufactured in a facility in India that has LEED certification for maximum sustainability. This is also a GOTS certified product.
4. EnvioHome: This 4-piece organic cotton bedding set is GOTS certified and has deep pockets that can fit even the thickest of mattresses. An elastic band around the perimeter of the sheet allows for a snug fitting and no slippage. Furthermore, this product comes packed in a fabric pouch and Velcro closure making this a great option to take with you for camping trips and vacations. EnvioHome organic cotton sheets are completely free of chemicals and toxic dyes and are sourced from pesticide-free cotton.
5. Whisper Organics: Whisper Organics brings to the table a product that has a high 300 thread count while also being sourced from quality, single-ply, and long staple yarn. The tight weave makes these sheets extremely durable without sacrificing comfort or breathability. In fact, these sheets actually get softer over time as you wash them. These breathable sheets promise to be cooler in summer and warmer in winter to keep you comfortable throughout the year. Furthermore, they are also naturally hypoallergenic.
6. Audley Home Organic Collection: You would be hard-pressed to find an organic cotton bed sheet product that has a higher thread count than those manufactured by Audley Home Organic Collection. The 500 thread count makes for an extremely tough and hard-wearing bed sheet while the organic cotton yarn is soft and breathable. The Sateen weave is also another benefit of this unique sheet made with single ply yarn that is incredibly soft to the touch. The elastic fits allow this 4-piece sheet collection to fit on even 18-inch mattresses.
7. Pinzon: Pinzon is another company specializing in organic cotton sheets. Their sheets are GOTS certified and grown from non-GMO cotton to ensure maximum protection of the ecosystems where the cotton plants are grown. Furthermore, the textile processing is free of several common chemicals that are common in the industry. The brushing process has left these sheets extremely soft to the touch. Furthermore, the Technofit technology allows these sheets to fit virtually any size mattress and will keep them securely in place.
8. Magnolia Organics: Organic cotton sheets don’t have to simply stick to a white or light color scheme. Magnolia Organics offers organic cotton bed sheets in a wide range of dark and deep colors including black and navy blue. All of their sheets are made from ring-spun and long-staple organic cotton fiber, are GOTS certified, and were grown without any pesticides or herbicides. Their Azo-free dyes have no heavy metals which can cause harm to your body. The elastic fit easily adjusts to mattresses up to 15 inches in depth.
9. CGK Unlimited: CGK Unlimited offers some of the most affordable organic cotton sheets on the market today. At under $40 dollars, these sheets are half the price of others on this list while not skimping on quality. This 6-piece sheet set also comes in a wide diversity of color schemes and includes 4 pillowcases, a flat sheet, and a fitted sheet. The silky soft feel is also breathable meaning that you can enjoy these sheets during any time of the year.
10. Linen Walas: The 800 threat count on the sheets by Linen Walls are extremely high. At the same time, however, these organic cotton sheets are breathable, comfortable and soft. You can choose from a wide variety of colors such as white, ivory, elephant gray, peach, sky blue, and mint to fit the décor of your bedroom. These sheets are naturally hypoallergenic and feel almost exactly like Egyptian cotton.
11. California Cotton Club: These organic cotton sheets come in a unique range of pastel colors and can be ordered to fit any size bed. The 100% pure and organic cotton has fine yet durable long staple yarns and the weave has a 600 thread count. This lends itself to a softer drape and longevity so that these sheets might be a onetime investment that lasts you a lifetime. These sheets also include a beautiful and trendy 4-inch marrow hem on the flat sheets and pillowcases for some added decoration and can fit on mattresses up to 17 inches thick.
12. Habitat Kids Collection: Organic cotton sheets aren’t only for moms and dad. Habitat Kids Collection has recently come out with a unique organic cotton sheet set designed for young boys and girls who love fire trucks. These 100 % Certified organic cotton sheets are sized for twin beds typical for children. The fire truck engine design incorporates a red, black, and gray on white color scheme. This sheet product includes one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, a matching pillowcase and even an organic cotton storage bag.
13. Home Fiber: Home Fiber is yet another company that offers high-quality organic cotton bed sheets that are GOTS certified and made in extremely eco-friendly facilities. The sheets have a 400 thread count and are exceptionally durable and fade resistant. These sheets are ensured to stay fresh and cool during hot nights and warm on cold nights. These chemical-free sheets are perfect for people with sensitive skin or who suffer from allergies. Also, if you plan to be on the move, these organic cotton sheets come with a bag/backpack for easy storage and travel.
14. Huesland: Lastly, we come to Huesland, a company offering queen and twin sized organic cotton sheets. Their sheets have the Global Organic Textile Standard certification and can fit mattresses up to 12 inches in thickness. Furthermore, the 300 thread count makes for excessive softness alongside the long staple cotton yarn. The classic sateen weave is another benefit for added comfort. This company also offers a 100-day money back guarantee when you purchase their organic cotton bed sheets.