In a Nutshell:
There is little regulation over chemicals allowed in textiles. Bed sheets can contain a range of potentially toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde, antimicrobials, PFAS, and more.
When shopping for the best bedding brands, try to avoid terms like “wrinkle-resistant” or “stain-repellent.” These are clues that the sheets may have been treated with harsh chemicals.
For the healthiest bedding, look for materials like organic cotton, linen, and TENCEL.
The best AFFORDABLE organic bedding brands include:
The best COOLING non-toxic bedding brands include:
The best LUXURY organic bedding brands include:
See below for even more info about the best organic bedding brands (+ some discount codes!).👇
Just like with your mattress and pillow, the materials used in your sheets and bedding are super important. Considering how much time you spend in bed over the course of your life and the processes your body goes through during sleep (which are essential for optimal health!), non-toxic bedding and organic sheets are an important aspect of healthy sleep hygiene.
In this article, I’ll talk about why non-toxic bedding is important, what to look for in healthy bedding, and our recommended brands for the best organic cotton sheets.
Table of Contents: Best Non-Toxic & Organic Bedding
- What Makes Bedding Toxic?
- Other Potentially Toxic Chemicals Found in Bedding
- What To Look for in Chemical-Free, Non-Toxic Bedding
- Non-Toxic Certifications to Look For in Organic Bedding
- My Picks For The Best Non-Toxic Bedding & Organic Cotton Sheets
- Even More Organic Sheets
- What About An Organic Weighted Blanket?
- The Best Non-Toxic, Natural Weighted Blanket: Bearaby
- Final Thoughts on Buying Organic Sheets
This post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase.
What Makes Bedding Toxic?
Just like with other kinds of textiles, a lot of bedding and sheets are made using synthetic materials and chemicals that can cause serious long-term health issues. We’ll go through the different harmful materials here, but first, let’s start with one of the most common culprits found in wrinkle-resistant and anti-static sheets: formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde, The “Complete Carcinogen”
Most people are aware that formaldehyde is toxic. It is a known carcinogen and is classified by the EPA as a “Hazardous Air Pollutant” that can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Short- and/or long-term exposure to formaldehyde can also cause things like headaches, scratchy and watery eyes, dizziness, nausea, rashes, fatigue, and insomnia.
People who are more at risk for the negative effects of formaldehyde exposure include babies and young children, elderly individuals, pregnant people, and those with conditions like asthma, respiratory illness, or chronic disease.
What you may not know is how often textiles like clothing and bedding are treated with formaldehyde. You know those labels that say things like “wrinkle-free” or “static resistant”? Those should be a red flag because there’s a good chance these fabrics have been treated with a formaldehyde-based permanent press process in an attempt to keep the wrinkles away.
Unfortunately, you can’t just wash the formaldehyde away after the fabric has been processed, either. Although washing, wearing, and airing out (“off-gassing”) the fabric can help decrease the amount of formaldehyde contained in the fabric, the chemical’s resin is a permanent part of the textile.
The worst part: there are currently NO regulations in the United States on formaldehyde in textiles.
Avoid Chemically-Treated Sheets Marketed As:
To avoid formaldehyde in your bedding and sheets, try to stay away from products and labels with words like:
Other Potentially Toxic Chemicals Found in Bedding
In addition to formaldehyde, there are other harsh chemicals that are commonly found in conventional bedding as well. These include:
“Antimicrobial” and “Antibacterial” Additives
These are two more labels that should raise a flag for you. Chemicals like Triclosan are often added to textiles for their anti-microbial properties, but the chemical is a known endocrine disruptor. It was banned from hand soap by the FDA in 2017, but is still allowed in textiles.
Many companies make their sheets stain-resistant using PFAS. PFAS are those “forever chemicals” that can cause cancer, autoimmune disease, infertility, and more. Plus, they build up in the body over time and we have virtually no way of “detoxing” them (hence their nickname “forever” chemicals). Instead of getting stain-resistant sheets with added chemicals, just use some really good non-toxic laundry detergent and stain remover instead!
A lot of textiles are conventionally colored with azo dyes, which can be carcinogenic. Look for brands that either don’t dye their bedding at all, or use non-toxic dyes instead. The OEKO-TEX and MADE SAFE certifications can help you ensure there are no azo dyes used in coloring your bedding (more on those labels below).
Conventional cotton is grown and processed using pesticides, many of which can be toxic. It’s not entirely clear if (or how much) of this pesticide residue may end up on a final textile product. However, considering that the pesticides sprayed on cotton fields end up in our waterways, air, and soil, buying organic sheets is healthier for our overall health and that of our entire eco-system.
Polyester & other plastics
Many people wonder: is it okay to sleep on polyester sheets? Polyester, acrylic, and nylon are common synthetics used in bedding and sheets. But they’re petroleum products, aka plastic. That means they’re not good for the environment, but also might be bad for your health, too. Synthetic fabrics like these can contain endocrine disruptors and carcinogens.
It’s not always possible to avoid synthetic fabrics completely, but considering there are affordable organic sheets on the market, making the switch to all-natural bedding is one relatively easy step you can take!
The other thing to consider about polyester and other plastic fabrics is that they’re not usually as breathable as sheets made from natural and organic materials. So if you tend to sleep hot, that’s another reason to choose organic textiles.
What To Look for in Chemical-Free, Non-Toxic Bedding
Now, let’s talk about what to look for in your chemical-free bedding.
The good news is that there are honestly so many great options for organic sheets these days. Even big box stores like Target are offering more bedding made from organic materials!
We are surrounded by environmental toxins every day, and unfortunately, a lot of those toxins can’t be avoided. That’s why I usually recommend choosing the safer, healthier option when it comes to things we do have control over—and that includes the fabric we sleep on!
Making the switch to non-toxic home goods can help to prevent long-term health concerns in the general population, as well as help sensitive populations (babies, those with autoimmune conditions, etc.) take better care of themselves.
The first thing to look for in chemical-free bed sheets is 100% natural, wicking, and breathable fibers. Look for fabrics like:
TENCEL (which is a semi-synthetic that’s great for cooling sheets!)
Next, you’ll want to look for third-party certifications.
Non-Toxic Certifications to Look For in Organic Bedding
Third-party certifications are a great way to ensure your non-toxic bedding and sheets have passed a specific set of standards that ensure no toxic chemicals are used before the sheets get to you. Here are some of the most common certifications to look for:
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
This label indicates that the material used to make the non-toxic bedding (usually cotton) is grown without the use of toxic herbicides, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals. You may find an entire product is labeled as GOTS organic (which means at least 95% of the materials used are certified organic) OR you might find that JUST the cotton (or other raw material) is certified organic.
GOTS certified products also require other ethical and sustainable practices as well, like fair wages for workers and more.
Finished products with this certification have passed a certain set of criteria verifying that they’re free from a list of toxic chemicals, which includes formaldehyde and azo dyes. (OEKO-TEX also banned all PFAS from certified products in 2023, and the roll-out is supposed to be complete in 2024.
OEKO-TEX also has a new certification for organic cotton, which is supposed to provide complete traceability. So now finished products can be certified with the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label, but organic cotton products can also be certified for the entire supply chain as well.
MADE SAFE is a great label that’s similar to OEKO-TEX in that it investigates and certifies that certain products are made without chemicals that are known or suspected to be toxic to human and environmental health.
Fair Trade Certified
Although this doesn’t necessarily have to do with the chemicals involved, looking for a transparent and ethical supply chain is great, too. Organic bed sheets that have been made in Fair Trade certified factory ensure that the workers have been paid a living wage and work in safe conditions, and that there is no child labor involved.
My Picks For The Best Non-Toxic Bedding & Organic Cotton Sheets
Alright, now let’s get to it. Here are my picks for the best organic sheets on the market today:
Price Range: $49 (on sale) – $598
Materials: Organic cotton (percale, sateen, flannel, and jersey), natural linen
Coyuchi is a leader in organic, non-toxic bed and bath products; I love their collection.
Their organic sheets are completely free from all dyes and other potentially harmful chemicals. Depending on the specific product, they may come with one or several third-party certifications, including GOTS, MADESAFE, and others.
They have colored, patterned, and undyed options.
Even better, they partner with farms and mills to make sure everything is made ethically and sustainably, and are working to implement more circularity into their process. You can definitely feel good about sleeping in these sheets.
Price Range: $88-266
Materials: Organic cotton (flannel, sateen, percale, or jersey), TENCEL, linen
Under the Canopy is a great brand that makes non-toxic, organic, and ethical bedding and bath products that are not only beautiful and durable, but also affordable!
Made from GOTS and OEKO-TEX certified organic cotton, these sheet sets, duvet covers, and blankets come in several different colors and sizes. Plus, everything is shipped in plastic-minimal packaging.
Price Range: $36 (on sale) – $160 (before discounts)
Materials: Organic cotton (percale, sateen, & jersey)
Pact started out with underwear and was one of the first companies to offer organic basics at a more accessible price point.
Now, they offer affordable, organic cotton sheets as well! Their super-soft GOTS certified organic sheets are available in a variety of fun colors—and they’re made in a Fair Trade certified factory, too. They also have duvet covers, crib sheets, and other bedding essentials.
Use the code THEFILTERY15 for 15% off full-priced items.
Price Range: $109-549
Materials: Organic cotton, linen, hemp
Their “eco-luxury” extra-long 1,000 thread count sheets have a super soft and satiny feel, but are also incredibly durable, so they’ll last you a long time. Avocado’s products come with a handful of third-party certifications, including GOTS organic, OEKO-TEX, and MADE SAFE.
Price Range: $109-169
Materials: Organic cotton
Savvy Rest is a great brand for organic and made in the USA mattresses and other types of furniture, but they also offer an affordable organic sheet set.
Their simple, 300 thread count organic sateen sheets are undyed and have a smooth texture that transitions over time to a cozy, brushed cotton feel. Each set comes with a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillow cases.
Get 20% off with code THEFILTERY20.
Price Range: $100 (on sale) – $598
Materials: TENCEL, linen, cotton (conventional)
Buffy’s cooling TENCEL bedding is especially great for those who run hot at night. Their eucalyptus sheets, comforters, and duvet covers are not only made from natural materials, but they’re better at regulating temperature than cotton—the fabric is literally cool to the touch! You can even try Buffy for free to see if it works for you, and send it back if it doesn’t.
Price Range: $149-248
Materials: Organic cotton
In addition to their non-toxic mattresses and bed frames, Birch has just about everything you could need for bedding: from organic cotton sheets and pillow cases, to mattress protectors, duvet inserts, and more.
Their Fair Trade certified sheets are made out of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton with a luxurious sateen weave and come in a variety of neutral colors. Plus, you get free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 1-year warranty, too!
Use code THEFILTERY20 for 20% off your order.
Price Range: $70-1,171
Materials: Organic cotton (percale, brushed, sateen, soft luxe), linen
I love my linen sheets from Parachute! They do sleep a little warm, so I especially like to put them on my bed during the winter.
Parachute has been creating affordable luxurious bedding and home goods with a direct-to-consumer model for a while now… but they’ve recently been building their organics collection, big time! Their bed sheet sets, duvet covers, pillows and pillow cases, & other bedding come with GOTS and OEKO-TEX certifications for safety and are ethically made in Portugal and the USA.
Other products in their Organics Collection include towels, bath robes, throw pillows, loungewear, and more.
Price Range: $59-379
Materials: Organic cotton (percale, sateen, brushed flannel), linen
SOL Organics’ sheets are OEKO-TEX certified and GOTS organic, which means the cotton and linen used to make them were grown without herbicides and pesticides, and then they were manufactured without toxic chemicals as well.
Not only are SOL’s products also Fair Trade Certified, but they’re more affordable for the consumer compared to some of the other brands listed here. In addition to their non-toxic sheets, they also carry duvet covers, down comforters, bedding bundles, and bath towels.
Even More Organic Sheets
If by chance you didn’t find what you were looking for in the best organic sheets listed above, here are even more brands that offer cozy bedding made out of certified organic materials:
Naturepedic (organic cotton). Use code thefiltery15 for 15% off.
Magic Linen (linen)
Boll & Branch (organic cotton)
My Green Mattress (organic cotton)
Printfresh (organic cotton; they have fun prints!)
Looma (organic cotton & linen)
Piglet (linen & conventional cotton)
Aizome (organic cotton)
Takasa (organic cotton)
I told you there were a lot of organic cotton bedding brands to choose from! 😄
What About An Organic Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets use something called deep touch pressure (DTP), which has been shown to decrease cortisol and anxiety, and increase serotonin and melatonin in some people. With the amount of stress and anxiety so many people face today, it’s no wonder the trend has so strongly caught on!
But many people wonder: are weighted blankets harmful? Since they’re made out of much of the same materials, weighted blankets come with many of the same problems that other traditional bedding and sheets do. It’s important to take the same steps when looking for a natural, non-toxic weighted blanket: look for natural fabrics and third-party certifications that indicate safety.
The Best Non-Toxic, Natural Weighted Blanket: Bearaby
I don’t say this lightly (get it??): you are almost guaranteed to love Bearaby’s natural weighted blankets. They have several different variations of their chunky knit blanket: the Cotton Napper (which is made from long-staple, GOTS-certified organic cotton), their Tree Napper (which is made from eco-friendly TENCEL fabric; this is the one I have), the Nappling (which is made from organic cotton just for KIDS!), nad a few others.
Each of these blankets comes with several different third-party certifications, such as OEKO-TEX and Fairtrade International. They come in weights from 8 to 25 pounds, so you can get the best size for you (it’s recommended that your weighted blanket be roughly 10% of your body weight).
Do weighted blankets make you hot? Some can! But because Bearaby is hand-knit, the holes keep you from getting sweaty. If you normally tend to run hot while you sleep, I recommend getting the TENCEL blanket (the Tree Napper). The TENCEL fabric (which comes from eucalyptus trees) has a cooling effect, so the surface temperature of the blanket legitimately stays cool, even after you’ve been snuggled up with it for hours! I use mine on the couch almost every night!
These blankets are gorgeous and come in lots of different colors, so you can get one that looks great thrown over your couch or on the end of your bed.
Final Thoughts on Buying Organic Sheets
Nothing feels better than sliding into cool, comfy, and silky sheets… until you start worrying about the harmful chemicals that might be soaking into your skin! Treat yourself and your loved ones to the best non-toxic bed sheets made out of healthy, organic materials. Not only will you have a better night’s sleep, but you’ll have peace of mind.