Our bedroom is meant to be the most relaxing, soothing, all-round-good-for-us room in the house. It’s the one area we keep private, and the part of the house we long to return to after a long day at work. Many of us invest a huge amount of time, energy, and expense into cultivating the bedroom of our dreams– which is why the idea of a bedroom containing potentially toxic nightmares is so troubling.
Even in one of the least-used areas of the home, there are decor, design, and furniture choices that can make your bedroom potentially toxic to your health. A bedroom that could potentially be causing you health issues is a pretty severe fail on the ‘bedroom sanctuary’ test, so here are three areas you might want to keep an eye on…
#1 – Your bed and mattress
After a spate of lethal fires in the 1960s and 70s, legislation was introduced at both domestic and European level to flame-proof mattresses. There’s no doubt that this legislation was necessary, as mattresses at the time were little more than kindling, but the way in which this threat was addressed was troublesome.
Manufacturers solution was to douse mattress in various flame-retardant chemicals. This made them fire-proof, but it also made them toxic. If you have a modern mattress — and particularly if it’s memory foam — then chances are your mattress could harm your health.
The solution is simple; switch to the likes of Vi-spring beds and mattresses, which contain natural materials such as wool. Don’t worry; such a switch doesn’t mean you lose flame-retardant properties either– wool, for example, has to be burned at 315C before it even starts to char. When it comes to beds and mattresses, natural materials are by far the best choice.
2) Be wary of furniture, too
It’s not just mattresses that suffered the chemical fire-proofing treatment; all furniture tends to be treated with a number of compounds that can be harmful to health. This is a particularly crucial problem in the bedroom, as you will definitely be spending at least six hours inhaling these fumes every single day.
Wherever possible, natural materials — such as oak or pine — are a far better option than synthetic woods or chipboard. If you do want to purchase these faux woods (which, let’s face it, are much cheaper) then ask the manufacturer for a description of what they are coated in. If you hear the word “formaldehyde” (a known carcinogen), then choose something else.
3) Your bedding
Cotton is a tough crop to grow and succumbs relatively easily to pests. Cotton covers just 2.4% of the world’s land, but requires 6% of the global pesticide usage. Pesticides can be incredibly harmful to human health, especially if you’re breathing in residue night after night.
Opting for organic cotton bedding — i.e. bedding made from cotton that is grown without pesticide usage — is more expensive, but far better for your lungs and skin.
When you sleep, you’re guaranteed to be in one area, breathing the same air, for at least six hours. If you follow the advice above, you can be sure that you limit your exposure to potentially damaging toxins, leaving you free to truly sleep easy.