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Sustainable Slumber: Where Comfort Meets Conscious Living

By Annie Button

Quality sleep is fundamental to our health and wellbeing – when we sleep soundly, our bodies can rest, repair and regenerate. However, many of us struggle with poor sleep quality, whether it’s due to stress, an uncomfortable sleeping position, or not having the right bedding.

Meanwhile, an increasing awareness about the environmental impact of our daily lives has meant as consumers we are seeking sustainable options across all aspects of life – including our sleep routine.

Thankfully, there’s a rising trend towards natural bedding materials that can address both personal and environmental issues. By opting for natural, renewable resources, we can enjoy better sleep while also reducing our environmental footprint. They offer a range of advantages over synthetic options like polyester and memory foam, so let’s take a closer look.

Shadow of a plant projected onto a white, crumpled fabric hanging, creating an artistic silhouette effect.

The Benefits Of Natural Bedding Purchases

Did you know that many conventional mattresses and pillows contain flame retardants, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be released into the air? These toxins have been linked to a variety of health issues, from respiratory problems to endocrine disruption. Natural materials, on the other hand, are free of these harmful additives, providing a safer, healthier sleeping environment.

In recent years, there’s been a noticeable shift away from synthetic materials like polyester and memory foam in the bedding industry. Shoppers have become increasingly aware of the environmental and health impacts of more common mattress and pillow fillings, leading to a growing demand for more sustainable, natural alternatives.

A naturally soft bedding material can be found in organic cotton, which is a crop grown without chemical pesticides or fertilisers. Similarly, down is naturally anti-allergenic and has great temperature control qualities for a smoother, unbroken night’s sleep.

Down does present a primary ethical question, so it’s important to be aware of responsible accreditations such as the independent Responsible Down Standard (RDS), to help you make informed purchases that contain goose down from certified farms who comply with animal welfare principles and criteria.

These types of third-party verifications are a further draw for conscious consumers who are attracted to natural material options which, unlike petroleum-based synthetics, are biodegradable, renewable resources that can be produced with a much lower environmental impact. They also tend to be more breathable and hypoallergenic, and reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and off-gassing.

The rising consumer demand for natural bedding has meant leading mattress and bedding brands are having to expand their offerings of organic and sustainable options. Specialty retailers are also focusing on thriving natural home goods, giving shoppers more choices when it comes to finding the right natural bedding for their needs and preferences.

Person sitting on a bed with light-colored sheets, reading a book with plants in the foreground.

Eco-Friendly Bedding Materials

When selecting bedding for a more sustainable and healthy sleep environment, natural materials are the way to go. Unlike synthetic options, natural fibres offer a range of benefits for both you and the planet.


As we’ve already highlighted, cotton is a classic, breathable natural fibre that’s soft, durable and hypoallergenic. With the rise in organic cotton clothing indicating our growing understanding of this material, why not extend its use within the home? It helps regulate body temperature, making it ideal for year-round comfort, is biodegradable (unlike plastic fibres which take hundreds of years to fully break down), and can be grown using organic farming practices that avoid harmful chemical pesticides.


This is another highly breathable, moisture-wicking natural fibre, being both naturally antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. It’s therefore a great choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies, but is also an extremely durable material that’s renowned for lasting for years with proper care. Linen production can be very low impact, if done right, as the flax plant used to make it requires little water and no pesticides, offering countless eco benefits too. As with cotton, we recommend opting for certified organic options which don’t use chemical pesticides and fertilisers in the growing process.

A stack of folded, multi-colored fabrics, including shades of blue, beige, and checkered patterns, on a wooden surface.


Lyocell is a relatively ‘new’ material to appear on the scene, developed in the 1970s and increasing in popularity into the 21st century. Derived from renewable wood sources, it’s an organic semi-synthetic fabric that requires less water and energy to produce than cotton. With similar properties to both cotton and linen, and the feel of soft cotton, it’s a versatile option for bedding that combines natural origins with sustainable manufacturing. The fabric’s durability and strength also ensures it will withstand multiple wash cycles.


An increasingly popular option for eco bedding, wool is a natural temperature regulator, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but is also inherently fire-resistant and dust mite-resistant, providing a healthier sleep environment. Wool is a renewable resource, as sheep can be sheared annually without harm. Just be sure to choose companies that sell bedding made with mulesing-free wool, from farmers employing more sustainable, ethical practices.

Close-up of smooth, pink fabric with soft folds, illuminated by natural light creating shadows


Bamboo is another ultra-soft, breathable and hypoallergenic natural fibre. It has natural antimicrobial properties that resist bacterial growth, dust mites and odours, and it’s a fast-growing grass that requires no pesticides together with very little water to cultivate. However, there are some drawbacks, namely in the intense chemical process required to turn bamboo fibres into fabric. This process can also lead to many of the great properties of bamboo being lost. We’d recommend checking a little bit more in depth into how products are made with bamboo fabrics


Down is an exceptionally lightweight and insulating natural material that provides unparalleled warmth and comfort. Of course, as already highlighted, down is a material that comes with ethical considerations, so make sure if you do choose it you take the time to learn more about how that down is sourced. It’s undeniable however that down is a renewable, biodegradable resource, and when properly cared for, down bedding can last for years, reducing waste.

Recycled Polyester And Nylon

While natural plant based fibres are the best option, recycled synthetic such as polyester or nylon do provide a more eco-friendly bedding option. Recycled polyester is made by melting down existing plastic sources like bottles and textiles, reducing waste and the need for new plastic production. It offers many of the same properties as regular polyester, wrinkle resistant, durable and hypoallergenic, but with a significantly lower environmental impact. While it can be soft, it doesn’t generally breathe as much as natural fibres and may not be the optimal bedding choice for many.

Cozy bedroom with a bed covered in light-colored sheets, a wooden nightstand, potted plant, and a wall-mounted lamp

What To Look For In Sustainable Bedding

When choosing natural bedding materials, a top priority must be your personal sleep needs and preferences. First and foremost, evaluate the material properties of different natural fibres to determine which will best suit your sleep needs and preferences.

There are several important factors to consider such as breathability, temperature regulation and durability, and each type of fibre will offer unique benefits to your own more restful, eco-friendly sleep experience.

In addition to the physical attributes of the bedding, it's also crucial to look for third-party certifications that verify the sustainability and ethical production of natural materials.

Reputable certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OEKO-TEX and Fair Trade can assure consumers that the bedding has been manufactured with strict environmental, ethical and social responsibility standards. We recognise a number of the 'best of the best' certifications as part of our Canopey accreditations.

Person with tattooed arm holding a cup of coffee and reading a book in bed with grey-green bedding

These certifications offer the peace of mind that your natural bedding and other such sustainable purchases are truly supporting an ethical supply chain. Across our own brand pages you can see what products are certified by looking for our accreditations. We have also developed the Canopey Kitemark to recognise better brands and offer the assurance that all green claims are trustworthy and verified.

In an era of growing environmental consciousness, the rise of natural bedding offers a holistic solution for improving both personal and planetary health. Look for brands that offer quality craftsmanship, durable and long-lasting natural materials, assuring you of many years of comfortable, sustainable sleep. By balancing your priorities you can enjoy a healthier slumber while treading more lightly on the planet.

Eco-Friendly Bedding Brands On Canopey

Ethical Bedding

Environmental sustainability is at the heart of every decision the team make at Ethical Bedding. From our raw materials and packaging to our manufacturing methods and processes, they aim to challenge the perception of how businesses can - and should - operate.

How you do anything is how you do everything - so sleeping properly every single night is an essential cornerstone of a healthy, successful and happy life.

Made using hypoallergenic and temperature regulating organic eucalyptus and bamboo, Ethical Bedding has wide range of eco-friendly bedding sheets, duvets and pillows, and even mattresses and mattress protectors.


Leisurely founder Sophie started out in fashion production, sourcing clothing for everyone from new sustainable brands, to massive consumer goods corporates.

She has always loved the technical side of things and perfecting a product, but after a while got burnt out from the hectic pace of the fashion industry, and the sheer volume of product being churned out.

Feeling disenchanted with the fashion industry, she took some time out to go back to the source: exploring cotton fields, alpaca farms, factories, and artisans across the globe, hungry to find out the stories behind our things.

These Lyocell bed sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases are ultra low impact, made to last while have an extra soft cotton-like feel.

About the author

Annie is a freelance writer specialising in sustainable lifestyle and business development.

Having been featured in a variety of eco publications she is passionate about using her writing skills to help others live more eco-friendly lifestyles.

Visit Annie’s website to find out more.