You made the investment to create a healthy and clean sleep environment. You replaced the old memory foam mattress with an organic, non toxic latex mattress. You threw away the worn out polyester pillows and have new eco-friendly, organic pillows. You changed your daily routine and despite your best efforts to eat well, exercise more, live a stress free life, etc. you still wake up feeling tired and less energetic. What gives? 

A study published in the “American Journal of Public Health 74, no. 5” reveals that our skin has a 64% absorption rate of toxins it comes into contact with during our sleep. Another study found the face to be several times more penetrable than larger body surface areas and the additional absorption rate for underarms and genitalia is 100%. So it's important to consider what you’re sleeping on as well as what you’re breathing in at night.  Choose only 100% natural fibers to sleep on; cotton, linen, or silk. These materials allow your skin to breathe while naturally wicking moisture away from your body.

Nowadays, the best organic bedding is made from cotton, hemp, and flax. High-quality flax is grown in Europe and is used to manufacture linen bedding. This type of organic bed linen is lightweight, breathable, and perfect for summer sleeping. Hemp is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, it controls your body temperature by keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Many manufacturers blend hemp with cotton because hemp alone is quite expensive. Cotton is one of the most widely produced crops in the world. Organic cotton sheets are incredibly soft, and durable and are available at many price points and in several weaves that create materials of different textures and looks.

  • Avoid synthetic fibers, like satin which may feel great to the touch but are treated with hazardous chemicals and do not allow your skin to breathe. They also create static electricity that affects the electro-climate of your bedroom.
  • Avoid mixed/blended fibers. Made to look and feel like cotton or silk, but often mixed with synthetic fibers to improve the texture and lower production costs for the manufacturer.
  • Avoid all chemically-treated sheets with names like Anti-static, Easy-care, wrinkle-free, or shrinkage-free; these items release toxic chemicals and have been linked to an increased risk of cancer in humans. It may also cause contact dermatitis which may present in either subtle or extreme skin flare-ups.

Who would have thought that buying new bed sheets could be a complicated process? But with all of the materials available and the varieties of each, it can be a tough decision to make. Gone are the days of a simple sole choice of white cotton sheets.  In today’s market, there is everything from cotton to bamboo and ranging from synthetic to organic.

Which option is the best for you? Are organic fabrics and thus organic sheets really better than others? More durable?  Healthier? It’s a lot to take in!

But fear not, we are here to guide you. Let’s start by taking a look at the fabric options that sheets may typically be made from and finish with a discussion of the numerous benefits organic sheets.

Sheet Fabrics

To start, let’s take a look at the variety of fabrics that sheets are made of. Keep in mind that many sheets are available as blends of multiple fabrics meaning your sheets may contain more than one of the materials listed below. This will provide a better foundation for understanding the benefits of organic sheet sets over more conventional options.

Organic Cotton
Grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production reduces the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers and builds a biologically diverse agriculture. 3rd Party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production. All cotton sold as organic in the United States must meet strict federal regulations covering how the cotton is grown. Regular cotton comes from genetically modified seeds. These seeds are modified to resist bugs and more pesticides are needed when bugs become resilient. Natural seeds are used to produce organic cotton, and pesticides and other harmful chemicals are not used.

A tightly woven plain weave fabric with a thread count of 200 or higher. It is medium-weight, firm, and smooth with no gloss, and uses various fibers like cotton and polyester. Think of the perfect white button-down shirt: crisp, clean, and washed for ultimate comfort and will only become softer as it's laundered. Percale is also durable and versatile, making it one of the best bed sheet materials you can buy. Typically made using long-staple Egyptian cotton, cool to the touch, has high-end appeal, is breathable, easy to maintain, and perfect for all seasons.

The most luxurious variety, made with spun yarn instead of filament. Smooth, soft, sturdy, and resistant to pilling, there's much to appreciate. Utilizing a sateen weave structure – four-over-one-under – gives this material the sheen and soft and luxurious feel against your skin. Many like that it's sleek and drapey like satin, but with a subtle sheen instead of a shiny appearance. For those who prioritize softness and appreciate a subtle luster, sateen is an excellent choice.

Light and airy fabric made from fibers of the flax plant. Known for its casual elegance and breathability, this fabric is well-suited for year-round use. Linen is strong, absorbent, dries faster than cotton but has tendencies to wrinkle. Not only that, but linen holds up for several years and is appreciated for its ability to get softer with every wash. Flax grows quickly and doesn't need much water, making linen a sustainable material. Though sometimes priced higher than other textiles, linen’s breathability makes it great for hot sleepers but cozy enough for year round use.

Brushed Cotton
One of the softest bed sheet materials on the market today. You know that material that your old school flannel pjs are made from? After the fabric is spun, it gets a gentle brushing to give it that fluffy texture that feels oh-so soft against your skin and it's warmer than regular cotton. Similar to flannel except it gets brushed on one side only, it’s lighter and less insulating so you don’t get too hot. Brushed cotton bed sheets are ideal during the winter. You won't get the cool and crisp feel of percale or the sheen of sateen, but the naturally moisture-wicking fabric is plenty breathable for year-round use.

A well-known luxury fabric, silk is a soft fiber produced by silkworms. Real silk sheets will provide a cool and smooth feeling while also offering a naturally hypoallergenic option. The downside, however, is that silk comes with a high price tag and is high maintenance when it comes to care given the delicacy of the fibers.

Produced from the same polymers used to make plastic drinking bottles, polyester is a manmade fiber. Sheets made using this fabric are often stiff and scratchy if polyester is the sole thread. So you will most often find it mixed with another fabric like cotton in inexpensive sheet sets. Sometimes very finely woven polyester will be sold as microfiber which can be very soft but will not offer the same breathability as cotton. However, they are durable and resistant to stains.

Most often what you will find labeled as “bamboo” sheets are in reality made of rayon which is what is produced when the bamboo pulp is put through a chemical process. This process dissolves the pulp, then re-solidifies it before spinning it into a thread. The process utilizes harmful chemicals and can be difficult on the environment making bamboo sheets less environmentally friendly than manufacturers tend to claim. However, it does produce a very soft, durable and silky fabric which is just as breathable as cotton. And while bamboo can be made into fabric without a chemical process, the resulting sheets are usually rather stiff and rough.

When purchasing sheets, it is important to note that the type of weave can also have an effect on the feel of the sheets regardless of the fabric used. It can also have an influence on the longevity of the sheets and the cost. For example, a basic plain weave is woven from an equal number of vertical and horizontal yarns and is the least expensive option while percale is an upscale plain weave with a thread count of 180 or higher known for its longevity and crisp feel. Sateen weaves, on the other hand, have more vertical than horizontal yarns which result in an extremely soft fabric but one that is less durable and more apt to pill or tear.

100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Sheets

Organic sheet sets have become increasingly popular over recent years. They are more environmentally safe and healthier than more conventional bedding options like non-organic or synthetic sheets. Organic cotton sheets and organic linen sheets provide a number of benefits to both the consumer and the environment. They are pesticide-free, pigment-free and hypoallergenic. Organic cotton is extremely comfortable due to its ability to wick moisture away from the body and offer superb durability and convenience.

While buying organic products has many benefits, sometimes it can be hard to know if the item you are buying is genuinely organic. That’s because some manufacturers label their products as “organic” even though they haven’t been produced using accepted organic practices. And since different countries have different regulations for manufacturing home textiles, what’s considered “organic” in one country may not be so in another. That’s why looking for products with reputable international certifications is essential. These certifications are issued by independent global organizations that regularly test textile products.

Look for GOTS and GOLS certification which guarantees that the organic product you’re bringing home was produced in a safe, sustainable and socially conscious manner, from organic fibers. You can also rest assured that the organic products don't contain any toxic substances that may endanger your health or that of your family members.

If you are curious but not sold on the perks of organic sheets yet, let’s take a deeper look at each of these benefits.

Pesticide Free

Organic sheets are safer for the consumer because the cotton, or another plant, is grown without the use of pesticides. A pesticide is any substance used to destroy insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants. If used while growing the cotton plant, these chemicals may leave traces on the fibers used to ultimately produce bed sheets. (If chemicals in sheets freak you out, don’t even get us started with the chemicals in mattresses.)


Since organic sheets are pesticide-free, pigment-free, and bleach-free, it is not surprising that they are also hypoallergenic. The lack of chemicals during the manufacturing process means the sheets are less likely to cause a reaction in those individuals with sensitivities to certain chemicals. Organic sheets also do not contain any metals, typically found in the dyes used to add color to bedding, which is a known allergen to many consumers. As compared to conventional cotton, organic cotton has also been shown to be beneficial for asthmatics.

Temperature Control

Unlike synthetic materials, organic fibers allow for ventilation and air circulation which helps remove body moisture by absorption. Specifically, cotton fibers can absorb up to 20% of their weight before feeling damp to the touch. Thus, these fibers are able to absorb body moisture which then evaporates into the surrounding air which helps your body to stay cool and dry throughout the night.


According to the Organic Trade Association, organic production systems are able to replenish and maintain soil fertility. These systems utilize natural fertilizers, as opposed to toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilizers, while also contributing to the building of biologically diverse agriculture. As a result, organic growing methods not only maintain soil health but also utilize fewer natural resources and less land to yield the same amount of product.


Organic sheets are biodegradable meaning they can be broken down by living organisms should you decide to get rid of them. Most biodegradable sheets can break down and return to nature in as little as two weeks! This means less waste in landfills and that is better for the environment overall.


Don’t let their biodegradability fool you! Organic sheets are still exceptionally durable, especially organic cotton or linen sheets. This means they can withstand lots of use without showing signs of wear and tear. A good element for sheets that may be used often.

Low Maintenance

Organic bedding is completely safe to wash and dry in a regular washing machine and dryer making them very easy to care for. No special trips to the dry cleaner needed!

As you can see the benefits of organic sheets to both the environment and consumers are hard to ignore. Typically, you can find organic bedding in a variety of fabrics, especially with its increasing popularity, but organic cotton sheets, or linen, are produce with regularity. When you are ready to purchase organic sheets, try to find some that have the following characteristics:

- Ensure that the sheets are manufactured to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) standard. The GOTS was developed with the aim of defining requirements that are recognized around the world and that ensure the organic status of textiles from the time the raw materials are harvested, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, to the end of the process of labeling the product in order to provide a guarantee to the consumer.

- Purchase certified organic cotton home textiles. This is not to be confused with pure finish sheets which simply indicates that no chemicals were used during manufacturing or that all traces of chemicals used during manufacturing have been removed.

- Finally, look for products that are not wrinkle-free or easy-care to be sure they weren’t processed with formaldehyde.

Once you’ve selected the perfect set of organic sheets don’t forget to look for an organic mattress to put them on!