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In my last post, Chemicals in your mattress may hurt your pet’s health, I covered non-toxic mattresses. Specifically what the various mattress certifications mean and a few suggestions of healthier mattresses to buy and a chemical-free platform bedframe. In this blog, I will go over a few options for non-toxic pillows, comforters, bedding lifespan, and bedding hygiene tips.

If you don’t want to spend $500+ trying to find the perfect pillow, then stick with me and we’ll go over a few things to help you pick the best pillow for you! Yes, it’s possible to spend that much buying multiple pillows or in my case, I found out the hard way. Sleeping with the “wrong” pillow too long left me with a stiff neck, pain in my shoulder and hand (carpal tunnel).

Non-toxic pillows: plant-based to cruelty-free pillows

I had been sleeping on a feather pillow that I was given as a gift. After watching a Dr. Oz episode about all the gross things in your pillow, I decided to wash it. That backfired as it smelled so awful that I had to throw it away. I know plenty of people are fans of feather pillows or down pillows and frankly I slept really well on it too. However, I decided not to get another feather pillow after watching a video that I felt was quite disturbing.

I started looking for a down alternative pillow which led me to a whole new world of pillows that I had not even been aware of. Different types of fillings and some with zippers so you can take out or add some filling to control the firmness or pillow height. The best part is plant-based pillows can last up to 15 years making them a worth while investment!

Adjustable Shredded CertiPUR pillow
NonToxicpillows: Plant based Cruelty-Free

Non-Toxic pillows: Plant-based pillows

I chose this certiPUR shredded foam pillow because it is free of PBDE’s and flame retardants, it has a zipper to adjust the filling, a 30-day sleep trial, a 5-year warranty, and a dust mite resistant cover.

I ran into a few pitfalls too. Although CertiPur certification limits how many toxins there can be, my pillow did smell. I had to air it out for a few days before I was able to use it. I used it for about 6 months and then I woke up with a stiff neck. Weeks later I realized the pillow is sensitive to cold temperatures. Meaning if your home gets 65 degrees or below, the pillow will harden up.

Plant-based pillows: hull filled pillow options

Weeks of neck pain sent me on a search again and then I came across an array of plant-based pillows. They come in standard to king sizes. Sleeping with other pillows while traveling was not helping my neck pain so I was happy to learn they also have a travel pillow. Other options available are a body pillow that can be used as a pregnancy pillow and a meditation pillow. These pillows can last 10-20 years and can weigh 4 to 12 lbs.

A vegan pillow that feels like a feather pillow

I was searching for a cruelty-free option to down pillows and that’s when I came across this pillow. It is said to be the best alternative to a feather pillow and it works well for me as a side sleeper.

The fiber naturally repels moisture, contains natural compounds which make it unattractive to dust mites, comes from a tree that can grow up to 200 feet tall and maybe an alternative for people who suffer from allergies.

As someone who is sensitive to smells, I tested the pillow by putting my face practically inside the pillowcase. Actually, I got a little to close and I got some in my nose. LOL My initial reaction was “that’s not bad,” meaning there was no offensive odor.

This is not new, it was used in Life vests and it was a popular pillow choice for many years. One possible reason for the decline in popularity is it was considered flammable. Hold on, many things are flammable although they may burn at a slower or faster rate. I don’t burn candles so this didn’t concern me and I get the bonus of a chemical-free pillow.

If you’re interested in this pillow, you should know there are other versions of this pillow that combine two fillings and some that are specifically shaped for side-sleepers. As a reminder, plant-based pillows last way longer than synthetic pillows, more details below.

Organic comforter

I had difficulty finding this because many websites that stated they had organic comforters when they really had duvets, which I found misleading. Also, many comforters were a solid color which is fine but I wanted something with a pattern. I was about to give up when I finally found this organic comforter to complete my bedroom detox. 

Bedding lifespan and hygiene

Plant-based pillows can last up to 15+ years whereas synthetic pillows need to replaced anywhere from a few months to 24 months. The reason is the structural integrity of pillows will break down and your pillow could be full of things like dust mites, sweat, drool, oils, and dead skin. Washing pillows is generally suggested 2-3 x’s a year if you use pillow protectors. Pillowcases and pillow protectors should be removed and washed weekly. Note: Plant-based filling should not be washed. Instead, remove the outer pillowcase and wash the case only.

Mattresses can last up to 10 years before it needs to be replaced. One determining factor that might lead you to replace your mattress earlier is your age. As your health changes, your body may not tolerate pressure as well. Some mattress hygiene tips are: 1) air out your bed by pulling back the sheets and comforter each day to let it breathe and 2) vacuum your mattress using your vacuum attachments a minimum of several times a year. People with allergies or asthma may find this really helpful.

Comforters can last up to 15 years if cared for as they don’t support the body weight like pillows and mattresses. Comforters generally don’t need to be washed as frequently as they are the furthest from your skin, providing you use a top sheet and/or a blanket under the comforter. Tip: A queen size comforter can generally fit in a machine that is 4 cubic feet or holds 12-16 lbs of laundry. Most front loading machines are 4-5 cubic feet. If you don’t have your owners manual, you might be able to look up the model number for more information.

General bedding hygiene tips: 1) Follow the washing instructions on the label of each type of bedding to extend their lifespan. 2) To kill dust mites, the water needs to reach 130 degrees. Another option recommended by NIEH is freezing non-washable bedding overnight to kill dust mites. 3) If you have been sick you will need the water temperature to be 140-150 degrees or select the sanitize option. 4) Fabric softener and dryer sheets are not recommended for every wash as it reduces the fabric breathability and absorbency. <— That was news to me. 5) Keep the humidity level at or below 50%. Keeping the humidity level down is also helpful in preventing fleas.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. If your pet has a medical problem, please seek medical attention from your veterinarian. Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails will do our best to ensure that information presented is accurate and up-to-date. Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails does not accept any responsibility for damages, loss or illness which may arise in connection with the use of the information published on this website. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Opinions expressed here are those of individual contributors. © Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails, 2006-2019. All Rights Reserved.


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One Response to “Creating a non-toxic bed is healthier for your pets”

  1. Deena says:

    Very helpful information for when I need it ! Thank you!

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