Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    How to Create a Greener, Cleaner, Healthier Home

    Making a few changes to your routine can improve your breathing, sleep, and overall health.

    Creating a Healthy Bedroom

    Here's an unsettling thought: "Anything labeled as kids' sleepwear or pajamas, by law, has to be treated with fire retardants, which are carcinogenic," Bark says. Mattresses, it turns out, get the same chemical treatment. These chemicals can protect people from burning in case of a fire. But they are also toxic and environmentally harmful, Schettler says.

    When shopping for your child's winter sleepwear, instead of choosing clothing officially labeled "pajamas," look for tight-fitting, organic, all-cotton, merino wool or bamboo long underwear. And, bamboo, says Bark, is naturally flame-retardant. "That's what parents in the know buy for their kids."

    In addition to fire retardants, new mattresses are packed with formaldehyde. Bark says that for anywhere from seven months to a year and a half after the purchase of a new mattress, formaldehyde is released into the air and into the skin in the form of gas. And memory foam beds are even worse than standard coil mattresses.

    "They are made of synthetic foam rubber and latex, which do mold to your body, but are made of toxic gases," says Bark. These gases are given off for the life of the bed, she adds, and can cause headaches, muscle aches, and a general ill and fatigued feeling.

    What should you buy instead? Bark recommends mattresses made of natural (not synthetic) rubber and covered with natural wool or organic cotton. True, they will cost you more (about the same as a memory foam bed). But, according to Bark, they last forever. Dust mites and other living organisms that routinely collect in regular mattresses can't live in the natural wool and rubber. "So, these beds are also naturally hypoallergenic," Bark says.

    Finally, Bark notes that cotton is the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crop in the world. That's why it's worth investing in sheets made of organic cotton grown without pesticides. Bamboo sheets are toxin-free as well.

    For a greener night's sleep, Bark recommends trying the following:

    • Lifekind natural rubber mattresses contain no fire retardants, formaldehyde, or other harmful chemicals.
    • Coyuchi organic cotton sheets are made with organic cotton that has been grown without harmful pesticides.
    • Bambooclothes.com offers comfortable organic bamboo sleepwear for young children without the pesticides or chemicals used in most kids' PJs.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes highlighted
    4 early warning signs.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.