Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sheets, Unfinished

A reader asks, “Where can I get organic cotton sheets that are also free of chemical finishes?” A smart question, as the “certified organic” label applies only to farming, not processing, standards. Thus it’s possible that sheets and pillowcases, virtuously grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, might yet have been bleached with chlorine, dyed with heavy metal or synthetic colors that pollute waterways, and wrinkle-treated with formaldehyde, a skin and eye irritant.

The following sheets and pillowcases will help keep tears off your pillow while being kinder to the Earth:

New from Pottery Barn, The Naturals Collection 100% organic cotton sheet sets ($189 Q, incl 2 cases) are unbleached and free of conventional chemical finishes. They look and feel lovely, as I learned firsthand today in their Chelsea, New York store; to order at (check out their organic children’s bedding, too) or through Pottery Barn Bed and Bath catalogs, printed exclusively paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Extra E-credit!

Native Organic Cotton Homewares’ 100% organic cotton sheet sets are also certified as adhering to the fiber processing standards of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), which prohibit chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, some azo chemical dyes, and plastisols (vinyl coatings). $160 for a Q set, at

Deep Pockets for Those Without

For those (like me) who blench at the high price of organic sheet sets and use a comforter in lieu of a top sheet, Coyuchi provides a welcome alternative. They sell a Q fitted organic cotton sheet for $68, a pair of standard pillowcases for $26. And, their processing is non-chlorine-bleached and nearly chemical-free, using low-impact dyes that don’t run off into waterways as much as conventional types do. Their fitted organic crib sheet is $29, at

While not certified organic, Bed Bath & Beyond’s “400 Natural” and “600 Natural” sheet sets (the numbers refer to thread counts) tempted me with their lack of formaldehyde, chlorine bleach, synthetic dyes/fixatives, at a reasonable price ($80 Q for the “400,” with a generous 18” mattress pocket depth). BB & B also sells very nice “Simply Organic” cotton sheet sets, some colors now on sale ($49); now, if they could only combine the two…at

Please share with your friends, and keep sending me your ideas and questions.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have purchased sheets from some of the bigger named stores you mentioned. The were cheaply made and do not believe those thread counts. In doing much research about organics linens, anything above 330 thread count is suspect. Also, does the fact that many of these chain brands are made in china, null and void their attemps at green. Support those companies who have been organic and truly support their artisans!!!