Winter is almost upon us, and so is the time to change up your bedding! I like to add a few extra togs to my duvet, and a few extra blankets on my bed to make sure my partner and I are cosy through the colder months. Over the years, we’ve accumulated a lot of sustainable bedding, and with lots of new options on the market this year, I wanted to share with you my top picks for pillows, duvets, bedding sets, and even mattresses.
What To Look For In Sustainable Bedding
Bedding is made in a similar way to fashion, so there’s a few key comparisons to make when looking for sustainable bedding. Having written extensively on sustainable fashion, I have a personal checklist I work through when investing in clothes and homewares alike. (Unfortunately, the scrutiny we pay to fast fashion may not have carried across to other textile-based industries, but more is being written on fast furniture and the like so we are catching up).
Here’s eight questions to ask when investing in sustainable bedding:
- Who makes the brand’s bedding?
- What’s the minimum age of their workers?
- Does the brand have a supplier list or supplier map available to view?
- Does the brand ensure workers are in a safe and healthy environment? If so, how?
- What sustainable materials are used in their bedding?
- Is the brand taking any steps to reduce its energy consumption, water consumption, or creation of waste?
- How many collections does the brand produce per year?
- Does the brand have any circular practices in place?
(If you can’t be bothered to work through these for your next sustainable bedding purchase, read on to discover my top recommendations!)
My Sustainable Bedding Collection
Despite how often I moved in my 20’s, I’ve accumulated a lot of bedding in the last 10 years. Currently, I have three sets of sheets, duvet covers, and pillow cases, as well as two duvets, six pillows, two bed cushions, and a handmade throw. Oh, and a top-of-the-range mattress!
We spend almost a third of our lives in bed (and if I had it my way, it’d be 37.5% of the time, as I’m partial to a nine-hour sleep!) so investing in a good mattress and bedding is important. It not only serves as a place of rest, but it also can support better health and cognitive function.
From the sustainability point of view, choosing bedding has to combine ethical manufacture, sustainable production, longevity, and comfort. Pricing is important too, although this often strays into the upper echelons of soft furnishings, due to the additional cost of fair labour and sustainable materials, but in balance, everything here should last longer too.
Wool Bedding by The Wool Room
Let’s start with my wool bedding. This was gifted to me by Woolroom* back in 2017, and I’ll be honest with you, I hadn’t heard of wool being used as pillow- and duvet-stuffing until then. Since being introduced to it, I haven’t wanted to sleep on anything else!
I was once heckled at a fashion film Q&A, “sheep need to be sheared!”, and to that attendee, I have to say, they’re right. Sheep in today’s world are reared for their wool, and need to be sheared regularly. Woolroom uses British wool, paying a fair price to farmers and creating long-lasting, naturally hypoallergenic bedding. They’re the only natural option approved by Allergy UK too. (I do also understand if you’re opposed to wool if you’re vegan, however I think this option is more sustainable than polyester-based bedding).
My best recommendation if you’re going to choose wool bedding is to invest in a set you can adapt for summer and winter. My duvet has two clip-on layers, so I can sleep under one layer in summer, and two layers in winter. Wool is warm and cosy, so if you like to sleep warm, this is for you. Read my full review →
My SIMBA Mattress
Last year I was invited to try a SIMBA mattress, and one year on, I’m pleased to say ours has lived up to the hype. My partner and I went for the SIMBA Hybrid Luxe, which is an extra-deep mattress with three layers of springs, topped with foam and a breathable wool/bamboo layer to help regulate body temperature. It is luxurious, to say the least.
One year on, and I have to say I sleep very well on this mattress. I miss it when I’m away – even in fancy hotels with ‘luxury’ beds – and I’ve found it to keep me cool in summer and warm in winter. My partner – a 6 foot guy who likes weightlifting – also prefers the support and comfort of this mattress.
SIMBA is the first sleep brand in the UK to receive a B-Corp Certification, meaning it has passed rigorous evaluations of its supply chain, materials, and more. Our mattress is recyclable, and SIMBA offers free recycling too.
Organic Cotton Bedding By White & Green
Now, onto my bedding sets. This first sustainable bedding set I ever owned was the Oxford Collection by White & Green. I like this set as it’s made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, which is also sourced from Fairtrade certified partners, and it’s just so well made.
It first appeared in my sustainable homeware guide in 2019, where I noted the brand is a woman-owned, family-run business, and they’ve been making their specialist linens since 2014. They have a great eye for detail, and while it looks like this set with the gold trim has been discontinued, I’ll continue to enjoy it for years to come. The Oxford Sets are made with a 300-thread count sateen weave, making the covers very strong and soft. Mine have lasted dozens of washes, and I find they’re best for the in-between seasons – Spring and Autumn – as the fabric is cool to the touch, while still keeping some heat in.
Tencel Bedding By Kuroa
For summer bedding, look no further than Kuroa’s Tencel bedding. I’m a big fan of Tencel as a sustainable fabric, and it has some really interesting properties when it comes to bedding. First – it is super cool to the touch. It feels close to silk, while being a lot more hardy, and a lot better for the environment than silk, polyester, and even cotton.
I was gifted my Tencel Bedding set by Kuroa to write this review, and I have to say, I wish I’d discovered them sooner! This would have been the perfect set for the last two summers in our new home, where our bedroom gets very warm in the summer. Now though, I find the sheets are a little too cold on their own, and I often layer up with an under-sheet and my favourite Luks Linen Turkish blanket.
(P.S. The shell cushions are handmade by Moi Milli on Etsy* and were a treat to myself after moving to Brighton. I think they’re just lovely, and not too on-the-nose for living by the seaside!)
Recycled Pillow By Biosnooze
Finally, my latest discovery in the world of sustainable bedding! Introducing Biosnooze, a new luxury, biodegradable, vegan pillow that’s such a good alternative to down pillows. When my partner and I started living together, we both agreed that down bedding – while incredibly plush – was quite cruel. So I was very excited to finally see a cruelty-free down pillow on the market!
Biosnooze pillows are made from a biodegrable vegan down filling made from recycled plastic water bottles, and made to break down naturally at the end of its lifecycle. They are indeed synthetic, but they’ve been made in a way that means once they do reach landfill, microbes can fully break them down at a highly-accelerated rate.
From a comfort perspective, this pillow has successfully trumped my wool pillows! It is so comfortable to lay back into, giving my head and neck much-needed support while still being soft.
9 of the Best Sustainable Bedding Brands in the UK
Here are the sustainable bedding brands that I’ve shopped with, worked with, and bookmarked. I’ll keep this list updated over time too:
Biosnooze: Pillows made with a biodegradable, vegan alternative to down.
JORO: Minimalist organic cotton bedding sets and cushions in soft, neutral colours.
Kuroa: 100% tencel bedding, a more sustainable alternative to polyester, silk, and even cotton.
Luks Linen: Turkish textiles made to last – I have two blankets from here that I’ve used for years.
Saffron Marigold: Fair trade, handcrafted block print linens in maximalist prints and colours.
White & Green: Organic cotton bed linens and sets made by a woman-owned, family-run business.
The Wool Room: Wool bedding made with British wool, designed to last.