What do I remember about shopping for college? Well, there were a lot of stores, and a lot of bags, and a lot of things I thought I needed but didnít really need, and a lot of things I needed but didnít think I needed. And then there was bedding.
Now, when you are preparing for college, you immediately think about your bed. What color scheme are you going to use? Is pink too girly? Is blue too boring? Is patterned to childish? I, too, was thinking of exactly these things. I knew I wanted blues/purples/greens, and I was open to the idea of a pattern.
It may seem, given these guidelines, that it would be easy to find many sets of bedding that I would be happy with. And I wasnít wrong; I did find tons of sheets and pillowslips and comforters that I would have loved. However, I was looking for something a little bit more specific.
First of all, I needed cotton. With my mother, polyester or wrinkle-free sheets and pillowslips were not going to happen in a million years. And itís surprising how much bedding is made from polyester! My options were significantly narrowed down by that rule. And how about blankets? Most comforters have a polyester shell and are filled with even more polyester!
So whatís the problem with polyester, you ask? Well, polyester is made from coal, air, water, and petroleum. Petroleum is not only extremely flammable, but it doesnít breathe. Given the fact that our bodies lose a lot of water when we sleep (about 216 grams in 6 hours), polyester is not a good material to be surrounded by. Sleeping in blankets of polyester is like sleeping in a plastic bag; your bodyís moisture cannot escape.
In addition, polyester gives off positive ions, which increase the amount of serotonin in our brains. Excess serotonin is tied to depression, nausea, and insomnia. Probably not what youíre looking for in bedding.
So, my suggestion would be to go for 100 percent cotton bedding, which is not a synthetic fabric and so it breathes easily. My sheets and pillowslips are made of cotton, and they just feel so much better than polyester. As for a blanket, the best way to go is with an all-natural down comforter and a cotton duvet cover. But if youíre allergic to down (as many people are), then a warm cotton or wool blanket, or organic wool comforter (my motherís favorite), is the best way to go.
Note to self: Make sure to get the ultimate comfort out of that comforter.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a freshman at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.