According to the EPA, the air inside your home can be more contaminated and polluted than the air outside. We’re spending a lot of time indoors these days so how can we clean up the air?
While this impacts the entire house, we typically spend most of our indoor time in the bedroom, so let’s start there.
What Contributes to Poor Air Quality in the Bedroom?
Lots of things contribute to poor air quality in the home, including harsh cleaning chemicals, ignition fumes from ovens and fireplaces, and volatile organic compounds or VOCs from your nail polish.
Which reminds me, you might also want to detox your bathroom!
But in your bedroom, you’re most likely to be impacted by electronics and bedding.
Potential Types of Pollutants in the Bedroom and How to Address Them
EMFs or Electromagnetic Fields
Appliances and electronics emit electromagnetic fields when they are on. This can happen when appliances convert the alternating current they receive into direct current which allows the electronics to use less energy overall.
The research on EMFs and their impacts on human health are still in the beginning stages. Some sites are ready to link the rays with multiple disorders while the WHO and others are more cautious. But there seems to be some validity to the risks.
And, it’s easy enough to mitigate
Reduce Electronics in the Bedroom
The fewer electronics you have in the bedroom, the fewer electromagnetic rays you will have to deal with. Reducing electronics can also help with your sleep hygiene and potentially lead to better rest each night.
- Get the TV out of the bedroom
- Put phones away before bedtime
- Reduce wifi and wireless devices in the room
- Get an old-fashioned alarm clock
Get Plants that Absorb EMFs
House plants are known to take in CO2 and excrete O2 which detoxifies or cleans our air, but did you also know they can detox other contaminants from the air?
This site catalogs several plants thought to absorb and therefore counteract the effects of EMFs.
The “How to Grow Fresh Air” book also describes the 50 best house plants for counteracting pollution including EMF. It ranks them on effectiveness and at how easy they are to keep alive!
That’s a winning book in my mind.
It’s an awesome gift and a great guide to turning your house into a mini-jungle.
The Bed and Your Bedding
Mattresses can also release VOCs, mostly form polyurethane, plastics, and flame-retardants in the mattress itself.
VOCs are greenhouse gases and are also known to have negative health effects such as irritation to the eyes and respiratory tract, headaches, memory issues, and long term health conditions. Reducing VOCs will go a long way in detoxing your bedroom.
Unfortunately, human body heat can increase the emissions of those harmful chemicals as we sleep.
Flame retardants are found in many mattresses, including baby mattresses. and polyurethane foam can be found between the coils.
The NYT did a great article explaining the potential risks, why it’s a concern, and why the marketplace can be confusing.
I agree with the interviewed blogger that if we spent 1/3 of our lives in our bedroom, and most of that is on our mattress, it’s worth evaluating the toxic exposure we get and doing everything we can to detox the bedroom.
Invest in an Organic Mattress
Green products have become more popular these days and so have clean and organic mattresses. There are now several companies offering better and less toxic solutions.
Happsy Mattress provides organic mattresses free of flame retardants, adhesives or polyurethane. I found Happsy at a conference last fall and was happy that this is the one and only time in my life where I actually preferred the more affordable brand! I love how Happsy is affordable, comfortable, and arrives at your front door in a box!
I partnered with Happsy on this post to provide you with a discount on an organic mattress because we both feel it is so important to your health!
After all, you spend 1/3 of your life in bed. If you are interested in clean eating and natural living, you should consider the impact your mattress has on your health!
Use this link and the code EATCLEAN25 to get $225* off your Happsy purchase of $899 or more!
Get an Organix Latex Topper and Mattress Cover
Ideally, we’d all switch to organic and non-toxic everything, but I know that’s not realistic for everyone.
For example, we JUST bought a brand new mattress a couple of years ago and it would be wasteful to throw it out.
So while we will upgrade to organic on our next purchase, for now, we are using workarounds to clean it up as much as possible and to create a protective barrier between us and the mattress.
That’s why we opted for an organic latex topper, an organic mattress cover that acts as a protective barrier, and organic sheets. Happsy gifted us the topper, mattress cover, and pillows and they are working excellently. We’ve never slept better!
Clean up your Bedding
Furniture and Carpets
Be mindful of the other items you put in your bedroom.
Couches and carpets are sprayed with flame-retardants. Anything waterproofed likely has harmful PFOA or PFOS, the harmful chemical in Teflon. Polyurethane stained woods can also release VOCs.
Check-in with the Environmental Working Group and the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families teams to find safer options.
The EPA has recommendations on how to handle carpet installations. alternatively, you could opt for tile or hardwood floors with an area rug.
Avoid paints with “fragrance” as those will emit even more chemicals into the air.
If you want fragrance, opt for an essential oil diffuser or some organic pure beeswax or soy candles with essential oil fragrance. In other words, avoid the body shop and the Crayola-colored candles at Target and other home stores.
And to be on the safe side, get a few more house plants to clean the air!
* get $225 off your Happsy purchase of $899 or more valid through 3/31/2019 with code EATCLEAN25. While supplies last. Cannot be used with other promo codes. Cannot be applied to past purchases. Valid one time per customer. Other restrictions may apply. to get off