Cocoa, cookies, and book resting on rumpled green bedding

There is nothing better than the feeling of crawling into a soft, inviting bed at the end of a long day. If you have people on your holiday list who love to sleep, natural and socially responsible bedding is an excellent option. By gifting sustainable products, you help your loved ones avoid pesticides, flame retardants, chemicals, and harmful dyes. Because we spend so much time sleeping, avoiding nighttime toxins is especially important for overall health.

In the last decade or so, the sustainable bedding market has exploded, and there are so many exceptional natural bedding products to choose from. We received samples of some of the most luxurious organic bedding options on the market to give you the inside scoop. These items contain wool, natural latex, organic cotton, flax linen, activated charcoal, mulberry silk, kapok fibers, and bamboo to provide an exceptional sleep experience.

In this bedding gift guide, we explore various natural pillows, mattress covers, pillowcases, comforters, duvet covers, mattress toppers, and bed sheets.

Click to view the comparison chart of the products we tested.

Sustainable Bedding Gift Guide

Certifications: Safety First

These programs can help bedding shoppers determine which products truly meet a higher standard than the rest. Some of the products we sampled have the following environmental and social certifications.

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, trading, and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers and are environmentally and socially responsible. This helps bedding shoppers discern what is certified organic from what might be falsely marketed as organic cotton.
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification addresses the safety and sustainability of textiles, such as cotton and wool, used in bedding. The Standard 100 certification provides customers assurance that harmful chemicals and environmentally harmful substances are not included in the product.
  • GREENGUARD Gold certification from United Laboratories validates that bedding does not exceed the emission standards for VOCs that contribute to indoor pollution.
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified latex and bamboo products ensure that these products come from responsibly-managed forests.
  • Eco Wool is produced to the highest standards on U.S. farms, and ranchers are restricted from using chemical pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and hormones and must follow humane practices.

Natural Pillows

Crystal Cove Pillow by Brentwood Homes

This plush pillow contains 65% charcoal-infused memory foam and is GreenGuard gold-certified, so it is free of concerning materials. Due to its shape and loft, the Crystal Cove pillow is ideal for back and side sleepers. But, the handy zipper allows you to remove some of the filling to make it flatter and softer, customizing the feel.

However, if you want bedding products that contain no synthetic ingredients, this might not be ideal since it contains 35% polyester gel fiber and the attractive cover (which can be easily removed) is polyester.

Kapok Sleep Pillow – White Lotus Home

Kapok Sleep Pillows - White Lotus Home
White Lotus Home kapok sleep pillows

This heavenly pillow is filled with natural fibers from the seed pods of kapok trees, which makes a lovely compressible, yet fluffy pillow. It is then encased in GOTS Certified organic sateen cotton, and it is available in many sizes. White Lotus Home makes the kapok pillow with or without a zipper, but the latter allows you to remove a bit of the filling if you want a flatter, softer pillow.

We really like how the kapok filling helps encourage preserving the tree’s life by ongoingly harvesting the fibers. It also avoids some of the potential animal welfare issues associated with down and isn’t synthetic, like many common fillings. The kapok pillow comes in three firmness levels: soft, medium, and firm, and is really reasonably priced given the exceptional quality. White Lotus Home also sells natural materials if you want to go the DIY route.

Organic Neck Pillow – Holy Lamb Organics

Designed in partnership with a chiropractic physician with proper spinal alignment in mind, this is a great option for people on your gift list with neck or back pain. The pillow is filled with Eco Wool and has an organic sateen cotton cover.

It is flatter than a typical pillow to encourage alignment and has a faint natural scent from the wool, which we find quite pleasant. One side is bolstered a bit more than the other, so you can choose which level of support you prefer. We also appreciate how it arrived with no synthetic packing materials and wrapped in a bow.

Solid Organic Latex Pillow – Naturepedic

This soft pillow contains certified-organic latex and is wrapped in organic cotton stretch-knit fabric. Of the pillows we sampled, the Naturepedic has the most rigorous third-party certifications for purity, which is important for pillows because we sleep on them for hours each night.

This organic latex pillow is relatively soft, compresses with pressure, and becomes somewhat flat, so it isn’t ideal for someone that prefers a firm or fuller-sized pillow. It seems best suited for back or stomach but not side sleepers. The Solid Organic Latex Pillow doesn’t contain a zipper, so you can not adjust the amount of filling inside.

Organic Mattress Covers

Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector – Avocado

Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector - Avocad-1o
Organic cotton mattress protector from Avocado

This quilted pad is organic inside and out and contains no synthetic materials. It is much thicker than most of the mattress protectors on the market, so it absorbs moisture to protect the mattress instead of using plastic-based materials for a waterproof coating. Therefore, it probably isn’t an ideal product for a family with young children, but it seems like it offers adequate protection for many other applications.

This mattress pad protector looks like it is very well-made and durable, and Avocado recommends drying it on low or using a clothesline. It is a gentle ivory color, and the quilted layer does slightly enhance the feel of the mattress but not nearly as much as a mattress topper.

Organic Mattress Pad – Happsy

Although it contains a nontoxic waterproof layer, this mattress protector is super soft and fits snugly. This is an excellent choice for people concerned about keeping allergens, such as dust mites and pet dander, off of the mattress, as well as spills and accidents. Our cat expectedly tested out the waterproof abilities of the pad, and the mattress stayed dry.

Because of the cotton layer, this waterproof mattress cover is much softer and more natural than other waterproof covers. However, if someone doesn’t need the waterproof protective layer, there are mattress pads without any synthetic materials.

Waterproof Eucalyptus Mattress Protector – Sheets & Giggles

Sheets & Giggles uses the pulp of eucalyptus wood to make a fabric called lyocell for the top layer of the mattress protector. This moisture-wicking material is biodegradable and completely plant-based, and comes from trees grown in Canada, Sweden, South Africa, and India. The water-repelling layer is made of thermoplastic polyurethane to protect your mattress.

Sheets & Giggles also takes additional steps to be more sustainable, such as planting two trees for every one it harvests, packaging products in plastic-free recyclable boxes, and using a lyocell manufacturing process that reuses water and solvents repeatedly. We like the relatively soft feel of the mattress protector, especially given its water-resistant qualities. Although this product isn’t manufactured in North America, Sheets & Giggles factory workers have a maximum of 8-hour work days, and they pay overtime.

Pillow Protectors & Pillowcases

Oxford Envelope Silk Pillowcase – LILYSILK

Mulberry silk has a long history in China and was discovered in the 27th century BC. According to legend, a cocoon from a mulberry tree fell into the tea cup of a Chinese emperor’s wife. Pure silk is supposed great properties for the hair and skin, especially for people with acne, because it doesn’t allow oils to accumulate in the fabric. However, many of the pillowcases with “silk” in the name are actually synthetic fibers. So this pure silk pillowcase might be a good choice for teenagers on your gift list.

This lovely pillowcase is 100% long-fiber mulberry silk (Grade 6A). You can select options ranging from in thickness 19 to 25 momme (a measurement for silk density) and numerous vibrant colors. LILYSILK is based in China and airships its products to customers. It partners with TerraCycle to create a no-waste recycling program and customers can earn points from charitable donations towards their next LILYSILK purchase.

Waterproof Organic Pillow Protector – Naturepedic

This soft cotton pillow protector is an excellent way to keep your loved ones’ pillows clean and fresh, especially if a pillow isn’t washable. The cotton pillow protector features two layers of GOTS Certified organic cotton jersey with a waterproof barrier between them.

It is made of thick fabric, but is also very soft and pliable, so it seems likely it would keep allergens out of the pillow as well. It’s an excellent way to protect a favorite pillow from lice or bed bugs while traveling. This organic pillow protector is free from harmful chemicals and meets rigorous third-party standards.

Comforters

Bamboo Comforter – ettitude

This 100% bamboo comforter features bamboo lyocell filling, which is an excellent down alternative and ideal for vegans and hot sleepers on your shopping list. It is available in both summer and winter weights and is covered in CleanBamboo, which uses nontoxic solvents, is made from FSC-certified bamboo, and is highly breathable. It arrives prewashed and in a reusable zippered bag made from recycled plastic bottles and is responsibly manufactured in China.

The fabric is super soft, yet the summer-weight version is even suitable for warm weather. This comforter isn’t machine washable, so we recommend using a green dry cleaner and a duvet cover. We’re very impressed by ettitude’s sustainability track record and its innovative use of bamboo.

SAVE 15% off your ettitude purchase by using the code EARTH911 at checkout. (Offer valid through January 31, 2023.)

Islamorada Kapok-Filled Comforter – The Organic Mattress

This comforter features kapok encased in 100% cotton, giving it a light, airy feel. Its locked baffle box construction keeps the kapok in place while achieving maximum loft. Kapok fibers are hollow and contain up to 80% air, making this natural comforter feel like a cloud.

It has loops for attaching a duvet cover, and The Organic Mattress recommends using one. Washing the kapok comforter with soap can leave a residue, so a duvet cover is helpful in keeping it clean. When necessary, spot cleaning or use a washing machine on a gentle cycle and thorough rinse cycle.

Silk Cloud Comforter – Nest

This comforter is filled with 100% mulberry silk, which means the silkworm caterpillars eat leaves from a mulberry tree, creating a lightweight, breathable filling. It is hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and contains hand-stretched silk cocoons. This comforter is dry clean or spot clean only, so we recommend using a green dry cleaner to avoid toxic chemicals. Loops in the corner of this comforter make it easy to put inside a duvet cover.

This silk comforter has one of the more unique materials we encountered while sampling natural bedding products. It seems like an especially appealing option for allergy sufferers on your gift list.

Duvet Covers

Linen Duvet Cover Set – Saatva

Linen Duvet Cover Set - Saatva
Linen duvet cover set from Saatva

This set includes a duvet cover and two shams (one for twin beds) and is available in white, ivory, and gray. The cover has a hidden zipper closure, and corner ties keep a duvet insert in place. It is made of Belgian flax, which is considered more sustainable than cotton  because flax grows well in poor soil and doesn’t need a lot of water. Flax also gets softer with each wash and is antimicrobial and highly durable. Although it is machine washable, Saatva recommends drying it on low.

This set adds new life to a duvet insert because of the unique fabric and the 2-inch flanged edge. The material is soft but has a textured feel that is unique to flax, which gives it almost a rustic yet elegant look. Flax is also quite breathable, so it is ideal for people on your gift list that are hot sleepers.

LuxeWeave Linen Duvet Cover – Sijo

This cover is made from small-batch, stone-washed linen sourced from Normandy, France, and then manufactured in China. Because it is made from flax stalks, it has sustainability advantages over cotton. The stone-washing process helps soften the linen, which is breathable and a bit cooler than cotton. The duvet cover is available in seven colors.

We received the duvet cover as part of a bedding bundle that included a set of sheets and really enjoy the luxurious feel. This hefty yet fluffy fabric seems very durable and doesn’t shrink when washed in cold water and dried on low.

Organic Bamboo Viscose Duvet Cover – Quince

If you are looking for a heavenly soft fabric, bamboo viscose is an excellent choice. Quince’s duvet cover is more moderately priced than some of the other bamboo options on the market, but it seems very well made. It is manufactured in China, but Quince selects partner factories that “are committed to responsible production and safe working conditions.”

Although bamboo can be processed with concerning chemicals, the duvet cover is OEKO-TEX 100 certified, which means that it isn’t processed with things like formaldehyde, asbestos, and lead. The bamboo cover comes in six colors and has a bit of a sheen. It has loops for connecting the duvet cover and button closure along one side.

Mattress Toppers

Handmade Natural Wool Topper – Plushbeds

This 3-inch thick topper will completely change the feel of a mattress, making it instantly super cozy. It is made from only natural materials, and the ethically-sourced Eco Wool isn’t treated with any chemicals. It is encased in certified organic cotton and goes directly on the mattress, so it must be secured with a mattress pad or sheet. Because it contains wool, you should only spot-clean it and put it out on a clothesline in the sun periodically to air it out.

The topper fits the mattress perfectly and is an excellent choice if you want to rejuvenate your bed without replacing the mattress. We really like the soft yet supportive feel of the mattress with this wool topper and that it contains no synthetic ingredients. But it might make it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

Organic Mattress Topper – Birch

Organic Mattress Topper - Birch
Birch’s organic mattress topper

If you have someone on your gift list that wants to reinvent their bed, this organic mattress topper is an excellent choice. One of the most trusted names in natural mattresses, Birch uses 3 inches of wool, natural latex, and organic cotton to work its magic. The topper has numerous third-party certifications, which shows a dedication to sustainability.

This product seems reasonably priced given the quality, and it’s backed by a limited 10-year warranty. Birch’s organic mattress topper fits snugly on the mattress and stays in place well. It offers a medium firmness and gives the bed a luxurious feel.

Natural Sheets

Eucalyptus Flannel Sheets – Sheets & Giggles

These soft sheets are made from 60% eucalyptus lyocell and 40% cotton. Sheets & Giggles states on its website that it doesn’t use pesticides when growing the eucalyptus, and it uses carbon-neutral shipping. Choose from three colors for these cozy sheets, which are available in sizes full and larger.

The blend of the two materials makes these sheets really soft and warm, which is especially nice in colder weather. We appreciate how Sheets & Giggles is finding more sustainable alternatives to cotton, but like the Awara sheets, the cotton doesn’t seem to be certified organic by a third party.

LuxeWeave Linen Sheet Set – Sijo

LuxeWeave Linen Sheet Set - Sijo
LuxeWeave linen sheets from Sijo

This lovely sheet set came in a bedding bundle with the LuxeWeave duvet cover and is available in seven colors. The flax linen has excellent moisture-wicking properties and holds up well over time with minimal pilling. Linen sheets are heavier and thicker than cotton, so they hug the body a bit and are also more durable. Although they have a texture, they are still quite soft, and they get even softer over time from use and washing.

Flax fibers were widely used throughout history until the 1880s, when industrial cotton production dominated the industry. There has been a resurgence of interest recently in flax, partially because, unlike cotton, no fertilizer or pesticides are needed to cultivate it.

Organic Cotton Sheets – Awara

Made of breathable and lightweight Percale, these sheets are super soft and have a luxurious feel. They are designed to become softer with each wash, and this was our experience as well. Although Awara mattresses have numerous green certifications, the sheets do not, and the cotton isn’t certified organic. They come in two colors, white and light gray, and are manufactured in India.

A Gift of Sustainable Bedding for a Comfortable Sleep

Some of our favorite products in this guide are the kapok sleep pillow by White Lotus Home, the handmade natural wool topper by Plushbeds, the Birch organic mattress topper, the Happsy organic mattress pad, and the Islamorada kapok-filled comforter by the Organic Mattress. As we enter the holiday season, it’s a great time to think about who on your gift list might appreciate natural and sustainable bedding products that help reinvent the sleep experience.

By Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova is an environmental journalist and copywriter and has worked as a consultant to help large corporations become more sustainable. She is the author of Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable & Green Living, and her renewable energy experience includes residential and commercial solar energy installations. She teaches green business classes to graduate students at Unity College and holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School.