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smiling woman bedding pillows

When it comes to your health and well-being, sometimes the simplest changes can make the most difference. One area is your bedding and how it affects your skin.


I wrote a post last month which spurred discussion amongst friends on Facebook, about improving your quality of life by investing in quality bedding in after-Christmas sales.

I took my own advice last week, spending about $250-300 on some bedding myself. My folks picked me up some incredible flannel sheets, and I decided I needed a new comforter and pillow.

After all my research, I opted for wool. Why? It absorbs 30% of its weight in moisture, is considered a great option for “night-sweaters,” and is adaptive for heat regulation.

I was ready to buy more, too, but I stopped the insanity and put my credit card away despite my friends raving about how they love their bamboo sheets. Why? Because the deal with bamboo and wool is similar: Both wick moisture away better than nearly all their competitors. Both are highly-sustainable choices. Both are very breathable and feel wonderful.

But here’s the thing that might surprise you about wool and bamboo — they’re both fantastic for skin conditions like eczema.

The breathability and moisture-absorbent properties make all the difference for people who otherwise find sleep very challenging.

The baby-industrial-complex wants you to switch to bamboo or wool if your infants have eczema, the most common skin condition for babies, but this advice just as valid for adults.

Can’t beat bamboo

When it comes to bamboo, people are amazed by how soft and lush it feels, especially since it gets softer the more you wash it. But the very nature of bamboo’s fibres help the fabric to remain cool to the touch, making it a calming and refreshing choice in summer months, but it also keeps you warm in the winter. That seemingly-constant coolness helps to regulate temperature shifts, which can cause flare-ups with those skin conditions so many of us have. It’s hypoallergenic and is naturally anti-bacterial. As well, it’s less conducive to mildew than most fabrics, another “win” for the bedding column.

The old wisdom has always been for using cotton with bedding, and while cotton is still breathable, it’s no bamboo — which can hold up to four times the moisture as cotton, by most accounts.

These days, bamboo can be spun to feel like silk, cashmere, and all kinds of fabrics we really love having against our skin. Not so much with wool.

Winning with wool

Wool can also be used as bedding but it’s more advisable as fill rather than a surface material. We’ve all had the scratchy wool sweater, right?

So, rather than choosing wool sheets or blankets, wool is best as fill in pillows, mattress toppers, or duvets. The reasons are very much the same as with bamboo — it’s sustainable, it holds up to 30% of its weight in moisture, it’s breathable, and can be used in both warm and cool temperatures. It’s even naturally resistant against dust mites, making that exorbitantly-priced pillow a smart choice.

All these factors make wool a phenomenal choice for your mattress pads or pillows, the places where dust mites thrive, wreaking havoc on those of us with allergies.

Put bad sleeps to bed with better bedding

Whether you’re talking about infants and children with allergies or eczema, or you’re just a fussy overheated adult sleeper, switching to a combination of wool-filled bedding and bamboo sheeting might be the life-changing sleep set-up for you.

If you’re still trying to catch the end-of-season sales, keep an eye out for both wool-filled bedding options and bamboo sheet sets, since they can help you, and your body, breathe easier through the night.

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Steffani Cameron

Steffani Cameron is a Victoria BC-based writer on a variety of topics. Here on the BuildDirect blog, she specializes in writing about smaller, urban spaces. How do you make the most of your smaller space? How do you decorate it to suit you? And how do you wage the war against clutter and win? This is Steff’s specialty.