We’re here to change that narrative and embrace the wrinkles — both on our faces and in our beds. Just as a wrinkled face can embody a natural and organic aging process, wrinkled sheets come about when we use natural and organic fabrics that don’t utilize toxic chemicals to flatten things out. Even with the crisp and clean look of wrinkle-free sheets with tightly tucked hospital corners, we’d take a well-loved and non-toxic bed any day (or night) of the week — wrinkles and all.
Why Do Natural Fabrics Wrinkle?
As a place where we spend up to one-third of our lives, the quality of the bed we sleep on (and its associated sheets, duvets, covers, and blankets) should play as much of a role in your health decisions as the foods you eat and the personal care products you use. If you seek out organic produce and non-toxic skincare, natural bedding should also be on your health radar.
With these natural fabrics come natural wrinkles. While we understand the desire to have smooth clothing — a wrinkled-up suit doesn’t give a great first impression in an interview, after all — we don’t think the same logic applies to our bedding, where being cozy and comfortable is the ultimate end goal.
Whether you’re snoozing on bamboo, cotton, or silk sheets, the underlying nature of organic and natural textiles is that they don’t have a chemical finishing that makes them resistant to wrinkles (think: Botox for bedding.) Let’s take a closer look at what these crease-free chemicals are made of — and how they can prove detrimental to our health.
The Downsides of Wrinkle-Free Bedding
First things first — not all chemicals are harmful (after all, the scary-sounding ‘ethyl butanoate’ is just one chemical found in an organic apple). However, many chemicals are not-so-great and can cause undesirable health or environmental effects — especially when used day-in and day-out — including the ones used to keep bedding wrinkle-free.
To fight these dreaded sheet wrinkles, many textile and bedding manufacturers use chemical finishes made of formaldehyde resins — yep, the same formaldehyde that preserved animal specimens in your high school biology lab (ick!). Fabric companies use these formaldehyde-based treatments to finish their textiles, which keeps clothing, upholstery, sheets, and other bedding or fabrics wrinkle-free, stain-resistant, and moth-proof. While that all sounds good in theory, we would much rather sleep in cozy wrinkled sheets than snooze in the same embalming fluid as those dissection-ready frogs — but that’s just us!
The Health Dangers of Formaldehyde
In addition to the ick-factor, chronic formaldehyde exposure is linked to several adverse health effects, ranging from minor skin irritation to majorly concerning cancers. It’s important to note that it’s not required for fabric labels to disclose when they use formaldehyde in their products, because none of the government agencies in the United States regulate the use of this chemical in textiles.
Internationally, formaldehyde use is more tightly controlled, like with the European Union’s EU-REACH and in Japan, where the chemical is limited in clothing and sheets to 75 parts per million (ppm). Unfortunately, wrinkle-free bedding in the unregulated U.S. can contain formaldehyde at levels up to 500 ppm — and this may lead to a handful of undesirable health concerns.
Formaldehyde and Cancer
While we don’t have any bed sheet-specific studies on formaldehyde and cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent. Plus, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) warns that workers exposed to formaldehyde are at an increased risk of developing brain cancer, a specific type of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia, and cancers of the paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity, and nasopharynx.
Formaldehyde and Respiratory Issues
Due to formaldehyde’s chemical classification as a volatile organic compound (VOC), this means that it can be released into the atmosphere — such as the air we breathe. As formaldehyde irritates the nose, eyes, and throat (which is also why it can cause the nasal-related cancers), the chemical can lead to headaches, runny noses, difficulty breathing, wheezing, asthma attacks, and other respiratory symptoms.
Formaldehyde and Skin Irritation
The most common formaldehyde-related concern in bedding or other fabrics is skin irritation, also known as allergic contact dermatitis. While the other adverse health effects, like cancer, can take years to develop, people who are sensitive to formaldehyde can feel immediate skin irritation upon using these chemical-laden textiles. Plus, the dermatitis irritation can worsen with sweating or moisture, making hot summer nights even more miserable!
With all of these potential dangers, we’re betting a few bed sheet wrinkles don’t look so bad right about now! Instead of those formaldehyde-heavy and anti-wrinkle sheets that you may be inclined to purchase, let’s dive into why natural and wrinkle-prone bedding is a better choice.
The Wrinkled Luxury of Luxome Bedding
For wrinkle-prone and formaldehyde-free sheets and bedding, look no further than Luxome. Made of the environmentally-friendly bamboo plant, Luxome is not blended with cheaper fabrics like cotton.
Having the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® label means a product was tested for harmful substances in compliance with globally consistent test criteria that consider different ways a substance can be absorbed into the body, including through skin contact and respiration.
Consisting of 18 independent research and test institutes in Europe and Japan, OEKO-TEX® holds high standards for certifying products that are safe, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible.
Luxome’s natural sheets are made of bamboo — a highly sustainable textile because it is fast-growing, naturally renews itself, and requires only one-third of the water as other textile plants, like cotton. Plus, pesticides and chemicals aren’t used to grow bamboo, making it less harmful to both the environment and human health.
In addition to its sustainability and safety, bamboo sheets regulate temperatures better than other fabrics. As bamboo bedding can naturally wick moisture and boost airflow, these sheets are perfect for hot sleepers. Although bamboo sounds like it may make for a rough fabric, Luxome’s sheets are both incredibly soft, with their 400-thread count (the highest thread count of any bamboo sheets ever made!) and a silky sateen weave, yet also highly durable and long-lasting. Once you’re wrapped in these luxurious sheets, a few wrinkles will be the last thing on your mind!
How to Remove Wrinkles Naturally
What if you just can’t imagine going a night sleeping in a bed of wrinkled sheets? Rather than swapping them out for the chemical-laden and wrinkle-free bedding, first try these natural ways to counteract the creases. Although bamboo sheets with a sateen weave are more naturally wrinkle-resistant than other types of weaves in bamboo-based bedding, they still may crinkle up after a good night’s sleep.
First, ensure that you wash your bamboo sheets separately in cold water on the gentle cycle to secure a long life. This is because hot water may shrink the sheets, and the addition of clothing with zippers, hooks, or other protrusions may snag the bamboo fabric. After washing, either line dry or tumble dry the sheets on low heat without fabric softener or dryer sheets (they’re already soft enough as it is — plus, fabric softener and dryer sheets can contain unwanted chemicals and also leave a coating on the fabric that prevents them from wicking and decreases absorbancy). Once the sheets are dry (whether on a line or in the dryer), remove the sheets immediately to avoid wrinkles setting in — we know, it’s easy to go hours before we remember to take out the laundry, but this is the best secret to getting smooth sheets.
Another natural option is to remove the sheets from the dryer a few minutes before they are completely dry, putting them on the bed while slightly damp and smoothing out any creases as you go. Similarly, you can dress your bed in dry-but-warm sheets, straight from the dryer, and mist them with water while you smooth them out.
If you’re still not pleased with your slightly wrinkled bed, don’t forget about the trusty ol’ iron! While many people don’t have the time or patience to iron their sheets — we certainly don’t! — an iron set to low-steam could be used to create a crisp look. Again, we don’t want to put too much heat on the bedding to ensure its durability and longevity. However, while these options are certainly doable, we recommend saving your time and embracing the wrinkles.
Well-Loved and Wrinkled: Your New Bedding Motto
From their luxurious feel to their formaldehyde-free finish, Luxome’s bamboo bed sheets are a no-brainer. Although many people enjoy the look of a wrinkle-free, crisp-looking, hotel-worthy bed, we’re in support of a cozier, lived-in, well-loved, and all-natural feel.
As anti-wrinkle bedding contains harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer, respiratory issues, and skin irritation, we hope that people start changing their negative impressions of wrinkles — whether in bedding or on a gracefully aged face. Now, let’s go catch up on sleep in that wrinkly, cozy, non-toxic, satin-soft bed!