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Article: What is the Best Bedding to Stay Cool in the Summer?

What is the Best Bedding to Stay Cool in the Summer?

What is the Best Bedding to Stay Cool in the Summer?

When it's hot out, lightweight and breathable bedding is an absolute must. See which textiles are best for these warm, summer months.

Why is It Important to Stay Cool at Night?

The best temperature for sleeping is around 65°F (18°C). Although this can vary between individuals, most people fall on a range between 60-68°F (15-20°C). Cooler temperatures help you fall into a deep sleep, during which the body carries out essential repairs and maintenance. Good quality deep sleep supports your memory, immune system, and cell growth.

Although bedding isn’t the only factor in staying cool at night, it’s arguably the most important one. Your bedding needs to be breathable and moisture-wicking—if you’re sweating under a polyester duvet cover, other measures won’t make much difference.

Woman relaxing in chambray grey organic European flax linen bedding by The Modern Dane

The Downsides of Synthetic Bedding

Plastic-based bedding, such as polyester—and synthetic-natural blends like polycotton—tempt consumers with low prices and fun prints. However, what seems like a sensible short-term saving may prove detrimental to your health in the long run. Polyester isn’t as breathable as natural materials and will trap heat and moisture, making you feel sticky and uncomfortable at night. They’re oil-based and unsustainable, taking centuries to break down in landfill and adding to the microplastics circulating in our ecosystem (and our bodies).

The Problems with Cotton, Wool, and Silk

Many consumers are aware of the issues with polyester, and so turn to cotton—the world’s most popular bedding material—instead. As a natural material, cotton is more breathable than polyester, though it’s not that effective at moisture-wicking. As you’ll know from laundering your clothes, cotton that becomes damp tends to stay damp. On a hot summer night, you may end up with your cotton bedding clinging to your skin.

Buying cotton also perpetuates ethical and environmental issues. Cotton has been associated with egregious human rights violations: the forced labor of half a million Uighur people in China, and child labor in cotton ginning factories in India. Cotton consumes tons of water in already water-deprived areas: it takes 594 gallons (2,700 liters) of water to make just one cotton shirt.

Pivot circle irrigation equipment in cotton field

Wool and silk—also natural materials—are reasonably effective heat conductors, though they’re both quite heavy, so not ideal for summer. As animal-based products, neither are suitable for vegans. Wool carries animal welfare concerns, with inhumane practices such as mulesing (removing parts of the animal’s skin to prevent infection) still widespread. Both wool and silk have been rated as having a high environmental impact (by the Made-By benchmark and Higg Sustainability Index, respectively) due to the heavy fossil fuel use involved in their production.

Organic Linen Bedding: the Best Choice for Staying Cool in Summer

We may be biased but the facts back us up: organic linen bedding is the best bedding to stay cool in the summer, as well as being the most ethical and environmentally-friendly choice.

Linen is made from the flax plant and is part of a family of fibers known as “bast fibers,” as the fiber comes from the strong inner part, or bast, of the plant stem. Bast fibers naturally have thousands of tiny pores along their length; heat travels away from your body through these pores, keeping you cool. Linen’s heat conductivity is five times higher than wool and 18 times higher than silk.

Thanks to these pores, linen both absorbs moisture and wicks it away. Linen can absorb up to 20% of its weight in water before it starts to feel damp, so you’ll feel cool and dry at night.

European Flax label and Danish flag on organic European linen bedding made from Belgian and French flax

We recommend buying organic linen bedding made from certified European Flax, to ensure that you get a high-quality, sustainable, and ethical product. European Flax farmers must sign the European Flax charter, meaning that all work is done in compliance with the strict human rights criteria of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Organic European Flax is environmentally friendly: it’s grown without artificial pesticides or irrigation, meaning that insects, birds and other animals can flourish among the flax fields. It’s net carbon negative, as the fields absorb more carbon than is emitted during harvesting and processing.

All products from The Modern Dane are made from European Flax, grown in France and Belgium on organic farms. Order from us and we’ll offset the carbon emissions from shipping through our partnership with Planet.

Countries outside of Europe, such as China and Russia, also produce linen, but these products don’t come with the same social and environmental guarantees. These linen products are often treated with artificial chemicals, which may damage the fibers and affect linen’s heat-conducting properties.

The Modern Dane organic linen duvet cover set with purple leaves and matching sheets

Not Just for Summer

Many people who use organic linen duvet covers change them out for “winter” bedding in the colder months. But did you know that linen is also a great winter fabric?

Linen is thermoregulating, meaning that as well as cooling you down when it’s warm, it warms you up when it’s cool. The same pores that make linen so effective at conducting heat will trap hot air in a cool environment, creating an insulating layer over your body.

So, save your money—with The Modern Dane’s organic linen duvet covers, you only need one set for the whole year (unless you want to mix things up with an alternative design, of course!).

More Tips for Staying Cool on Hot Days

Though bedding is one of the most important factors in keeping cool on summer nights, there are several other things you can do to stay cool at night. Keep your bedroom curtains closed during the day, and avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as this can cause your temperature to rise. Just as with your bedding, wear pajamas that are comfortable and breathable (we recommend linen, of course), and use a bedside fan.

Have we tempted you to try organic linen bedding? What are your tips for staying cool? Let us know on InstagramPinterestFacebook or Twitter!

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