Sleep Better

9 Ways to Beat Bedroom Toxins on a Budget

An image of Lucy Dodds
30 Jun 20206.5 min read

Struggling to sleep? An eco-friendly bedroom could be the answer. According to the Better Sleep Council, we should remove toxins from the air to create a happier and healthier place to sleep. But sometimes, the cost of going green stops us from making healthy changes.

Mattress Online has rounded up affordable ways to create a sustainable space. We compared 60 products from a range of retailers to show you how to transform your sleep for less while protecting the planet.

Read on and discover our nine ways to beat bedroom toxins on a budget.

9 Ways to Beat Bedroom Toxins on a Budget

1. Lemon juice – 76p

Keeping your bedroom clean and free of dust is important to improve your breathing at night and sleep better. Instead of cleaning with harsh chemicals, use lemon juice – it’s naturally antibacterial and antiseptic, plus it smells great.

What’s more, lemon juice will only cost around 76p and you can get 25 cleans per bottle.

2. Red LED lighting – £4

Whether it’s from the sun or your phone screen, bright light interferes with your body clock and keeps you awake. That’s why you should choose a darker, red light bulb for the bedroom, as the experts at the Sleep organisation say red wavelengths of light are best for encouraging sleep.

To save energy, make sure you stick with an LED bulb – they’re up to 80% more efficient than other lighting and have a long lifespan of around nine years. A red LED bulb should only cost £4 too, making it a quick and affordable change for an eco-friendly bedroom.

3. Spider plant – £7

Plants can naturally purify the air quality in your bedroom. A study by NASA shows certain plants that survive in low lighting can remove indoor toxins. Some of the best air-purifying plants based on NASA’s research includes the bamboo palm and the spider plant.

After comparing a range of retailers, we found the spider plant is cheapest, costing an average of £7 for a small pot plant. Spider plants also last indefinitely if you look after them properly, making them the perfect investment for an eco-friendly bedroom.

Spider Plant

4. Bamboo palm – £12

If you want a larger plant for the bedroom, why not grow your own bamboo palm? Another natural air purifier from NASA’s research, this houseplant can reach up to seven feet tall. Buy a small, potted bamboo palm for just £12 and let it grow at home and it’ll purify the bedroom for around 10 years.

5. Solar alarm clock – £15

We know electronics are bad for our sleep pattern – the artificial, blue light emitted by screens makes it harder to fall asleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

One way to ditch screens at night is to buy an alarm clock instead of using your phone. To save energy, opt for a solar-powered alarm for about £15. Many come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty as well.

6. Soy lavender candle – £15

Certain fragrances are proven to help us relax. Research shows that lavender makes us feel calm and improves sustained sleep quality. Consider lighting a lavender candle in your bedroom to help you wind down at night.

Some candles do release chemical fragrances, so make an eco-conscious choice with a soy candle. These are made with natural ingredients and infused with essential oils, so they’re better for the environment. You can buy one for £15 that’ll burn for 40 hours.

Lavender Candle

7. VOC-free paint – £62

When paint dries, it can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which may cause headaches, dizziness and sickness. Avoiding putting these harmful toxins into your bedroom by freshening up your walls with a layer of VOC-free paint.

It’ll cost you roughly £62 for a 5-litre pot, which is enough for a standard-sized bedroom. Plus, non-yellowing paint can last up to 10 years, so it’ll stay fresh until you redecorate – that’s just £6.20 per year of use.

8. Jute rug – £65

You don’t need to rip up your entire floor for a greener bedroom. Simply add a sustainable jute rug for an affordable eco-friendly fix. Made from the bark of the plant with the same name, jute is the most biodegradable material on the planet and the easiest to recycle.

For toxic-free flooring, decorate with a renewable jute rug. The fibres are also naturally insulating, making your bedroom feel warm and cosy.

On average, a jute rug costs £65 but should last for five years, so it’s an eco steal, working out at just £13 a year.

9. Organic cotton bedding – £73

Biodegradable bedding is a simple switch for a healthier bedroom and a better night’s sleep. Organic cotton produces up to 94% less greenhouse gas emissions according to the Soil Association, plus it’s easy to recycle.

What’s more, organic cotton is naturally soft and breathable, thanks to the lack of chemicals used in the manufacturing process. It’s the perfect choice if you want ultra-comfortable bedding that keeps you cool at night. A double duvet set with two pillows will last for two years and costs about £73, or £36.50 for each year of use.

Organic cotton bedding

Chemicals added to our bedroom furniture, says health expert

We spoke to Dr Anna Watson, Head of Advocacy, at CHEM Trust to find out more about chemicals in the bedroom.

“Unfortunately, there are likely to be some chemicals harmful to health present in the furnishings in our bedrooms. These chemicals get added to mattresses, carpets, headboards and electronic goods to increase stain and water repellence or to help prevent and slow down the spread of fires. But these chemicals can be released from these furnishings and mix with household dust and build up in the air in our homes.

One very simple action we can all take is making sure we open our bedroom windows to ventilate the room. It’s also a good idea to dust and vacuum our bedrooms frequently to stop dust building up.

Also, when you replace furniture in your bedroom look for products that have the EU ecolabel. This means that they have been treated with less harmful chemicals.”

A beige bed in a white bedroom with lota od house plants and hanging plants surrounding the bed.

Bigger budget? Find more ways to detoxify the bedroom

If you want to avoid all toxins based on Dr Watson’s advice, you’ll need to spend more to create a completely chemical-free bedroom. We’ve priced up additional ways to detoxify the bedroom below to see what you can get with a bigger budget.

Home air filter – £127

Home air filters have been proven to remove up to 50% of pollution in the bedroom, according to research. As well as reducing airborne toxins, home air filters also eliminate bad odours, stop germs from spreading and help to combat allergens.

While a home air filter is more expensive at around £127, you can expect it to last between five and nine years, so you can get your money’s worth. Most come with a 2-year warranty as well.

Chemical-free mattress – £398

One piece of bedroom furniture you could replace is your mattress. Try a chemical-free mattress. These are manufactured with a 100% natural, plant-based treatment instead of harsh chemicals. These mattresses also have fewer carbon emissions and reduce air pollution overall, making them better for your bedroom and the planet. Plus, they don’t come with any unpleasant chemical smell.

You can buy a chemical-free double mattress for an average of £398. Since you only need to change your mattress every seven years, that’s just £57 a year for this eco investment.

Bamboo bed frame – £409

If you want to overhaul your entire bedroom, choose sustainable furniture from a responsible supplier. It’s best to buy furnishings which are made from renewable resources, as these are better for the environment.

As it’s where you sleep, start with your bed frame. Opt for a wooden frame made from bamboo – this popular material is thought to be one of the eco-friendliest materials in the world due to its rapid growth rate. You can find a double bamboo bed frame for around £409, which should last for 10 years.

For more eco-friendly tips, discover the Mattress Online blog. Learn how to choose sustainable furniture or find out the UK’s worst place for air pollution, along with more advice on getting a great night’s sleep.