best organic cotton towels and sheets | OSCEA

Best Organic Cotton Towels and Sheets

These materials surround our lives. We sleep, sit, and dry off with them. Purchasing organic cotton towels and sheets is the safest and most sustainable option. 

Making the switch to organic cotton towels and sheets is a simple swap that can make a huge difference in your and your family’s lives. Given we spend about a third of our lives in our beds and use towels daily to dry off after showers, choosing the right materials for these goods plays a significant role in our health. Conventional cotton sheets and towels are full of harmful toxins. Aside from toxic chemicals, traditional cotton is also concerning due to its production being extremely harmful to the environment.  

This article with cover:

  • Why are non-organic cotton towels and sheets bad?
  • Top chemicals to avoid when shopping for towels and sheets
  • Why are organic cotton towels and sheets better?
  • The 5 best organic towels and sheets brands

Why are non-organic cotton towels and sheets bad?

Most conventional towels and sheets are made using non-organic cotton. This cotton is often contaminated with chemicals from a significant array of fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides. Conventional cotton farming uses 25% of total insecticides used globally! It is pretty much the most pesticide-dependent crop there is. These chemicals do work in helping to grow and protect the crops, but they have extremely harmful effects on our health and the health of our environment. The EPA has released a study that reveals that 7 of the top 15 pesticides used in cotton production in the United States have “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” carcinogens- cancer-causing toxins like acephate, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, and trifluralin. Cotton is produced on large swaths of land and these chemicals destroy the land’s natural soil health. The production depletes huge portions of the once healthy ground. Production of cotton also uses significant amounts of water which is often released in untreated toxic wastewater that contaminates waterways. Due to the significant scale of land and water use, surrounding communities are often faced with drought and damaged local water supplies. The wastewater often carries harmful residue from chemicals which depletes oxygen levels in the water and kills aquatic animals and their ecosystems. Another concern with conventional cotton is that the workers are often treated extremely unfairly and forced to work long and unpredictable hours of physical labor without sufficient pay. Not to mention direct exposure to chemicals in pesticides is extremely dangerous for cotton farmers, workers, and their communities. Since most conventional sheets and towels are made with traditional cotton, switching to an organic alternative is a safer and more sustainable option. 

Top Chemicals to Avoid when Shopping for Towels and Sheets

A lot of brands have jumped on the opportunity to create sustainable towels and sheets. But, as with any sustainably market product, there is still a lot of greenwashing with these products. Companies will use partially organic materials or market themselves as natural, while still using harmful chemicals. Residue from formaldehyde and other insecticides treatments stays permanently in the fibers of your sheets or towels. These fumes and particles are continuously released throughout the life of your bedding. The use of formaldehyde may seem shocking, but it is extremely common in these goods. Anything labeled “permanent press” or “easy care” or “wrinkle-free” is almost always treated with formaldehyde. This keeps the fabric from wrinkling, but it is also designed not to wash out. Formaldehyde is a highly toxic chemical linked to various serious health concerns including cancer. Another thing to avoid is polyester sheets. Polyester is technically plastic, and this material is often colored and finished with a variety of harmful substances like formaldehyde, chlorine bleach, carcinogenic dyes, and even heavy metals. To avoid toxic chemicals and greenwashing, become familiar with the most harmful and common toxins to avoid when shopping for towels and sheets. 


  • Acrylic
  • Polyester
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Rayon
  • Acetate
  • Triacetate
  • Synthetic Dyes
  • Nylon
  • Anything labeled static-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, permanent-press, easy care, no-iron, stain-proof, or moth-repellent

Why are organic cotton towels and sheets better? 

These materials surround our lives. We sleep, sit, and dry off with them. When shopping for new towels and sheets, softness, color, and durability usually come into question, but shoppers really need to consider the materials used as well. Sleeping on sheets that are manufactured using chemicals harmful to your body isn’t very calming. Organic products have been made using fibers that have been grown without chemicals. They are not irritating to skin conditions like eczema and are hypoallergenic. Organic products are safe for anyone who has asthma, chemical sensitivities, allergies, rashes, or respiratory issues. To make things even better, organic materials are softer to the touch and cozier. Organic cotton also wears better over time. The organic fibers retain their natural strength and durability. They are stronger, smoother, and more efficient than traditional cotton. This way, you don’t have to replace your towels and sheets every year. Organic cotton is also more eco-friendly. It uses significantly less water and the water it does use is not contaminated with toxic chemicals. To produce 1kg of organic cotton, you need 1879 gallons of water. In comparison, conventional cotton used 7,660 gallons of water for that same 1kg of cotton material. Organic cotton also has 60% fewer greenhouse gas emissions! Stricter environmental and labor standards are in place for organic cotton products that follow USDA guidelines and/or Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). Products are strictly and properly regulated to ensure that they meet these standards. Organic cotton is a sustainable and safe option for sheets and towels. 

The 5 Best Organic Towels and Sheets Brands 

Bedding and sheets are usually the centerpieces for a bedroom. Picking out your bedding can be one of the best parts of decorating a home. Luckily, there are tons of brands that offer organic sheets and towels in a variety of fun designs and colors. After researching about and comparing tons of organic bedding brands, I collected a list of the 5 best towels and sheets brands. 

1. Coyuchi  

Coyuchi is a great option for organic cotton bath towels, bedding, bed basics, and apparel products. The first brand to bring organic cotton linens to the market 30 years ago, Coyuchi is a pioneer in the organic cotton movement. They are dedicated to high quality organic cotton products. A fun fact is that the word “coyuchi” is derived from Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs, and refers to the brown hue of naturally occurring cotton. Coyuchi products are made with 100% certified organic cotton and are Fair Trade and Made Safe certified. They follow the guidelines of the USDA, GOTS, and ILO, the international labor organization. Their cotton is handpicked by fairly compensated farmers with whom the brand works closely. Coyuchi has other sustainability initiatives in place as well. They are part of 1% for the planet and are committed to carbon neutral shipping, recycled paper inserts, and recycled plastic packaging. Coyuchi is a fantastic organic cotton bedding brand. 

2. Boll and Branch 

Boll and Branch have been quickly growing in popularity lately- and for good reason. Their organic cotton bedding is comfortable, sustainable, and chic. Boll and Branch offer soft and luxurious sheets, bedding, towels, duvets, and even mattresses! They are best known for their super comfortable signature bed sheets. These sheets are woven with long strand 100% organic cotton to a 300-thread count, which provides great breathability and softness. Boll and Branch have three main tenets- ethics, quality, and thoughtful design. Their commitment to ethical production is clear. All their products are made in India in Fair Trade certified factories to ensure fair wages and working conditions. Their cotton is also Fair Trade certified as well as GOTS certified organic. In fact, Boll and Branch was the first Fair Trade certified manufacturer of linens. Their products are also certified standard 100 by Oeko-Tex which makes sure no harmful chemicals are present. Boll and Branch packaging is also 100% made from recycled paper and is recyclable as well. If you’re looking for soft and breathable, high-quality sheets and towels, Boll and Branch might be the brand for you.

3. Under the Canopy 

Another great organic towels and sheets brand is Under the Canopy. What we love most about this brand is how accessible it is. Under the Canopy is more affordable and sold at your local Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl's. It’s important to me to feel the materials of the products before I buy them, so this is a major plus for me. Under the Canopy offers organic cotton bed, bath, loungewear, and living products. They have a variety of different fabrics made from 100% organic cotton including flannel, sateen, jersey, and percale. All their products are GOTS certified organic and Oeko-Tex Made in Green certified which tests for harmful substances and ensures products are made in environmentally friendly and safe facilities. Oeko Tex guarantees that their dyes are eco-friendly and there are no harsh chemicals. GOTS guarantees a minimum of 97% organic cotton as well as no GMOs or harmful substances. Under the Canopy offers a variety of fun color and print options. Their low impact nontoxic dyes create beautiful vibrant colors. Under the Canopy is also one of the most sustainable brands in the organic bedding market. Aside from being dedicated to organic, they are also dedicated to zero waste. Their products come in reusable organic cotton bags and all their wood-based materials are FSC certified. If you are looking for a specific fabric like flannel or want to spice up your bedroom with some colorful sheets, check out Under the Canopy.

4. Ettitude   

Ettitude is the only brand featured that doesn’t use organic cotton. Instead, their products are made from their patented “CleanBamboo.”  Compared to conventional cotton, their sheets use 500x less water and have 52% less CO2 emissions. Bamboo is a grass that grows upwards and regenerates over time. It requires minimal rainwater and can easily grow organically without chemicals. The Production also produces little waste and requires significantly less land than cotton. Although bamboo itself is a sustainable material, other bamboo bedding brands often combine bamboo with other less sustainable materials to create their productions. Bamboo cotton and bamboo rayon viscose blends are super common, but they require harmful chemicals and intense water use. That’s why Ettitude created their “CleanBamboo” material. Their bamboo products are 100% bamboo and made in a nontoxic, closed loop system. This system allows them to reuse water up to 200 times and can recycle 98% of it in the process. All their bamboo sourcing is from FSC certified forests to ensure responsible production. Ettitude offers bamboo bedding, sleepwear, baby products, and accessories. All their bamboo products are 100% biodegradable! Their best sellers are their soft and sustainable sheets sets. Their products are certified standard 100 by Oeko-Tex to ensure no harmful chemicals or toxins. They use nontoxic eco-friendly dyes and allow zero discharge of hazardous chemicals. Ettitude is also climate neutral, ECOCert, Peta Approved Vegan, and Global Recycled Standard certified. Something cool that Ettitude does is they infuse some of their products with antimicrobial bamboo charcoal, which reduces bacteria by 99.9%! Ettitude sheets and towels are hypoallergenic, breathable, and suitable for sensitive skin. If you’re looking for bamboo home products, Ettitude is your best option. 

5. Quince 

If you are shopping on a budget, Quince might be your best option. They offer high-quality sustainable products at significantly lower prices. They have a variety of collections including apparel, accessories, bedding, rugs, decor, and more. For sheets, they offer organic percale, cotton, or linens. They also have a bamboo bedding collection, but I don’t recommend it since their bamboo is combined with lyocell, a plant-based form of rayon. But their percale sheets are fantastic. They are lightweight, crisp, and cool and use a 400-thread count. These sheets are well suited for hot sleepers and summer months. Quince products use 100% organic cotton, no chemicals and are ethically crafted in India. Factories are Blusign and LEED gold certified which guarantees workers are paid fairly and their production isn’t damaging to the environment. Their sustainable materials are also certified by a variety of third-party standards including GOTS, Responsible Down, Responsible Wool, Oeko-Tex, BCI, and Global Recycled standards. Quince offers high-quality timeless designs that are cheaper than the leading brands in the organic bedding market.



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