An organic mattress
Africa Studio/ShutterstockGeneric mattresses can be a major source of chemical exposure, especially when manufacturers use highly toxic, flame-retardant chemicals including polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDE. PBDEs are associated with brain and reproductive damage, thyroid problems, and even cancer. As companies aren't legally bound to disclose these harmful ingredients, a safer bet for a sound night's sleep and long-term health is an organic mattress, that's chemical-free, hypoallergenic, and sustainable and biodegradable, so it's good for the earth, too. One to try is the Zenhaven Mattress by Saatva is made of organic wool and natural latex.
Here are the signs it's time for a new mattress.
A cast iron skillet
Miyuki Satake/ShutterstockHave you noticed how trendy those stunning fire engine red cast iron skillets are from Le Creuset? People are all about them, so much so that the French brand has come out with some seriously bold colors like pink and lavender. But it's not just the bright colors people are into; they are also better for your health.
Though a nonstick pan makes for easy cleanup, they may contain certain chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which has been deemed "possibly carcinogenic to humans" by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Meanwhile, cook with a cast iron skillets and you'll not only avoid harmful chemicals, your food will be infused with good-for-you iron, too. Check out the safest types of cookware you should be using.
y_seki/ShutterstockFrom bacteria-laden household surfaces and household pollutants that cause allergies, an air purifier is a smart addition to your home. Try Molekule Air Purifier, which uses a patented technology, Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO), that works at the molecular level to eliminate indoor air pollution. It's so stylishly designed, you can buy it at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Himalayan salt lamp
Africa Studio/ShutterstockHimalayan salt lamps are made from pure, food grade Himalayan salt crystals, and it seems every boutique and big chain is selling them these days. And while they certainly do provide a relaxing, warm glow, they also emit the same healthy negative ions as a nice walk along the ocean. "Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy," Pierce J. Howard, PhD, told WebMD. "They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation." Even if the benefits of Himalayan sea salt lamps aren't proven, there's no downside to displaying one in your home.
rattiya lamrod/ShutterstockPlants have certainly become a hot home addition in recent years, from the no-fuss succulents to the drapey golden pothos. Beyond their beauty are some incredible health benefits, including the reduced levels of carbon dioxide, certain pollutants, and airborne dust. These are the best indoor plants to naturally detoxify your home.
Photographee.eu/ShutterstockBefore you eschew the power of color, know that there are many studies that reveal the color you choose to paint your walls, or the colors you pick for your rugs, furniture, and drapes, can seriously impact your mood. In a Dutch study, participants found yellow to evoke feelings of happiness, while researchers at the University of British Columbia found that blue induces relaxation and creativity.
Natalie Board/ShutterstockMuch like the need to steer clear of nonstick pans, you should also avoid cooking utensils that have cheap, chemical-ridden coatings or are made with toxic glues and adhesives that can all leach into your food. Bamboo cooking utensils that are "organically certified " are made from certified organic resources that won't put you at risk and are also better for the environment. You'll also find bamboo cutting boards, dinnerware, and utensils to round out your healthy kitchen and dining essentials in the Bambu line of organically certified products. You should also reconsider your use of plastic wraps and food containers.
No shoes in the house
Africa Studio/ShutterstockResearch has been revealing the health benefits of going barefoot indoors. In one study, researchers at the University of Arizona found that there are, on average, nearly 421,000 different bacteria present on the bottoms of 96 percent of shoes. Pesticides, tar, lead, mold, and cleaning chemicals can also get tracked in your home via your footwear—so trade those shoes at the door for a cute pair of slippers!
otabalyuk/ShutterstockSynthetic fabrics including nylon, rayon, and polyester are petroleum-based, which means they take a lot of energy to produce and suck up nonrenewable resources. They're also typically coated with stain treatments and flame retardants that are toxic, including perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). There are many great eco-fibers to choose from and include materials like organic or recycled cotton, wool, hemp, and flax (linen). VivaTerra and Stem are two eco-friendly companies to consider when you're in the market for new home decor.