For the most part, eucalyptus is a one-size-fits-all wellness ingredient. You can use it in your essential oil diffuser to purify the air, add a few drops to bath salts for a spa-worthy soak or even apply a skin cream infused with the oil to prevent breakouts. But while eucalyptus essential oil and skincare products are some of the most common ways to experience the medicinal herb, they are not your only option. Natural eucalyptus fiber bedding is another way to experience its magic.
What is natural eucalyptus fiber bedding?
Did the words natural eucalyptus fiber bedding stop you in your tracks? Do not worry, it is not as crazy as it sounds. And it is certainly not a type of garden ground cover. Instead, it is a type of green bedding made from — you guessed it — natural eucalyptus fibers.
The general term for eucalyptus fiber is lyocell. Even though eucalyptus fibers and bamboo fibers — known as viscose rayon — are both cellulosic (stringy plant fibers), scientists have a special name for eucalyptus fiber to help avoid confusion surrounding the process for extracting bamboo versus eucalyptus fibers. To extract viscose rayon from bamboo, manufacturers have to use a mixture of toxic chemicals. But, with lyocell fibers, only one substance is used, and it can be recycled and reused over and over again. Talk about eco-friendly!
Compared to cotton and other natural fibers, eucalyptus fibers are stronger and, when turned into bedding, last longer than your average sheets set. The all-natural fibers are also very short and fine, which works great for textile creation. Because they are so small, the fibers do not flatten out and create a textile that is ultra-soft, smooth and holds its shape.
The benefits of eucalyptus (and its bedding counterpart)
“Eucalyptus is an herb that contains great medicinal benefits,” says Alissia Zenhausern, NMD. “The majority of its medicinal function comes from its leaves [which] contain antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant and stimulant properties,” she adds. “When eucalyptus is inhaled into the respiratory passages, it can help reduce spasms in the respiratory tract.” On top of its ability to soothe a cough, Zenhausern says eucalyptus is also known as a relaxing expectorant. “It also promotes drainage commonly seem in the form of congestion in your sinuses,” she says. “This herb is amazing when it comes to respiratory health, [which] is the reason why it is now used as bedding.”
Thanks to the benefits of eucalyptus, bedding made from its natural fibers has grown in popularity. “The idea is that using eucalyptus fibers in the bedding will allow you to sleep more soundly, especially in those that experience asthma, allergies or other respiratory-related conditions,” says Zenhausern. In addition, its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties help keep dust mites at bay.
Those so-called “hot sleepers” might also benefit. Eucalyptus fiber bedding is cooling and sweat-wicking, so those that experience discomfort caused by high temperatures and moisture might notice a difference in the quality of their sleep. Lyocell can wick sweat away from the body, and since eucalyptus fibers are hydrophilic, they are great at absorbing water (or sweat), which not only makes for a more comfortable sleep but also helps keep mildew and funky smells at bay.
Things to know before you buy
Because lyocell is viewed as a specialty type fabric, it can be more expensive, but you should also be on the lookout for quality. According to Zenhausern, most of the benefits of eucalyptus exist within the tree’s leaves, which means eucalyptus fiber bedding must also stem from that. “If you are still planning on shopping for eucalyptus bedding, you want to make sure the leaves are used to make the fibers, as this is the part of the plant that contains the medicinal benefits,” she says. “Make sure it is organic, as exposing yourself to unwanted herbicides and pesticides defeats the purpose of [switching to] eucalyptus bedding in the first place.”
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