This Is Plastics: Plastics at Home: Sustainable, Luxurious and Improved Sleep


Plastics at Home: Sustainable, Luxurious and Improved Sleep

In this first installment of the Plastics at Home series, learn how plastic ensures sustainability, affordability and luxury for a better night’s sleep.


One in three Americans don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In an effort to increase sleep hours, Americans are more likely to shop for a new king-size mattress, or upgrade their linens, bedding and pillows. Because people may be spending extra time at home—and in their beds—shoppers are looking for affordable upgrades to their sleep setups.

While qualities like comfort, softness and ease-of-care top the list of shopper preferences, consumers are also increasingly mindful of their carbon footprint, choosing to shop for low-carbon everyday items as long as the sustainability of the product does not sacrifice quality or experience. With plastics, consumers don’t have to trade sustainability for a good night’s sleep.  

Plastics are transforming the bedding economy with sustainable innovation

Sustainability has been top-of-mind for consumers worldwide, driving many companies to explore new ways to lower their carbon output, while also satisfying customer preferences. These choices have extended to bedding and linens in the hospitality and travel industries. Delta recently announced a sustainable overhaul to inflight amenities that replaces their Westin branded bedding with duvets and pillows made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Early reviewers found the new bedding to be just as comfortable as the product it replaced.  

On the other end of this shift are the plastics producers that are helping brands unlock the full value of plastics in the textile industry. In fact, to measure consumer attitudes and purchase behavior on home textiles and bedding, Eastman invested in a global consumer research study of 3,000 U.S., European and Chinese consumers to explore opportunities for sustainable material and bed textile solutions. Eastman discovered that consumers are making practical and rational decisions when buying for the home, but there is still a long way to go on sustainability. Enter Eastman’s answer to the textile industry’s quandary of sustainability vs. comfort: Naia™ Renew. Naia™ Renew cellulosic fibers are made with renewable wood pulp and recycled plastic, which creates value from hard to recycle materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. And bedding made with Naia™ Renew delivers on the promise of sustainability without sacrificing comfort and lasting quality. 

Plastics elevate sleep while keeping luxury affordable

From fluffy synthetic comforters to weighted blankets and personalized sleep accessories, plastics also ensure luxury and affordability can coexist in the home.  Alternative duvets made from synthetic bedding like polyester typically have a lower price point than traditional down duvets made from goose or duck feathers, which are usually difficult to obtain. Synthetic fillings are just as warm, malleable and plush as natural down, and can be beneficially impactful to the environment. For example, the Fine Bedding Company’s Eco Duvet is actually recycled plastic material; each duvet is made from nearly 120 plastic bottles that are recycled and spun into soft micro-fibers, making the duvet a highly sustainable option.

Thanks to plastics, products like memory foam, position-specific pillows and luxury staples have grown in popularity and elevated the “sleeping game.” Memory foam, a type of polyurethane foam commonly used for mattresses, pillows and cooling sleep products, has risen in popularity because of its wide range in pricing. Position-specific pillows use memory foam stuffing to ensure the perfect amount of lift, curvature and comfort. Similarly, cooling sleep products use memory foam technology, designed to be moisture-wicking and breathable to keep heat away from a specific area, like a person’s head on a pillow, so sleepers stay cool and comfortable throughout the night. 

Weighted blankets are also on the rise, as consumers look for the perfect layer that can keep them warm while relieving anxiety and alleviating sleep issues. These blankets, often weighing between 7-12% of a person’s body weight, are made with glass beads and plastic pellets. The weight and design are intended to have a calming effect on the nervous system the same way a hug would.

At home, plastics are a family-friendly choice

While the ability of synthetic fibers to provide top-rate luxury at an affordable price is extremely beneficial, perhaps the material’s greatest advantage lies with how hygienic and durable it is. As consumers spend more of their time at home, the rate of wear and tear on linens and furniture has increased. Items like mattress covers and pads have become important parts of keeping a home comfortable and functional. Purple’s Mattress Protector, made with polyester and spandex, uses 100 percent TPU polyurethane for its water-resistant coating properties, ensuring liquids, like spilled red wine, do not reach and potentially ruin a mattress. The mattress protector is also machine washable, providing the ease-of-care a busy home requires.   

Duvets, sheets and bedding made from alternative materials like polyester are breathable and comfortable with hypoallergenic properties that make them ideal for allergy sufferers and children with asthma and eczema. Synthetic duvets can be easily washed and dried without worry of leftover moisture leading to bacterial growth, as is a common concern with natural down feathers. Even memory foam pillows can be put through the washing machine and retain their shape with a simple fluff and pillow chop.

Plastics ensure that textile products not only deliver on comfort and luxury but are also easily cared for and afforded. New innovations like Naia™ Renew, allow consumers to be eco-conscious at home without sacrificing the practical qualities that matter most. As consumers explore their renewed love and appreciation for rest and wellness, plastics are the key to making homes hygienic, luxurious and sustainable—even when on a budget.  

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