Are Microfiber Sheets Toxic?

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Is Microfiber Toxic? The answer is yes. And, the health dangers of microfiber are more prevalent than you may think. You should be aware that your bedding and clothing can contain microfibers – and this might not always be made clear to you by the manufacturer or retailer.

This article will focus on what microfiber is, where it comes from, why it's toxic, how to identify if your bedding contains it (even if they say it doesn't), and non-toxic bedding alternatives.

What is Microfiber?

Microfiber is a synthetic material made of polyester, nylon or a blend. It can also come from recycled plastic bottles that are ground into tiny pieces then woven together like cotton fabric but much thinner than regular thread.

It is often used in clothing and bedding because it's soft to the touch but durable for frequent washing. People buy microfiber sheets because they are cheaper than cotton sheets and they don't need to be ironed.

Microfiber is also used in upholstery, carpets and furniture because it's easy-to clean with a vacuum cleaner or damp cloth.


How Does Microfiber Compare to Other Types of Bedding Materials?

Microfiber is often marketed as being more comfortable and breathable than other types of bedding materials. It's also hypoallergenic, meaning it doesn't contain allergens that can trigger reactions in people with allergies or asthma

It has a similar feel to cotton but without the same level of moisture absorption which means you'll need to change your sheets more often.

Microfiber is also less expensive than other types of bedding materials, which can be a plus for some people and it's durable so you'll need to replace them far fewer times over the course of their lifetime compared with cotton and wool products that are prone to wear out quickly when washed frequently.

is microfiber toxic

Is Microfiber Toxic?

Microfiber can be toxic. It's made from polyester and other synthetic materials that can release chemicals, such as phthalates and formaldehyde, into the air.

The chemicals can cause allergic reactions and other health problems in people with asthma or allergies as well as those who are sensitive to chemical exposure, such as pregnant women .

The main concern is the potential for microfiber to cause harm when it's in contact with skin or inhaled.

Read More: Microfiber vs Cotton Sheets

A study by the University of California, Berkeley found that people who slept on microfiber sheets had a higher level of phthalates in their urine than those sleeping with cotton or woolen bedding (source). Phthalate exposure is linked as being toxic and can lead to serious illnesses such as asthma, allergies and cancer.

According to some experts microfiber releases micro-particles that can be inhaled into your lungs causing serious respiratory issues.

Finally, some studies show how washing synthetic sheets with hot water will increase their toxicity levels. It happens because the synthetic fibers in microfiber sheets are made of plastic and the heat will cause them to release toxic chemicals.

 Read More: Pros and Cons of Microfiber Sheets


Does Microfiber Fabric Emit Harmful Chemicals into The Air When Heated Up in a Dryer?

A study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology found that microfiber fabric emits harmful chemicals when heated up with a dryer.

The study found that microfiber fabric emits harmful chemicals when heated up with a dryer, and the researchers analyzed emissions from seven different types of synthetic materials before discovering high levels in all samples but especially for polyester-cotton blends containing more than 50% cotton content as well as 100%-polyesters (which emit higher VOCs).

is microfiber toxic

Is Microfiber Safe for Kids and Pets?

Microfiber is not a healthy choice for children and pets because it is not safe for them. When children or pets sleep on microfiber sheets, they can inhale the toxic micro-particles released by the fabric, which can cause various health problems and allergic reactions.

Can I Wash my Clothes in a Washing Machine with Microfibers?

Yes, you can wash your clothes in a washing machine with microfibers. However it is not recommended because the fabric will release toxic particles into air and water which are bad for people's health as well animals' habitat or food chain (eutrophication).


How to Clean your Mattress if It´s Stained by the Fibers from the Microfiber Sheets?

To avoid microfiber particles from being released into the air, gently vacuum the mattress that was covered with microfiber sheets in order to remove the fabric fibers. Consider using a mattress pad (preferably made from organic materials such as organic cotton) to protect your mattress from stains and contamination.

Read More: Best Organic Printed Sheets

How Does Microfiber Affect the Environment?

Microfiber is not only toxic to humans and pets, it can also affect the environment in many ways. For example, microfiber can be washed down drains and into water supplies which will then lead to eutrophication of lakes or rivers because it is not biodegradable (it does break up but only after a long time).

Lastly, microfiber can also affect the food chain because it is not biodegradable so when animals eat other dead or living organisms that have consumed this material they will ingest these fibers which could lead to a number of health problems for them and people who consume their meat.

is microfiber toxic

How to Reduce your Exposure to Microfibers?

You can easily replace your microfiber sheets with cotton, wool, bamboo or eucalyptus sheets. These natural fabrics don't contain the harmful chemicals that microfiber does.

You can also replace your duvet cover with a natural fabric such as cotton, wool or silk to avoid the toxic fibers from getting on you while sleeping and then being inhaled through inhalation of dust particles in bedding materials when they are moved around when you sleep. To further free your bed from microfibers, be sure to use an organic mattress protector and a 100% natural mattress with an organic cover.

You can also buy clothes made from natural fabrics such as cotton, wool or hemp and replace your microfiber cleaning cloths with natural cleaning cloths.

You can also replace your microfiber towels with organic cotton towels or bamboo towels to avoid the toxic chemicals from getting on you when drying off and contaminating your the air at your home.

Read More: Cotton Sheets vs Bamboo Sheets

Why Choose Organic Sheets over Microfiber Sheets?

There are many reasons why organic sheets are better than microfiber sheets.

Organic bedding is safe for your health because it does not contain any toxic chemicals that can cause harm to you when sleeping on them. 

Organic fabrics are also more durable than synthetic fabrics because organic fibers have not been chemically treated and they don't break down easily.

Organic bedding is also better for the environment because it does no harm to animals or plants when they get washed in a washing machine and organic sheets are biodegradable and recyclable, which helps reduce waste going into landfills.


If you're wondering if microfiber is toxic, the answer is yes. While buying microfiber bedding may sound like a good idea at first, it is not as safe or environmentally friendly. Organic bedding is better for your health because it won't expose you to any toxic chemicals that can cause harm to you when sleeping on them.

Organic fabrics, such as organic cotton, also last longer than synthetic fabrics and their impact on the environment is minimal. 

About the Author Kamila Flieger

My name is Kamila, and I'm passionate about researching non-toxic, organic products for the home. I believe it's so important to create a safe and healthy environment for our families, and I enjoy helping others do the same.

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