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Dream Rooms: From Bathroom to Eco Spa

Body+Soul, April/May 2005

If the bedroom is a sacred space in which to retreat and renew, the bathroom is its inner sanctum. And although getting clean may sound about as utilitarian as you can get, bathing also happens to be one of the best (and easiest) things you can do for your psyche -- especially given beautiful, natural surroundings. Here's a list of our favorite bathroom fabrics:

Organic Cotton
Towels are synonymous with cotton, but conventionally grown cotton uses more pesticides than any other crop. Enter organic cotton, grown without synthetic chemicals. There are, however, currently no federal standards for the processing of organic fiber, so look for towels and other products touting "low-impact finishing agents" and/or "low-impact dyes."

Linen
Linen is prized for its beauty and "hand," or feel -- lustrously smooth, soft, and sensual. That's because of the long, wide flax fibers from which it is woven. And hardy flax requires fewer pesticides and fertilizers than many other crops. Linen is a natural towel fabric -- extremely durable yet luxuriant and soft on the skin, it's also ultra-absorbent and quick drying.

Hemp
There's no stronger plant fiber than hemp, and it may be the greenest -- fast-growing and extremely resistant to pests and disease. Its thick, absorbent fibers dry quickly and are naturally mildew resistant, making it a natural choice for the bathroom. Hemp has an invigorating, even exfoliating, texture that many people enjoy -- both relaxing and rejuvenating.

Bamboo Fiber
Bamboo flooring and furniture get high eco-marks because bamboo is a sustainability star -- it's the fastest-growing woody plant on earth. But bamboo fabric? Sounds scratchy. This relative newcomer to the fiber scene, though, is actually silky-soft. It's also highly absorbent, quick to dry, and has natural antibacterial qualities.

Why It's Time for a Dream Makeover
Dream Bedroom
Bedding Basics
Snuggly Sheets
Dream Bathroom
Furniture and Lighting