Ottawa is home to Sleeptek, one of the first and one of the best manufacturers of environmentally-friendly bedding. Sleeptek manufactures the Obasan line of organic beds, mattresses, futons, pillows, comforters (duvets), mattress pads, and barrier cloths right here in Ottawa.

To quote from their catalogue: “Our first priority at Obasan is to provide chemical-free, handcrafted products that you will enjoy every night for years to come. We combine the finest environmentally-sound materials with pride of craftsmanship.” The Obasan web-site is chronically “under development,” however there is a form on it that you can fill out and they’ll send you a catalogue via snail mail.

Or even better, you could visit their showroom. I’ve been to their showroom and I’ve lain on their natural rubber, wool and organic cotton mattresses and I must confess I was an instant convert. When my current mattress wears out I will return to Sleeptek and buy one of theirs. In the meantime, I did purchase one of their Saguenay 5000 natural rubber pillows. Sleeping with this pillow has noticeably improved my neck comfort and reduced my dust-mite allergies. And best of all, when it’s all worn out (in 2o years or so) I can put my pillow in the composter. A product that is environmentally friendly through its entire life-cycle.

As for organic cotton sheets, pillowcases, towels etc. Arbour Environmental Shoppe in the Glebe carries a good selection made by Coyuchi in India. They also carry Under the Nile organic cotton bedding from Egypt for babies and children. The super-soft organic cotton receiving blanket made by Under the Nile has become our standard babyshower gift and all the parents we’ve given one to give it rave reviews.

Finally, New Morning Futons on Bank Street in Old Ottawa South sells comforters/duvets, mattress pads, and pillows that are stuffed with wool instead of synthetics. Wool is a renewable resource, it’s compostable when you’ve finished using it and it controls moisture and dust mites.

Sleeptek, 50 Colonnade Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 7J6, 613-727-5337 (1-866-890-2515)

Arbour Environmental Shoppe,800 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON, K1S 3V8, (613)567-3168 (1-800-766-3324)

New Morning Futons, 1162 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON K1S 3X8, (613) 730-0333