11 Tips for Choosing Bedding When You Have Psoriasis
Casey Nilsson | Dec 13, 2017
We spend about a third of our lives in bed. Unfortunately, psoriasis discomfort can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Some bedding materials can irritate your skin, so click through to learn about the right choices for sheets, pillows, and comforters to make bedtime blissful.
Consider the material
Fabric made from 100 percent natural fibers is always the best choice for psoriasis. It’s more breathable and is less likely to stick to the skin than polyester or synthetic blends.
Know your cottons
There are three major types of cotton: smooth Egyptian; American-grown Pima, which has a nice sheen; and Upland cotton, which is the most affordable option. The first two are long-fibered, therefore less irritating, however all three can be organically grown and are suitable choices for people with psoriasis. They’re breathable, easy to clean and – most important – they aren’t irritating to the skin.
Splurge on silk (if you can)
If you can splurge on silk, go for it. The fabric, made from silkworm fibers, is cool to the touch and won’t chafe. The big caveat: Manufacturers often recommend washing silk sheets by hand.
Be wary of bamboo
Some bamboo bedding manufacturers market their products as the “vegan silk” due to the fabric’s soft-to-the-touch feel. But many bamboo sheet brands blend fibers from bamboo – which is a grass – with wood fibers that could irritate the skin. If you’re choosing bamboo, go with 100 percent.
Say no to flannel
Flannel sheets are often made from a blend of wool, synthetic fiber, and cotton, and the first two materials are psoriasis irritants. Some brands manufacture 100 percent cotton flannel, but the purpose of the fabric – warmth – is also a major nighttime itch factor.
Be picky about polyester
Along with other synthetic fibers, polyester is not a breathable fabric, so it’s best to avoid poly-blended sheets altogether. However, DermaTherapy makes silky, stain-resistant, anti-microbial poly-blend sheets with psoriasis and eczema in mind. In a 2008 study, patients with atopic dermatitis were less itchy at night with DermaTherapy sheets than with cotton sheets. DermaTherapy also offers a money-back guarantee.
Find the right pillows
Take a look at your pillows too. Many are filled with polyester stuffing or feathers. The poly stuffing is not breathable and will retain body heat faster than cotton filler. Feathers can poke sensitive psoriatic skin, which isn’t ideal, either. Go for a natural-fiber filler instead.
Choose a cool duvet
Duvets fall along the same lines as pillows. Avoid polyester blends, as they retain heat, and avoid down if you know a prick in the nighttime will send you into an itching frenzy. Stick with cotton fillers or, better yet, top your bed with a cotton quilt or blanket to keep warm.
Wash your bedding frequently
People with psoriasis should wash bedding every week to keep it clean from salves and medicated ointments. Wash your sheets and blankets with a dye- and fragrance-free detergent, and skip the fabric softener, which can irritate psoriatic skin.
Protect your hands and feet
Wearing clean socks and gloves can help reduce the chance of skin damage from nighttime scratching. If you struggle with morning flakes, keep a handheld vacuum or lint roller by the bedside for easy cleanup.
Head off discomfort when you’re away from home
Wear full-length silky or cotton pajamas and socks to help protect your skin from foreign sheets (and, if you’re a conscientious guest, the sheets from your skin!).