When it comes to creating your perfect healthy home, there are certain places you can definitely skimp—and others you want to splurge a bit to guarantee efficacy, beauty, and comfort. Here's where you should save your bucks, and where to go for the highest quality.
This doesn't even need to be that big of a splurge; there are great non-toxic mattresses available at a number of prices (see recommended brands, below). That said, you really want to minimize off-gassing from petroleum-based chemicals when it comes to your mattress, since you spend a good eight hours of your night with your face pressed up against it. If your couch off-gasses, it's not great, but you're not directly breathing in that air inches from your face for hours either. Look for a mattress with an organic cotton cover—one that doesn't waft any sort of scent into your room.
Brand we love: Spindle makes great beds for around $1000.
Again, this is about the quantity of time spent in a place. If you do nothing for your house but make your bed a non-toxic, super comfortable haven that ensures high-quality sleep, you've spent your time and energy well. If you go organic for your sheets, you're spending a third of your day with non-toxic fabrics pressed against your body—not bad. Choose a brand that breathes as well, so you can stay cool (which is a doctor-recommended tip for a great night's rest).
Brand we love: Parachute linen sheets breathe easily and linen is a super-durable fabric that, if cared for properly, will last a lifetime. (No, really). Queen sets start at $169.
While there are lots of attractive water filters on the market these days, if you dive deep into what they're actually filtering, it's usually just "chlorine odor or flavor"—meaning they're not even purporting to remove all of the chlorine itself, and they're certainly not purporting to remove anything beyond what you can smell or taste. You (hopefully) drink half of your body weight in ounces a day, which means you want that water to be as clean and good for you as possible. (Are you seeing a theme with quantity of exposure and splurge-worthy items yet?). It's worth splashing out for a multi-stage filter that gets rid of lead, chlorine, hormones, and pesticides.
Brand we love: If you're looking for a pitcher-type system, Aquasana makes one of the first that removes heavy metals, organic chemicals, and more, for $130.
While you should ideally get a shower filter (the softness of your skin and hair will make you an instant believer, even if you're not worried about the health benefits), there are tons of great ones at a super low price point. You can either get a carbon filter, which will remove all impurities including lead, or a Vitamin C filter, which neutralizes the chlorine in the water. Chlorine is the main culprit here—when you're showering, it's not only pouring over your entire body, but you're breathing in the water vapor from the steamy room.
Brand we love: This Culligan shower filter removes 99 percent of chlorine, only needs to be changed once a year, and costs $30.
Here's the thing: You don't really need to buy a pantry full of cleaning products. Simply using vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and essential oils is an effective way to DIY your own cleaning routine. You can take it a step further than that and use microfiber towels. The towels are woven so finely that they pick up all bacteria and trap them within, removing visible dirt and 99 percent of bacteria with just water. You can buy a few, toss 'em in the laundry when they're dirty, and you'll never again have to decipher whether a spray-on cleaning product's ingredients are safe.
Brand we love: e-cloth is the OG of the microfiber-towel scene, offering mops, towels for each part of your house and more. Start off with the general purpose 2-pack, for just $15.
While air purifiers are great if you have allergies or a mold problem, the juice simply isn't worth the squeeze unless you suffer from a specific issue—and studies show that you really need to buy a pricey HEPA filter and sit very close to it for it to have an effect at all (if you do have sensitive airways, you may want to consider splurging on a Dyson). Most people would do better to simply open their windows as often as possible (even in the winter). The air outside is much cleaner than the air inside, especially at night, when much of construction is finished and fewer cars are on the road. So crack a window and breathe in the sweet scent of money you didn't need to spend!
Brand we love: No brand—the beautiful air we breathe is totally free.