Healthy space designer and mom Robin Wilson is president of Robin Wilson Home in New York City and one of the pioneers of the eco-friendly movement. As the ambassador to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA.org) and the spokesperson for consumer giant Panasonic’s line of products for the home, she’s got great tips for keeping the places where we spend the most time healthy. We’ve shared her healthy dorm room tips, and recently we spoke with her about essential tips for keeping the bedrooms of our babies, young children, and even us adults in healthy environments.
“The keyword today is wellness,” Wilson says. “People want a hypoallergenic environment for their family because when you look at the statistics, one in six children suffer from asthma or allergies, and one in nine actually suffer from both.” That means your child can be wheezing and sneezing when they lay down in their bed at night or because they’ve been playing on a carpet that hasn’t been cleaned on a regular basis.
“When you’re furnishing rooms in your home, especially the bedroom, you want to be as low-toxin and hypoallergenic as possible so that you’re leading a wellness lifestyle.”
Top recommendations for furnishing your bedroom:
- Buy the most expensive mattress you can afford. The cheaper mattresses actually have things in them like boric acid, also known as roach killer. “They put in it mattresses because they assume that they’re going to be in apartments or spaces that might have infestations,” Wilson shares. “So that means you could be in a situation where your child’s breathing in those chemicals.”
- Invest in a mattress pad. Some people ignore the need for a mattress pad and don’t want to pay an extra $100 for one, but you don’t know what’s in that mattress. “The mattress pad provides an extra barrier of protection between your child, the mattress, and the sheet. So now you’ve got a mattress pad, and some people like to put a mattress cover (especially if you have a young child that may wet the bed), then the fitted sheet, in case you aren’t sure what’s in the mattress,” explains Wilson. That’s really important. In a college dorm situation, you don’t know how many people used that mattress, so you can put plastic over the mattress, then follow with the fabric pad, cover and sheet. Robin Wilson Home products are available at Bed Bath & Beyond. You can get it here, and it features an extra deep 20″ skirt that fits the deepest mattress.
- Clean and replace your pillows. “The average person replaces their pillow every six years,” she reveals. “When you think about it, that’s like six years of dirty pajamas. You drool on your pillow; sometimes it falls on the floor.” Follow the rule of three: there are three layers of protection you should have on a pillow. You have the pillow itself with the cover, then you have a zippered pillow cover (wash every three weeks) that can be removed and washed (every month), and then you have your pillowcase. “Dust mites are a way of life–not bed bugs–they feed on our skin, and then they die,” Wilson says. “So your pillow weighs more today than it did the day you bought it. You can’t get rid of dust mites, but you have to manage them.” She also suggests washing your pillow itself every three months and replace the pillow every three years. Robin Wilson Home pillows come with a zippered pillow cover.
- The paint on your walls is very important as well. Robin suggests a low-to-no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. Benjamin Moore has the Aura line of paints which is low VOC, and Natura, which is a no VOC paint. Natura is great for baby nurseries and Aura for older children. It’s a thicker paint and has a primer built-in, so it requires less layers and less work, and one hour after painting, there’s no paint smell.
- Fact: Clean has no smell. You don’t want to have your home smell like something artificial. “Clean has no smell; clean does not smell like a pink rose perfume or a pine tree,” says Wilson. She recommends Method’s naturally-derived, biodegradable products, available at Target, Amazon.com, Home Depot, and BJs.
For more information about Robin Wilson and Robin Wilson’s home, click here.