This fall, college students can avoid doing laundry without making a trip home.
Boston-based startup Beantown Bedding is offering a line of “laundry-free linens” that are meant to be thrown away after just a few weeks. The sheets, available in twin extra-long size for those oddly shaped dorm room beds, are biodegradable and compostable.
Cofounders Kirsten Lambert and Joan Ripple got the idea for throw-away bedding when they sent their children off to college and learned they rarely took the time to wash their sheets.
Beds are like super-sized petri dishes for fungi, bacteria, pollen, soil, dust, and all sorts of detritus from the human body, according to Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and pathologist at the New York University School of Medicine, who spoke to Tech Insider earlier this year.
The average person spends about a third of their life in bed, so these filth-incubators can be responsible for exacerbating allergies and asthma.
While Tierno recommends washing your sheets about once a week, just throwing them out is another option. Beantown Bedding’s linens are made out of Tencel, a fibre made from organic compounds found in eucalyptus. It’s soft, breathable, and less prone to wrinkles than cotton, according to online reviews and a retail consultant who spoke to Business Insider in 2015.
Disposable sheets aren’t the most economical choice. A twin-XL set costs $19.99, and a monthly subscription service for new bedding runs $14.99. A typical college semester lasts about three months, so students could be dropping $89 annually if they subscribe.
The sheets allegedly decompose in as little as two weeks, but not all college students have easy access to compost bins. Needless to say, constantly throwing away bed sheets isn’t the most environmentally-friendly option.
This week, Target will begin carrying Beantown Bedding in five Greater Boston locations.