Ethical Bedding - Panda Life The Cloud Duvet Review

What is black and white, super soft, and cozy?  Panda Life's eco friendly duvet of course!

When it comes to shopping sustainably, big home purchases can prove tough to find, but luckily there are ethical options out there that can tick all the boxes.  So for anyone searching for bedding that cuts down on plastic fibers, unnecessary packaging, and the use of non-renewable resources, you're in luck!




The Brand:

This London based company came together in 2015 to provide a solution for those seeking out solutions to unsustainable bedding.  Panda Life creates eco friendly home goods from organic and ethically sourced bamboo, and each of their products is in accordance with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 meaning they are free from potentially toxic chemicals.  They provide style that is long lasting, better for the planet, and ultra comfortable!

"In 2015, we decided to redefine what it means to feel at home. // To create products that are premium quality, kind to the skin and thoughtfully green. To do that, we set out on a journey to find the right material. // By using the latest technology, innovation, and timeless design, we are redefining home essentials. // Creating products that transform somewhere to live, into somewhere to belong. Panda. // Feel at home."

Panda Life has a wide selection to choose from, including pillows, duvets, mattress toppers, sheets, towels, and more.  All of the range utilizes the unique properties of bamboo, but why is that?


The Bamboo:

Did you know that most home fabrics (especially duvets!) contain synthetics that shed in the washing machine and contribute to plastic pollution?  And that's not even considering all the excess plastic that is involved in transport and packaging, or the issues surrounding production of materials.  Globally, over 342 million barrels of oil are used to make polyester each year, and the continued use of this non-renewable resource is just not doing the planet any good.  By switching over to natural materials, particularly plant based ones, you are reducing the demand for synthetic bedding and taking a small stand against the drive for fossil fuels in the textile industry as well as cruelty towards animals.

But what are the options outside of feathers, plastic batting, and wool??

Well, one alternative is bamboo!  This natural resource is hypoallergenic, uninhabitable for dust mites and fungi, and is antibacterial (meaning your linens stay smelling fresh for longer!), making this the perfect choice for those seeking a greener lifestyle as well as those who suffer from allergies and skin conditions.  

Panda Life says "we discovered the bamboo viscose fabric in the backwoods of Southeast Asia made from 100% bamboo fibre and immediately fell in love with the luxurious softness and silkiness of the fabric as well as its sustainability and environmental benefits."


Photo by Kimberly Reinhart

Bamboo is an eco-crop that is known for its fast growth cycle, lightweight qualities, and strength, and it has quickly become a staple material for ethical products due to its ability to self regenerate.  While there are concerns surrounding where bamboo is sourced due to the plant being 99% of panda's diet, as long as the bamboo being harvested is done so sustainably it has no negative impact on wildlife.

Panda assures their customers that all the bamboo they use is organic and ethically sourced  so no pandas are harmed or left hungry:

"The Bamboo textiles are made using Moso, Dragon and Ci Bamboo – which is not the type of Bamboo that Pandas eat. // The Moso, Dragon and Ci Bamboo kinds are grown organically without using any pesticides or fertilizers, as the plants’ natural antifungal, antibacterial agent Bamboo Kin means they are not attacked by pests or pathogens."

And all of this is inspected by third party sources to guarantee their guarantee!  Plus, I really appreciate how transparent they are about how they actually turn the raw material into the super soft fabric for the finished product.  They use a chemical process (the most common way of turning bamboo into fibers) that soaks the cut up pieces of plant until they turn into pulp, then dry, flatten, and grind - the result can then be transformed into plant based viscose and spun into fabrics.

This process does pose its own difficulties in terms of how to dispose of the waste generated by the chemical process.  I asked Panda Life how they dispose of this waste, and I am waiting for a response.

All in all, bamboo offers a quickly regenerating alternative to other highly farmed crops and offers a more planet friendly way forward than synthetics in many ways.  It's super versatile, is easily washable, and as you'll find in a moment, it's also dreamily soft!




The Cloud Duvet:

Okay, so bamboo can be pretty great and provides an alternative to fully synthetic duvets that are so widespread in the bedding market.  But what does The Cloud Duvet itself offer??

The Cloud Duvet is part of Panda Life's core range, with 10.5 tog making it perfect as an all-year fixture for your bedroom.  And the combination of soft bamboo fabric with a 300 threadcount and 500 GSM means this is a cozy and comforting piece that is sure to have you sleeping soundly.

Panda Life decided to go for sewn through (Bavarian) pocket construction which increases the user experience since it leads to even distribution of fill to prevent cold spots, meaning there is no "bad" side of the duvet.  It's all good!


In terms of materials, The Cloud Duvet uses 100% bamboo rayon for the outer cover and a 50/50 mix of bamboo and nano microfibers for the filling.  While I personally would prefer a fully natural inner batting, Panda explains this choice by saying it "makes the duvet lighter, fluffier and even more breathable. The synergy between both the Bamboo and Nano Microfibre gives a feeling that cannot be named anything other than The Cloud."  After reaching out, they further clarified saying that this active decision was made as the blend extends the life of the duvet by more than five times.  The microfibres are "sourced from a company that is dedicated to collecting, cleaning, and recycling plastics found at sea," and official certification is awaited.  This answer cleared a lot up for me, and while I still wish it was totally bamboo, I can't deny it is incredibly comfortable and unlike any duvet I have tried before.

The machine (and hand) washable bedding comes with a five year guarantee, so you can rest assured that your investment is one that will last, and not only that, but it is one that gives back.  A portion of all proceeds goes to WWF each year, plus Panda Life contributes to Single Homeless Project and JOY Charity!  Plus, when you are finished with your product the brand offers a 'recycle' service that gives things like pillows a second life for those in need.  What's not to love??

And I have been lucky enough to have one of these vegan friendly luxurious duvets sent my way to test out thanks to Panda Life...




The Experience:

Panda Life kicked it off with a bang, as my package arrived without any excess plastic packaging.  The Cloud Duvet comes inside of a cardboard box and rather than tons of disposable wrapping the product itself was housed inside a lovely bamboo fabric pouch.  This was a lovely touch, and I really appreciated the effort to avoid single use plastics.

When I got the duvet out of the little case and unrolled it, I was immediately impressed by how cute it actually is.  The design is so simple but incredibly sweet thanks to the outer corner having a panda image - how adorable is that??  The black against the white is so striking and makes the duvet look all the more crisp and chic, and it somehow has a super modern feel without being in your face.

The fabric itself is super soft, comforting and so dreamy, and I find the duvet offers a weighty feel that helps calm your body and mind and works to ease you into a restful night's sleep.  It's what I imagine a weighted blanket feels like but without the crazy costs involved.  Yet, despite the heft it is breathable, airy, and offers a in-built temperature control so you are not left feeling too hot or too cold!


I have also noticed that my allergies have not been so bad since swapping over to The Cloud Duvet.  I have 'sneeze attacks' as Tim calls them, as I have a severe reactions to dust mites, smoke, and other simple things like that.  We keep our house super clean, but even that isn't enough always.  It's not uncommon for me to have to take a high grade tablet to keep me from getting hives and to keep me from wheezing, especially come wintertime when the heating is on and stirring stuff up.  However, the bamboo bedding does seem to be making a difference with my allergies in the bedroom.  We have had bamboo sheets and pillowcases for years now, and I am so glad that our whole set is now hypoallergenic as it makes my life much easier.

As for Tim, he says "it's heavy without being oppressive, comforting, soft, and not too warm or cold."  He had the same duvet for far too long, and I can tell he is really enjoying the switch.  It's the perfect size so we don't end up fighting over the blankets so much anymore (i.e. me waking up freezing in the middle of the night!), and we enjoy just cozying up a little earlier since it is so relaxing.

Overall, we are both loving Panda Life's The Cloud Duvet, and are definitely tempted to pick up more from the brand in future.  I like that they are transparent about the manufacturing process and that they give back to charitable causes, and the fabric is most definitely a luxurious sensation to experience!




Panda Life has certainly delivered a comfortable duvet that is unlike any other I have tried in the past.  It's got a brilliant weight to it without feeling overbearing or confining, it keeps me warm all through the night, and is fashionable enough to use without a cover if you are not looking to buy any extras.  I actually felt sad putting a duvet case over the top of this as it is just so cute, but I do want to ensure it lasts and lasts since it is so calming and helps me get a restful sleep - for this reason I am taking extra special care to keep it in tip top shape and have picked up an organic cover for it.


Overall, I've been impressed by The Cloud Duvet and while I wish it was 100% natural I can't fault the actual design, aesthetic, or experience at all - it's incredibly soft and plush, and it genuinely makes a difference in how I sleep.  I find myself wanting to stay wrapped up in the duvet just that little bit longer, and when winter hits I know I will be thankful to have such well made bedding.  Panda Life is helping my allergies and my love of bedtime, and for that I say thank you!




3 comments

  1. Wow - great post! I haven't heard of this brand before but I am definitely going to check it out! My boyfriend and I are currently on the hunt for an eco-friendly mattress topper, and it can be hard to find a good, sustainable bed company!
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting, I hadn't really thought about synthetics in our bedding before. Definitely something to be aware of when it's time to change them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have actually heard great things about this brand for its toilet paper (seriously) so I'm not surprised you loved the duvet. Bamboo is also a recommended material for 'ladies of a certain age' prone to flushing at night. I'd be interested to try one of these myself.

    ReplyDelete

Share your thoughts!