The claim is: static electricity builds up during the day and prevents you from sleeping well at night, which can be circumvented by using a specialized mattress/quilt that dissipates the static electricity.


Note: most of the sources I can find is from mattress and quilt manufacturers that conveniently never link to any research. I've found one quilt when looking to replace the one I currently own and it appears next to bamboo filling this is the new best selling point for sleep wares; that's what prompted this question. The only thing I've found is this research but something feels fishy to me about it and I can't quite put my finger on what.

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    you'd need a very peculiar bed to store any static electricity - rubber shoes doe the trick of isolating you from ground, but bedsheets?
    – bukwyrm
    Aug 16, 2019 at 11:04
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    @bukwyrm: I don't understand your comment at all. My bed is held up from wooden floorboards by plastic legs. I would expect it is pretty well insulated.
    – Oddthinking
    Aug 16, 2019 at 16:06
  • Someone has to come and debunk (or less likely, prove) it. A few years ago I was searching for a grounding cable that plugs to an outlet for my ESD-safe electronic workbench, and shocked to see a lot of amazing bullshits/products that claim grounding your bed to the electric outlet has various health benefits. From an EE perspective it's actually totally safe if your building has a legal/reliable grounding system, but the mere existence of this idea is beyond my imagination. Aug 16, 2019 at 16:09
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    The research I linked used (I think) mattresses which were "plugged" to the ground outside + a fuse.
    – Maurycy
    Aug 16, 2019 at 17:32
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    @Oddthinking Wood and Plastic will keep you safe from high currents generated by low voltages, i.e. their resistance is high enough to keep the currents generated from 100-ish Volts below anything noticeable or dangerous, which is why one should do elctrical work with a wooden ladder. The voltages from (noticeable) static electricity are much higher, while at the same time a miniscule current is sufficient to lead all of the charge away. You'd need glass bed-legs and pretty dry air to keep a static charge for any length of time in bed. (Unless there is resupply mechanism, like in water beds)
    – bukwyrm
    Aug 20, 2019 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


Skeptoid episode #611 covers this claim and its foundation, specifically that static electricity builds up throughout the day. This is false. Fortunately, Skeptoid even covers the bedding aspect:

There is a final nail in the coffin of earthing. The entire reason for its practice claimed by its advocates — that your shoes keep you electrically insulated from Mother Earth — is false. This is why people sometimes get electrocuted: there's a conductive path from you to the ground. It's why you have to step up onto an insulated platform to make your hair fly when you touch a Van De Graaff generator in a museum. It's why people who work with high voltage have to buy special non-conductive shoes that have an "EH" rating. It's why lightning sometimes selects an unfortunate person as a conductive pathway to the ground. Normal shoes are only so-so insulators. All day, every day, almost all of us are grounded already.

This is equally true when we're lying in bed. Yes, it's likely that the feet of some beds are perfect electrical insulators, but that would be the rare exception. Bedsheets, mattresses, blankets and bed frames all have some amount of conductivity. Some textiles, in fact, are pretty good conductors — especially those made of natural fibers like cotton, wool, or silk, and even more so when the relative humidity is higher.

If this seems improbable to you — that bedsheets and mattresses and socks and running shoe soles are electrically conductive — compare them to dirt, gravel, or concrete that an earthing enthusiast walks on in his bare feet. That's certainly not highly conductive. But it doesn't have to be; all of these things only have to be conductive enough for you to be grounded. A perfect electrical insulator has infinite resistance; no electrons get through at all. But almost all materials have some conductivity, even if it's very small. Since there is always some connection between your body and the ground all day long — even through layers of fabric and carpet and shoe soles and building materials and what not — no matter how incredibly small that conductivity might be, it's still more than enough to maintain a similar charge between your body and the ground beneath you.

Fortunately, Skeptoid does include research references.

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    Good answer, and thank you very much for quoting the video instead of just posting the link :) some newer contributors tend to just post a link/video answer and it causes issues for posterity.
    – DenisS
    Aug 22, 2019 at 18:35

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