According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every three adults do not get enough sleep at night, thus leading to a number of potentially serious health issues. Finding the best mattress for your bedroom is certainly an important element for getting a good night of sleep and staying healthy and rested. What many people don’t understand, however, is that the bedding accessories you choose can also affect either positively or negatively your overall health and quality of sleep. Wool mattress toppers are relatively inexpensive accessories that can improve your sleep experience no matter what type of mattress you have.
While some households might find it difficult to invest upwards of $1,000 in a new mattress, investing in a wool mattress topper is a quick and efficient way to significantly improve your quality of sleep while not breaking the bank. As we will show below, a wool mattress topper offers a number of natural health benefits to give you a healthier (and safer) night of sleep. To maximize these benefits, you can read Natural Cave´s recent post about organic cotton sheets and organic cotton blankets.
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What Are The Pros Of Having a Wool Mattress Topper?
There are several benefits that come with investing in a high quality wool mattress topper, which we will detail below.
Who doesn’t enjoy sleeping on a soft surface that will make you feel like you´re being cushioned by the clouds? Wool mattress toppers are widely considered to be softer than traditional cotton, especially when naturally processed. While wool is often given the bad reputation of being rough and scratchy, the best quality wool from Merino sheep is extremely soft and through a natural combing process, the gentleness of the fibers is maximized.
Pain Relief Benefits
The extra softness offered by a wool mattress topper is complemented by a therapeutic cushioning that can help relieve chronic pain that is associated with excess burden on sensitive pressure points while you sleep. According to one study, eight out of every ten adults will experience low back pain at some point in their lives, and a wool mattress topper can add extra lumbar support to alleviate that pain.
Wool mattress toppers also offer a number of beneficial, hypoallergenic properties. Studies have shown that almost 55 percent of people in the United States have reported suffering from positive reactions to one or more allergens. The most common allergens include allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) which affects between 10 and 30 percent of all adults and up to 40 percent of children. The naturally occurring lanolin found in sheep wool is mildew, mold, and bug resistant which will allow your mattress to naturally repel allergens which can negatively affect your sleep experience. Furthermore, wool is also naturally fire resistant, which means that your mattress will not have to depend on chemical fire retardants such as PBDEs, which have been shown to lead to a series of adverse health effects including thyroid hormone disruption, permanent learning and memory impairment, behavioral changes, hearing deficits, delayed puberty onset, decreased sperm count, fetal malformations and, possibly cancer.
Controls your Body Temperature
Wool mattress toppers also can help to control body temperatures. While wool clothing and blankets are obviously associated with keeping you warm during the winter, they also play an important part in helping to keep you cool during those hot summer months.
Easy to Clean
Wool mattress toppers will protect and prolong the life of your mattress, and are also easy to clean if a spill or accident does happen. Wool has the ability to “wick away” moisture which means that even if you spill your coffee while in bed, the wool mattress topper will not rapidly absorb the moisture, but will rather allow you to clean it up with a rag.
Incredible Sustainability Advantages
Lastly, wool mattress toppers offer incredible sustainability advantages, especially compared to the synthetic fibers and fabrics that have come to dominate the bedding and mattress industry. Wool mattress toppers are completely natural, biodegradable, and include no damaging chemicals which can affect your health or the wellbeing of the natural world.
What Are The Cons Of Having a Wool Mattress Topper?
A very small percentage of people (less than 2 percent of allergy sufferers, according to one recent estimate) might suffer from mild allergic reactions to lanolin, a natural occurring oil found in sheep wool. Obviously, if you suffer from this type of allergy, it would be better to invest in a 100 percent organic cotton mattress or mattress topper. We here at Natural Cave have written extensively about the best organic cotton blankets on the market here. We also have suggested the best organic cotton sheets in this article.
Another potential difficulty or problem with wool mattress toppers can occur if you purchase unrefined products. Not all sheep´s wool is made alike, and some wool can be scratchy or itchy if not processed correctly. Furthermore, some types of sheep wool require processing through being immersed acidic baths to relax the individual wool fibers. This type of processing is less sustainable and can harm the natural environment. Consumers interested in the best wool mattress toppers that don’t require this type of chemical processing can search for 100 percent naturally processed wool mattress toppers, preferably sourced from Merino sheep.
What to Take Into Consideration before Buying a Wool Mattress Topper?
When searching for the best wool mattress toppers, there are several things that should be taken into consideration. Firstly, it is best to look for a wool mattress topper that is sourced from 100 percent Merino sheep wool. Merino sheep are a breed that are renowned for their high quality wool which is naturally soft and usually requires no intensive processing.
Secondly, many leading wool mattress toppers on the market today will encase the wool within a cotton encasement. If your wool mattress topper does include an encasement, it is important to verify that it is made from 100 percent organic cotton. The cotton industry routinely sources their raw material from plantations that rely heavily on chemical pesticides that can leave harmful residues. Also, the best quality organic cotton encasements should have a thread count of at least 300.
Because wool is naturally fire resistant, you should also prioritize options on the market that are free of PBDEs and other harmful chemical retardants that can lead to long-term health problems. Lastly, you will want to check the washing instructions associated with your wool mattress topper to make sure that it can be machine washed. This will save you time and allow you to keep your mattress topper protected.
Eco Wool vs. Certified Organic Wool: What’s the difference?
Today, health-wise and eco-conscious consumers are demanding products that are organic and eco-friendly. The result has been an explosion of certification agencies for products across all industries. In the specific case of wool textile and fabrics, there are two main certifications that a product or manufacturer can apply for: Eco Wool and Certified Organic Wool.
Eco Wool certification is not necessarily certified as 100 percent organic. Rather, the farmers and ranchers who raise the sheep are restricted by the certification process from using certain types of agro-chemical pesticides, herbicides. They also cannot use antibiotics or growth hormones with their flocks. Lastly, the farmers also must incorporate cruelty-free practices and sustainability measures on their farms. As an added benefit, Eco Wool certified products are also organically processed.
Certified organic wool, on the other hand, means that the wool is sourced from a farm or ranch where absolutely no agro-chemical pesticides have been used on the pastures. Furthermore, the farmers are prohibited from using antibiotics and growth hormones as well. In many cases, Eco Wool certified wool products might be 100 percent organic, especially if they also contain the Oeko-Tex certification. Both Eco Wool and Certified Organic Wool are high quality options, but for consumers who want to ensure the most healthy and environmentally friendly product, certified organic wool that has also received the Oeko-Tex certification is the best option.
Cleaning and Maintaining a Wool Mattress Topper
Fortunately, almost all wool mattress toppers are easy to clean and maintain. In the case of minor spills, wool mattress toppers can be cleaned by hand and with the help of a mild detergent spray. When it is time for a more thorough washing, wool mattress toppers can be machine washed. Make sure to use the “delicate” or “wool” setting on your washer, and mild, biodegradable detergents are the best. In fact, there are certain detergents designed specifically for wool fabrics, including Kookaburra or Woolite. With the right amount of care, your wool mattress topper can easily last for decades.
Top 7 Best Wool Mattress Toppers in 2019
Wool mattress toppers are also great options for people who opted to enjoy the benefits of sleeping directly on the floor. Here at Natural Cave, we´ve written up a complete guide to help you determine if this sleep alternative is right for you. Whether you sleep on the floor, on a bed, or on a Japanese Futon, here are the top 7 best wool mattress toppers currently on the market.
1. BioSleep Concept Wool Mattress Topper
This full size wool mattress topper is 80 x 39 x 3, offering decent thickness for added comfort and cushioning. It also comes Queen, King, and California King Sizes. The organic wool interior is Green Guard Certified, as is the 100 percent cotton encasement. The hypoallergenic properties of the wool interior is a great option for people who suffer from allergies to dust mites and mildew. Available in more sizes.
2. Sleep and Beyond Wool Mattress Topper
This 60 x 80 inch wool mattress topper is sourced from 100 percent Merino wool, which is the softest type of wool on the market. The wool is enclosed within a certified organic cotton sateen fabric which has an impressive 300 thread count. Not only will this wool mattress topper keep your warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but it will also prolong the life span of your mattress. Available in more sizes.
3. Snug Fleece Elite Wool Mattress Topper
This top quality wool mattress cover provided by the company Snug Fleece is a great option for adding extra cushioning to a firm mattress while not adding so much heat that it will make it uncomfortable for sleeping. This mattress topper is also available in seven different sizes so that you can be sure it will offer a snug fit for any mattress in your home.
4. Organic Comfort Market Wool Mattress Topper
Organic Comfort brings to the market one of the most widely acclaimed and certified organic wool mattress toppers on the market. The cotton covering has a 350 thread count and absolutely no synthetic content can be found in the product. This topper is both breathable and can wick away sweat. Furthermore, it has also received OEKO TEX and WOOLMARK certifications to prove that no harsh chemicals were used throughout the process of making and manufacturing the topper.
5. Holy Lamb Organics Wool Mattress Topper
Holy Lamb Organics manufacturers all of their products in the United States and this high quality wool mattress topper offers the best quality. This product includes certified Eco Wool filling alongside a certified organic sateen cotton fabric cover. The soft and supportive topper will also never harbor dust mites and the two inch loft adds incredible comfort.
6. Century Home Wool Mattress Topper
This wool mattress topper is sourced from Australian raised sheep and promises to act as a natural thermostat to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is made from 100 percent imported wool and is designed to allow for easy care machine washing and drying.
7. Organic Textiles Wool Mattress Pad
Lastly, this company also offers a luxurious wool filled mattress pad that is encased in 100 percent organic cotton. Organic Textiles promises not to use harmful chemicals and pesticides in order to provide the healthiest sleeping environment possible. The wool mattress topper is designed to wick away moisture and help you keep cool throughout the night while also being naturally resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew.
While a wool mattress topper is certainly a great way to improve the quality and performance of any bed or mattress, we here at Natural Cave have also written several in depth articles related to how to improve your sleeping habits and create a healthy, natural bedroom.