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Wool is a naturally safe, hypoallergenic choice which offers an array of benefits. Wool is a natural flame retardant, is able to absorb much more moisture than cotton, regulates temperature efficiently and is still one of the best pressure relieving materials, even when compared to specialty pressure relieving foams.
Wool is a fibre derived from various animals. The two varieties we primarily deal with are sheep's wool and Alpaca. Wool is a naturally hypoallergenic product, and it is resistant to dust mites, mould and mildew.
Alpaca fibre is lighter and warmer than sheep's wool. This means the equivalent insulating duvet filled with Alpaca is simply thinner and lighter than a traditional sheep's wool duvet. Alpaca fleece is one of nature's most efficient insulators, second only to high quality goose or eiderdown. It is even lighter than silk! In fact, only high quality goose and eiderdown duvets are lighter than Alpaca. However, as Alpaca is a very efficient insulator we still do recommend silk for those seeking a cooler sleep.
Alpaca is a safe choice for those with allergy concerns as it does not contain lanolin alcohol. The lanolin in sheep's wool is thought to be the main source of any potential allergy concerns. Instead, Alpaca fleece contains a different substance called suint, which has many similar benefits to lanolin, without the potential allergy issues.
Crescent Moon is our exclusive Alpaca supplier. Crescent Moon sources all of their raw Alpaca fleece from BC and Alberta, supporting sustainable local ranches. The raising of Alpaca's is very eco-friendly. They produce a large amount of fleece for a relatively small amount of feed. Their preference for soft feed coupled with their effective digestive system means their waste does not need to be composted before being used as fertilizer.
While sleeping, the average person can lose up to one pint (approximately 500 mL) of moisture. This moisture ends up being trapped around the body, creating a damp, uncomfortable sleeping environment. This can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as disturbed sleep.
The unique physical structure of wool fibres allow for moisture to be absorbed and stored as needed. When using a wool mattress cover, along with wool pillows and a wool duvet, you’re being surrounded by your own personal climate control system. This will prevent tossing and turning, as well as the “one leg out of the covers” that many people put up with every night.
Wool is able to absorb approximately 35% of it's weight in water and still feel dry to the touch. On the other hand, cotton absorbs only 8%. Performance polyesters absorb only 2~4% before feeling damp to the touch.
Lanolin (found in sheep's wool but not Alpaca fleece), has long had the reputation of causing allergic reactions. Although sheep's wool allergies do exist, a legitimate wool allergy is exceedingly rare. The vast majority of people with wool allergy concerns would actually fall under the "wool sensitivity" category. This is due to how most mass produced wool products are treated with harsh chemicals and cleaning agents. Pure, virgin wool is an exceptionally safe choice for almost anyone. Even those who cannot wear wool clothing are almost always entirely fine with high quality wool bedding.
If you are still unsure about the possibilities of allergic reactions to sheep's wool, Alpaca fleece is the perfect alternative.
The Mattress & Sleep Company will also provide samples of raw wool on request to those who wish to test for allergies. In addition, we offer a complete buy-back programme. In the unlikely event that a product you've purchased from us causes an allergic reaction, simply let us know and we will provide all of the details to facilitate a return.
Organic wool is collected from sheep or alpaca which graze on land completely free of herbicides, pesticides, harmful fertilizers, etc. The animals are also organically fed. The wool is collected according to strict guidelines in regards to the length of their hair. In general terms, for every 4 lbs. of organically grown wool, we save one acre of land from harmful substances for a minimum of 4 years.
Mass produced wool typically goes through a process called ‘carbonization’. This is essentially dipping the wool in acid to dissolve residual vegetable matter (straw, grass) that is not removed through the regular carding process. This process lowers the pH value of the wool significantly in addition to removing most of the lanolin. The lowered pH value is what causes many people to believe they are allergic to sheep’s wool when in reality they have a simple skin sensitivity. Because organic wool does not go through this process and is simply washed in vegetable based soaps and hot water a favourable pH level is maintained. Organic wool also contains a much higher concentration of lanolin, which is a very beneficial substance to have in wool. So long as you are not allergic to lanolin itself, it is what provides moisture repellence to the wool fleece as well as rendering it immune to dust mites. Organic wool is simply the more functional and healthier choice.
We consider wool to be an "unsurpassed" material. When you look at how well either sheep's wool or alpaca fibre regulate temperature and humidity, these two materials really stand on their own. The Mattress & Sleep Company has assembled an incredible range of pillows, mattresses, duvets and protectors all featuring pure, natural wool fills free of harsh chemicals and cleaning ingredients.