Myths Surrounding Down & Wool
Note- this article was originally published in 2013 and has since been updated to keep the information up-to-date.
When it comes to pillows and bedding products there will always be people who love down and those who prefer wool. A common occurrence unfortunately are the misconceptions that retailers, sales people, and consumers have about each product. The problem mainly lies in the education and training of a product when it is presented the the end purchaser. Those that love wool tend to dislike down and therefore discredit it in a negative light and the same can be said for those that do not promote or feature wool products. This is an overview to clear up the common misconceptions on both wool and down pillows, bedding, and mattress toppers.
- Down is an Allergen and Dust-Mite Haven. This is a very inaccurate statement in fact all of our down products from St Geneve feature a dust-mite proof as well as down-proof outer shell ticking. The natural oils that are found in down actually inhibit the build up of moisture and bacteria. If down is cleaned correctly, such as St Geneve’s Zurguard system, the down retains this essential coating to prevent allergen buildup.
- Wool Is Hypoallergenic and Down Is Not. (We love this one). This is a common statement you will find in most organic mattress stores. All of St Geneve’s down is cleaned to the highest standards by the Zurguard cleaning system guaranteeing the product to be hypoallergenic.
- Down Sleeps Extremely Hot. Actually, quality down offers the widest range in terms of temperature regulation. Like wool there are varying degrees of quality which will of course impact the temperature effectiveness of the down. The more mature the down the greater chance for a broader temperature range. The key is mature down like eiderdown has numerous tiny air pockets which act as a great insulator yet will also allow water vapour to pass through allowing for a cooler sleep environment. This is why quality down is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Wool Has Highly Allergenic Properties. Just like down and the dust-mite theory this one is baseless and often written on blogs or websites by mattress or bedding companies which do not use wool in their products. Wool allergies are in fact often mistaken for wool sensitivity where as actual allergic reactions are so exceedingly rare. There are wool products which are washed with harsh chemicals that may cause a reaction, however our pure virgin and organic wool products are only washed with vegetable based soaps and hot water.
- Wool Sleeps Very Warm. Another common misconception similar to down is that wool products make your very hot. Part of the confusion is people often wear wool socks or sweaters to keep warm during cooler weather. The truth is wool regulates your body temperature by absorbing up to 30% of it’s weight in moisture, keeping your body neither too warm or too cool, just like down.
- Wool Is A Haven For Pests and Bacteria. Wool does not attract pests and is not a haven for bacteria. In fact wool resists dust-mites significantly. Wool naturally creates a cool and dry sleep environment which is one of the criteria for decreasing the likelihood of dust-mites. The second step would be to cover your duvet, pillows, or mattress in a dust-mite proof cover or protector if dust-mites or other known allergens are a health concern for you.
This overview was meant to both demonstrate that both wool and down products demonstrate very similar characteristics that will enhance your sleep environment. How you choose your mattress, duvet, pillows, and bedding products will largely depend on your comfort, needs, and style. When purchasing any products crafted from natural or organic materials it is very important to know all the facts. Only by being transparent and informative can consumers truly make a confident and informed decision based on the facts. At The Mattress & Sleep Company our mission is to create the most friendly and transparent environment to ensure that our customers feel this way each and every-time they walk through our doors. Whether they purchase from or not our goal has always been to educate people on the health benefits of mattresses and sleep products that are best suited for them individually.
Ready to get started? Here are our best-selling down duvets & pillows
Our best-selling St Geneve duvets (by quantity sold):
- St Geneve Maple Creek - The best farm-raised down in Canada. This model features a German ELS cotton shell and is exclusive to TMASC.
- St Geneve Estate - A fantastic Polish down duvet offered at a very attractive price.
- St Geneve Laroche - Canadian farm-raised duck down at an amazing price point.
Our best-selling St Geneve down pillows (by quantity sold):