If you are like me, you sleep under a synthetic comforter or duvet. I never gave the choice of my bedding much thought, until I did some research on the benefits of wool. My conclusion: ditch all the synthetic and down comforters and get a wool comforter! I’ll tell you why.
We might not realize it, but our selection of bedding has a significant impact on our health, our sleep quality, the environment and animal well-being. Considering all these effects, I can give you a gazillion reasons why you should buy a wool comforter. I suspect you have better things to do than reading them all, so I picked the best reasons to get yourself a wool comforter. If you are thinking of buying wool bedding, you’ll find this article useful.
Okay, tell me why I should buy a wool comforter
Are you someone who values their health and safety? Do you care about animals and the environment? Is sleeping one of your favorite hobbies? Then you’ll love what I am about to tell you.
Wool has some fantastic qualities!
1. Wool keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer
Wool offers superior insulation. It has a natural structure that creates millions of air pockets to preserve warmth. Because of these pockets, the batting structure of wool contains a lot of air, and that is what makes wool filled comforters feel so soft and fluffy.
If you think you’ll only benefit from a wool comforter if you live in a cold climate, you’re wrong. Wool regulates heat. It is cool in summer and warm in winter. When you are cold, wool traps air in its pockets to keep you warm. When you begin to sweat wool will cool you down by absorbing moisture. Wool absorbs more than ten times as much moisture as synthetic fiber!
You might wonder what happens to all that moisture. When there is no warmth present, your wool comforter releases the moisture into the air. This process is what keeps sheep dry and healthy which brings me to the second advantage of a wool comforter.
2. Wool comforters make your bed a healthier place to sleep
Now you know how wool comforters stay dry; you’ll also understand why it keeps your bed a healthy place.
Because of the dryness of wool, it doesn’t act as a breeding ground for fungus, bacteria, and mold. These unwanted guests don’t like dry places.
There is one other unwanted guest that doesn’t like a dry bed: dust mites. These creatures love warm, humid environments. You can find them in your carpet, cushions, sofas and your bed. Dust mites have a disgusting diet: they live on a fungus created from the flakes of your skin. Feel sick yet? I am just getting started.
Other things you’d rather not know about dust mites
- 10 million dust mites populate an average bed
- Do you use the same pillows for years? A five-year-old pillow can be up to 50% heavier than a new pillow due to the weight of the dead dust mites inside
- It is also rumored that the average mattress doubles in weight every eight years because of a combination of the skin we shed and the mites that feed on it.
- Think you can solve this problem by buying new bedding once in a while? Think again. Dust mites colonize your new bedding in six weeks.
There are natural ways to eliminate dust mites. Mites don’t like extreme heat, and they also die when frozen. A better and easier option is buying wool bedding. By using a wool comforter, they won’t colonize your comforter in the first place.
3. Wool comforters are durable
I hope you recovered from my dust mite horror story. Let’s find out if I can cheer you up with another fantastic advantage of wool bedding.
Wool is a very durable and sturdy fiber. It is around six times stronger than cotton, 11 times stronger than silk and 266 (!) times stronger than rayon (human-made silk). Wool doesn’t lose its shape, and it will not separate in lumps. It keeps its qualities even if it gets wet.
Because of the durability of wool bedding, you can use it for many years without it losing quality. People report on using their wool comforter for 15 to 20 years. That is real value for your money!
4. Wool is ecological and biodegradable
Your savings account isn’t the only one who’ll be happy when you get yourself a wool comforter. Buying a wool comforter is an excellent thing to do if you care about animal well-being and the environment.
Wild sheep shed their winter coat in spring. Domesticated sheep have been bred to be sheared for their wool. Their unnaturally thick coat keeps growing and growing. If you wouldn’t shear these sheep, their coat can get too hot and make it hard to move.
There is some controversy about the process of shearing sheep though. Sheep often resist and need to be restrained. Sometimes shearing can inflict some minor cuts. Older sheep get accustomed to the shearing and don’t resist it.
When you shear a sheep, their coat regrows. This makes wool a renewable fiber. Wool is also a biodegradable fiber: it will naturally decompose.
5. Wool is flame resistant
If you own synthetic bedding, chances are it has been processed with fire retardant chemicals to protect you in case of a fire. Some comforters might contain these chemicals, and some don’t.
Wool is a flame resistant fiber. Under normal circumstances, it will only smoke and fizzle out when in contact with fire. Having wool bedding will make your bed a safer place.
6. Wool bedding improves your sleep
Having good quality sleep is important. If you care about the quality of your sleep, buying a wool filled comforter seems to be a great idea! Research indicates that using wool bedding can improve your REM sleep with 25%.
REM sleep is one of the four stages of sleep. It is important to get enough REM sleep, because this sleep stage is associated with memory and learning new information. You know the feeling of waking up feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep? That is because of REM sleep.
“People who do not get adequate amounts of REM sleep may be at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinsonism, and they are more likely to wake up unrefreshed and experience daytime sleepiness.” – Sleepresolutions.com
The pros and cons of wool comforters
To summarize it for you, I made a list of the advantages of wool. I also like to mention the few drawbacks of wool.
- Offers superior insulation
- Is flame resistant
- Is durable
- Wool is ecological and renewable
- It keeps it shape
- It is great in warm and cold climates; it regulates heat
- Dust mites, fungus, bacteria, and mold don’t like wool
- Wool absorbs ten times more moisture than synthetic fiber
- Sleeping under a wool comforter can increase your REM sleep with 25%
- Wool is naturally hygienic
- Wool comforters are more expensive than synthetic comforters
- If you want to wash your wool comforter, felting can occur
Wool vs. Down
If you own a down comforter, you might consider changing it for a wool comforter. While down comforters have the same luxurious, warm, fluffy feel as the average wool comforter, they have some disadvantages.
Down offers an excellent climate for mold and dust mites. Even getting your down comforter professionally cleaned won’t solve this problem. The older your down comforter gets, the more allergenic it will become. If you are prone to allergies, it is better to choose a wool comforter.
It’s getting hot in here
Unlike wool, down doesn’t regulate temperature. If you are a ‘hot’ sleeper, a down comforter will make you a sweaty sleeper.
While down comforters can be very durable, there is one problem: down clumps and loses its shape quickly. The oil and moisture from our body are its worst enemy.
Sheep’s vs Alpaca wool
I’ve been talking about sheep’s wool a lot! If you start browsing the web for a wool-filled comforter, you’ll also find a different type of wool: wool from the Alpaca. Alpaca’s are not only cute and funny: they deliver very high-quality wool! In South America (where Alpaca’s come from) their wool is known as the ‘Fiber of the Gods’. Alpaca wool has the same great features as sheep’s wool, but there are two areas where Alpaca wool excels.
Alpaca wool is warmer than sheep’s wool. Like polar bear hair, alpaca wool fibers have hollow cores. These cores act as an insulator.
Another great feature of alpaca wool is it is almost completely waterproof.
Is a wool comforter the right choice for you?
Now we presented you with all the facts; you might be wondering if you would benefit from trading in your synthetic or down duvet for a wool one.
You’ll love a wool comforter if you:
- Have allergies
- Don’t like sharing your comforter with millions of dust mites
- Care about the environment
- Are a ‘hot’ sleeper
- Live in a cold climate
- Care about your health and safety
- Like to own a durable product
Convinced? Let me explain what to look for when buying a wool comforter.
Buying a wool comforter: what should I look for?
You now know about all the benefits of wool. Time for me to tell you what to look for when purchasing a wool-filled comforter.
Is it organic?
Most wool filled comforters are made out of cotton and wool. It might shock you, but conventionally grown cotton is the fourth most heavily sprayed crop in the world. Nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides are sprayed on cotton fields each year. It isn’t surprising that cotton is known as the dirtiest crop.
Another disturbing fact is that most cotton seeds are GMO. The seeds are already treated with chemicals before they are put in the soil. When the cotton plant is growing, it is treated with fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides. If you want to learn more interesting facts about cotton, you can visit the website of the Organic Trade Association.
Going organic when buying a wool comforter is a healthy choice. Organic comforters are more expensive than conventional comforters, but you will sleep soundly knowing you made a better decision for yourself and our planet.
Is it washable?
Wool cleans itself, but some people might still want to wash it every once in a while. If you’d like to wash your wool comforter, check the manufacturer’s comments on washing before buying a comforter. Not all wool comforters will survive your washing machine. Only small comforters will be washable. The bigger ones might not fit your washing machine.
What is the temperature weight?
Some brands of wool bedding offer different types of wool comforters. If you live in a very hot or very cold climate you might want to purchase the lightest or the heaviest version of the comforter. This also goes for if you are a very ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ sleeper. For normal climates and normal sleepers, the ‘normal’ version is sufficient.
How to take care of your wool comforter
Wool is hygienic from itself and it’s self-cleaning. It stays clean naturally. You might wonder how this is possible. It’s quite simple.
Like I explained before, wool absorbs your sweat. When there is no warmth present, it releases the moisture into the air. This is what keeps sheep healthy and dry. Because of the dryness of wool, it isn’t an ideal environment for fungus, bacteria, and mold. You don’t have to wash your wool bedding. Just wait for a dry day to hang out your wool comforter outside.
If you insist on washing your wool comforter, check out our tips:
- Check if you own a washable comforter!
- Always wash it on the wool cycle
- Use wool detergent
- Hang your bedding, never put your wool bedding in the dryer
Some manufacturers recommend you put your wool comforter in a duvet cover. This cover acts as a barrier for your comforter. The great advantage of using a duvet cover is that you can wash it easily. If you are thinking about buying a duvet cover, we recommend a flannel cover.
What is the best wool comforter?
There are some great brands on the market. When you start looking for a wool comforter, all the options can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we made a list of our favorite wool comforters.
Holy Lamb Organics
Organic Wool Comforter made in the USA
Holy Lamb Organics
Extra Warmth Organic Wool Comforter made in the USA
Organic All-Season Wool Comforter handmade in the USA