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Wool and Sleep Quality

People tend to sleep more soundly on a mattress that uses natural fibers.

A sleep study conducted by Peter R. Dickson (1984) examined sleep quality of participants when sleeping on natural wool (participants slept on a wool pad that was placed under their sheet).  He found that participants moved (tossed and turned) significantly less in the night. Additionally, participants in the study reported that they had slept better and that they felt better the next day when sleeping on the wool.  The less a person tosses and turns is related to greater quality of sleep! Wool is hypothesized to increase sleep quality and reduce tossing and turning because 1) it reduces pressure points; and 2) it regulates body temperature. Believe it or not,
wool helps keep you warm when it is cold and cool when it is warm. Wool can do this because of its moisture-regulation quality. Here is how it works: when you get too hot, you sweat. If you are sleeping with bedding that is not natural, the sweat will remain near your body and not evaporate, and not cool you down. You can wake up feeling sticky and clammy. However, if you are sleeping with natural fibers, which are breathable, the sweat can evaporate from your body and cool you down. Wool is able to wick water away from your body and is able to absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture and still feel dry. Wool helps you stay warm when the air is cool because it is a natural insulator. There are air pockets in wool, which trap heat and let the air circulate near your body. In this way, your body heat stays regulated. If you have a consistent body temperature, you will toss and turn less and have a deep and restful sleep.

View this video interview on the benefits of wool with Nathon Thill of Woolgatherer.

Many of The Natural Sleep Store’s organic mattresses are made with a layer of ORGANIC wool underneath (and quilted to) organic cotton fabric.


Dickson, P. R. (1984).   Effect of a fleecy woolen underlay on
sleep.  The Medical Journal of Australia, 140, 87-89.