We are a nation obsessed with sleep. Whether you get too much or too little, we can’t help but discuss it (when we’re not talking about the weather, of course).
Over the last year, we’ve all experienced emotional, physical and mental exhaustion - from the stress of the pandemic, to job insecurity, via claustrophobia and loneliness.
When everything feels like it’s going wrong, our ability to get a full night’s sleep seems to be the first to go. But it’s crucial to our mental and physical health as well as our ability to rationalise, concentrate and be productive.
According to research conducted by Mentalhealth.org.uk, sleep is as vital to mental health as eating, drinking and breathing.
The perfect sleep relies on a very fine balance; optimal room temperature, moisture management, no allergens, no disturbances and the just right amount of darkness.
In a sleep survey of 2000 people conducted by Censuswide, over a third of Brits attribute poor sleep to being too hot at night - but there are simple switch-ups you can make to ensure you get your full eight hours of sleep.
Opting for natural wool mattresses, mattress toppers or mattress protectors has been scientifically proven to improve sleep quality. In fact, researchers at Leeds University reveal that it could boost good sleep by as much as 67 per cent and help provide up to 25 per cent more stage four regenerative sleep (where it is believed that our bodies do its best repair and regeneration).
Wool allows for a more holistic sleep environment. It’s temperature regulating, breathable, flame retardant and sustainable, renewable and biodegradable - so it’s great for your sleep pattern and the environment, too.
It’s also hypoallergenic. Compared with both polyester and feather/down duvets, wool has an unparalleled ability to shield against dust, dirt and other allergens that may interrupt your dozing.
We have put wool mattresses, mattress toppers and mattress protectors to the sleep test to find the best to aid in your sweet dreams.
Best wool mattress
Cotswold Co Pure Natural Collection
The Pure Natural Collection mattresses at Cotswold Co put luxury at the forefront.
With wool from Dartmoor sheep, the naturally sourced fabric sandwiches layers of breathable cotton to ensure your best sleep yet. Between each layer of British wool, you’ll find a pure Egyptian cotton layer and right at the centre, the British-made pocket springs.
The collection is made to order and then produced by artisans in the UK using traditional methods where the utmost attention is paid to the craftsmanship - from the hand-stitched side for support and durability to the sumptuous hand-teased wool.
There are three styles to choose from; The Stow, The Dursley and The Malmesbury where at each level, there is more wool and pocket springs for additional support - beginning with The Stow (1000 Pocket Springs and 450gsm wool layers) and culminating in The Malmesbury (1500 Pocket Springs and 2200gsm wool layers).
We found the mattresses to be the perfect level of support and comfort. The entry level Stow has a medium firmness, while the other two sit between medium and firm - all had a great amount of tension where the medium offered an optimal level of give. You may think that an eco-conscious mattress won’t have the same level of durability but the craftsmanship ensures that this will stand the test of time - and there’s a six to 12 year manufacturer guarantee just in case it doesn’t.
The wool mattresses are available for single, double, king size, and super king.
John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Fleece Wool 8400
Invest in a good night’s sleep with John Lewis and its Natural Collection that offers a range of wool mattresses with varying levels of support. The Fleece Wool 8400 is the Goldilocks model that is designed to be neither too soft or too firm - it’s just right. Support and comfort are placed in equal importance. It suits all sleepers - front, back and side.
The insulating wool upholstery is layered with hemp and cotton - fibres both renowned for their breathability to ensure you remain at the optimal temperature throughout the night. These fillings are natural (50 per cent of which is sourced and grown in a local farm in Yorkshire by Harrison Spinks) and so are more durable and absorbent than their synthetic counterparts. The materials also are more hygienic as wool in particular is anti-bacterial. The brand suggests rotating the mattress to the cooler cotton side for summer, and the wool side for winter and this is a great idea and a testament to the versatility of the piece.
This wool mattress has a pocket springs system that has a tightly coiled format that you’ll find at all the major pressure points of the body for an even distribution of weight and to release pressure. They are Cortec springs that are tighter, smaller and more high density to enhance ventilation. The brand also opted for heat over glue to make sure the mattress remains 100 per cent recyclable after use.
Don’t be put off by the immediate smell of the mattress on unwrapping. This will last for a couple of days so keep the room well ventilated and remove all packaging. It’s also important to turn the mattress if sagging appears but it is fairly heavy so will require two people.
The wool mattresses are available for single, small double, double, king size, and super king and with medium or firm tension.
Vispring Wool Bedstead Supreme 1700 Pocket Spring Mattress
For a premium sleeping experience every time you slip into bed, Vispring’s Bedstead Supreme range of pocket spring mattresses come complete with a wool protector pad as well as upholstered layers of the natural fibre to give a cushy feel that still has support.
Handmade in Plymouth, the durable construction stars hand-teased New Zealand wool that has a natural insulated as well as a sumptuous feel. The material absorbs humidity throughout the night so no matter what, you remain cool and comfortable. It’s a hot sleepers dream.
The mattress will also stay fresher for longer as the material is more hygienic as well as fire retardant.
The Wool Bedstead Supreme 1700 consists of a Vanadium Steel Pocket Springs support system where they are dotted in a honeycomb formation to reflect the contours of the body and give tailored support. The icing on the cake comes from the hand side-stitching using a luxurious cotton construction.
The wool mattresses are available for single, extra long single, small double, double, king size, super king, emperor, large emperor and all with a medium tension.
Expect an organic aroma that does dissipate once it has aired out.
Hypnos Bespoke Bliss Mattress
Royal Warrant holder Hypnos is renowned for its sustainably-made beds and mattresses and this option is no different with the use of sustainable, renewable wool. Handmade in the UK, the brand packs the material alongside active mineral particles to create innovative thermoregulating technology that removes moisture and keeps the temperature at the optimal level.
This has a firmer feel for those who prefer additional support and it can be rotated when needed to keep the structural integrity throughout.
The pocket springs have been engineered with a trademarked ReActivePro that offers pressure relief where it’s needed. The support is furthered by hand side stitching and the added bonus of firmer outer springs so you get the foundation that you need as you toss and turn across the bed.
It has a 20-year guarantee and is available as a single, small double, double, king size and super king.
Rest Assured British Wool 2000 Pocket Firmer Mattress
With 115 years of experience in the mattress game under their belt, Rest Assured has the high-quality wool mattress you have been dreaming of.
Between the luxe wool layers, you’ll find a 2000 zoned pocket springs system that is designed for those looking for extra support. The zoned design ensures that there’s springs where you need it to release tension and pressure on the body. Side and back sleepers, this one is for you and it’s a godsend for back pain.
The brand uses 100 per cent British wool that is not only premium but a natural insulator so you’ll save on those heating bills but will still keep you cool in the summer months. Tufting is used to secure the filling and keep it comfort and soft for years to come, holding its shape without that dreaded sagging. It’s free from chemicals, treatments and foam and so makes a great hypoallergenic alternative for those with allergies.
The brand also offers a softer and medium mattress for those who prevent more give in their sleeping vessel.
Sealy Pearl Wool Open Coil Mattress
With real bang for your buck, Sealy has some of the best mattresses in the game - particularly when it comes to those with aches and pains.
This Pearl Wool mattress is part of the brand’s Posturepedic range and so is great for releasing pressure on the body. Back pain felt ease in just a few nights. This is due to the brand’s spring system that encourages proper spine alignment and correct posture.
It is stuffed with lambs wool that has breathability and prevents the build up of moisture during those stuffy heatwave nights but acts as an insulator when the temperature drops. The material is also natural and so hypoallergenic for common allergies like dust mites, dirt and even hayfever.
This mattress has a medium tension and so sits between soft and firm. It’s ideal for back and side sleepers. You can shop a single, double, king size and super king.
Novo Natural 2000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress
Come rain or shine, the temperature-regulating mattress will keep you at the optimal degrees so you can sleep soundly without feeling stuffy.
Novo offers this mattress with layers of wool and cotton alongside a 2000 pocket spring system tailored to adapt to your body’s movements. It has a firm feel and so gives the support that you need with pain relief to those suffering and no muscle stiffness in the morning.
You’ll require deep sheets for this model. It comes in single, double and superking with a five year warranty.
Woolroom Lincoln 5750 Mattress
Handcrafted using the finest wool fillings, Woolroom forgoes any chemicals or glues to ensure it is easy to recycle after use and is a complete natural sleep solution approved by Allergy UK. The brand works with a collective of British farmers with complete transparency in the supply chain.
The Lincoln is one of Woolroom’s most popular mattresses and it is clear to see why. It’s a versatile all-rounder that will suit all sleep types and with the varying levels of tension, firm, medium and soft mattress lovers alike.
The outer cover is made from Merino wool and the piece is double sided to elongate its lifespan. It has hand-stitched rows at the end to ensure support throughout as well as pom-pom tufts to keep the filling firmly in place.
There is a 100 night sleep trial, a 10 year manufacturer warranty and it is available in single, single XL, small double, euro single, double, euro double, king, euro king, superking and emperor. The mattress is suitable for adjustable beds.
Best wool mattress topper
WOOLROOM Natural Organic British Wool Mattress Topper
Wool bedding specialist Woolroom offers this mattress topper in all sizes from single to superking, while also offering euro measurements.
You don’t necessarily need to opt for an entirely new mattress to still take advantage of the long list of benefits of wool. This topper adds a 5cm pad on top of your current model with cloud-like comfort. There are elasticated straps at each corner to keep it in place.
The filling comes entirely from traceable British wool and is hypoallergenic, free from any chemicals and is also moisture-wicking so you can stay cool, calm and dry from night to day. The outer fabric is unbleached 200 thread count organic cotton.
Most importantly of all, it is sumptuously soft and has a really luxurious feel.
Devon Duvets Natural Devon Wool 5cm Deep Mattress Topper
The mattress protector comes in single, double, king and super king and is handcrafted in Devon by the family-run business.
Add a luxurious layer onto your bed setup for the utmost comfort and to reduce any aches and pains that may be caused by your lumpy, old mattress or one that is too firm.
At 5cm thick, it acts as a super soft cushion padding using 100 per cent British wool that is all natural and not bleached or chemically treated. The brand uses a specialised needling technique paying close attention to every single fibre and ensuring it is substantial. The material is naturally breathable so is perfect for hot sleepers and great for those prone to allergies.
Hypnos Wool Mattress Topper
The natural benefits of wool makes this mattress topper the ultimate sleep companion. You’ll sink right in - like floating on a cloud - to create the optimal sleep environment.
It is made up of layers of British wool and smooth cotton that will ensure you get a sound night’s sleep without interference from overheating or allergies. It has tufts to keep all the filling in place and extend its durability as well as elastics to fit onto your mattress without it moving around as you sleep. An investment piece, it will prolong the life of your mattress and so is worth every penny.
The material is also natural, sustainable, renewable and biodegradable and the piece has a 10 year guarantee.
Woolroom Deluxe Wool Mattress Topper
Reclaim the sleep you deserve with this mattress topper crafted by Woolroom with 100 per cent British wool.
The brand promises a better night’s sleep and you’ll certainly be more comfortable. It will suit those looking to make their firmer mattress more comfortable and even if you’re suffering from aches and pains, you can invest in this topper without increasing suffering.
It is available for a single and double bed.
New Zealand Wool Mattress Topper
Stuffed with Mitchell wool from New Zealand, this topper will bring a naturally hypoallergenic fabric to your bedding and a padding of around 3cm.
It will keep you warm come summer but cool in the winter with the impressive temperature-regulating properties. Perfect for couples, it will counteract a radiator of a partner and solve any arguments over the right amount of layers. It will leave you more comfortable and will improve your REM sleep quality by 25 per cent.
The casing is crafted entirely from cotton, there’s a five-year guarantee and it is available for single, double, king size and superking.
Merino Wool Mattress Topper
You only need to look at this mattress to know you will be treated to the utmost comfort. Thick and soft, it has a deep 400gsm merino wool pile and 550gsm lambswool filling that will make you feel like you are lying on a bed of roses. This is designed for the winter months, while the reverse Japara cotton is for the summer.
The piece has a deep skirting so can be wrapped over deep mattresses and is available for single, double, king size and superking.
Best wool mattress protector
Woolroom Natural Organic British Wool Mattress Protector
Designed to keep your mattress and mattress topper fresher for longer, this protector will only enhance the temperature regulation and moisture-wicking of the products above.
It comes for a single, double, kind and super king with a wool and cotton construction.
This a fool-proof product that can be popped in the washing machine to clean - which is not always possible with wool.
The skirt is 35cm deep so will suit thicker mattresses with a perfect fit and won’t cause static as you move overnight.
Hypnos Wool Mattress Protector
It’s cosy and snug but best of all, it will keep you cool and prevent overheating. Royal warrant holder Hypnos has crafted this piece to offer the optimal sleep environment and put hygiene at the forefront.
It is machine washable, has a 10 year guarantee and is available for a single, double, kind and super king bed.
Woolroom Deluxe Wool Mattress Protector
This mattress protector forms a sumptuous layer on top of your mattress and topper to extend their lifecycle and thus, save you money in the long run. The material will regulate temperature, is sustainable and is anti-allergy. It is available for single and super king beds.