Wool is more than an Insulator - It's a Temperature Regulator!
How Does Wool Regulate Body Temperature?
Wool transfers heat mainly in the form of wicking moisture away from your body and into the porous, hollow structure of the fibers. Not only can wool absorb as much as a third of its own weight in moisture without feeling damp, but it can actually regulate the body temperatures of two people with different needs in the same bed. People of varying shapes and sizes will perspire and overheat at different rates, but wool is capable of maintaining the "microclimate" of each body at it's most comfortable level under the same cozy comforter!
One of wool's most amazing qualities is in its ability to regulate a comfortable body temperature in every season. Wool is a highly effective insulator in the winter, and like a personal heating and cooling system it keeps you cool with its natural moisture wicking properties. Perfect for people who experience "night sweats," wool bedding may actually keep you cool during the night through dissipating sweat and excess moisture through it's hollow fibers. When you sleep cooler, you will toss and turn less, and your body is able to access a deeper REM state, resulting in a more restful and rejuvenating slumber.
How is wool different from cotton, down feathers, or polyester?
The main difference between wool and other bedding fibers is that the other bedding materials are all insulators that keep the body warm, but don't release heat like breathable, temperature-regulating wool does. Synthetic materials in particular do not breathe well, which may contribute to "night sweats," and the poor sleep that follows. This is particularly important when it comes to bedding as studies have shown we are able to have a deeper more restful sleep when excess heat is able to escape.
Scientific testing shows that wool allows 67% more moisture to escape overnight than bedding made with down feathers, and 43% more effective than polyester materials. Wool bedding was able to maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature while being exposed to nearly double the amount of moisture per hour than the down feather comforter and nearly 50% more effective than the synthetic polyester materials.
People who experience allergies and chemical sensitivities often find relief when sleeping on untreated wool which is resistant to dust mites, bacteria, mold, and mildew - unlike down which retains moisture and can develop mildew. Wool has been shown in mulitple studies to lower heart rate when compared to other materials, which may also contribute to a more restful slumber.
Why use Chemical-Free Wool?
Chemically treated wool will not regulate body temperature as well as untreated wool, and will often carry an initial chemically sanitized scent. The smell of chemicals suggests possibly a fire-retardant has been applied or the wool has been chlorinated or bleached. One of the problems with this process is that it "scorches the microscopic scales from the fibers that enables the wool to regulate body temperature. It effectively kills the wool thereby reducing the effectiveness of the wool."
Here at Holy Lamb Organics we NEVER use Chemically Treated Materials on ANY of our products! You can sleep soundly without worrying about harmful effects, and we sleep better knowing our bedding and our customers are safe and healthy.
Why can't I put wool in the dryer?
When wool is subjected to tumble drier heat and tumbling action it will felt and shrink unless the wool has been chemically treated in some way. The standard chemical process is to run the fibers through a scorching, chlorinating process that strips the wool strands of its natural cuticles by soaking it in an acidic solution, then submerging in an alkaline solution to neutralize the acidic particles.
The problem is that these unique cuticles that are responsible for the felting process are also the key to the heat transfer and temperature regulating properties of wool. Wool bedding that is marketed as "washer and dryer" safe has been chemically treated and may lack several of wool's remarkable benefits including it's ability to wick moisture and keep you warm, but no too warm. For more information on this topic check out our blog article titled "What About Washable Wool?"
Wool Mattress Toppers, Wool Comforters, Wool Pillows.... Where do I start?
The one bedding item that is most responsible for how warm or cold you are is a comforter. Here at Holy Lamb Organics we carry three different weights of Quilted Wool Comforters, an "All Season," and "Dual-Weight" comforters. The lightest weight of comforter is the "Cool Comfort" and it is great for warm climates and people who tend to overheat when they sleep. The middle weight we carry is our "Perfect Comfort," which is our most popular option, and a great year-round comforter for the vast majority of people. The heaviest weight level is our "Extra Warm," which is sold mostly to people living in very cold weather climates.
Our "All-Season Comforter" is approximately two "Cool Comforts," that comes with little ties on the corners so you can have both layers in the winter and just one in the summer. The combination of the two layers is warmer than a "Perfect Comfort," but cooler than the "Extra Warm." One final option is our "Dual-Weight Comforter" which has a different weight on each side, for partners that sleep at extremely different temperatures - which is a common problem we often hear about!
Whichever wool comforter you choose, you can look forward to a soft, cozy bed that will always keep you in that "Goldilocks Zone" - not too warm and not too cool.
Winter is Coming. Got Wool?