Granted, a good night’s sleep has many benefits, including improving your mood and looking fabulous. While mattresses are usually praised for these benefits, the almost neglected pillow plays a significant role in ensuring you wake up happy and relaxed.
It’s safe to say that wool pillows were among the first in the world since sheep were domesticated at least 10,000 years ago. Although they aren’t the most popular option today.
So, why would you use a wool pillow? Wool pillows are beneficial for the following reasons:
- They’re hypoallergenic
- They’re breathable
- They’re mold and dust mite resistant
- They’re comfortable
- They’re eco-friendly
- They’re fairly cheap
Why use a wool pillow?
Wool has been there for thousands of years. Thanks to its many wonderful features, it has been used extensively to make various products such as clothes, blankets, carpet rugs, insulation, and even upholstery. Given its long, rich history, it comes as no surprise that wool would make pillows. What’s surprising, however, is that other filling materials like feathers and fiber are more popular.
Wool pillows feel like any regular pillow filled with polyester fiberfill. Because it’s similar to fiberfill, it’s not too moldable, so mashing it doesn’t change its shape. Despite its softness, it’s not as pliable as other natural pillow materials and tends to retain its shape. This is great news if you hate pillows that go flat, clumping up the more you sleep on them.
The 6 great benefits of using wool pillows
1. It is hypoallergenic
If you have allergies, shopping for bedding can be strenuous. It’s hard finding beddings that are hypoallergenic and bacteria resistant.
Wool is a natural, non-toxic material that is great if you react to even the smallest amounts of residues often left on synthetic pillows. Even though it might look clean, synthetic bedding has gone through various processes such as bleaching and treatment to make it flame and mold resistant.
Other than that, synthetic fiberfill can produce small amounts of formaldehyde and other chemicals that can cause health problems, and washing won’t completely remove them.
Wool is very breathable, and it can insulate heat. It has a unique ability to absorb moisture and draw it from the skin, thus regulating the body’s overall temperature.
These moisture-wicking properties enhance natural airflow around your head, keeping you cool and dry as you sleep. Wool fibers are naturally adapted to controlling and maintaining a steady temperature, a great feature to add to pillows.
Reduced overheating and wetness means you are comfortable throughout the night and can have sounder sleep.
The thermal resistance or ability of a material to control temperature changes is measured in togs. This rating system is commonly found on beddings nowadays, and it can help you know how well a particular material will insulate you.
The structure of wool gives it a varying tog rating as it changes depending on the temperature. The warmer you are, the more heat is dispersed and vice versa; this is a great way to keep a steady temperature all night.
Another perk of wool’s breathability can also improve your skin’s appearance, helping reduce pillow acne, puffy eyes, and pressure lines on the face.
3. It is mold and dust mite resistant
Unlike other pillow making materials, wool is mold and dust mite resistant. The microscopic bristles and lanolin of the wool fiber make it inhospitable to dust mites. Its ability to wick away moisture takes away an essential element of the life of dust mites.
House dust mites are an allergy trigger and are present all over your home. For most people, they cause no symptoms. If you have allergies, the allergens in these mites’ feces trigger a wide range of allergic reactions from sneezing to wheezing and even worsening eczema.
4. It’s comfortable
There’s a misconception that wool is rough, too hot, and itchy, making it a horrible choice for pillow fill. However, this isn’t true.
Wool has very fine fibers that create this lush, soft, lofty filling, great for pillows. It is also quite resilient and retains its shape over time, unlike other pillow fills that clump and lump up.
It also doesn’t lose its bounce and thus provides excellent back and neck support longer. Its natural crimped and coiled structure means that the wool fiber can be stretched out and bounce back to its form.
5. It’s eco-friendly
Wool is a natural material, obtained from the fleece of sheep. Sheep can grow a new coat of wool yearly; this means its renewable. Since it is natural, its biodegradable meaning it won’t pollute the environment. It also doesn’t require processing as other pillow fiber fills do.
This means no pesticides and other environment harming chemicals are used in the production of wool pillows. Wool is also pretty durable. It lasts longer and is more resilient than cotton and even latex.
6. It’s not expensive
Contrary to popular belief, wool is not expensive at all. Thanks to the surge in popularity of wool, more and more farmers are rearing sheep.
This has drastically dropped the price of wool bedding, including pillows. However, this doesn’t mean it’s as cheap as synthetic fibers. Its unique features, such as its durability, partially contribute to its overall price.
How to care for a wool pillow
With regular use, a wool pillow can get quite dirty. Having invested quite a bit in getting a quality wool pillow, you don’t want to part with it just because it’s dirty.
- To clean your wool pillow, remove its pillowcase, and dry it in the sun for about 30 minutes to an hour. Since wool is a moisture absorbing fiber, sunning your pillow often about three to four times a year will help draw out the moisture and restore its loftiness.
- While wool pillows won’t clump and lump up, they naturally compress by over 40 percent over the first few months of use. To re-fluff a wool pillow, place it in the dryer with two dryer balls, and set the dryer on low heat. Leave it on spin for about 10 minutes, and the pillow will be as good as new.
- Wool is pretty hard to wash, so it’s only recommended to wash your pillow if it gets a stain that’s hard to remove by hand. To hand-wash, your pillow, remove it from its pillowcase and ensure the zipper is fully closed. Fill up a bathtub with some lukewarm water and add some wool wash or detergent. You can throw in a tablespoon of baking soda in there to remove any odor. Completely submerge the pillow and gently swirl or squeeze it to ensure its completely soaked. Don’t rub or agitate it.
- Dump the soapy water and squeeze out as much water as you can. Repeat the process until all the soap is rinsed out. To help remove any excess water, wrap it in a towel and squeeze. Your wool pillow can last for years with proper care, providing you with these benefits for even longer.
How long do wool pillows last?
Since wool pillows don’t flatten and get clumpy, you would think that they would last a lot longer. However, pillows are in direct contact with your face, skin, hair, and other beddings for long periods. As such, dead skin, sweat, and body oils start to collect on them.
These contaminants make pillows the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, fungi, and bacteria, causing allergies and other health problems.
Wool pillows can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years, often becoming unsanitary after prolonged use. You can wash them; however, the process can be quite tedious, but the increased longevity is worth it.
As you have seen, wool makes great pillows because they are soft and quite comfortable and last a long time.
The benefits highlighted here are clear indicators of why wool is a great pillow fill. If you are looking for a pillow to help you sleep better, then wool is the way to go.