Wool Comforter Buying Guide
Wool is a natural and sustainable fiber. It is essentially the fur of certain animals such as alpacas or sheep. It is common in clothing such as sweaters and high-end outdoors gear. It is also becoming more popular in bedding, being used as both a mattress and a comforter. A wool comforter have a lot of benefits and can make sleeping more pleasant for many, but it does have some downsides.
Much of the information about wool comforters comes from those trying to sell you something. Our website is a comforter guide. It does not try to sell you anything. It does not matter to us if you buy a down comforter, a wool comforter or no comforter at all. We are not in the business of selling stuff, we are simply trying to help inform people. If you are thinking about getting a new comforter or are curious if you should switch to a wool comforter, read on to see both the benefits and the disadvantages of wool comforters.
Wool Comforter Benefits
There are are some really great qualities that wool possesses.
Wool Is Hypoallergenic
If you are prone to allergies a down or cotton comforter should probably be avoided. Down is especially allergenic. Cotton also has a tendency to hold moisture, allowing mold and mites to grow.
Did you know that most people who suffer allergies when using a down comforter are actually not allergic to down itself? It's true. Usually the allergic reactions come from dust, mites and other things that grow inside of down.
Wool avoids this. Wool is naturally resistant to mites. Wool is also very breathable, minimizing the risk of mold.
Finally, wool does not have to be treated with artificial products before coming onto the market. This means that a wool comforter is likely to be less treated than a comforter filled with other materials.
Wool Is Breathable
Wool is naturally breathable. This means that it is able to control moisture and temperature levels. If you sweat a lot while sleeping a wool comforter is a great idea because the wool naturally wicks the moisture away. Other materials, such as cotton hold on to moisture.
This is the reason wool is so popular for hiking clothes. Wool naturally wicks moisture, drying quickly. It is also able to retain heat when wet. This is the complete opposite of cotton. When cotton gets wet, it gets cold and stays cold until dry again.
Wool Is Untreated
As mentioned above, wool is a natural fiber that unique in how little artificial treatment it needs before being able to be used in a comforter. One example of this is the fire resistant attribute of wool.
Under United States law, a mattress set on fire has to extinguish in a certain amount of time. This is for fire safety. This also means that most mattresses are doused in anti-flammable chemicals. A wool mattress is different because the wool is naturally fire-resistant. This leads to wool mattresses not having to be treated with the anti-flammable chemicals.
The same is true of wool comforters. Because they are naturally fire-resistant, mite-resistant they do not need to be treated with artificial treatments.
Wool is a natural fiber. It is sustainable. It is also often organic. Even wool that is not labeled organic is often either organic or close to organic.
You might not know this, but to label something organic costs money. The producer has to pass certain test and they have to pay a third party to hold those tests. Not all companies can afford to do that. This is true not just for wool, but also for food. I personally worked on an organic farm that never bothered to get the official organic label.
A lot of wool is grown by small scale wool shepherds. They certainly do not have the resources to go through the organic label process. Because of this, even if the wool you are getting does not say it is organic, it might actually be just as good as the wool that is labeled organic.
Though, if you want to ensure that the wool you are getting is organic, it is safest to buy products that do come with the label.
Wool Is Soft
A lot of people think of itchy Christmas sweaters when they hear the word wool. This is not the case with wool comforters, or any kind of high-quality wool. Merino wool and alpaca wool are both known to be soft and pleasant to the touch. Not at all itchy.
A wool comforter is usually contained inside of a cotton cover. This cotton cover is the same type of cotton your other comforters or bed sheets are made out of. This means that even if the wool inside the comforter were itchy, your skin is not directly in contact with it. Instead, it is in contact with a thin layer of cotton.
This creates all the benefits of having a wool filling, without any of the fears of itchiness. Read the details of the product you are buying to see if the cotton is organic.
Choosing The Best Wool Comforter
Just like all other fibers, there are different qualities of wool. As mentioned before, wool does not need to be treated with chemicals to make it suitable for your bedding. Because of this you should choose organic wool whenever possible.
Fine grade wool is great for sweaters and clothing. Bu the wool in your comforter will not be touching your skin, so you do not need fine grade wool. Getting a medium grade wool comforter is perfectly good. It will keep you warm and the thicker strands will be more durable. It is the outside cover of the comforter that is going to be touching your skin, and for that I recommend cotton.
Merino wool is one of the finest wools available. It is great for clothing, but honestly, you do not need wool this fine for your comforter. Shoot for medium grade wool. You might even mind medium grade merino wool.
Wool Comforter Downfalls
So as great as wool is, there are some downfalls you must be aware of before you purchase your first wool comforter.
Moths Love Wool
Do you plan to keep your wool comforter hidden away in the closet part of the year? Be aware the moths love wool. Given the right environment, a family of moths can eat into your wool comforter, damaging or even destroying it.
Moths like hidden dark locations, such as closets. If you use your comforter year round, you should not have much to worry about. Moths will not venture out into the open to eat at your comforter.
There are also natural and artificial moth repellents you can use while storing your wool. Moths hate heart cedar. If you put some cedar chips in the closet that you are storing your wool, then the moths will not come near it. A cedar chest works even better.
Other natural anti-moth remedies include lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus.
More Difficult To Clean
Polyester comforters have one thing going for them. You can throw them in the washing machine, on any cycle and they will be fine. This is not true of other types of comforters. Down and wool are both more gentle and need more specific care.
For specific care instructions, read the details the manufacturer states. But a wool comforter is often going to be recommended to be hand-washed or washed on the gentle cycle and sun dried.
This is why you should always use a duvet-cover. It allows you to keep the comforter clean.
Might Be Too Hot For Summer
Wool comforters tend to be warmer than other types of comforters. Though they do regulate temperature, there is a limit on how quickly they can dissipate the heat. Because of this, a year-round wool comforter might be too warm for the hottest months of the year.
If you are still unsure about buying a wool comforter, check out some other comforter materials.