A wool mattress is a traditional option that many people in the UK still prefer. It’s the kind of mattress that your grandma might have slept on back in the day, and its still a popular choice for a reason. But how do you find the best wool-based mattress to suit your needs or budget? That’s why I’ve written this guide, updated for 2024.
Made with tried-and-tested techniques, wool mattresses are a safe pair of hands – usually they’re paired with pocket springs or foam, both of which most of us have been sleeping on for our entire lives.
One of the benefits of wool is its natural breathability, which can help keep you cool in bed. That’s why wool is often used in blankets and other bedding as well; and it’s not just a load of hot air (no pun intended), as scientific research backs up the benefits of wool mattresses.
What’s more, according to Woolmark, wool is hygroscopic, which means it can absorb water vapour from the surrounding environment more effectively than other commonly used fibres. This helps regulate temperature and moisture levels to keep you comfortable throughout the night.
In fact, wool has been shown to have a water vapour uptake of over 30%, compared to cotton (20%) and synthetic polyester (4%).
So now that you can see why wool is such a great choice, here’s my rundown of the top 7 mattresses in the UK:
1. Simba Hybrid Pro – Best Wool Mattress
Most bed-in-a-box mattresses for sale today offer convenience, but most of them come with a common issue: making you feel too hot at night. The Simba Hybrid Pro manages to combat this with a layer of wool right beneath its top cover, and it’s for this reason that I’ve picked this as my number 1 choice for those looking for a wool-based mattress.
The ‘Pro’ comes with other features that set it apart from the regular Simba Hybrid too: it boasts a thicker top cover that acts as a sleeping surface, two layers of micro springs beneath its open-cell foam layer, and edge support. But it’s really the wool layer that I liked the most – wool is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, making it a great choice for those with allergies or sensitivities. It’s also a durable material that can last for many years with proper care.
While the extra layer of wool and springs enhances comfort and support, the Simba Hybrid Pro does come with a hefty price tag, though oit also comes with a 200-night money-back guarantee, so you can try it out for seven months and return it for a full refund if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
In a nutshell:
The Simba Hybrid Pro is of couse a hybrid mattress (hence the name…), but its wool layer prevents that uncomfortable, enveloped feeling often associated with these mattresses. In fact in testing I noticed that doesn’t soften at all as it warms up, providing consistent support throughout the night.
Read my full Simba Hybrid Pro review here for the full test results.
2. Brook & Wilde Perla – Best Luxury
The Brook & Wilde Perla mattress is a super-premium wool mattress, and the most expensive you can buy in the UK. Made with premium natural materials like silk, cashmere, alpaca, bamboo, and wool, it has 14 layers that provide excellent support and comfort.
Handmade in the UK, the Perla has 7,000 springs, a 200-night trial period, and a 10-year guarantee for peace of mind. It also has variable firmness levels, so you can personalise it to suit your preferences.
In my testing, the Perla performed well: it is great at cooling the body to regulate temperature and prevent night sweats.
However, there are some downsides to consider. There’s no getting around it: the Perla is very expensive, with prices starting at £3,599 (but you can get it for half this price). Don’t overlook that it’s also very heavy and difficult to move. Delivery times are also longer as it’s made-to-order.
But all that aside, there are loads of positives. The mattress has 14 layers, with a silk-infused cover at the top for a luxurious and cooling sleep surface. The cover is followed by a breathable mattress cover, which reduces friction. The Perla features layers of cashmere, blended wool and natural fibres, and high-density memory wool, all of which provide exceptional comfort and breathability. If you want wool, you’ve got it in spades with the Perla…!
There’s also an airstream memory wool layer that allows airflow and adds even more comfort. Like the Simba above, the Perla mattress also boasts two layers of pocket springs, one with 1,000 springs and another with 2,000 springs, which provide bounce and pushback, while two separate layers of micro-springs deliver extra comfort, bounce, and pushback. The Perla also features specialist lumbar support profiles that ease your joints and alleviate pressure in all the right places. Phew!
If you time it right, you can sometimes get a ‘free’ iPad worth £749 with your Perla order: more details here.
In a nutshell:
The Perla comes with a 200-night trial, and you can return the mattress for a full refund or swap it for a mattress with a different firmness profile if not happy. Brook + Wilde backs each mattress they sell with a 10-year warranty, so buyers can rest easy.
3. Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 – Best Budget
Millbrook are a great choice if you want a wool mattress that’s reasonably priced. They come with a 60 night free trial, which is handy. If you don’t get on with one of their mattresses and you contact them within 60 days, then you will be able to swap it for something more suitable. Please note that you can only switch mattresses – you won’t be able to get your money back.
The Wool Luxury 1000 is one of the cheapest in the Millbrook range, and – as the name suggests – contains 1,000 pocket springs. This should be adequate for the majority of people, however if you’re a heavier person it’s well worth considering something a bit firmer. Millbrook offer wool mattresses with a higher spring count to offer you a bit more support if you need it, or you can simply compare some of our top chosen firm mattresses.
The main reason the Wool Luxury 1000 comes recommended by me, is because it is one of the cheapest available, but you still get a lot of the features associated with premium mattresses.
In addition to the 60-night guarantee the mattress will also come with a 10-year warranty. Another great thing about this mattress is that it contains layers of springy 100% fleece wool sourced from Hampshire on both sides, so you can flip the mattress from time to time in order to increase it’s longevity.
For the price, the mattress is also pretty thick, at 250mm. The 10-year guarantee is also worth another mention as it’s quite generous given the price point of the mattress. You will be forgiven for not having heard of Millbrook before as they’re not that well-known. However they offer a solid product for not much money so are will worth some consideration.
Comparison of the top 3 wool mattresses
|Simba Hybrid Pro
|Brook & Wilde Perla
|Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000
|Foam, Wool & Springs
|Foam, Wool & Springs
|Wool & Springs
|Best For ?
|Side & Back
|Trial Period ?
|Made In ?
4. Soak & Sleep Wool 2000 Mattress – Best Firmer Wool Mattress
The Soak & Sleep Wool Mattress is available in either a medium or a firm version, allowing you to find the perfect feel for your body. The medium-firm option is comfortable for people who like a softer mattress, while the ortho-firm choice is ideal for individuals who sleep on their backs or who simply prefer a harder surface.
Traditional and sturdy tufting and side stitching assist keep the fillings in place and reinforce the structure and sides of this mattress, ensuring that it will survive for years to come. This mattress has 16 air vents on the side to help keep you cool and comfortable all night long.
Click here to check the latest prices & sizes.
In conclusion, the Soak & Sleep Wool Mattress is a great option if you’re shopping for a mattress because of its ability to keep you at a pleasant temperature while you sleep. Made in the UK, adjustable to two different levels of firmness, and built to last, this mattress could be an excellent financial investment in your quality of life while you snooze.
5. Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400 – Best Pocket Spring
Sleepeezee are one of the best popular mattress brands in the UK, because they have a royal warrant. This means that they supply a royal household. Being a big brand, they also sell a number of wool mattresses, including the Wool Supreme 2400. It’s not their cheapest offering, but we think tat it represents the best value for money across their range.
The mattress is constructed of a double layer of 100% British wool, which is situated on top of two layers of pocket springs. It then has a permanently fitted topper for extra comfort. Unfortunately, this means that the mattress cannot be flipped, however you can still rotate it every now and then in order to try and reduce the sags and dips that may appear over time.
The 2400 in the name of the mattress refers to the number of pocket springs that it contains. Given that this mattress contains two layers of springs, it’s likely that each layer will contain 1,200. It is often regarded that anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 springs on a single layer will offer a decent amount of support for all but the heaviest of people.
6. John Lewis & Partners: Fleece Wool 8400
Mattresses in the John Lewis Natural collection are actually made by a company called Harrison Spinks. They’re a good brand of mattress who are popular in the US but haven’t really made much of a launch over here yet. Saying that, they recently won the best manufacturer award from the National Bed Federation in 2018. The springs that feature in this mattress also won their own award last year. This isn’t the only wool mattress in the John Lewis and Partners Natural collection; in fact there are several, ranging between £950 and £1,400 in price.
The Fleece Wool 8400 model ticks about every box that there is to be ticked when it comes to buying a pocket sprung mattress. It contains three different layers of British wool which have been blended with other layers. Of course as the name suggests it also boats 8,400 springs. However it’s important not to put too much weight into the spring count. While a spring count of over 1,000 is essential in our opinion, there are only so many springs that can fit into a single layer. This means that mattresses with higher spring counts will probably have smaller, less supportive springs instead of larger more supportive ones.
This is another mattress that can be flipped, which helps to prolong its life. The only disadvantage of that is the fact that it could be quite heavy to lift in sizes larger than double. It also comes with a 7-year guarantee, which is fairly long for a pocket sprung mattress. If you’re looking for a very long guarantee then you may be better off looking for a memory foam mattress of some description. This mattress also comes in either medium or firm. The medium version is suitable for people who weigh up to 16 stone, and the heavier is best suited to people who weigh in excess of 16 stone.
7. Happy Beds Signature 2000
You may or may not have heard of Happy Beds. They are a budget mattress brand, but if you’re looking for a cheap wool mattress that doesn’t look cheap. The mattress has a wool, cotton and cashmere filling. It is also one of the cheapest wool mattresses you can buy. Known as a ‘pillow topper’ mattress, the Signature 2000 has a topper which is permanently fixed to the mattress. This means that it cannot be flipped in order to increase its life. So to prevent unwanted dips and sags it’s a good idea to rotate it every once in a while. With a spring count of 2,000 it will offer plenty of support even for heavier people. Mattresses with a spring count of over 1,000 offer sufficient support for most people.
Another advantage of the Happy Beds Signature 2000 is the fact that it is very deep. At 330mm it’s one of the deepest mattresses you can buy – especially within this price range. Some mattresses that cost 5 times more than this one are not even this deep.
Another great thing about the Signature 2000 is the fact that it is made in the UK. It comes with a 5 year guarantee but unfortunately no trial period. This not surprising when you are paying just over £300 for a wool mattress, though.
What are the pros & cons of wool mattresses?
- Naturally breathable: Wool is a naturally breathable material, which means that it can help regulate your body temperature as you sleep. This can be particularly beneficial for people who tend to get too hot or too cold at night.
- Wool’s ability to absorb moisture means it will help keep you dry and comfy throughout the night. Those who perspire a lot at night or who reside in warmer climates may benefit greatly from this.
- Hypoallergenic: Wool is generally considered to be hypoallergenic, which means that it is less likely to trigger allergies or cause irritation than other materials. This can be particularly beneficial for people with allergies or sensitive skin.
- Durable: Wool is a relatively durable material that can withstand years of use, thus it’s usually a good investment for people who want a mattress that will last for ages.
- Eco-friendly: Wool is a renewable and biodegradable material that is often considered to be more eco-friendly than synthetic materials.
- Expensive: Wool mattresses can be more expensive than other types of mattresses, particularly if they are made with high-quality wool.
- Heavy: Wool mattresses can be quite heavy, which can make them difficult to move or flip on your own.
- Firmness: Wool mattresses can be quite firm, which may not be comfortable for everyone. People who prefer a softer mattress may need to look for a wool mattress with a softer top layer.
- Maintenance: Wool mattresses require regular maintenance, including flipping and rotating, in order to maintain their shape and prevent sagging.
So do wool mattresses smell?
Wool mattresses occasionally can have a faint, but in my opinion, pleasant odour. If you’ve never smelled it before then don’t worry as it is not at all like the smell of sheep!
Wool has a distinct smell, one that some compare to that of hay or grass. This smell may be stronger in freshly sheared wool or wool that has been compacted for a long time. However, importantly before being sold, the vast majority of wool mattresses are treated to eliminate any odours so you probably won’t even notice it.
If you’re very sensitive to bad smells, you should always let a new wool mattress air out for at least a few days before sleeping on it; this will erase any lingering odour and let you rest easy through the night. Note that the smell is nothing like the ‘new mattress’ offgassing smell – that comes from memory foam mattresses.
How to choose a wool mattress
There are a few key things to keep in mind when looking for the best wool mattress for your needs. Here’s my list:
- First things first, comfort is key and should be your top priority, in my opinion. You want a wool mattress that feels soft and cozy to sleep on, of course; but it also needs to give you the support you need to keep your posture in check.
- Firmness is also important. Everyone has their own preference, so make sure you pick a mattress that suits yours. If you like sleeping on your back or stomach, a firmer mattress might be better. If you’re a side sleeper, you might prefer something softer.
- Check out the materials too. You want to look for a wool mattress that uses high-quality, hypoallergenic material s that won’t harm you in any way. Some wool mattresses include other materials like cotton, latex, or memory foam, so make sure to do your research on what works for you.
- A wool mattress should last a while, so durability is key. You’ll want to make sure you’re investing in a well-made, high-quality mattress that’ll stay with you for a while.
- Price is always something to consider, of course. Wool mattresses can be pretty expensive, but they’re worth it for the quality of sleep they provide, but if you’re on a budget, try to find a balance between cost and quality – though be aware that that you’re just not going to find a wool mattress for less than £700, sadly.
- Make sure you get the right size! Measure your bed frame and your room space to make sure your wool mattress will fit just right.
- Finally, do your research on the brand you’re interested in. Read reviews from other customers to get an idea of how good the mattress is, and what kind of service you can expect from the manufacturer. Websites like Trustpilot or even Amazon are good for looking at reviews of existing products.
Do wool mattresses work for any sleeping style?
In a word? Yes.
Side sleepers will I’m sure find a wool mattress to be especially accommodating, since this material sinks gently under the body while still offering adequate support to keep the spine in its natural posture.
While side sleepers tend to prefer firmer mattresses, back and stomach sleepers can also find comfort on a wool mattress if it is sufficiently supportive. All of the mattresses I’ve reviewed here, quite honestly, fit that bill.
In conclusion, wool mattresses are an eco-friendly chocie – if you can afford the price tags. They provide a cosy and supportive night’s rest while also maintaining a healthy body temperature. And as I’ve always said, there is a wool mattress out there that will work for you whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach.
The Simba Hybrid Pro and the Brook & Wilde Perla are both great options if you want a wool mattress that combines the best features of foam and springs. There is a little difference in firmness between the Simba Hybrid Pro and the Brook & Wilde Perla. Both mattresses are manufactured in the UK to stringent quality standards and come with lengthy trial periods and guarantees.
Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 is an excellent choice if you seek a more classic and sumptuous feel. The 1000 individual pocket springs and natural cotton and Hampshire wool filling in this mattress combine to provide a high level of comfort and support for your body. Handmade in the UK, it features a 10-year warranty and comes with a 60-night trial period to ensure a good night’s rest.
What constitutes the greatest wool mattress for you is ultimately a matter of taste and budget. Check my list of budget mattresses here if you’re looking to spend up to ~£200.
In short, if you’re in the market for a new mattress, there’s very likely one out there for you – let me know how you get on in the comment section below. Rest easy!
What is a wool mattress made from?
No, wool mattresses are actually known for their ability to regulate body temperature and keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Wool fibers are breathable and wick away moisture, which can help prevent overheating and sweating while you sleep.
What's the cheapest wool mattress?
Wool mattresses aren't cheap. However if you're on a budget but still want the benefits of a natural wool mattress then consider a wool mattress made by either Millbrook or Happy Beds.
Are wool mattresses suitable for people with allergies?
Yes, wool mattresses can be a great option for people with allergies. Wool is naturally hypoallergenic, resistant to dust mites, and can help regulate body temperature, making it a good choice for those with allergies or sensitivities.
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