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Counting Sheep Blog
6 Reasons to Choose a Wool Topper Over a Featherbed
It’s a showdown between natural mattress toppers!
For many people, it’s best for their bodies to have a firm mattress, but having a layer of next-to-body softness provides the perfect combination of cozy and supportive. Our wool mattress system is built with this in mind so you can dial in your personal comfort level.
Featherbeds have historically been popular for adding that soft top layer. Because feathers were once available fairly easily, they were a natural choice to stuff items like pillows and bedding—and they still are.
Feathers are a natural material that is also environmentally sustainable. So for those who prefer natural bedding, how do wool toppers and featherbeds compare? We’re glad you asked! Let’s look into it.
Wool Toppers vs. Featherbeds
Breathability & Moisture Management
This is hardly a fair fight…it’s tough to beat wool for its superior management of hot and sweaty sleepers (see more on that here). Down and feathers retain heat and create clammy conditions, which can lead to disrupted sleep.
Allergies & Sensitivities
Feathered bedding is notorious for causing grief for allergy sufferers. Some companies advertise extra clean feathers and down, though we would be curious to know what their process involves. Aside from a direct allergy to feathers, the biggest issue is actually dust mites—they LOVE feathers and the humid sleep environment they create (see above). To solve this problem, many bedding manufacturers advertise “down alternatives,” but what this actually means is synthetic polyfill made with petrochemicals.
In addition, we’re all familiar with that pokey feeling from the ends of the feathers. This is simply not the most comfortable experience, especially for anyone with sensitive skin.
With wool, there are zero chemicals and zero allergy or sensitivity concerns.
Durability & Longevity
Feathers break down over time and lose their loft. Our wool toppers are made with compression in mind, so after an initial phase of settling in, the topper will retain its fluffiness for years and years.
Humane Animal Treatment
We work closely with our woolen mill to ensure that the wool we use comes only from humanely and ethically raised sheep. The EcoWool® in our products comes from nearby ranches who have committed to regenerative practices and respect toward their animals.
The good news about feathers is that they are often upcycled from other purposes and saved from becoming waste. But the bad news is that these sources are often associated with poor animal treatment. If your heart is set on a featherbed or other feathered bedding product, be sure to look for third-party verified sourcing certifications like the Responsible Down Standard.
Maintenance & Cleaning
Featherbeds are not machine washable, and dry cleaning is an inconvenient (and not eco-friendly) expense. Our wool topper is easy to spot clean, and the wool doesn’t take on allergens and dust mites over time.
Feathers are light, but they’re also difficult to keep in place within the featherbed. This is why you’ll see different tufts and stitching patterns available, all in an effort to keep the feathers from shifting. No matter how well-stuffed a featherbed is, those downy feathers have a hard time staying where they should be—beneath your body providing comfort. The featherbed requires a daily readjustment to redistribute the feathers.
Not our wool topper! All it requires is some sunshine once or twice a year and an occasional fluffing if you so desire.
The Magical Benefits of Wool
With over 25 years of selling wool bedding, one thing has become abundantly clear to us—wool is the ideal fiber for sleep. Customers are often surprised at how much better they sleep and how much better they feel the next day. Body aches and pains are eased, and allergies and sensitivities diminish. And we all know that when you’re able to get good sleep, everything else in life improves too.
What About Cost?
It’s possible to get a featherbed for a very good price. In our research, it’s not possible to get a high quality, sustainable featherbed made with organic fabric and sourced responsibly for humane animal welfare at a price better than our wool toppers. So, on an apples-to-apples comparison, and given the list above, our wool topper comes out on top and is a worthy addition to your bedroom.
If you’re not already a convert, we hope you’ll check out our Snuggle Mate Wool Topper. If certified organic are important keywords for you, we’ve got the Ashland Organic Wool Topper. And for one on the go, be sure to look at the Travel Mate Wool Topper too.
Thanks so much for stopping by! We love sharing about the magic of wool, so check us out on Instagram and Pinterest if you haven’t already. And until next time, sweet dreams!