Our FAQ 1. How does a wool mattress compare to a latex mattress? Our wool mattress is a futon style mattress. It is 100% wool, inside and out. The wool mattress is firmer than latex, yet it has more give than a cotton futon. If you are looking for a natural bed that has more give then what a futon style mattress provides, we recommend placing our wool mattress on top of our latex padded slats or a latex topper and adding a mattress topper to your mattress. This will be very similar to the feel of a latex mattress, but it is completely breathable and will last 2 to 3 times longer. 2. Does the wool bed indent, leaving dips in the bed? With proper care, our wool mattress can be evenly compressed. The wool mattress will compress about 10-15% during the first 3-6 months of use. Our Snuggle Mate topper will compress about 30% during this same period of time. Considering this compression, we advise our customers to rotate their bedding weekly as well as to sleep all over the mattress rather than in one spot. If there are 2 people sleeping in bed, we suggest that you snuggle in the center or take naps there in order to compress the center as well as the sides. If you follow these suggestions, you will end up with an evenly compressed mattress that can last a lifetime. 3. What is the difference between the 5″ and 4″ mattress? Which is better for me? The 5″ wool mattress is our most standard option. This is filled with about 12″ of wool and then compressed down to 5″ through our production methods. We recommend this mattress in most cases as it is more of a substantial mattress. It is less likely that one would feel the slats or the spaces underneath them when sleeping on the 5″ mattress. The 4″ mattress on the other hand, has 1/3 less wool fill and is suggested for those who prefer to have a bed with several separate layers. The best quality of this mattress is that it’s easier to maneuver because of its lighter weight. This mattress works best on top of latex slats or a latex topper and coupled with our Snuggle Mate. If you do not want latex, then I would suggest the 4″ mattress with 2 snuggle mate toppers. 4. What is the difference between the Snuggle Mate and the Travel Mate? The Snuggle Mate is 3″ thick while the Travel Mate is 2″ thick. Both of these toppers are designed to be placed on top of your existing mattress to provide additional comfort as well as the benefits of wool. The Snuggle Mate is our most popular mattress topper because it provides a substantial amount of cushion to your mattress. This topper will compress about 30% during the first 3 to 6 months of regular use, so we suggest that you rotate it and sleep all over the surface rather than in one place. The Snuggle Mate is best when you are looking to add more cushion to your existing mattress. The Travel Mate got its name because it is a perfect travel component when staying in hotels or on less comfortable beds. We recommend this topper for those who are already pleased with the softness of their bed, but would like to receive the benefits of sleeping on wool to which there are many. 5. What is the difference between Eco Wool and Organic Wool? Our Premium Eco wool batting is incredibly high-quality wool. This wool comes from local farms in the Norther California and Southern Oregon area. All of the farmers whom we buy Eco Wool from are raising their sheep without pesticides and treating them humanely. The Eco Wool program is committed to continually increasing the quality of our wool and to eventually becoming organic. Our Organic Wool comes from farms in New Zealand and is GOTS certified. There are actually very few farms in the United States that offer organic wool. The Organic Wool is of the best quality we’ve found on the market which is why we source from New Zealand. Due to the proprietary blend of sheep within each type of wool, we’ve noticed that the Eco Wool tends to be a bit loftier than the Organic Wool. 6. What is the difference between Dunlop and Talalay latex? We love to liken Dunlop latex to sponge cake and Talalay to angel food cake. This best describes the textural difference between the two types of latex. While both types are processed in the same way to a point, Talalay latex includes a couple of extra steps: the air is extracted and the latex is flash frozen to soften the foam even more. Read about the processing of latex on our blog. 7. Should I choose the 23oz. or the 18oz. sleep pillow? Each person has different needs when it comes to their sleep pillow. Our 18oz. pillow is perfect for those who prefer a thin pillow, one that will not lift their head very far from the rest of their spine. This is usually preferred by those who have sensitive cervical spines. This pillow is excellent in combination with our neck roll to provide ideal neck support. Our 23oz. pillow is a more standard fill. If you are used to sleeping with a synthetic pillow or a pillow with more loft, this would be the right fit for you. This pillow also works great in conjunction with our neck roll. Both of our pillows will compress about 35% and become less lofty than they were when first received. 8. Do you treat your mattresses with flame retardants? Fortunately, our mattress passed the Federal Flame testing for mattresses and mattress pads produced in the USA. 16 CFR 1633 is an open flame test where two open flames are ignited on the mattress at the same time. If the mattress does not self-extinguish within a certain amount of time, then it doesn’t pass. Luckily, wool is naturally flame resistant, therefore our mattress self-extinguished within ¼ of the time allowed without any flame retardants added to the mattress! Our mattress pads also passed the cigarette test 16 CFR 1632 without any problems. We are proud to offer a product that is completely natural and safe! 9. Why don’t you combine your wool mattress with other materials such as latex and cotton? All materials are different. They all have different benefits, different care needs and different longevity. Wool is superior to most other materials in many ways. Wool is naturally resilient, flame-resistant, breathable, durable and the best way to care for it is by placing it in the sun. Cotton is another natural fiber that is completely breathable but does not share any of wool’s other traits. Cotton does not have any spring to it, it is highly flammable and it collects and holds a large amount of moisture from your body and the air. Cotton is much more likely to mildew and it makes for a very firm sleeping surface. Latex comes from a rubber tree and is therefore considered natural although it is often blended with a synthetic latex that has all the same qualities except for its breathability. Latex is not entirely breathable, it is highly flammable, it’s not nearly as long lasting as wool and it is destroyed by sun light. Considering all of these differences, it makes perfect sense to us to keep these different materials separate from one another. The wool mattress will lose some of its resilience after several years, but the wool itself will still hold up. 10. Is wool bedding good for people with allergies or sensitivities? In most cases where people have chemical sensitivities or allergies, they find relief with our wool bedding. Our wool is not treated and our other materials are also organic without any additives. For more information or to request a sensitivity kit, click here. 11. How is your wool processed? After the wool is sheared off of the sheep, the first step is for the grower to remove the belly and dung wool. These are the dirtiest parts of the fleece, in turn leaving us with cleaner grease wool. Grease wool is the fresh wool right off of the sheep’s back before being processed in any way. Once we have collected all our wool for the year, the wool is shipped to Texas to be scoured or washed in the last large scale functional scouring plant in the USA. The wool is washed with boiling hot water and a natural detergent. After being washed, the wool is dried in huge commercial driers. When complete, the wool is then sent back to our mill in Montague, CA where the wool is picked and carded. Because the wool has been tightly packed in bails, the wool needs to be picked in order to add air to the wool making it fluffy and soft. At this stage, a little water is added to the fibers in order to decrease the chance of static electricity occurring during carding. The wool is then carded in a 3 breaker carding mill. A carding mill is a large machine with tons of large rollers that have spikes or combs all over them. These rolling combs take the wool fibers and stretch them out and lay them on top of each other to create a solid wool batt. The wool batting is what is placed inside all of our wool filled bedding products. 12. Does your wool itch? Our wool has very little scratchiness. It is so soft that some people like to sleep directly on the wool, although for most of us just one layer of organic cotton covering the wool creates a perfectly soft combination. If you are concerned about having a reaction to the wool, we would be happy to send you our sensitivity packet which includes samples of our wool and our other raw materials. To learn more about why wool sometimes makes people feel itchy and why our wool doesn’t, check out our blog. 13. Will the wool bed help my back pain? Wool has been known to relieve many body aches and pains including back pain. A wool bed in itself is not guaranteed to take away your back pain, but it will definitely help. Wool naturally makes you relax which in turn relieves stress and tension and allows your body to peacefully enter into sleep. This makes for a truly restorative sleep for all the cells of your body. We encourage people to also get some exercise during the day, take a hot bath or sauna in the evening, and eat healthy food in order to help with all types of body pains. 14. Can I place the wool mattress directly on the floor rather than on a slatted frame? It is okay to place the wool mattress on the floor temporarily, but for greater longevity, it is important that the mattress is placed on a slatted frame to allow for breathability and moisture flow. If you would like to sleep with the wool mattress on the floor we have some suggestions in order to keep it in good condition. Fold or roll the mattress up daily or at least once a week to allow for the underneath to air out and become completely dry. Place the mattress on a natural surface, ideally a floor made of wood, bamboo, cork or wool carpet/rug. 15. How do I store my wool comforter? If you are going to store your comforter during the summer months, we suggest that you store it either in a cedar chest, in a bright area or with a combination of different moth repellant scents such as essential oils of cedar, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and patchouli. You can keep a little sachet with some of these fresh herbs inside or use the oils. Or you can place the comforter in an air tight plastic bag if that sounds better to you. 16. My cat peed on the comforter, how do I clean it? Clean up as much as possible with towels. Fill bathtub or basin with cool/tepid water. Add a bit of detergent to the water or directly to soiled area. Submerge soiled area and swish gently in the water. Drain the basin, press water out of the bedding, and repeat as desired. Avoid wringing or twisting the wet wool. To remove odors, you can dilute vinegar in water and pour through the soiled area. 17. What is the neck pillow good for? The neck pillow is designed to relieve or cure cervical neck pain by keeping the natural curve or your neck supported. The neck pillow can be used with our sleep pillows although if you have a sensitive neck, we recommend using the 18oz. pillow because it will lift your head less. You can sleep on your back or on your side when using the neck roll. 18. What is the difference between Eco Wool and Pure Grow Wool? Pure Grow Wool was created back in the early 1990’s by Eliana Jantz (founder of Shepherd’s Dream LLC) and Sonoma County, CA woolgrowers. The program encouraged local woolgrowers to raise their sheep humanely by paying them a much better price for their wool. This program still continues, but we are not involved with the growers, so we do not truly know if these guidelines are still being followed. We do not use Pure Grow wool for our products. Soon after the start of Shepherd’s Dream LLC, we met Patrick Holland and together created the Eco Wool Program. The woolgrowers who supply us with our wool throughout Oregon and California are also committed to raising their sheep humanely in exchange for superior financial compensation. Our beautiful Eco Wool batting is the cleanest, fluffiest wool we have ever used. 19. What can my baby sleep on for the first 6 weeks before using a crib mattress? We make wool felted pads out of our pure wool batting. This is a pre-compressed pad that is soft, but firm and it is machine washable. We suggest layering 2 or 3 of these together and to cover it with a soft cotton sheet to make a little bed for a new baby. Our felts are quite affordable and they can be cut to any dimension you would like.