Regular wool bedding care is important in order to keep your bedding fresh and to increase its longevity. Some of our products can be washed; make sure to read our advice before you begin!
1. Allow Your Bedding to Breathe Daily
The easiest way to care for your natural fiber bedding is by unmaking your bed every morning. In order to let the most active areas of your bedding breathe, pull back your comforter and blankets for at least an hour or two after you wake up. Your wool bedding has been actively wicking moisture away from your skin throughout the night in order to keep you in a comfortable temperature zone. Giving your bedding a daily chance to air out allows it to release that moisture and stay fresh.
2. Fold Mattress Topper Down Once Each Month
Once per month (or whenever you change your sheets) pull your mattress topper down over the foot of your bed. This allows the very middle of your bed to air out and release moisture. This is a great time to rotate and flip your mattress topper in order to create even compression.
3. Seasonal Sun and Air
Once each season, remove all of your wool bedding (other than the mattress, which only needs to be sunned once per year) and place them out in the sun. Sun will naturally deodorize, bleach, disinfect, and revitalize your bedding. You can hang the bedding over railings or furniture, hang them out the window, or lay them on a blanket in the sun. If you are unable to bring your bedding outside, you can place the items near a fireplace/stove or other source of dry heat.
If you live in a particularly humid climate you can take additional steps:
- Use a dehumidifier
- Sun and air bedding more frequently
- Fold all bedding over to allow the bottom of the mattress additional air
- Use a space-heater as a stand-in for sun
- Vacuum your mattress to pull air through the fibers
Wool is incredibly resistant to mold and mildew. Keep an eye on the wooden slats of your frame for early signs of mildew.
- Begin with the right frame
- Breaking-in a new wool Mattress
- Mattress size and shape considerations
- Mattress care
The correct frame is essential for the comfort and longevity of your wool mattress. A beautiful Shepherd’s Dream LLC Wool Mattress deserves a compatible frame. Look for these elements:
- Solid wooden slats instead of a box spring or solid platform (both block airflow).
- Slats are spaced 1.5” apart to provide the best support. (Slats spaced more than 2” apart may allow the sleeper to feel the spaces between the slats)
- Wooden slats are 2.5” wide to accommodate the addition of our latex strips. Other widths will work for the mattress, but will not accommodate our latex strips.
- If you are interested in a frame style that we do not offer, our custom box insert will add the ideal slatted support to any frame.
Our warranty does not cover problems associated with the use of frames that we do not recommend with our wool bed.
“Breaking-in” a New Wool Mattress
‘Each wool mattress is carefully compressed by hand when it is created, but be aware that a mattress will compress an additional 10-15% during the first 3-6 months of use. Our other wool-filled products will compress 30-40% (pillows and mattress toppers). This is a completely natural process; it does not decrease any of the positive qualities of sleeping with wool. In order to avoid creating “dips” where you sleep, a few simple steps can be taken.
- Flip and rotate your new bedding frequently
- Sleep on all parts of your bed. An occasional nap in the center of the bed will help to avoid a “hump” where no one usually sleeps.
- Remember that the compression stops after a few months of regular use. Parts of your bed that are used rarely (edges and the center) will catch up quickly.
If you desire more “give” after compression is complete, you can add another snuggle mate, latex strips, or wool felt.
When we create your mattress, we allow no more than a 1″ variation from standard bed dimensions. Be aware that the tight packaging for shipping often causes the mattress to temporarily gain/lose a couple of inches. The mattress will reshape itself naturally once it has had a chance to lay flat for a couple of days. Also, the mattress will expand slightly as it settles and compresses with use. A mattress can gain 1 to 2 inches in length and width after about 6 months of use.
Continued Mattress Care
Once your mattress is completely compressed it requires only minimal care. Continue to follow the regular care steps for natural bedding. The mattress will benefit greatly from an annual day in the sun. This is also a great time to rotate and flip the mattress. You can vacuum your mattress if it needs additional cleaning.
Wool Mattress Protector Care
Wool should always be washed with care. Frequent washing can strip the fibers of lanolin removing some of the beneficial properties of wool. (Lanolin adds dust-mite and mildew resistant properties to wool fibers.)
Your mattress protector can be machine washed. Front-loaders are best, but not necessary. Always use a “delicate” or “woolen” cycle and cold water. Use a mild detergent or one that is formulated for wool such as Eucalan, Kookabura or Woolite. You can purchase Eucalan detergent on our website.
Care Instructions for Woolen Bed Felts
The wool seems to thrive with regular but not constant sun exposure (just like people!). Wool naturally neutralizes itself – it could be considered a “self-cleaning” fiber as it releases odors quickly. The best and simplest care instructions for your wool felts is to Sun and Air them on a regular basis.
THE ‘NO SHRINK’ WASH METHOD
For the layered felt bed, only the “protection layer” (top layer closest to the body) needs to be washed. Wash only when necessary.
Soiling and dirt washes out of wool easily. To avoid shrinkage, we recommend the ‘foot washing on a roll’ method (this is a traditional Persian method of washing wool rugs).
For this you will need:
PVC plastic pipe, 3″ in diameter and long enough to accommodate your felt with about a foot to spare on either side of the felt. These are easily available at your local hardware or lumber yard. Queen felt requires PVC pipe approximately 7′ long. King felt requires PVC pipe approximately 8′ long. You will need approximately 10 to 15 gallons of hot, soapy water.
- Begin by laying felt out flat on an outdoor, clean surface, such as a cement pad or a cement driveway. Wet the felt with the warm soapy water, using a garden watering can.
- Roll felt onto the PVC pipe snugly, and secure the roll by tying with cotton or wool cloth strips at 5 locations along the roll, using a half bow for easy release and re-use.
- Use some kind of support bar or several chars to support you as you foot stomp along the full length of the rolled up felt. Stomp every inch of the upper section of felt, back and forth several times, then turn a quarter turn and repeat until you have gone around the whole roll once or twice.
- Use soap free water to rinse felt. Follow the same method of foot stomping, turning the roll 4 times until the felt has been fully rinsed.
- Lift one end of the roll to rest on the bar or chair and let it drip dry for an hour or so.
- Unroll the felt to lay flat on the clean cement pad to dry.
- You can stretch and shape the felt a little while wet.
- Dries quickly. It feels good to lay on a moist felt. Try it sometime.
THE BATH TUB METHOD
Fill tub a few inches deep with slightly soapy warm water. Press wool felt into the water, saturating it completely. Let the felt soak for a half hour. Knead and swoosh it around to remove the soiling. Drain the tub. Fill tub again a few inches deep with non-soapy, clear water for rinsing. Swoosh and knead the felt until the soap is removed. Let the water drain out. Leave the felt in the tub to continue draining for another half hour — or more. Ring out the water occasionally. Pull the felt out of the bathtub when it has had a chance to fully drain and dry a little so it is just moist.
Now lay the felt flat on a floor (that can handle moisture) and let it dry. The felts dry quickly. While still moist, stretch the felt if necessary to the desired size. There should be very little shrinkage from the start measurements, if any.
Voila! Clean felt!
Finish by sunning and airing if desired.
MACHINE WASHING METHOD (use at your own risk of shrinkage- from 10% to 30%)
To avoid much shrinkage, it is very important to use a short wash cycle and COLD water on a delicate setting, using the lowest water level setting. Must use a front loader — NEVER A TOP LOADER. Commercial washing machines are most effective. You will need to use a large front loader washing machine at your local Laundromat to accommodate the large bed felts. Pack the felt into the machine, with some room to spare. If packed too tight the felting will be less vigorous and less consistent. Too much room will result in more felting, thus more shrinkage.
The felt dries quickly when stretched out flat to dry — ideally in the sun, but indoors is fine too. Stretch or shape the felt while still wet.
With constant use, the new felt will begin to ‘pill’ (tiny balls form on the surface of the felt where there is the most contact). This is unavoidable. Before washing (once or twice a year), take the little pillings off by hand. With each washing the felt will pill less and less.
Cleaning Up Accidents
Accidents happen. Most wool products can be gently hand-washed. Make sure to avoid warm/hot water and to dry the item completely before use.
- Use towels to remove most of the spill.
- Smaller accidents can be spot cleaned with a soft brush and soapy water.
- To remove residual stains you can dampen the stained area (use a little lemon for additional bleaching) and place in the sun.
For larger accidents
- 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.
- Again, be sure that the item is thoroughly dry before using.
We do not recommend dry-cleaning because of the harsh and toxic chemicals. Shepherd’s Dream LLC is not responsible for improper care that may alter the size or form of our products.