What’s The Best Wool Mattress In The UK In 2022?

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A wool mattress is what you’d call a ‘traditional’ choice for a mattress.

They’re made in a tried-and-tested way. My mother would probably want a wool mattress after watching a feature on Countryfile about sheep shearing.

Wool is a naturally breathable material which can add a bit of comfort to a mattress. It is generally used alongside pocket sprung mattresses. They’re the type of mattresses that most of us have been sleeping on our whole lives. The idea is that the wool will help you stay cool in bed. You can do your own punchline to that sentence.

Scientific research into the benefits of a wool mattress

There’s some solid science behind using a wool mattress. According to a Woolmark guide to wool clothing, wool is ‘hygroscopic’. That means it ‘absorbs water vapour from its surrounding environment far more effectively than other common apparel fibres’. 

They reckon that wool is able to ‘protect the body against changes in temperature and moisture levels’. The blog is focused on its breathable benefits for exercise. However, the same principles can be applied to mattresses and blankets where you want to maintain a consistent temperature.

Woolmark conclude that wool has a ‘water vapour uptake’ of more than 30%. Cotton achieves below 20% and synthetic polyester is below 5%.

If you’re interested in the technical side of it, take a look at this study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, They concluded that ‘The ability of wool to absorb a relatively large amount of water compared with other fibres, without feeling wet, comes from the matrix proteins, which are richer in sulfur‘.

Can a wool mattress help you sleep better?

An Australian academic study from the 1980s into the benefits of wool is also worth a mention. The study was called ‘Effect of a fleecy woollen underlay on sleep‘ and was published by Dickson in 1984. It found that…‘woollen underlay significantly reduced the observed postural activity’ . In other words, people moved about less when sleeping on wool.

The same study also found that the wool ‘underlay’ ‘favourably influenced subjective estimates of sleep’. So, people sleeping on wool felt like they’d had a better night’s sleep than those sleeping on a different material.

Anyway, let’s move on to the main event.

We’ve picked out five of the best wool mattresses on the market in the UK. We compared value for money, specification, customer reviews and awards. We’ve included some pricey ones from the poshest names in the mattress market as well as some cheap wool mattresses. Prices are for double mattress sizes. Review scores and prices are correct at the time of writing.


1. ​​Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 Pocket Mattress – medium/firm – £329

Millbrook have some reasonably priced wool mattresses and they come with the added bonus of a 60 night trial. Do check the details as your option is to swap it for another mattress rather than asking for a refund.

Millbrook sell soft, medium and firm wool mattresses. We’ve picked out the 1000 pocket spring model which is towards the cheaper end of their wool mattress range.

1000 pocket springs is adequate for most people. If you’re above average weight then you might want to look at one of their models with a higher spring count. That will give you a bit of extra support.

This model makes our list thanks to a decent specification for the price and glowing reviews of 9/10 after about 250 customer reviews. It comes with a 10 year warranty which is well above average for a pocket spring mattress.

In case this is all jargony waffle, you just need to know that there are two main types of spring used in mattresses. Cheap and nasty mattresses use ‘open coil’ springs which wobble around like jelly on a bouncy castle. The better option is a ‘pocket sprung’ mattress which offers more stability and support.

This mattress features ‘layers of springy 100% fleece wool, sourced from Hampshire’ and is double sided which means you can flip it over which should help it last a bit longer.

Is the firmness of this wool mattress right for you?

This wool mattress is more likely to be more suited to people who are average weight or slightly above average weight. That’s because it is medium-firm.

There’s another factor to consider when choosing the firmness of your wool mattress. people who sleep on their backs or fronts need slightly firmer mattresses than people who sleep on their sides.

The idea is that you combine your weight and your sleeping position to figure out what level of firmness you need. It’s a bit of a stab in the dark if you’re buying online. However, you’ve always got the 60 night trial period if it isn’t right for you.

This mattress is also nice and deep (25cm) and comes with a 10 year guarantee. That’s more than you’d expect for the price. Millbrook isn’t a particularly famous mattress brand but it’s certainly a good specification for the money.

For and against – our expert opinion of the Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000

“A definite plus point with this Millbrook mattress is the price. It offers a lot for the money. It is about a third of the price of some rivals, such as the John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Fleece Wool 8400 Mattress”

“A double layered mattress like this one should last well. The wool layers will help maintain your temperature thanks to its hygroscopic qualities”

​”The long warranty and trial period is a definite plus point. You don’t get that with the similarly priced Happy Beds Signature 2000 Pocket. One drawback is that the spring count is quite low, which won’t suit heavier people”

Millbrook wool luxury mattress
Millbrook has won awards and this natural mattress scores very highly with customers
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Search latest deals on Millbrook mattress
Medium/firm tension + outstanding reviews + sleep trial
Medium/firm tension + outstanding reviews + sleep trial Show Less

2. Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400 Pocket Mattress – medium tension – £539

Sleepeezee is a highly rated and award-winning mattress brand but it isn’t as expensive as you might imagine. They sell a number of wool mattresses including the medium firmness Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400 Pocket Mattress. There are also some cheaper Sleepeezee wool mattresses if you’d rather spend a bit less such as the 2000 wool model.

The Sleepeezee brand has a Royal Warrant (meaning they supply a Royal Household) and it scores an outstanding customer review score of 4.2/5 on TrustPilot.

This particular model didn’t have reviews when I checked but similar models in the wool mattress range scored highly.

It has ‘a double layer of 100% British wool’ which sits on top of two layers of pocket springs. This mattress is what’s known as a pillow top. That means it has a topper which is permanently fixed to one side of the mattress for extra comfort.

You can’t turn this mattress over unfortunately. Instead, you just spin it round regularly to reduce sags and dips over time.

The 2400 figure relates to the number of springs, which are spread over two layers. From the diagram it looks as though there are 1200 springs on each layer, but it’s not entirely clear. 

The usual range on a good quality mattress is between 1000 and 2000 springs. If you’re very heavy you’ll get more support from a number at the top of that range. However, for most people a figure of 1200 springs would provide plenty of support. Of course, with two layers of springs you’ll feel well supported.

Argos sell a similar model from Sleepeezee which is firm rather than medium.

For and against – our expert opinion of the Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400

“This Sleepeezee mattress has a terrific specification considering it is very much a mid-priced purchase. You get the prestige of buying a mattress with a Royal Warrant without paying the prices you might for a Hypnos mattress (which also have Royal Warrants)

Another plus point is that you get two layers of springs, which add extra comfort and support. 

However, because it’s a pillowtop wool mattress, you can’t turn it over which I see as a downside. The warranty length is also half that of the Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000. That’s despite the Sleepeezee mattress being the more expensive model.” 

sleepeezee wool 2400 mattress
Sleepeezee are approved by Royalty but they are reasonably priced
sleepeezee
Search latest deals ​on Sleepeezee Wool Supreme
Respected UK brand + Royal Warrant + comfort trial
Respected UK brand + Royal Warrant + comfort trial Show Less

3. ​John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Fleece Wool 8400 Mattress – medium or firm – £1199

The John Lewis Natural Collection of mattresses is made by a Yorkshire-based company called Harrison Spinks. They won the best manufacturer award at the National Bed Federation Awards in 2018. That’s the main industry awards for those of you who don’t keep up with mattress news.

Even more thrillingly, the spring used in this mattress won an award in 2019. It gave a great speech about how it had bounced back.

Harrison Spinks is also one of the only mattress brands with a Manufacturing Guild Mark. That’s another sign of British-made quality.

There are several mattresses in the Natural Collection range which use wool. They range in price from about £950 – £1400 for a double mattress. 

We’ve picked out the 8400 model which ticks pretty much every box that I look for in a pocket sprung mattress. It uses three different layers of British wool, blended with other materials. According to the blurb ‘more than 50% of the fillings in each mattress are sourced and grown from a local farm’.

What’s going on with the huge spring count?

Don’t get too obsessed with finding a mattress with thousands of springs. There’s a limit to how many you can fit onto one layer of a mattress. Most of the heavy lifting is done by a layer of larger pocket springs. The two layers of mini springs provide a bit of extra comfort. 

Other good signs are that this mattress can be turned over. That should help prolong its life, as long as you have the strength to lift it. It also has something called Hand Side Stitching which just means that it has been well-built with plenty of strength at the edges.

It comes with a 7 year guarantee which is pretty good for a pocket sprung mattress but not as long as many foam mattresses. ‘Bed in a box’ brands like EmmaSimba and Eve Sleep come with a 10 year guarantee whilst Nectar Sleep and DreamCloud come with a ‘forever’ guarantee.

This mattress is available in medium tension or firm tension. According to John Lewis’ mattress buying guide, their medium tension mattresses are ‘Suitable for bodyweights of 8-16 stone (50kg-100kg)’. Their firm mattresses offer ‘Optimum comfort for bodyweights over 16 stone (100kg+)’. 

One other factor to throw into the mix (just to confuse you further) is that people who sleep on their front or back need slightly firmer mattresses than people who sleep on their sides. That might help sway you if you’re on the borderline between those bodyweights.

For and against – our expert opinion of the John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Fleece Wool 8400 Mattress

“You know you’re getting quality with the John Lewis & Partners brand and the Harrison Spinks reputation within the mattress industry. There are several things in the pros column for this mattress. For example, it can be turned over and it uses manufacturing methods which are established as the best in the business. I like the fact that you can choose medium or firm tensions. Clear guidance is given so you aren’t left guessing which is right for you.”

“The massive spring count grabs your attention but don’t forget that there’s a difference between full size pocket springs and mini springs. The recently introduced John Lewis & Partners comfort trial is another plus point, albeit with a few caveats.”

“The question is whether it is worth the money. It costs about twice as much as the Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400 Pocket Mattress or about three times as much as the ​​Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 Pocket Mattress.” 

“It actually has a shorter warranty period than the Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 Pocket Mattress. That is definitely one for the cons column. It’s actually the thinnest of our five best wool mattresses. However, 23cm is deep enough so I wouldn’t see that as a notable negative.”

John Lewis natural collection mattress
It ain’t cheap but this John Lewis wool mattress has many signs of quality
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Search latest deals on John Lewis Natural Collection 8400 (medium tension)
John Lewis reputation for quality + high spring count
John Lewis reputation for quality + high spring count Show Less
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Search latest deals on John Lewis Natural ​Collection 8400 (firm tension)
John Lewis brand reputation for quality + high spring count
John Lewis brand reputation for quality + high spring count Show Less

4. Herdy Sleep Wool Mattress – medium/firm – £849

The Herdy Sleep sales pitch says that it uses ‘one full Herdwick fleece’ in each mattress and that by buying it you’re keeping a traditional trade going. They’re the sheep with curly horns which live in the Lake District. 

But is it any good as a mattress?

As with the John Lewis 8400 mattress, it’s made by award-winners Harrison Spinks and has a similarly massive spring count (7000). Again, it’s worth realising that the figure includes a layer of normal size springs and two layers of mini ‘comfort’ springs. Anyway, you’ll get plenty of support with it.

One big difference is that you can’t turn this mattress over. This is because the layer of ‘Herdwick wool, cotton and cashmere’ is only on the top layer. Instead, you rotate it round to avoid getting dips and sags. Some guides I’ve read suggest that mattresses which can be flipped tend to last longer. However, I’ve not seen any detailed study with multi-coloured graphs and pie charts to back that up.

​On the plus side, it comes with a 10 year guarantee which is a long time for a pocket spring mattress.

Perhaps most impressively, it comes with a 100 night trial period (check the Ts and Cs). Such things are now quite common with memory foam mattresses but they’re less common with pocket sprung mattresses. You can also try them out at about 10 different stores around the UK. However, that doesn’t really compare to being able to sleep on it for a few weeks before deciding if you want to keep it.

For and against – our expert opinion of the Herdy Sleep Wool Mattress

“The Herdy Sleep Mattress ticks a lot of boxes – but there are a couple of negatives compared to its rivals.”

“Top of the pros column is the trial period. It is longer than that offered by the John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Fleece Wool 8400 Mattress or the Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000. The guarantee also trumps the more expensive John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Fleece Wool 8400 Mattress ​and the somewhat cheaper Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400 Pocket Mattress.”

“I also like the company’s willingness to say where the wool has come from. Mattress brands often use a mix of wools from different places but this approach gives an assurance of quality.”

“The spring count is similar to the John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Fleece Wool 8400 Mattress. However, numbers aren’t everything when it comes to mattress springs.”

“A negative with the Herdy Sleep Mattress is that you can’t turn it over. The Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 Pocket Mattress is double sided and less than half the price. It’s also a bit limited in the sizes available. It won’t be any good for you if you have a small double or small single bed”

herdy sleep mattress
Each Herdysleep mattress include ‘one full Herdwick fleece’ from the Lake District
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Search latest deals on Herdy Sleep
Trial period + natural materials + pocket springs
Trial period + natural materials + pocket springs Show Less

5. Happy Beds Signature 2000 Pocket Sprung Pillow Top Natural Fillings Mattress – medium/firm – £319

Happy Beds is a budget mattress brand but it’s a good choice if you want a cheap wool mattress which doesn’t look cheap. The descriptions don’t quite go into as much gushing detail about where the sheep are from or what proportion of the mattress is wool. Instead, this Signature 2000 model says that it is ‘filled with a wealth of wool, cotton and cashmere’.

It’s another pillow top mattress. That means it has a topper which is permanently fixed to the mattress for comfort. 

It’s got a very high pocket spring count, meaning that it will provide plenty of support even if you are heavier than average. It’s also massively thick at 33cm, which is more than some mattresses which cost five times as much.

Unfortunately you can’t turn this one over, but you rotate it round to prolong its life.​ It’s made in the UK and has a five year guarantee.

Overall, Happy Beds was scoring 4.2/5 on TrustPilot when we checked in 2022.

For and against – our expert opinion of the Happy Beds Signature 2000

“Happy Beds isn’t a famous or prestigious name in the mattress market. However, the Signature 2000 has a much higher spring count than the similarly priced Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 Pocket Mattress. That means it is particularly suited for heavier people”

“The warranty length matches the Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400 but isn’t as good as the 10 years offered with the Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 Pocket Mattress.”

“The main downside for me with the Signature 2000 is that there’s no trial period and you only buy it online. If you don’t find it comfortable then you are stuck with it” 

happy beds 2000 mattress
Happy Beds are a budget mattress brand but the specifications are decent
Save £££
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Search latest price on Happy Beds Signature 2000
5 year warranty + high spring count
5 year warranty + high spring count Show Less

Side by side: how do our top 5 wool mattresses compare?

What’s it called?How much is it?Warranty and trialHow firm is it?DepthSizes
Millbrook Wool Luxury
1000 Pocket Mattress
£32910 years,
60 night trial
Medium/firm25cmSmall Single,
Single,
Small Double,
Double,
King, 
Super King
Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400£5395 yearsMedium27cmSingle, 
Small Double,
Double,
King,
​Super King
John Lewis & Partners 
Natural Collection Fleece Wool 8400
£11997 years,
60 night
​comfort trial
Medium or 
​firm
23cmSingle, 
Small Double,
Double,
King, 
Super King
Herdy Sleep Wool Mattress£84910 years,
100 night trial
Medium/firm26cmSingle, 
Double,
King,
​Super King
Happy Beds Signature 2000£3195 years, no trialMedium/firm33cm
Small Single,
Single,
Small Double,
Double,
King,
Super King

The science behind sleep: is wool a good material for sleeping?

There has been an academic study carried out into the performance of wool as a material for sleepwear and bedding. 

The topic was examined in 2016, with the support of an organisation called Australian Wool Innovation Ltd. If you want to have a read, the paper is called The effects of fabric for sleepwear and bedding on sleep at ambient temperatures of 17°C and 22°C’ by Shin, Halaki et al.

First, they tested out merino wool sleepwear along cotton sleepwear. They are both natural materials with strong reputations for breathability but they want to see which performed best.

In the study, those wearing the merino wool sleepwear fell asleep quicker and they also slept a bit better and for longer. The first of those three points was noted as being most noticeable with the second two points being subtler (‘Sleeping in wool sleepwear produced a significantly shorter Sleep Onset Latency than cotton’ and ‘Marginally significant results were observed for an increased Total Sleep Time and Sleep Efficiency when sleeping in wool compared to cotton sleepwear’.

The second part of the study examined polyester bedding alongside wool bedding. This isn’t quite the same as examining how a wool topper performs, but it’s still worth a mention. 

In this case, the researchers didn’t find notable differences between the sleep experienced by those taking part in the study. They concluded that ‘there was no bedding effect on sleep’ and ‘no main effects were observed for bedding types’. 

However, researchers did reference another study by Ha, Tokura et al which concluded that ‘when comparing cotton to polyester fabric at a body temperature of 37°C and 60% relative humidity, a higher sweating rate was observed with polyester, since polyester is less hygroscopic than cotton’.