5 best wool mattresses 2020
Wool is a naturally breathable material which can add a bit of comfort to a mattress. It is usually used alongside pocket sprung mattresses, which are 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).
A wool mattress with pocket springs is what you'd call a 'traditional' choice for a mattress, as 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.
Anyway, enough waffle.
We've picked out five of the best wool mattresses on the market in the UK by comparing 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 correct at the time of writing and are for a double mattress. Singles are cheaper, king size are more expensive. I imagine you'd have worked that out for yourself.
1. Millbrook Wool Luxury 1000 Pocket Mattress - medium/firm - £374
Millbrook have some reasonably priced wool mattresses and they come with the added bonus of a 60 night trial, although 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 but 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 but if you're above average weight then you might want to look at one of their models with a higher spring count to get 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 150+ 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.
As it's a medium-firm mattress it will tend to be more suited to people who are average weight or slightly above weight. The other factor to consider when choosing firmness is that 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, but 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 which is 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.
2. Sleepeezee Wool Supreme 2400 Pocket Mattress - medium tension - £539
Sleepeezee is a highly rated and award-winning 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 which is well worth a look. 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 when we checked the brand was scoring an outstanding customer review score of 4.5/5 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, which means that 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, so 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 but 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.
3. John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection fleece wool 8400 mattress - medium or firm - £950
The John Lewis Natural Collection of mattresses is made by a Yorkshire-based company called Harrison Spinks which 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. Needless to say, it gave a great speech.
There are several mattresses in the Natural Collection range which use wool ranging in price from about £950 - £1400 for a double mattress when we checked.
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'.
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 with two layers of mini springs providing a bit of extra comfort.
Other good signs are that this mattress can be turned over which 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 so that it has 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 Emma, Simba 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)' whilst 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.
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. For those of us who aren't experts on breeds of sheep, they're the ones 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 as 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, though 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 a handful of stores around the UK but that doesn't really compare to being able to sleep on it for a few weeks before deciding if you want to keep it.
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, meaning that 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 3.3/5 on TrustPilot when I checked.