The Quest for a Good Night’s Sleep: Natural vs. Synthetic Mattresses and Bedding

If you are not enjoying a good night’s sleep, being either too hot, too cold, or waking up in the middle of the night soaking wet… you are not alone. The good news is, however, that there is a pretty simple solution to these issues and it’s all about the fabrics and the materials in your bed. Most probably it’s the foam mattress or the synthetic pillows and comforters that prevent you from having the restorative sleep you need. 

Have a look at your bedding and think about what could be improved. Look for synthetic materials and fabrics. Once you spot them, make a plan to gradually change them for natural ones and stick to it. 

Synthetic fabrics and materials like foam and polyester are all around us, easy to find, budget-friendly and they do come with a variety of benefits: trendy colors and textures, no need for ironing, extremely light, waterproof, stain and dust mite repellent. 

In order to become all of the above, however, the synthetic fibers, materials, and fabrics are treated with a lot of toxic chemicals that are kind neither to the body, nor the planet. On top of that they can never become so breathable as natural materials and fabrics, and thus often become the reason for not having a healthy sleep. 


It is the lack of breathability in your bed that is the reason you are waking up all covered in sweat in the middle of the night. A synthetic-filled comforter, plush blanket, a foam pillow, or a foam mattress might ruin pretty much everybody’s sleep. Synthetic bedding materials are not so breathable and do not wick away moisture as well as natural materials and fabrics do. 

Did you know that we lose about 1 liter of water each night? That’s a lot and it certainly has to go somewhere. 🙂

Home of Wool natural non-toxic wool-filled mattress

Natural fabrics like cotton, linen, wool, and silk are doing much better at wicking moisture and leaving your body fresh and cool during the night.

Linen, for example, can absorb as much as 20% of its weight in moisture before feeling wet… thus, always leaving you with a pleasant, fresh, cool feeling when sleeping on it.

Wool fiber has a naturally water-repellent outer layer that surrounds each hollow fiber, overlapping like shingles on a roof. While fiber’s core absorbs up to 1/3 of its weight in moisture vapor without becoming damp, the hard outer layer protects against outside liquid moisture. This results in water being repelled, but humidity absorbed, and that helps with thermoregulation. Wool keeps outside moisture away from the skin and also wicks away perspiration, thus keeping the body warm and dry. This is why wool bedding is perfect for hot sleepers.

Temperature Regulation and Comfort

The human body is designed to control its temperature so that it feels cool and fresh even during sleep. It does a marvelous job unless we put some obstacles on the way: usually a synthetic, highly unbreathable bed cover, blanket, or a comforter. 

A synthetic comforter for example will block the airway and stop the vapor from going away from our bodies, thus leaving us either too cold and shivering, or too hot and sweating. 

Wool is the best material for natural temperature regulation, followed by linen. So if you are fighting temperature sleep issues you’d better go with these two and feel the difference. 

A wool topper or a set of linen fitted sheets will surely improve the quality of your sleep. 

Home of Wool & Caley Alyssa collaboration - natural wool duvet

Safety & Kindness to the Planet

Synthetic fabrics and materials are a product of petroleum and in order to make them suitable for bedding, they are treated with a multitude of chemicals: dyes, fire retardants, glue, etc.. Most of them are extremely toxic. That in the long term could cause irritation to the skin at least. Over time synthetics and foam are off-gassing VOCs, including Formaldehyde which is extremely harmful to everybody, but especially for people who are hypersensitive and with severe allergies. 

Natural fabrics and materials do not off-gas any toxic compounds and some of them even act as a trap for VOCs while purifying the air in your home

As any petroleum-based product synthetics and foam are not biodegradable and are one of the biggest reasons for the alarming global pollution rates.

As we spend a third of our lives in our beds it is extremely important to make that part of our time well spent and as healthy as possible. Going back to nature and choosing all-natural and pure materials for the bedroom is one of the easiest ways to do it and it will definitely help you sleep better and wake up energized and looking forward to the day ahead. Synthetics for sure make our lives much easier but in some areas, the harm is greater than the benefit. Informed and conscious consumer choices can really make a difference in our everyday life and in the future of the planet and we owe it to ourselves to make these choices count.

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