5 Main Benefits of Wool Blankets and Why You Should Add them To Your Home Today
Did You Know: Wool has the benefit of thousands of natural air pockets that trap the warmth close to your body to keep you snug and warm. It is also naturaly wicks away body moisture and keeps you dry and cozy. It is also odor resistant too, making it perfect for those with sensitive noses!
The use of wool for bedding and clothing dates back to about 6000BCE. This is largely due to its widespread availability but more importantly for its beneficial properties in keeping us warm. Besides being strong, durable, natural, and environmentally friendly, wool compliments and promotes healthy sleep patterns.
Wool and animal hair with similar properties come from a number of different domesticated animals that offer a variety of textures, fiber thickness, weight, longevity, and price, to name a few.
Interestingly, because the hair of some domesticated animals closely resembles wool, they are generally referred to and accepted as wool.
Hair comes from domestic animals like goats, alpaca, rabbits, and camels, while wool comes solely from sheep.
No sheep were hurt in the making of this blanket - One of the many benefits of Wool is that it is sustainable and renewable resource
Benefits of wool blankets and the Different types of wool
Lambswool: Called virgin wool as it is sheared from young sheep or lambs. The shearing process only happens once; after this, the young lamb matures before being sheared again.
Melton: warm and durable, this wool is produced from English sheep. The process of thickening the wool makes it perfect for blankets and waterproof coats.
Merino: Produced from Merino sheep, this wool is a favorite choice for winter blankets and clothing.
Shetland: produced from sheep native to the Shetland Island, Scotland, this wool is commonly used for knitting but rarely used for blankets.
Benefits of wool blankets Different types of hair fibers that resemble wool
Angora: Produced from Angora rabbits, the hair is fluffy and light and is often blended to make it stronger. It also has the best moisture-wicking of all hair and wool types, including other natural fibers.
Alpaca: This is a soft yet durable hair and is one of the more popular hair types.
Camel: Used mainly in clothing upholstery and carpets, camel hair is economical but is rarely used for sleep accessories like blankets.
Cashmere: Produced from cashmere goats, this hair is lightweight and extremely soft.
Mohair: Produced from Angora goats, this hair has a distinct fizzy look as the topcoat hair often mixes with the undercoat hair. It is stronger, smoother, and more resilient than conventional wool.
The 5 main benefits of wool
Wool is a popular material for sleep accessories, including blankets, pillows, comforters or throws, mattress toppers, and protectors. The benefits listed below will shed some light on the ever-growing demand for wool sleep accessories.
1. WOOL BLANKETS ARE TEMPERATURE REGULATING
Wool being extremely breathable, naturally regulates your sleep temperature, giving you a more peaceful night's rest. It is an effective insulator meaning it will protect you from the lower outside temperature. But it also has the ability to prevent heat build-up under the covers by absorbing and dispelling the natural humidity produced by your body. Wool can absorb about 33% of its weight in moisture and will absorb sweat, drawing it away from your body while you sleep.
2. WOOL BLANKETS ARE FIRE RESISTANT
Wool makes for very poor fuel for a fire. It has a natural resistance to fire, which is one reason why hikers and outdoor adventures prefer wool blankets. If wool does catch alight for some reason, it will smolder and burn out without the flames spreading.
Air and rail travel is made safer by using wool carpeting, and wool uniforms protect firefighters, whereas the military provides troops with wool blankets.
3. WOOL BLANKETS ARE HYPOALLERGENIC
The fact that wool is breathable and naturally regulates temperature by purging moisture, creates a habitat not conducive to dust mites which will only thrive in damp, warm conditions. Wool also prevents the growth of fungal spores, requiring a hot moist habitat to thrive.
Fungal spores are a common cause of nighttime allergies that bring on coughing, sneezing, eye irritations, itching, and a runny nose. This is common in polyester, down, and feather bedding which traps heat and moisture to create the ideal breeding ground for both fungal spores and dust mites.
An allergy to wool is very rare, yet some people continuously claim to have an allergy to wool. Most cases of wool allergies only involve itching, which is not an allergic reaction to wool but rather a reaction to thick wool fibers rubbing against the skin, which causes itchiness. Wool is not an allergen; in fact, wool 17.5 microns or less has proved helpful to eczema and dermatitis sufferers.
Dust may settle on a wool blanket but will not stick to the blanket. By airing out the blanket, the wind will blow the dust-free. The hypoallergenic and temperature regulating qualities of wool promote better and longer deep sleep during the night.
4. WOOL BLANKETS WICKS AWAY MOISTURE
To wick away is to absorb or drain moisture, and this is exactly what wool does. Wool repels moisture from the outside and absorbs it from the inside, which is the sweat and humidity from your body that is allowed to evaporate into the air.
Wool is instantly warm in winter and cools in summer, making a wool blanket a year-round sleep accessory. Sleeping on top of a wool blanket is just as effective as sleeping under it. The microclimate that wool creates is dry, which makes it easy to regulate the temperature. Humid conditions are contained by wool through both its repelling and absorption/evaporation properties.
The hydrophobic or moisture repelling exterior of wool fiber is coated with natural wax and consists of overlapping scales that serve as a moisture repellent. While the hydrophilic or moisture-loving interior of wool fibers absorbs moisture and through millions of tiny pockets that manage both air and water allows fibers to retain and slowly allow the moisture to evaporate into the air. This unique property of wool ensures that the thermal efficiency of the dry microclimate it creates will not easily be compromised.
The moisture management system of wool prevents creating hot, humid conditions that are prone to housing dust mites, fungus spores, or any type of bacterial growth.
5. BASOTHO BLANKETS IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF SLEEP
A recent study conducted by the University of Sydney in association with The Woolmark Company found that wool sleep accessories contribute to a good night's sleep. A person's sleep health is greatly improved through using wool bedding. The study findings show:
Wool breathes better than synthetic bedding
Increases the duration of REM or deep sleep.
Efficiently regulates body temperature and maintains a comfortable sleeping temperature for longer.
One wool blanket will be fine for the summer months, while a second wool blanket can be added for the colder winter months. Wool being lightweight will not weigh you down and restrict your sleep with the extra wool blanket in winter. A big plus that many will cheer is that wool blankets do not store static electricity as synthetic blankets do, so there will be no surprise shocks.
Other studies have shown that using wool bedding lowers your heart rate and reduces sleep disturbances. Wool provides and maintains sufficient warmth throughout the night, which promotes deep sleep. People suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, bedsores, and other aches and pains find relief using wool bedding.
An interesting sleep statistic is that the average person loses about a pint of water over an eight-hour sleep period. Wool can deal with moisture loss and keeps you dry while you sleep, improving your overall quality of sleep. People who suffer from night sweats will benefit greatly by switching to wool blankets and other wool sleep accessories.
Washing your wool blanket
Wool is considered a self-cleaning material that just needs to be aired out for a few hours. The wind will blow any dust particles off the blanket. However, at times it will become necessary to wash your wool bedding. Here are some pointers to remember before you simply shove your blanket into the machine.
Contemporary wool blankets are easy to clean or wash, and most recommend being hand washed in cold water. Some wool blankets can be washed in a washing machine, but the instructions must state this and must be closely followed.
If you are using your washing machine, be sure to select the wool setting, which is a gentle wash. The water temperature should always be cold. It is advisable to use a very mild detergent and a gentle natural softener. It's best to wind dry your blanket outside.
With hand washing, you also need to use cold water and gently wash your wool blanket using a minimum amount of soap; also, only use a gentle natural fabric softener. Once done, do not wring your blanket out to drain the excess water. Rather, fold the blanket into a manageable size and use dry towels to press the excess water out.
To dry the blanket, it's best to avoid direct sun. If possible, spread the blanket out horizontally over a mesh platform or, alternatively, hand it over two or three lines of your washing line. This should prevent the weight of the remaining water from distorting the shape of your blanket while it dries.
A few final words on the Benefits Of Wool Blankets
As you can see, the benefits of wool are not superficial; they are real benefits that will protect you and your family from dust mites, fungus spores, and bacteria that could otherwise impact your health negatively.
When purchasing wool bedding, always check the label to confirm the quality and washing recommendations. Wool blankets vary in quality, and blended wool blankets may not offer the full benefits of a pure wool blanket.
Wool blankets and other wool bedding accessories are definitely worth the investment because they literally do last a lifetime and perhaps beyond.
Wool blankets offer a range of benefits, including:
Warmth: Wool is a natural insulator that helps to keep you warm in cold weather.
Moisture-wicking: Wool is naturally moisture-wicking, which means it can absorb and evaporate sweat and other moisture, helping to keep you dry and comfortable.
Breathability: Wool is breathable, which allows air to circulate through the fibers, helping regulate your body temperature and prevent overheating.
Durability: Wool fibers are solid and resilient, making wool blankets durable and long-lasting.
Hypoallergenic: Wool is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew, making it a good choice for people with allergies or asthma.
Fire-resistant: Wool is naturally fire-resistant, making wool blankets safer than synthetic ones.
Eco-friendly: Wool is a renewable and biodegradable resource, making it an eco-friendly choice for environmentally conscious people.
Overall, wool blankets are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a warm, comfortable, and durable blanket that offers a range of benefits.
Is it worth it to buy a wool blanket?
Whether or not a wool blanket is worth buying depends on your needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:
Climate: A wool blanket may be a good investment due to its insulating properties if you live in a colder climate or prefer a warmer blanket.
Allergies: If you have allergies, a wool blanket may be a good choice as it is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew.
Cost: Wool blankets can be more expensive than blankets made from synthetic materials, so consider whether the additional cost is worth the benefits for you.
Durability: Wool blankets are generally long-lasting and can withstand wear and tear, so you won't need to replace them as frequently.
Sustainability: Wool is a renewable resource, and wool blankets are biodegradable, making them an eco-friendly choice.
Overall, a wool blanket may be worth investing in if you prioritize warmth, durability, and sustainability in a blanket and can afford the higher price tag.
However, if you have specific preferences or concerns, consider other materials.
Is wool or cotton blanket better?
Wool and cotton blankets have unique features and benefits, so which one is better will depend on your preferences and needs.
Here are some key differences between wool and cotton blankets:
Warmth: Wool is generally considered warmer than cotton, as it has natural insulating properties and traps heat effectively. This makes wool blankets an excellent choice for colder climates or people who tend to get chilly at night.
Breathability: Cotton is more breathable than wool, allowing air to circulate more freely, and can help regulate body temperature. Cotton blankets are a good choice for warmer climates or people who get too hot at night.
Softness: Cotton is generally softer and smoother than wool, making it more comfortable against the skin. However, some people may prefer the texture and feel of wool.
Durability: Wool is more durable and resistant to wear and tear than cotton, so wool blankets tend to last longer. However, wool also requires more care and maintenance than cotton, as it can shrink or feel if washed improperly.
Allergies: Some people may be allergic to wool or find it irritating to their skin. Cotton is generally hypoallergenic and less likely to cause allergic reactions.
Overall, both wool and cotton blankets have their unique advantages and disadvantages. It's essential to consider your personal preferences and needs when choosing between the two.
What is the best wool for blankets?
When choosing wool for blankets, several types of wool are commonly used. Here are a few of the best types of wool for blankets:
Merino wool: This is a high-quality wool that comes from Merino sheep. It is soft, lightweight, and has excellent insulating properties, making it a popular blanket choice.
Cashmere wool: This is a luxury wool that comes from cashmere goats. It is soft, warm, and luxurious, making it an ideal choice for cozy blankets.
Alpaca wool: This is a soft, silky wool from alpaca animals. It is lightweight, hypoallergenic, and has excellent insulating properties, making it a great choice for blankets.
Lambswool: This is a soft, fluffy wool from young lambs. It is warm, durable, and has a natural elasticity, making it a popular blanket choice.
Shetland wool: This durable, sturdy wool comes from Shetland sheep. It is warm and has a slightly rough texture, making it a good choice for blankets that are used for outdoor activities.
Ultimately, the best type of wool for blankets will depend on your preferences and needs.
It's essential to consider warmth, softness, durability, and allergy sensitivities when choosing wool for your blanket.
What are the advantages of wool?
Wool has several advantages, making it a popular material for clothing, blankets, and other textiles.
Here are some of the key advantages of wool:
Insulating properties: Wool is an excellent insulator, which can help regulate body temperature by trapping warm air close to the skin. This makes it an excellent choice for clothing and blankets in colder climates.
Moisture-wicking: Wool is naturally moisture-wicking, which means it can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet. This helps to keep the skin dry and comfortable, even during physical activity.
Fire-resistant: Wool is naturally fire-resistant, making it less likely to ignite or spread flames than other materials. This makes it a safer choice for clothing and bedding.
Durable: Wool is a durable material that can withstand wear and tear, making it a long-lasting choice for clothing and textiles.
Easy to care for: Wool is naturally resistant to odors and stains and can easily be machine-washed or dry-cleaned.
Sustainable: Wool is a renewable resource that is biodegradable and compostable, making it a more sustainable choice compared to synthetic materials.
Overall, wool is a versatile and high-performing material with many advantages for clothing, blankets, and other textiles.
Is wool blanket hot for summer?
Wool blankets are generally not the best for summer use, as they can be too warm and heavy for hot weather.
Wool is an excellent insulator designed to trap warm air close to the skin, making it ideal for keeping warm in colder weather.
However, a wool blanket can make you feel hot and uncomfortable in warmer weather.
If you're looking for a blanket to use during the summer months, many other materials are better suited for warm weather.
Lightweight cotton or linen blankets are a good choice, as they are breathable and help to regulate body temperature.
Bamboo and silk are also good options for summer blankets, as they are soft, lightweight, and moisture-wicking.
That being said, if you live in a cooler climate or prefer the feel of a wool blanket, there are some thinner and lighter-weight wool blankets that can be used during the summer months.
Look for blankets made from thinner, more lightweight wool and have a looser weave, as these will be less heavy and provide better breathability.
Is a wool blanket warm enough for winter?
Wool blankets are excellent at keeping you warm in the winter, as wool is a natural insulator that traps heat effectively.
Wool fibers have natural crimps and scales that help to trap warm air close to the skin, which makes wool blankets an ideal choice for cold weather.
Wool is one of the warmest materials for blankets and is often used in outdoor gear and clothing for cold climates.
When choosing a wool blanket for winter, it's essential to consider the weight and thickness of the blanket.
Heavier-weight blankets are generally warmer and more insulating, while lighter-weight blankets are better for mild winter weather or layering with other blankets.
Look for blankets made from high-quality wool, such as Merino wool, as these will provide the best warmth and durability.
In summary, wool blankets are an excellent choice for winter, as they are warm, insulating, and durable.
When selecting a wool blanket for winter use, consider the weight and thickness of the blanket to ensure that it provides adequate warmth for your needs.
Can you wash a wool blanket?
Yes, you can wash a wool blanket, but following the care instructions carefully is essential to avoid damaging the wool fibers.
Here are some general guidelines for washing a wool blanket:
Check the care label: Before washing a wool blanket, check the care label to see if it can be machine washed or if it should be dry cleaned. If the label recommends dry cleaning, take the blanket to a professional cleaner to avoid damaging the wool fibers.
Use a gentle detergent: When washing a wool blanket, use a gentle, wool-specific detergent designed to preserve the natural oils in the wool fibers. Avoid using regular laundry detergent, as it can be too harsh and strip the wool fibers of their natural oils.
Wash in cold water: Wool should be washed in cold water to avoid shrinkage and damage to the fibers. Use the delicate cycle on your washing machine and add the wool detergent to the water before adding the blanket.
Air dry: To dry a wool blanket, lay it flat on a clean surface and let it air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as the high heat can shrink and damage the wool fibers.
Avoid agitation: When washing a wool blanket, avoid agitating it too much to prevent damage to the fibers. Gently swish the blanket in the water, and avoid wringing or twisting it.
In summary, it is possible to wash a wool blanket, but following the care instructions carefully is essential to avoid damaging the wool fibers.
Always use a gentle, wool-specific detergent and wash in cold water, and avoid using a dryer to dry the blanket.