How Long Does A Wool Underlay Last? And Tips To Take Care of One
An underlay is used to provide comfort and level the base layer of your bed. It helps level out any bumps and irregularities in the mattress or any mattress pads you might use and supports your body while you sleep. An underlay also helps increase the longevity of your mattress. A mattress usually lasts for 7 to 10 years. With an underlay it can last even longer. Different underlays provide different levels of support depending on the material. You can find underlays made of wool, cotton, latex, and foam. Learn more about how to choose an underlay to make your mattress last longer in this article from Australian Mattress Manufacturer Tontine. So, if you’re wondering how long a wool underlay lasts, we’ll cover it in this article.
A wool underlay can last between 10 and 20 years. In comparison, a cotton underlay may last between 5 and 7 years and a foam underlay may last between 5 and 10 years. The durability of an underlay depends on how it was used, whether it was installed properly, the body weight of the user, and whether it is exposed to moisture or adverse conditions.
The most popular material is wool because you can use it all year long. It adapts to different temperatures, making it great for winter or summer.
To learn more about the benefits of wool, check out the “About Wool” section in this FAQ from magnetic underlay manufacturer Biomag.
What is a Wool Underlay?
A wool underlay or mattress pad is a base that provides support, aligns your body, and distributes pressure to help you sleep. It also protects the bed and helps regulate body temperature while you sleep. Wool is better at temperature regulation than other materials like memory foam since it has natural temperature distribution properties.
A wool underlay relieves pressure caused by unevenly distributed bumps and irregularities. It can help you relax your muscles and have more energy during the day. Check out this article from Cuddle Ewe about how sleeping on wool can help relieve chronic pain from fibromyalgia.
It also aligns your spine. An uneven surface and unevenly distributed pressure leads to spinal stiffness, pain, and intermittent sleep. By evening out your sleeping surface, the wool helps your spine stay straight and not sleep in an awkward position, relaxing your back for a better night’s sleep. If you’re looking for an underlay or mattress topper to help with back pain, check out our article on choosing a mattress topper for back support.
Lastly, a wool underlay stabilizes your body temperature. Wool is a natural material that can maintain temperature. This prevents overheating in summer, while also keeping you warm in the winter. Check out this wool underlay from Perfect Fit that helps regulate your body temperature while you sleep.
Underlays tend to be thinner than mattress toppers and they provide a different set of benefits. If you’re curious about how to install a mattress topper and an underlay or mattress pad, take a look at our article. Additionally, you might find interest in learning how to reduce mattress topper smells. If so, check out our related article to find some tips and tricks.
How Long Does a Wool Underlay Last?
A number of conditions determines how long an underlay will last, just like a mattress or mattress pad. That is why it is important to maintain optimal conditions so that your comfort, health, and longevity of the underlay are at the desired level.
A wool underlay can last up to 20 years, depending on factors such as user bodyweight, the temperature of the room, and the humidity.
Also, if you have pets in your home, they can put more pressure on the mattress and underlay. If they sleep on your bed with you, this can shorten the duration of your underlay’s life due to the additional wear and tear from their claws along with any dust or bacteria/mold/fungi they drag in.
Below are 5 examples of wool underlays and their life expectancies:
|Wool Underlays from Amazon||Price of product (King Size)||Warranty length||Life expectancy|
|Snugfleece SnugSoft Elite Wool Bed Mattress Cover Size||~$385||5-year manufacturer warranty||Up to 20 years|
|Sleep & Beyond myDual Pad||~$300||5-year manufacturer warranty||Up to 20 years|
|Sleep & Beyond myPad Washable Wool Mattress Pad||~$230||5-year manufacturer warranty||Up to 20 years|
|Down Under Wool Mattress Cover and Pad||~150||Manufacturer doesn’t provide warranty||Up to 20 years|
Are you thinking about adding a wool underlay to your existing sleigh bed? You might also be interested in reading about these 7 sleigh bed ideas to enhance your bedroom.
How Body Weight Affects the Durability of a Wool Underlay
When it comes to material, wool underlays are one of the most durable ones on the market. Wool is resistant to wear and tear and it will not lose any firmness because of body weight.
In fact, body weight doesn’t really affect a wool underlay. You are more likely to damage a wool underlay if you don’t wash it regularly.
Effects of Room Temperature on Wool Underlay Durability
Room temperature is actually a big factor when it comes to a wool underlay durability. Wool is a natural material that helps us get warm by trapping air, creating the insulin layer. When we get too hot, wool draws moisture from our body, and that helps us cool down.
If you expose wool underlay to a different temperature more often, it starts to lose its firmness and durability. However, this only happens if the temperature difference is higher than 50 degrees.
Why Room Humidity Affects How Long Your Underlay will Last
Room humidity, among many other things, affects the underlay and mattress you’re sleeping on. If there’s lots of moisture under your underlay, it might start to develop mold beneath it. Mold can cause significant damage and is difficult to clean. Cleaning your wool underlay regularly will help prevent mold growth.
You may also be interested to learn what to do if your mattress edge collapses. Take a look at our article to find out.
How to Clean a Wool Underlay and Make it Last Longer
To maintain the quality of your wool underlay, you need to clean it properly. Cleaning a wool mattress topper the right way will prevent unnecessary damage from mildew and wear and tear.
To clean a wool underlay and make it last longer, first, leave the wool underlay in the fresh air to ventilate. Then, wash it in lukewarm water with a mild detergent. Finally, dry it and clean it with a brush to return it to its original shape.
Step 1. Leave the Wool Underlay in the Fresh Air to Ventilate
First, hang the wool underlay in the sun and fresh air before washing. This will get rid of unpleasant odors. Softly beat it out with your hand to get rid of crumbs of dirt and dust. If you can, do this every few months before you wash it.
Step 2. Wash It in Lukewarm Water with a Mild Detergent
After ventilating and removing the external dust and unpleasant odors, it's time to wash your wool underlay.
First, fill the bucket with lukewarm water, not too hot nor too cold. Pour a mild detergent that is not too strong into the bucket. Then, hand wash it. Do not put it in the washer and dryer. This is too rough and can destroy or damage the material. Stir slowly with light strokes, simulating the movements of the washing machine. Grab the underlay from the bottom to the top so that each part is immersed in water. Then, leave it in the water to soak for about 10 minutes to get rid of the dirt.
Once you’re done washing it, empty the bucket and make sure there’s no dirt or detergent lingering. Pour new freshwater into the bucket and let it soak for another ten minutes. Then, squeeze it lightly, without too much pressure and twisting, to get out any detergent and dirt. Hang it to dry out in the sun.
Step 3. Dry It and Clean It with a Brush to Return It to Its Original Shape
Once you’ve finished squeezing all the water out, dry your wool underlay by spreading it on top of a clean, dry surface. Avoid moisture because it can harm the wool.
When you dry it, wool often curls. To return it to its original shape, you need to brush it. Brush it in one direction with a clean brush. Again, be gentle because the material is easily damaged. You can use a soft bristle brush, like the one you might use on your pets, to do this, but make sure it is clean first.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to clean your wool underlay, check out our article on how to clean a mattress topper.
How to Protect a Wool Underlay by Laying a Mattress Protector over a Wool Underlay
To protect a wool underlay, lay a mattress protector over it. This protects the delicate wool from being snagged or spilled on. To choose a good protector for the wool underlay, buy one that’s thick, waterproof, and fits both the underlay and the mattress.
The mattress protector protects both the wool underlay and the bed on all sides from dust, body heat, stains, and dead skin that accumulates. You can find out more information about how to protect mattress pads and underlays in our article.
When choosing, pick the protector that can be attached to the edges of the mattress or your wool underlay. Ones that fasten directly to your mattress might end up being too big.
Utopia Bedding Premium is one of the most popular choices. It protects well against water, mites, and allergens but is still comfortable.
Another popular choice is the Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector. It is great against bed bugs, allergens, and dust. It’s waterproof and quiet, so if you toss and turn in your sleep, it won’t wake you up. It is easy to wash, transport, pack, and store.
How Does Material Affect How Long an Underlay Will Last?
Like any other part of the bed, the duration of your underlay is determined by the material from which it is made. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages.
Wool underlay can last up to an incredible 20 years. Of course, it depends on the conditions and the way it is used. It is not advisable to keep anything for such a long period, but the durability of wool underlays is amazing.
Since wool is one of the most durable materials for bedding, it’s resistant to wear and tear. Also, wool underlays are not that hard to maintain and clean. In case you spill some liquid on the wool underlay, you can simply clean it with paper towels since wool will not soak it up.
Depending on the material quality, the lifespan of underlays is different. As for cotton underlay, its lifespan can be up to 10 years.
However, you have to treat cotton underlays with care as they can wear and tear pretty quickly. On top of that, cotton is not that durable material and therefore, it doesn’t offer that great firmness and lifespan as wool underlays.
Unlike previous examples, latex overlays are of a slightly poorer quality, and their lifespan is around five years.
Latex, as a material for underlays, offers firmness and durability. However, it doesn’t last long. Even though it offers good resistance to wear and tear, latex will start to stretch and lose its firmness quickly compared to a wool underlay.
A good quality foam underlay could last you for five to ten years, if you maintain it properly.
Foam underlays lose their firmness over the years due to loss of structure of the pores inside. So, the more you use it, the softer it becomes. That’s why foam is not that durable and it doesn’t offer as long of a lifespan as the wool underlay.
If you are interested in foam or latex and want more information, check out our article on latex vs. foam mattress toppers.