Chemical Sensitivity and Wool Allergies
We have found that a true wool allergy is quite rare.
After 20 some years of experience, we have found that our pure wool bedding is the best system for sensitive sleepers. Many people with chemical sensitivities have found relief with our bed after years of disruptive sleep.
Many wool sensitivities arise from the harsh chemical processing agents that whiten, clean, remove oils and add color to the wool that is most often available as clothing, rugs and blankets. Our wool batting is not processed with any harmful chemicals. Our gently processed wool is surprisingly soft and lacks the scratchiness that many associate with wool products.
Many who previously believed that they were allergic to wool have found that our products do not irritate them at all. In addition to purchasing gently processed wool, our bedding is encased in soft organic cottons. We also choose a blend of wool batting that is pH balanced, which can also alleviate itchy reactions.
Dust-mite allergies and asthma
Wool bedding is ideal for those with asthma and dust-mite allergies. Dust-mites are a common bedroom allergen and cause respiratory irritation for many people. Wool bedding will not support the growth of dust-mites like other bedding will. Wool fibers will also inhibit mold, mildew or bacterial growth — all of which are common bedroom allergens. If you have respiratory problems or dust-mite allergies, wool bedding is proven to provide real relief by limiting the amount of allergens in your bedding.
For those with chemical sensitivity we recommend the following:
Shepherd's Dream LLC Sensitivity Kit
1. Start with a sensitivity kit.
We only use 3-5 different types of materials in our entire line of bedding. We can send you free sample swatches of each material (individually wrapped in a plastic that does not off-gas). We include directions for a simple sensitivity test with the swatches. Click here to email a request for a sensitivity kit.
2. Introduce one item at a time beginning with a pillow.
For those that are strongly sensitive to chemicals, even a harmless natural odor can cause a reaction. Because your new bedding has come from our facility, it will have traces of a completely foreign atmosphere in the fibers. Slowly introduce one piece of the bed at a time. Begin with smaller items and work up as you feel comfortable.
Airing out your bedding is the best way to keep it fresh and healthy
3. Allow adequate time for the items to air out.
Even with the great caution that we take to keep all chemicals and odors away from our bedding, the very air in our buildings is different than yours. Depending on your level of sensitivity we recommend from 2 days to 3 months of airing out before you sleep with the bedding. Wool will quickly neutralize. With adequate air and sun, our bedding can generally be used by even those with the most extreme sensitivities.
4. Be aware of the natural scent of lanolin and cottonseed oil.
Because we never use harsh processing agents, our materials smell natural. Wool contains a natural oil called lanolin that is antimicrobial, dust-mite repellant and contributes to wool’s flame resistance. This smell may be lightly present in our wool batting at first, but will quickly neutralize. Organic cotton can also smell mildly of the cottonseed oils found in natural cotton. Sun and air can reduce or remove these scents.
5. Additional steps for the toughest cases.
We have taken some extra steps to help bring relief to people who have acute sensitivity. We can work with you to pre-wash encasements or to alter fabrics if possible. Please call our office if you have any additional concerns or requests. We are here to help everyone get a great night’s sleep.