Herdy Herdwick DSC0479

The Properties of Herdwick Wool

23rd January 2020

Guides & Advice

While the name Herdwick is derived from the Old Norse herdvyck, recorded in documents dating back to the 12th century in reference to sheep pastures, wool itself has been used as a textile since the Stone Ages! But what exactly makes the wool of the Herdwick fleece such a popular and versatile material, and why do we use this in our Herdysleep range mattresses?

Temperature regulating

The Herdwick fleece is a fantastic regulator of body temperature, allowing the Herdy sheep up in the Lake District to stay cool in the summer, and warm in the winter when temperatures on the fells fall to -10°C or less! The wool is a hygroscopic fibre, allowing it to form small pockets of air which attract, absorb and release water molecules, boasting excellent wicking properties while retaining thermal efficiency. Whilst the Herdwick fleece does not cause the sheep to overheat in the warmer months, shearing is essential for the welfare of the animals as the fleeces become heavy and matted. Incorporating this wool into our mattresses will help keep you snug in winter and cool in the summer months.

Springing into action

The Herdwick fleece produces a coarse quality, hard-wearing grey wool. The Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association outline in their standards that ‘the coat should be heavy and dense with a good undercoat of fine wool of even colour and quality over the whole of the body, with a stronger ruffle or mane round the neck and top of the shoulder’. This uniquely durable wool is naturally springy and supportive, making it the perfect filling to work alongside the innovative pocket spring technology that goes into every one of our herdysleep range mattress. The wool offers additional support and comfort to our mattresses, while helping it to keep its shape.


Herdwick wool makes an excellent mattress filling for allergy suffers, with its naturally hypo-allergenic and antibacterial properties helping you to breathe – and sleep – easier. It is the Herdwick wool’s ability to absorb and adsorb moisture creating a dry, hostile environment to the growth of bacteria, fungus and dust mites which makes it the perfect choice in our mattresses.

Naturally Fire Resistant

Herdwick wool has a higher ignition threshold than many other fibres at around 600°C, meaning it boasts naturally fire-resistant properties. Choosing natural Herdwick wool fillings for our herdysleep range mattresses allows us to avoid the use of harmful FR chemicals, meaning our beds are better for the environment and a good night’s sleep.

We have a lot to thank our woolly friends for when it comes to the natural properties of their fleece. The strong, durable nature of Herdwick wool has so many versatile uses, and we couldn’t make our luxurious Herdysleep mattresses without it!