Our Materials

At Black Sheep Mattress Company, our high standards for material sourcing are part of what sets us apart from the conventional mattress industry. We focus on natural materials, chosen for their quality, durability, and environmental sustainability, and sourced as locally as possible. We do not use chemical flame retardants or synthetic materials. 90% of our materials are sourced in North America, with the remainder from Europe.
Natural materials including cotton, wool, natural talalay latex, organic cotton fabric, and springs
 
We often get asked the question: are our materials organic?
The answer is both yes, and no. While most of our materials have some kind of certification (GOTS, GOLS, Oeko-tek, etc.), becoming an organic certified facility can be a lengthy, expensive process for smaller suppliers. For this reason, we also bring in versions of some materials that do not have organic certification but are excellent quality, 100% natural, very clean, and align with our company values. Most importantly, they meet our standards for strict animal welfare codes, no chemicals, no detergents, no fire retardants, and nothing toxic.

We choose our suppliers very carefully and in this way, we can continue to bring in the highest quality materials without passing the additional cost of organic certification to our customers, and without excluding smaller scale suppliers who produce excellent quality materials but don't carry that certification.

We are committed to sourcing the highest quality materials available, as well as improving our products performance and design to be the very best.
 
Below are some of the reasons we love the materials we use:

Wool

Natural wool batting

Wool has been used in bedding since the 16th century and remains unparalleled in its function and comfort by even the most advanced synthetic materials on the market.

In addition to being naturally mold, mildew, and dust resistant, wool is both breathable and temperature-regulating - no heating/cooling technology, or other modern interventions necessary. It is known for being cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making it easy to sleep on year round.

Wool is also considered fire resistant and performs exceptionally in all categories of non-flammability - it doesn’t ignite or flame easily, is self-extinguishing, and does not melt, stick, or release highly toxic fumes while burning the way synthetic materials do. 

This versatile material is found in many of our products and all of our mattress models. Want to add more cushion to your mattress? Try our Wool or Latex Topper. Want to protect your new bed and control temperature? Add our Wool Protector on top of your mattress. Need a cute baby shower gift? Check out our adorable Wool Sheep Toy made from upcycled materials. 

We source our 100% natural eco-wool in North America from suppliers who follow strict animal welfare codes and do not use any chemicals or insecticide soaps. The conditioner used on the wool when they card it based on a recipe of olive oil, water, rubbing alcohol and soy lecithin.

Benefits of wool:

Temperature-regulating (sleeps cool in the summer and warm in the winter)
Moisture wicking
Natural fire retardant
Breathable
Versatile - can be used for many purposes

    Cotton

    Natural cotton batting

    Cotton is a time-tested natural material, used widely in bedding since the 18th century. Known for its light weight and characteristic smoothness, cotton is as luxurious as it is practical. Not to mention, it's highly versatile - great for adding layers of cushioning comfort throughout the mattress, while providing exceptional breathability, moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic properties to those surface parts that come in contact with the body.

    We use organic cotton whenever possible and practical, but ensure that all of our cotton suppliers adhere to high environmental standards. 

    All of our cotton is sourced in North America. Our cotton fabrics are 100% organic, 3rd party and GOTS certified. Our cotton batting is not treated with any chemicals or fire retardants and it is pre-consumer recycled, being the byproduct of the spinning and ginning industry. The fibers that are too short to be made into thread become our cotton batting. The waste, or shoddy, is seed and dust that are collected and given to local farmers to use as bedding for their barn animals. In this way, the mill supports local farmers while keeping waste out of landfills.

    Benefits of cotton:
    Light weight
    Breathable
    Own distinct feel
    Hypoallergenic
    Versatile - can be used as batting or fabric



    Natural Talalay Latex 

    natural talalay latex

    One of the most important materials we use in our products is Talalay latex. The latex we bring in is 100% natural, with no additives, odorizers, fillers, or synthetic components mixed in - to put simply, it is rubber from the rubber (Hevea Brasiliensis) tree. Not only does it not off-gas harmful chemicals, it is extremely durable and can be made to a specific density or firmness, providing for a highly customizable mattress design.

    Natural latex is truly an incredible alternative to synthetic foam. It rivals the supportiveness and comfort of memory foam, but is much more breathable, due to the space between the particles - which lend it a unique springiness.

    Memory foam has heat-activated memory and because of this, it reduces motion transfer greatly, but it does sleep hot due to the density of foam particles, and "sinks" as it retains body impressions, bouncing back only after it has cooled sufficiently. In fact “hot sleepers” are frequently amazed at how much cooler they feel on a natural latex mattress exactly for this reason!

    Latex is an all natural option which gives a more structural support, as it has more pushback than memory foam. It also reduces motion transfer but doesn’t need heat to be activated and won’t off-gas any chemicals as it breaks down (which memory foam does faster). While memory foam can have a strong “off-gassing” odor that seems to linger, natural latex is relatively odorless (although some people may notice a hint of fresh rubber smell when they first get it).

    We like Talalay latex in particular, because it is very consistent, performs well in all firmnesses, and produces a more responsive feel. 

    Natural latex comes from the sap of a rubber tree, and as such, is a renewable resource. Natural rubber is also a relatively sustainable choice because rubber trees grow quickly, heal from the extraction process quickly, and a single tree can be tapped for up to 30 years.

    Our latex is 100% natural talalay latex from the rubber tree and our suppliers are located in North America and the Netherlands. Certifications include:

    • Cradle-to-Cradle Gold-Certified, indicates that it has been designed in a responsible manner. Checked by the chemists at EPEA, all the materials used have been found not to be harmful to health or the environment.
    • Oeko-Tex 100, Product Class 1, indicates that direct contact with the skin will not cause irritation, and that the product is safe, even for baby skin.
    • Eco Institut, indicates that the product is 100% natural latex, without any fillers.

    Benefits of 100% Natural Talalay Latex:

    100% natural
    Open cell structure means optimal ventilation
    No "sinking into a crater" like with memory foam
    Not heat-activated meaning it sleeps cool
    Comes in many different firmnesses
    Hypoallergenic & dust mite resistant
    Supportive even in soft densities
    Very flexible so great to use on adjustable frames
    Has natural pushback which provides a responsive feel 

    Springs

    Pocket Coil Springs

    We source high quality, durable Pocket Coil and Bonnell springs.

    First used in the horse-drawn carriages of early 19th century high-society, the Bonnell coils are the original springs used in mattresses; the coils are connected together with spring wires which makes the piece one cohesive whole. The modified hourglass shape responds to the weight of the sleeper, providing medium-firm support to the areas of the body that need it most. This responsiveness, however, does mean this type of spring has more movement to it, which can be disruptive if two people are sharing the bed. For this reason, we use bonnell coils primarily in our kids mattresses, as it makes for a firmer mattress as well. 

    The more contemporary Pocket Coil design has become increasingly popular for its softer, contouring support. This coil was designed to combat some of the issues found in the classic bonnell spring - primarily, the motion transfer that results when all the coils are connected together. In this spring, each isolated coil has its own independent suspension or "pocket", which allows the coils to move more independently from one another. This provides a contoured feel and significantly reduces motion transfer, and therefore, partner disturbance.

    We use pocket coils with a medium feel in our adult Suffolk and our Devon (hybrid) mattresses. Our supplier is located in the United States.

    Benefits of pocket coil springs:

    Contouring to the body
    Reduced motion transfer side to side
    Reduced bounce
    Slightly softer than interconnected coils

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      Curious to know to know more?
      Click here to learn how we build our mattresses. 

      Visit our YouTube channel to take a peek behind the scenes.