At Black Sheep Mattress Co., all of our mattresses, bases, toppers, and pillows are made from 100% natural materials. We do not use flame retardants, dyes, chemicals, or synthetic materials of any kind.
Our high standards for material sourcing is part of what sets us apart from the conventional mattress industry. Black Sheep owner Christian Schmidt’s background in environmental studies, combined with his time studying the traditional craft of mattress-making in England, has led him on a unique and ongoing search for the best quality materials that respect both human and environmental health.
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 “moisture-wicking”, heating/cooling technology, or other modern interventions necessary.
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.
We source our wool as locally as possible, from suppliers and mills along the West Coast.
Cotton is a time-tested natural material, used widely in bedding since the 18th century. Known for its light weight and characteristic smoothness, the use of hand-sewn and hand-tufted cotton is as luxurious as it is practical. Cotton is also highly versatile - with some types offering a great cushioning layer and others perfect for the outer layer of a mattress thanks to exceptional breathability, moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic properties.
We use organic cotton whenever possible and practical, but ensure that all of our cotton suppliers adhere to high environmental standards. We try to source cotton as locally as possible too, with over 95% of our stock coming from North American suppliers and mills.
Natural latex is extremely durable and can be made to a specific density or firmness, providing for a highly customizable mattress design.
It not only rivals the supportiveness and comfort of memory foam, but is much more breathable, due to the space between the particles - which lends it a unique springiness. In fact “hot sleepers” are frequently amazed at how much cooler they feel on a natural latex mattress. And 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 use two kinds of latex in our mattresses and accessories: 100% natural Talalay, and 100% organic Dunlop, each named for the simple heating and cooling processes that produce them.
Both types of natural latex come from the sap of a rubber tree, and as such, are renewable resources. 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.
We source high quality, durable springs based on Bonnell and Pocket Coil designs. First used in the horse-drawn carriages of early 19th century high-society, the Bonnell spring has become a mainstay of modern mattress production, and for good reason. 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.
The more contemporary Pocket Coil design has become increasingly popular for its softer, contouring support. Each isolated coil has its own independent suspension, significantly reducing or eliminating partner disturbance.