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Polyurethane Foam vs. Wool

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam is a blanket term that includes any foam that is synthesized using polyol and diisocyanate. These include but are not limited to: memory foam, high resilience foam, and high density foam. Since polyurethane foam can contain additives, a manufacturer that comes up with a new formula can name the new foam whatever they like.

Many memory foam mattresses are a combination of polyurethane foams, layered from dense on the bottom to less dense on the surface layers.

Polyurethane is a synthetic blend of organic compounds and has a tendency to off-gas. If you are susceptible to lung issues, please do additional research on the quality of foams before purchasing.

Pros: Many different types of foams exist under the polyurethane umbrella -- some are excellent for bedding and offer different firmness varieties!

Cons: Off-gassing and durability problems with lower quality foams.


Wool is made of sheep fur. It is sheared from the sheep multiple times in their lives.

The most famous kind of wool being used in mattresses is New Zealand wool because of its attention to quality.

Wool is commonly found in the cover or as a comfort layer. As a comfort layer, it is packed tightly in the mattress so it can add softness to the top layers of the mattress. Some untreated wool may have a slight natural barnyard smell. It is also a natural fire retardent.

Pros: Wool is an all natural alternative to other types of comfort layers.

Cons: The quality of wool bedding is entirely dependent on mattress craftmanship. If the packing is too loose, there can be quick sagging and durability issues.

Learn More About Polyurethane Foam

Learn More About Wool

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Material Scores

Overall Score:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.4/10
Wool: 9/10

Polyurethane Foam: 9.4/10
Wool: 8.9/10

Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Wool: 9.3/10

Polyurethane Foam: 8/10
Wool: 9.2/10

Polyurethane Foam: 8.1/10
Wool: 9.3/10

No Odor:
Polyurethane Foam: 8.4/10
Wool: 9.1/10

General Support:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Wool: 8/10

Polyurethane Foam: 8.5/10
Wool: 9.3/10

Price Value:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Wool: 8/10