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August 2021

Cashmere Mattress Fibres Explained

Luxury natural mattress fibres, like cashmere wool, can take your mattress to the next level in terms of comfort and longevity. We're going to explain why Cashmere is the premium comfort layer in mattresses. Cashmere is one of the softest most resilient Natural Fibres you can use in mattress making and one of the most expensive. Let's take a look at why it's so highly prized.

Cashmere wool is usually the reserve of high-end mattresses because of its high cost and low supply chain. If you’re looking at a mattress that contains pure Cashmere you may be wondering whether it is worth the additional cost?

Cashmere goat stood in the snow
Cashmere goats fleece is used in seriously high-end models but is in short supply

We explain exactly why Cashmere is renowned as a high-performance luxury fibre and whether or not the mattress you’re looking at contains enough of it to make a difference.

Where does Cashmere wool come from?

Cashmere fibre comes from the far East, in particular, the Himalayas and China. The Cashmere goat has a fine, soft, winter undercoat which is then sheered to create this luxury fibre. This undercoat grows longer as the day length shortens making for soft fine strands that can both effectively regulate heat and also increase breathability. Which are great properties for a mattress comfort layer as this can keep you warm when it is cold and also allow airflow for hotter summer nights. Cashmere goats then have a coarse outer coat which is also used as a mattress insulator between the spring and the comfort layers.

A white goat stood on a mountain
Cashmere is one of the finest & most expensive Natural Fibres

Cashmere as a mattress comfort layer

Cashmere wool works wonderfully well when used a superior grade comfort layer. Cashmere can be blended with other fibres such as wool to make a mixed comfort layer at a certain price point, sub £2,000 or in the most luxurious way as a 100% Cashmere wool layer £4,000 plus!

White cashmere cross section
We use Pure White Cashmere as an insulator layer in the Artisan Bespoke

The issue with mattress manufacturers and retailers is they know that Cashmere is both in limited supply and very expensive. This has led to most retailers blending Cashmere in tiny amounts, sometimes as low as 1% with other cheaper fibres but then claiming its still Cashmere. In fact, in most cases using Cashmere as a comfort layer alone is prohibitively expensive. It would cost thousands of pounds for a 100% pure Cashmere wool comfort layer alone.

Why is Cashmere so expensive?

Cashmere is expensive as the goats which are sheered are in very small supply. Factor in the demands from the fashion industry for Cashmere for jumpers and scarves it means it is in really limited supply.

Secondly, you can only sheer up to 150g of each Cashmere goat at any one time. So you can imagine that it would take at least 5 Cashmere goats to provide a suitable 500GSM comfort layer.

What’s similar to Cashmere?

Alpaca is the nearest fibre to Cashmere and is actually slightly better in terms of longevity and the loft (or fluffiness) if the fibre. Cashmere does tend to compress quickly, unless using coarse Cashmere, as an insulator. Alpaca is still incredibly expensive but there’s a better supply chain as the Alpacas are far larger than Cashmere goats so more fleece can be sheered at any one time. Have a look below at all the mattress fibres available in the UK. How they compare to each other and the price point.

Upholstery LayerFibre TypeHow it will feel?Price Point
PolyesterSyntheticSoftCheap
White FibreSyntheticSoft/MediumCheap
Recycled Fibre / Eco FibreSyntheticMediumCheap
Memory FoamSyntheticMedium/FirmMid Price
Igel / Hybrid FoamSyntheticMedium/FirmMid Price
PolycottonSynthetic/Natural BlendSoft/MediumMid Price
LinenSynthetic/Natural BlendMediumMid Price
Wool (Pure)NaturalSoft/MediumHigh-End
Cotton (Pure)NaturalSoftHigh-End
SilkNaturalSoftExpensive
HorsehairNaturalMediumHigh-End
MohairNaturalMedium/FirmHigh-End
HempNaturalMediumHigh-End
Latex (100% Natural)NaturalMedium/FirmHigh-End
CoirNaturalFirmHigh-End
FlaxNaturalFirmHigh-End
Coarse CashmereNaturalFirmHigh-End
BambooNaturalSuper SoftExpensive / Exclusive
Horsetail NaturalFirmExpensive / Exclusive
AlpacaNaturalSoftExpensive / Exclusive
Cashmere (Pure)NaturalSoftExpensive / Exclusive
VicunaNaturalSuper SoftExpensive / Exclusive
Alpaca is the closest comparison fibre to Cashmere
Alpaca is the closest comparison fibre to Cashmere
Care should be taken to find out the exact blend of Cashmere as it's often only 1-3%
Care should be taken to find out the exact blend of Cashmere as it's often only 1-3%

Understanding Cashmere Mattresses
If you're comparing mattresses this is how to do it

As we’ve discussed there are very few mattresses under £4,000 that will contain significant amounts of Cashmere due to its high price point.

Another beneficial use of coarse Cashmere is as a mattress insulator which helps bridge the layers between the Calico Spring Unit and the start of the upper comfort layers.

As Cashmere is super breathable and resilient it works incredibly effectively as an insulator. Coarse Cashmere is far firmer than the beautiful, yet expensive, Cashmere wool which works as a benefit in this fashion.

It’s far wiser to spend your money on a decent sized 100% Natural Cashmere insulator like this than pay top dollar for a few tiny percentages in a mixed blend comfort layer. You should always be looking for at least a 50/50 mix of just two Natural Fibres when blended and avoid anything less than this.

The Artisan Bespoke is a great example of how to use Cashmere cost-effectively and spend you budget on other Luxury Natural Fibres such as Wool and Horsetail.

Artisan Bespoke
Artisan Bespoke
1 500GSM BRITISH WOOL
2 1200GSM BLENDED BRITISH FLEECE WOOL AND COTTON
3 HAIRPROOF CAMBRIC COVER
4 1200GSM PURE HORSETAIL
5 1200GSM HORSEHAIR
6 1000GSM WHITE CASHMERE INSULATOR
7 1600 CALICO ENCASED POCKET SPRINGS [49MM] [1.28MM]
Total 5100GSM Chemical Free Cover
Rated Excellent Trustpilot
View our Artisan Bespoke
Summary

Cashmere wool quite rightly commands a high value for its beautifully soft fibres. However, due to the limited supply chain, you need to bear in mind that mattresses that are under £3,000 probably only contain tiny percentages of Cashmere. Sometimes 1-3%. You always need to check with the mattress retailer as to the blend. If you can’t be sure then Alpaca is very similar comparison.

If you need help understanding how the comfort layers work then why not get in touch with our small friendly team?

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