If you ever want to experience what luxury feels like, try sleeping on a horsetail mattress. Horsehair mattresses have been popular since the 19th century and are known for their extreme durability. Some traditional horsetail bed mattresses even lasted for about 100 years!
Hi-spec Horsetail mattresses have the perks of providing exceptional comfort, durability, and sleep benefits. The stiff, hand-teased horsehair works like a micro spring and provides a cushioning effect. When compared to less natural fillings, these premium quality mattresses can repel moisture & dirt and also regulate temperature. If taken good care of, horsehair bed mattresses may last for at least 30-40 years.
In the contemporary world, horsehair mattresses have become the mark of modern-day aristocracy. Horsehair mattresses are extremely fluffy yet are known to provide the best back support. They provide clean, natural, and chemical-free space for you to have a good night's sleep. Here is more about the benefits of these luxurious mattresses:
What Is A Horsehair Bed Mattress?
Unlike many other materials used in the mattress industry, horsehair bed mattresses are special. These mattresses are made from natural horse hair mane and horsetail.
Based on the length of the hair, horsehair mattresses are classified into three categories – Horsetail hair (6 inches or longer), Tail hair (4 to 6 inches), and Horsehair (under 4 inches). A bulk of horsehair bed mattresses are made of shorter horsehair and are sourced from South America.
Horsetail suppliers usually send the raw material in loose form, or as ropes, or needled onto hessian sheets. Once horsehair is collected by the manufacturers, it is steamed and rinsed to remove allergens. If the set of horsehair isn't cleaned properly, it can leave off a natural odor, which will go away with time. The bundle is then teased and tightly woven or sewn in as a mattress or a topper – all of which require professional craftsmanship. A good horsehair mattress should be about 3000 to 5000+ GSM.
In modern times, a horsehair mattress is often blended with other natural materials such as wool, cotton, cashmere, alpaca, mohair, linen, and latex. Special craftsmanship and sewing techniques are used to produce good-quality horsehair bed mattresses.
What Are The Benefits of Sleeping On A Horsehair Bed Mattress?
Horsetail mattresses make you feel like you are sleeping on air, but with solid back support. Here are some of the exceptional benefits of sleeping on a horsehair bed mattress:
- Thermoregulation – Horsehair is known to naturally create a microclimate within the mattress. These mattresses will keep you warm when the weather is cold and make you feel cooler when the weather outside is hot.
- Natural – Horsetail mattresses are obtained sustainably and are free from synthetics and chemicals.
- Provides both comfort & support – Despite being luxuriously soft, horsehair mattresses are very sturdy. During the process of manufacturing, horsehair fibers are hand teased. Each teased horsehair functions as a microspring, which provides shape, structure, and firmness to the mattress.
- Durable – Unlike foam or other plush mattresses, pure horsetail mattresses do not flatten. On the contrary, most modern mattresses lose their shape and need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. Thus, even though horsetail mattresses are expensive, they are durable and are probably the best for long-term investment.
- Wicks off Moisture & Outdoor Elements – Horsehair mattresses have the unique property of repelling moisture, sweat, and other foreign elements. Thus, they are self-cleaning and self-healing.
Horsehair strands are hollow, which allows free flow of ventilation through the fibers. This keeps the mattress drier and breathable compared to other synthetic materials.
- Firm – The firmness of a mattress refers to the compression rate of the spring. Most horsehair mattresses have multiple levels of firmness so that people of any size, shape, and habit can sleep on them. The correct firmness will create pressure points to support all parts of the body.
- Provides Sturdy Back Support – Horsehair mattresses self-adjust to the contours of the body. This is simply because horsetail fibers have the natural ability to return to their original shape.
- Hypoallergenic – Natural horsehair mattress does have a distinct smell, especially if it is blended with wool. However, sterilization of horsehair during the manufacturing process removes the peculiar odor. These mattresses are also known to naturally repel bed mites, dust mites, and various other microorganisms, making your bed an extremely hygienic and breathable space.
- Naturally Resists Fire – Unlike many modern-day mattresses, horsehair mattresses are not known to easily catch fire. It provides even better protection when blended with wool.
- Silent – Good quality horsehair mattresses provide motion isolation and are non-noisy. This means you have a more comfortable and peaceful sleep with these mattresses.
What Are Some Of The Good Horsehair Mattress Brands?
When buying a horsehair mattress, make sure to buy a genuine one. Here is a list of some of the oldest and well-reputed horsehair mattress manufacturers:
- Winstons – The brand offers two variants of luxurious horsehair mattresses – The Winstons No1 13500 Pocket Spring Mattress and the Winston's Ultimate Hybrid Latex Mattress. Both these mattresses are handmade and come with a thirty-year guarantee.
- Hastens – Their mattresses are usually blended with cotton, wool, and horsehair to provide a comfortable and breathable experience.
- Vispring – The Classic Collection from Vispring consists of comfortable mattresses handcrafted with natural horsetail, wool, and vanadium steel springs.
- Glencraft – The company was founded in 1843. The luxury horsehair mattress from their Heritage Range is handcrafted with 3,000 double-layered, natural pocket spring designs. Alpaca, Silk, and Wool blends are used in constructing the mattresses.
- Savoir – They have been crafting mattresses for more than a hundred years and are known for their iconic luxurious beds. Some of the famous horse hair blended mattresses from Savoir are The One, The Icon, The Superior, The New Standard, and The Reformer.
Never buy a mattress that is blended with fibers such as cattle hair, polyester, or other synthetic fillers. Blending with such fibers naturally reduces the benefits of horsehair.
How To Clean A Horsetail Mattress?
Horsetail mattresses can be cleaned by dry cleaning or vacuuming. If you accidentally spill something on your mattress, a furniture foam or a textile cleaner should work. These mattresses are not machine washable.
Should You Invest In A Horsehair Mattress Topper?
If you are on a tight budget, horse hair mattress toppers can be a great alternative to horsehair bed mattresses. Most horsehair mattress toppers have a 2 to 5-inch depth and come in all standard bed sizes. Horsetail toppers are usually made of loose horse tail hair and sheep's wool.
In this type of setting, the horsehair mattress is placed as a topper, and a normal sturdy or a box spring mattress is used as the supporting base. Such toppers give the feel of a natural spring, similar to horsetail mattresses. Horsetail toppers are not as long-lasting as horsehair mattresses and need to be flipped and cleaned regularly to enhance durability.
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Is It Ethical To Buy Horsehair Mattresses?
Since horsehair is obtained from horses, a few of us may wonder if their sourcing is ethical. Most of the famous horsehair mattress manufacturers acquire non-farmed horsehair, which means they are obtained from grooming or as an end-of-life by-product. Because the production of raw material is limited and the acquisitions are made in a humane and ethical way, horsehair mattresses are quite expensive. To reduce the cost, hybrid variants are manufactured which use horse hair and farmed wool hair.
Horsehair beds are also expensive because of the labor, time, and skill invested in handcrafting a single mattress. But considering the variety of benefits it has, it is certainly a good one-time investment and may turn out to be a mark of legacy in your family for generations altogether.
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Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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