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The Many Benefits of Sheepskin Products for Home

Anything made from beautiful natural sheepskin is going to bring warmth, comfort and luxury to your home. Super soft, warm and durable they can be used in almost any room - from lounges to dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms.

What does sheepskin feel like?

feel like

Above: Sexto Sheepskin Rug (Matuki)

Running your hands through the fluffiness of sheepskin will feel warm, super soft, silky and luscious. There's nothing harsh and abrasive about it. It's extremely tactile, soothing and almost calming to touch.

Being 100% natural it's good for your skin - the natural oils are moisturising, its hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial to boot. Whats more, being a byproduct of sheep farming it's sustainable and completely bio-degradable too.

Does sheepskin keep you warm?

ben and amanda in wool

Above: Sexto Sheepskin Rug (Mt Gold) and Quarto Sheepskin Rug (Mt Gold)

There's nothing warmer than cuddling up with a beautiful sheepskin throw a cold winters night. Human beings have been doing it for hundreds of years.

The secret lies in wool's unique 'active' fibres. Without getting too technical, wool reacts to changes in the atmosphere, so when your body is feeling cold it will actively work to warm you up. How clever is that!

Is sheepskin warmer than wool?

It might be obvious, but I'll say it anyway: both originate from sheep. The difference is:

  • Wool products are made from yarn. A couple of times a year wool is shorn from the sheep and spun into yarn, then woven into rugs or knitted into jumpers.
  • Sheepskins are made using the entire hide of the sheep. The wool remains attached to the skin (called a 'pelt'), goes through a tanning process and is sewn together with other pelts to form a rug.

Both will keep you warm and toasty, although sheep skin often feels softer and offers you a choice of long or short pile.

Which is better sheepskin or lambskin?

Lambskin also originates from sheep, the difference stems from the age of the sheep:

  • Lambskin comes from younger lambs and tends to provide a shorter and slightly more dense pile.
  • Sheepskins come from older sheep and will be longer (its had more time to grow!) and can be more curly and wild-looking.

Both are used to make beautiful throws, rugs and cushions. It really comes down to aesthetics and which one you like the look of best.

What is the softest sheepskin?


Above: Quarto Sheepskin Rug (Mt Gold)

All sheepskins are super soft. Variation in softness might arise depending on breed of sheep it was sourced from. That said, a quality tanning process will produce soft supple sheepskins whatever the breed, so it really shouldn't make much difference.

Wilson & Dorset sheepskins are sourced from New Zealand and carry the Woolmark New Zealand seal of approval. For the absolute best quality look out for the Woolmark NZ Seal.

Is sheepskin breathable?

Air can circulate through wool's fibres, so yes, it is literally able to breathe. Some of that air gets trapped forming little pockets which help to regulate the temperature of the wool - and whichever body is closest to it.

Like a lot of people you might think of sheepskin as only being a winter thing, something to warm you up. But actually, it's great in the heat of summer too.

That's because those pockets of air can cool you down, drawing moisture away from your body and into the heart of the fibres themselves.

This is super handy if, like us here in New Zealand, you live in a changeable climate. You get to use your sheepskin products all year round, without feeling hot and clammy!

Is sheepskin hypoallergenic?


Above: Single Sheepskin Rug (Matuki)

The natural oils in wool's fibres repel water, dust and dirt. Which helps prevents the growth of allergy inducing bacteria (mould, mildew, dust mites etc) and makes sheepskin a great choice if anyone in your family suffers from asthma.

How long do sheepskin rugs last?

One of the things you will appreciate most about your new sheepskin rug is its durability. Even your kid's most robust rough & tumble games won't cause any lasting damage.

The trick is to follow the recommended care routine. Do this from the outset and your rug will last a lifetime.

jumping into bean bag

Above: Sheepskin Shaggy Bean Bag (Mt Gold)

Do sheepskin rugs shed?

If you have purchased a new rug you might get a bit of shedding in the first month or so, (especially long pile). All you need to do is vacuum weekly and shake it regularly and it will soon settle down.

How do you clean a sheepskin rug naturally?

The natural waxy coating on wool's fibres (lanolin) resists soiling and releases dirt easily, so its actually super easy to keep it clean:

  1. Vacuum once a week, using a plain suction unit.
  2. Regularly shake outside.
  3. Spot clean small spills promptly with a damp cloth.

For more information refer to my Easy Care Guide 

How can I tell if my sheepskin rug is real?

Pure sheepskin looks, smells and feels different to synthetic materials:

  • Sheepskin products have an organic look with variations in tightness of curl and colour/synthetics are uniform across the entire product.
  • Sheepskin will have a natural, earthy smell.
  • Sheepskins feel soft and silky /synthetic fibres feel slippery.
  • Real sheepskin has no static charge/synthetic fibres do.

Before you buy anything, check where the sheepskins are sourced from. Wilson & Dorset only use sheep from New Zealand. You can read more about that here


  • I loved learning that sheepskin products have natural oils in them which help to prevent the growth of allergens and bacteria. My sister gets bad allergies during this time of year and the clothes she wears usually harbors allergens and bacteria. I will have to look into buying some sheepskin products for her to wear that will help reduce her allergies.

    Charlotte Fleet on
  • What do I do if I spill red wine on my sheepskin? Love what you do.

    Rachel on

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