We’re all princesses frightened of sleeping on peas these days – how else to explain the rise in popularity of mattress toppers, that squidgy extra layer of comfort under your sheet, atop the bed.
Memory foam is popular, but complaints include its sometimes strong smell, plus it can retain heat so well that the bed boils.
As an alternative, natural fillings are growing in popularity and availability, so I decided to undertake a home trial.
Penrose Products alpaca mattress topper bedding set, £147.20
Fibre from alpacas is soft, luxurious and supremely comfy. Like silk, it moderates body temperature, and it is naturally hypoallergenic so great for allergy sufferers.
Luxury alpaca mattress enhancer, £151.99
My daughter found it heavy at first, but is now adjusted and sleeps like Rip van Winkle. What more can you want?
Princess rating; 3.5/5
Buy now from Not on the High Street
Ultimate microfibre topper with silk, £85
Dust mites hate silk, making it the ideal choice for anyone suffering allergies, and you can get toppers, duvets, pillow cases and bedding for the full experience.
Silk filled mattress topper, £85
It’s also lightweight, and stays cool – perfect for women of a certain age.
Princess rating; 4/5
Buy now from Soak and Sleep
Deluxe wool bedding set, £213.48
Sleeping with wool is said to provide up to 25 per cent more deep regenerative sleep (i.e. stage four REM sleep), over traditional down or synthetic bedding.
Devon Duvets British wool mattress toppers, from £110
I found it soft underneath and naturally warm. The accompanying duvet was super snugly, but the pillows too firm for my taste.
Princess rating; 3/5
Buy now from The Wool Room
Hastens BJ top mattress, price on request
This could be the perfect topper: thick, firm, and unbelievably cushioning. Horsehair is very durable (hence its use in traditional upholstery), and as the strands of hair are open-celled (or hollow), moisture passes through easily, wicking sweat away.
Plus the individual hairs never squash into a permanent shape, which I felt gave it the promised added “spring”.