Hi Phoenix, what do you think about this:
From SleepEZ I can get this for $1600, which includes a cotton cover with wool.
Alternatively, I can get this one for $1145, which appears to be the same thing but has a stretch cotton cover instead.
What are the pros/cons of a wool cover vs a cotton stretch cover?
There are several differences in the two mattresses besides the cover and the “Special” is closer to the 9" Select Sleep 9000 with @ 8" of latex with the wool quilted cover and which allows for the choice of Talalay or Dunlop in any of the layers. The special also uses 100% natural talalay in the top 2". Besides the choice of materials however and the different fire barrier used in the Special (wool is the fire barrier in the 9000 model) the main difference as you mentioned is in the cover. Because of the lower margins … the 5% discount for the forum members here also doesn’t apply to the Special and they offer a “pillow bonus” instead.
Both covers are very nice and high quality but they will provide a different feel and which is better for each person would really boil down to a matter of individual preferences. The non quilted cover (which actually looks like it is quilted and you can see it here thanks to MikeM although it’s not as dark as the picture lighting shows) is very stretchy while the wool quilted cover also uses a stretch knit but the layer of densified wool will affect the feel of the latex underneath it a little bit more. Wool is also a costly material so it adds to the cost of a zip cover or to the overall sleeping system if it is added as part of a protector or mattress pad.
If you do a forum title search on cover there is quite a bit more information about the pros and cons of each including post #2 here. There is also more information on quilting here and on ticking materials here. For those who want to sleep on wool for it’s many benefits including breathability and temperature control, it can always be added as a protector or mattress pad which can then be removed and aired out and/or cleaned more easily than removing the cover itself.
The good news is that they are both good choices. The difference is really a matter of which of the tradeoffs are most important for each person.