A guide to duvets
When buying a duvet, it’s easy to fascinate over tog ratings and fillings. After all, nothing is more important than sleep! We spend around a third of our lives sleeping, so your choice of duvet will literally impact a third of your life.
In this guide to duvets, we’ll answer all of your questions with expert advice so you can go ahead and choose the right duvet for you.
Let’s jump right in.
What are the different fillings?
Duvet fillings are either natural or synthetic. Here’s what you need to know:
Synthetic fillings are naturally hypoallergenic, making them the best choice for allergy sufferers. They are easier to wash and quicker to dry than natural fillings, and they have no animal cruelty shadows looming over them, unlike the down industry.
Hollowfibre is made from fine polyester yarn. It is packed together to create a wool-like material. It packs down extremely well and contains lots of air. Hollowfibre duvets are lofty, airy, breathable and lightweight. Overall, a perfect filling.
Microfibre is made from fluffy polyester yarn of different weights. It is packed together to mimic the feel and performance of down. Our Feels Like Down duvet is a convincing down alternative. Microfibre duvets are lofty with lots of air.
Natural fillings are either taken from animals or produced from plants. Mother nature has given us plenty of materials we can use for duvet filling, but only a handful are used today – feather and down (animal-based) and rayon (plant-based).
Feather and down
Feather and down is a luxury choice. The more down a duvet contains, the more luxurious and expensive it is (feather is cheaper than down). This filling is comfy and feels lovely, but it is the product of cruelty to animals and can trigger allergies.
Rayon is a manufactured filling made from natural sources of purified cellulose fibres, typically wood pulp (Bamboo). It is a down alternative and feels similar to microfibre, but it is significantly more expensive and less durable.
What are the different covers?
Duvet covers are most commonly made from one of five materials:
Whether it’s organic, recycled, Egyptian or Pima, cotton is a soft and durable material perfect for duvets. A higher thread count means a softer, higher-quality fabric. Look for a thread count of at least 230 for luxury.
Polyester is a synthetic material that’s wrinkle-resistant and more durable than cotton overall. It isn’t as soft or as subtle. Polyester is a cheaper material, and it feels it. It is usually reserved for low-mid range duvets.
Polycotton is a 50-50 blend of cotton and polyester. It feels like cotton but offers similar durability to pure polyester. This material is a mid-range option, but some luxury duvets use it. It depends on the quality of the fabric.
Microfibre is made from polyester woven into an ultra-low pile. It gives the duvet a soft touch feel that’s similar to satin. It’s lightweight and considered a luxury choice on par with cotton. It’s well suited to winter and summer.
Polyurethane is plastic. Duvets use teabag variety polyurethane (the same stuff plastic tea bags are made from). This material is a budget option, giving excellent value for money, but it isn’t the most comfortable option.
What is thread count?
Thread count is the number of threads per square inch of your duvet.
A higher thread count means more threads are used in the fabric, and this is associated with higher-quality fabrics.
However, this only applies to 100% cotton duvets. Cotton is a relatively coarse material but use enough threads, and it is super-smooth and soft.
Luxury duvets have a higher thread count for this reason. 230 is considered the minimum for a luxury duvet. A 300 thread count is ideal.
You should ignore thread counts in polyester, polycotton and microfibre covers because polyester fibres are so thin they have a thread count in the thousands anyway.
So, remember – thread count only matters for 100% cotton.
What are the different togs?
Tog stands for Thermal Overall Grade. It grades insulation in textiles. In other words, it measures how effectively a duvet insulates heat.
The only thing you need to remember is duvets with a higher tog are warmer than those with a lower tog. Higher tog = warmer duvet.
We have split our duvet range into seasons:
- Summer 1.5 to 4.5 tog
- All Season 7.5 to 10.5 tog
- Winter 13.5 to 15 tog
We split our product range into seasons to make choosing a duvet simpler. All you need to do is pick a season rather than a tog.
The difference in perceptible warmth between a 13.5 and 15 tog duvet (or any tog difference that’s 1.5 or less) is minimal.
When splitting hairs between togs, you should base your choice on whether you are a cool or warm sleeper (warm sleeper = lower tog and vice versa).
What duvet size should I get?
You should match your duvet size to your bed size. For example, if you have a double bed, get a double duvet. If you have a king bed, get a king duvet.
Now, some confusion exists about duvet sizes for EU and UK beds. EU bed sizes are 10cm longer or wider than UK sizes, and this is where the confusion lies.
Here’s the deal – EU and UK bed sizes do not matter for duvet size.
Duvets made for UK beds are at least 10cm longer and wider than UK mattress sizes, so they fit EU beds anyway. There is no cause for concern.
How to take care of your duvet
A good quality duvet will last 5-10 years if you look after it. Here’s how to:
- Use a duvet cover: This will protect your duvet from snags and make cleaning easier.
- Use a waterproof cover: This should be used when fluids are a concern. Otherwise, a normal duvet cover will do.
- Watch your cats: Don’t let them knead your duvet! Use a bed scarf and a bed throw to give them something else to knead.
Wash your duvet properly: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing. Don’t do anything crazy like bleach your duvet.