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How to protect your duvet

A good quality duvet should last 5-10 years, but your time could be cut short if you don’t protect it. This will cost you money and increase product waste, so it makes sense to look after your duvet and protect it the best you can.

In this guide, we’ll reveal how to protect your duvet with simple tips and tricks.

Let’s get to it.

Use a duvet cover

Duvet covers stop your duvet from getting dirty, prevent snags, prevent stains and are easy to wash. In most cases, duvet covers are also significantly cheaper than duvets, making them a savvy investment for protecting your duvet.

You can get duvet covers in an unlimited range of designs and materials. Some people adore the silky smooth feel of silk, while others detest the feel of silk and would much rather have a cotton or microfibre duvet cover.

These are the main materials to consider: 

  • Silk
  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Polycotton
  • Rayon
  • Microfibre

Use a waterproof duvet protector

If you need to protect your duvet from fluids, your only real option is to use a waterproof duvet protector that zips over your duvet.

Waterproof duvet covers have a waterproof polyurethane lining. The outer fabric is most often microfibre or cotton for tactile comfort.

You can install a waterproof duvet protector over your duvet and put a regular duvet cover over the waterproof one, so it isn’t visible.

However, there are several downsides you need to know about.

The first downside is waterproof duvet covers aren’t breathable (they are waterproof, after all). This makes them clammy in hot weather and poor at regulating body temperature.

The second downside is feel. The polyurethane inner lining is stiff and scratchy, taking away the loftiness and airiness of your normal duvet.

We recommend using a waterproof cover only when needed. They aren’t comfortable and will take away the best features of your duvet.

Don’t let your cats knead your duvet

Cats have a habit of kneading when getting comfortable. This is normal behaviour that shouldn’t be punished, but it will destroy your duvet.

Kneading is when cats push out and pull in their front claws. They do it for comfort on soft surfaces with duvets being a particular favourite.

The problem with kneading is it rips up cotton, polycotton, polyester, microfibre, and other duvet materials.  

A duvet cover is as useful as a chocolate teapot for protection, so you need to get a little more creative to protect your duvet.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Put a bed scarf at the end of your bed. This will give your cat something to knead that isn’t your duvet while you sleep.
  • Use a throw blanket when your bed isn’t in use. This will give your cat something to knead during the day when you’re not sleeping.
  • Don’t be afraid to nudge your cat off the bed. If your cat starts kneading your duvet, nudge them off the bed. Problem solved (for now).

Store your duvet in its own environment  

When it comes to storing your duvet, you could do what most people do, which is bundle it into an attic or stuff it into a wardrobe.

These techniques will give your duvet somewhere to live, but they won’t stop dust from collecting on it. Duvets also have a habit of absorbing smells, so things like smoking, cooking and perfumes can build up over time.

It’s better to store your duvet in its own environment. Here are some ideas:

  • Really Useful Box: Plastic boxes are great for duvets. We recommend a Really Useful Box because they last forever. You’ll need an 83L box to store a Super King duvet. Pack it into the box and leave it be until you need it.
  • Duvet storage bag: If you don’t want to stick your duvet in a box, you can get a duvet storage bag. These are made from cotton with zip enclosures. Pack your duvet into the bag and throw it anywhere you like.
  • Vacuum storage bag: If space is really limited, vacuum storage bags are the best way to store a duvet safely. Using a regular hoover, you can reduce a duvet to 20% of its original size by sucking the air out of it.

Be very careful with food and drink

Eating and drinking in bed or on your bed will happen at some point, so there’s no point in saying don’t do it. Instead, be careful.

Spilt drinks (especially red drinks and berry drinks) will be hard to get out without machine washing, and permanent stains are a real possibility.

Milk (whether it’s neat or in tea or coffee) is the worst offender for nasty smells. It absolutely stinks within just a few days. You should be careful with milk, and spills should be cleaned up immediately, ideally by machine washing.

The problem with food and drink is it goes off and promotes bacterial growth. Your duvet is supposed to be clean, so try and keep it that way.

Follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions

When the time comes to clean your duvet, you should always follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions down to a tee.

Here are some basic recommendations:

  • If the manufacturer says HAND WASH ONLY, you can hand wash (it’s best to do this in a bath) or use the hand wash setting on your washing machine.
  • If the manufacturer says MACHINE WASHABLE, look for the washing machine temperature recommendation and never go over it.
  • With machine washable duvets, match the cycle to the material. For example, if your duvet is polycotton, choose mixed fabrics. If it’s cotton, choose cotton. We also recommend choosing one spin setting below what your machine recommends to protect the outer cover from the metal drum.


Common sense and creative techniques like vacuum packing for storage are all you need to protect your duvet for years to come.

Protecting your duvet is essential to extending its life. Take good care of it and you should get 5-10 years from it and maybe more.