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What to Look For When Buying a New Duvet.

Updated on September 4, 2016

Whether you sleep under a quilt, duvet or sheets and blankets is largely up to personal preference and comfort, but the choice can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a poor one.

In this hub we’ll look at what to look for when you’re buying a new duvet.

What is a duvet?

Duvets are a popular choice of bedding because of their simplicity. Essentially a duvet is a large fabric bag, filled with feathers, down, synthetic or natural fibres and sewn into pockets called baffles. These baffles give the quilted appearance.

You then wrapped it in a removable, washable cover which usually has matching pillow slips. Make the bed by shaking it out – no tucking in or layering different covers – all very simple.

Duvets come with varying thermal qualities too, and this is defined by the Tog rating. A Tog of 4.5-6 is suitable for summer or warmer climates; 7.5-12 is better for colder seasons and 13.5-15 is good if it’s really cold.

All-season duvets are 2 quilts buttoned together – they can be separated for warmer seasons and clipped together when it’s cold.

Even more ingenious is the ‘his and hers’ duvet. If your bed partner likes a cooler cover and you like a warmer one the ‘his and hers’ duvet follows the same principle as the all-seasons duvet but lets you build the warmth of the duvet to suit your needs. There’s an illustration from Cosycool below that demonstrates how this works.


Which are the best duvet fillings?

Look at the type of filling that would be right for you as well as the Tog rating.

The 4 main types of filling are down, feathers, synthetic and natural fibres.

Down is the fine, soft feather from the breast of a bird, commonly goose or duck. It gives a light but luxurious and warm duvet because it traps air very well.

The feathers in feather duvets include the shaft of the feather and therefore make the duvet a little heavier.

Natural fibres include wool and cotton. These are both anti-dust mite so ideal for allergy sufferers (more about the allergy sufferer’s bedroom here) and wool is good at keeping the body’s temperature stable. Cotton is a naturally breathable substance and will keep you cooler.

Synthetic fillings are sophisticated these days. They’re easy to care for – see below for care of your duvet – and are hypo allergenic so also good for allergy sufferers.

The hollow fibre filling is a fibre with a hollow centre, a bit like a straw. The hollow traps the warm air and the fibre itself doesn’t bend easily so the whole duvet maintains its shape well.

Polyester is a popular filling and is also hypoallergenic. It’s inexpensive but not very hard wearing so appears thin and flat after a time.

Microfibre is a newer type of filling which is lightweight and warm.

What else should you consider before buying a new duvet?

Get your purchase right by asking the following questions:

  • How warm is your bedroom at night/when you want to sleep?
  • How warm are you and how warm do you like to be?
  • How warm is your bed partner and how warm does s/he like to be?
  • How heavy do you like your duvet to be? Go for a lightweight duvet if you prefer the gentle feeling of a cloud lying over you or if you prefer a ‘tucked in’ feeling go for a heavier weight duvet.
  • Do you want to wash your duvet at home or use a specialist service?

How to care for your new duvet.

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions – not doing so could invalidate any warranty that comes with the product.
  2. Wash bedding, including synthetic duvets at the highest temperature they will tolerate – 60C or 140F is recommended to kill moulds and bacteria.
  3. Ensure they are thoroughly dry before putting them away in storage or back into use.
  4. Natural fillings such as feathers, down, wool and cotton will need specialist attention unless the manufacturer states otherwise.
  5. Store duvets in vacuum-closed bags that prevent dust, dust mites, bacteria and other bugs from getting to them while they’re not in use.

What else?

If you’re looking for advice on choosing new pillows, or if you’re not sure if you need one, look at the article on for more advice.


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