How a duvet will feel depends on three important factors, each of which will make a difference to your comfort. Ie the duvets':
- TOG rating, ie the warmth of a duvet. The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet.
Coolest summer tog = 3 tog. Warmest winter tog = 13.5 tog.
Quick links: best tog for TODDLER, best tog for ALL YEAR.
- What it's MADE FROM (i.e. both the duvet filling and casing)
1. Warm or Cool?
The TOG of your duvet determines how warm or cool you’ll be at night – it’s a unit referring to the amount of body heat retained by the duvet. It doesn't represent how heavy, light or thick the duvet may be. Lightweight duvets can insulate your body from the cold just as effectively as heavier ones. This is because some duvet fillings are better insulators than others.
The degree of warmth required is a very personal choice and your choice will depend on your individual body temperature and the ambient temperature of the room. There are those that are naturally hot-blooded and quickly become hot and sticky at night, and then there are the bedsocks brigade who suffer beneath the very coolest of duvets! The choice is as follows:
Cool (3 or 4.5 Tog) – this rating indicates a cool duvet, which traps only a little heat, so would generally be used in the summer.
Medium (9.0 Tog or 10.5 Tog) – a warm duvet, generally used in the Spring and Autumn, though many people, such as those who have central heating or share a bed, use these togs all year round.
Warm (13.5 Tog) – very warm and cosy, ideal for Winter use.
Four Seasons (13.5 Tog: 4.5 Tog + 9.0 Tog) – a good solution for all year round use. Two duvets that may be used separately, i.e. a duvet for Summer and a duvet for in Spring and Autumn, or they may be buttoned together in Winter.
Please note: Opt for lighter-weight duvets for young children and toddlers, such as 4.5 tog in the summer and 9 tog in the winter as children have a tendency to over-heat in bed.
2. Choosing your duvet filling
A duvet is only as good as its filling, so choose carefully: they are basically either natural or synthetic (fibre-filled). Fillings made from natural fibres such as duck or goose feather and down, wool, silk or cotton are seen as the luxury choice as they are soft, light and comfortable and offer the best quality of sleep. These natural fillings also ‘breathe’ and absorb body moisture, releasing it in the morning when aired. Breathability is such an important factor when choosing your duvet as the possibility of becoming too hot is much reduced, making natural-filled duvets capable of keeping you comfortable over a much wider range of conditions than fibre-filled duvets. Natural materials also have a longer lifespan than their synthetic counterparts, and will last 20 to 30 years if cared for properly. This is, however, reflected in the price of natural duvets as they are more expensive than those made with synthetic insulation.
Natural duvets have the benefit of being both durable and naturally ‘breathable’ keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer
'Down', the lightest of all fillings, refers to the soft, light clusters found under the feathers of ducks and geese. The down of the bird doesn’t contain feather quills, but is luxuriously soft and fluffy and contains thousands of tiny air pockets which offer excellent natural insulation – keeping cold air out and warm air in. It is, after all, these clusters which provide the insulation to keep geese warm in really cold temperatures and enables them to swim in freezing waters.
Feathers, which contain quills and are flat for streamlined flight and swimming, are much firmer than down. Neither are feathers as soft and light as down. Basically, their insulation qualities are inferior to down as more filling is needed to achieve the same tog rating.
The higher the down content, the lighter, better quality and more durable the product will be. Down filled duvets should last for at least 20 years and feather and down and feather blends for about 10 years.
Fill power is a measure used to determine the quality of down and feather. The higher the fill power, the better the duvet. A high fill power also indicates that the product will retain its performance for many years longer.
The casings of our duvets are of cassette pocket construction, which keeps the filling evenly distributed and prevents cold spots.
Duck feather and down versus Goose feather and down
Duck feather and down gives a heavier filling than goose feather and down, and is the cheapest of the natural fillings. Goose feather and down feels more voluminous and more expensive, with a pure goose down being the most luxurious. Geese from colder climates, such as Eastern Europe and China, produce bigger down clusters and the best is considered to come from Hungary, while other contenders might hail from Russia or Siberia.
The Pure Living Collection range of natural duvets includes:
Hungarian Goose Down Duvets (Fill Power of 700): exceptionally soft, fluffy and lightweight,
Goose Down Duvets (Fill Power of 600): soft, fluffy and lightweight
Goose Feather and Down Duvets (Fill power of 325) perfect middle way for comfort, warmth and value
Duck Feather and Down Duvets (Fill power of 300): great value, firm and natural
For those who suffer from allergies:
Except in rare occasions, feather and down allergies are a result of dust and dirt collected inside the duvet, not the feather and down itself. Allergy sufferers shouldn’t necessarily discount feather and down. Many people who are allergic to animals are still able to sleep under a pure goose down duvet. High quality, goose down duvets are also covered in a tighter weave fabric than fibre-filled duvets, in order that they may be down-proof (i.e. you don’t feel the filling coming through). The tighter weave creates a stronger barrier between you and the impurities inside the duvet.
Fibre-filled duvets are still a good bet as you can launder them frequently. If you’d prefer such an alternative, try the Spundown duvet which is filled with soft hypoallergenic microfibre and may be washed at 60°C, the temperature that kills dust mites. All duvet sizes fit into a standard domestic washing machine.
The Mulberry silk-filled duvet is also a good option as silk offers more natural resistance to dust mites than feather and down.
Silk duvets are made from fibres layered on top of each other, providing these duvets with a flatter appearance when compared with duvets filled with feather or down. Most importantly silk is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, so silk filled duvets may be considered a much healthier alternative to duvets with conventional fillings such as down, feather or down-like polyester clusters. The best silk duvets are made from wild silk or A Grade Mulberry silk.
Synthetic Fibre fillings
A common misconception is that a synthetic duvet or quilt, i.e. filled with ‘hollowfibre’ or ‘microfibre’, will be colder and less effective than a natural-filled duvet such as goose down. This simply is not the case.
Synthetic fibre-filled duvets are less expensive and tend to be more practical than natural-filled duvets as they can be put in the washing machine and tumble dried. Their lifespan (about 10 years) is less than natural-filled duvets.
They're hypoallergenic, so are especially good for those who suffer from allergies such as asthma, eczema, rhinitis, or those sensitive to dust and so need to wash their duvets regularly.
Fillings are made from polyester, such as ‘hollowfibre’. 'Microfibre' is the very latest in fibre filling and is closest in feel to natural down as it is extremely light-weight and is wonderfully soft.
The Pure Living Collection range of synthetic microfibre duvets includes:
So Soft duvets : great value, soft and plump duvet
Cotton Embrace duvets soft, plump duvet with a 100% cotton cover
Spundown duvets an incredibly fine microfibre filling that enables all sizes to be washed at home in a domestic washing machine at 60oc, the temperature that kills dust mites – a common cause of asthma and allergies
Perfect Balance duvets (unique blend of microfibre and Lysoft® filling): down-like duvets which provide outstanding breathability
3. Duvet Casings
All casings for duvets and pillows should be comfortable, absorbent and allow the body to ‘breathe’. Natural filled duvets should have down-proof casings, with fabric so tightly woven to prevent leakage of the duvet filling. Cotton is the most popular material and the best duvets use a fine cotton cambric or jacquard weave. Higher quality duvets have a neat piped finish for extra strength.