Natural & Synthetic

Duvet Buyers Guide

Choosing your duvet fill

When choosing a duvet the most important place to start is with the filling. It’s what is in your duvet that makes a duvet amazing … or abysmal. If your duvet isn’t stuffed with the right....stuff, you’ll know about it but unfortunately probably not until you’ve had a rubbish night’s sleep under it after which it cannot be returned. But don’t worry, with our duvet guide you can choose your duvet with confidence.

Natural Duvets.

If you have set your sights on having a natural duvet, your first port of call is usually feather and down – it’s warm, soft, breathable and reasonably priced. Most feather and down duvets are a mix of 85% feather and 15% down, the more down in the duvet the better. The feather insulates by trapping air but as it is not as efficient as down more is needed to provide heat and this leads to a heavier duvet. However feather duvets still have all the advantages of a natural duvet, they move and mould around the body keeping out nasty drafts and are breathable which helps regulate heat.

The higher the percentage of down the lighter your duvet will be. This is because down clusters are particularly well adjusted to trap air and therefore retain heat; this is what keeps the geese and ducks nice and cosy. Down is also available in various qualities and the better the quality the lighter your duvet will be, and this doesn’t mean less heat it simply means the same heat with less weight!!

Benefits of feather and down

- Was the caveman living in luxury? We've seen evidence that people were sleeping on beds of feather since 3000BC.

- They may now be associated with the height of luxury, but feather and down duvets, pillows, and toppers have been around a very long time. Of course, it makes sense that we have perfected them.

The upsides of down

- We think (and millions across the world agree) that feather and down is our favourite thing to sleep on and beneath. It increases comfort and aids our sleep. Want to know why?

Keep your cool.

- Feather and down will keep you warm, but not too warm. They're grown to insulate ducks and geese in all weathers. Yet you don't need that many to stay warm. In other words, we can create a warm duvet that is also incredibly light. Their fluffy and floaty texture traps warm air and makes the duvet puffy and soft.

- This lofty structure also allows moisture (like perspiration) to evaporate out - keeping you cool and dry for a better night's sleep. (Vital for ducks and geese out in the rain.) All of these factors create a perfect micro-climate for us to sleep under or on.

Feather Vs Down

- The down is the layer of fine, spherical, fluffy feathers that is found under the tougher exterior feathers. A down cluster is shaped like a dandelion head, with very short quill shafts, making it softer and lighter than a feather. Airy and insulative, a cluster has lots of natural springback (so the cluster wants to spring back into a sphere when it’s flattened…puff!) This is what makes down products lofty and longlasting.

- The thicker the down clusters, the better the insulation they provide and therefore the less down that you need. The colder the climate the goose is raised in, the fluffier and thicker the down clusters will be. Our Hungarian and Canadian ranges have the thickest and fluffiest down, creating the lightest duvets.

- Feathers help the bird fly, as well as keeping them warm and dry. Feathers are heavier and larger than down, mainly due to the quill running down the middle, and the hairlike strands that are attached to the quill are thicker. Their shape is long and flat rather than spherical, so you need more of them to provide the same insulation as the down.

- Adding feathers to a duvet makes it cheaper and heavier. We will almost always use some small feather in our top duvets, because we like the snuggly bulk that it adds. We also add a minimum of 15% down to a feather product as it prevents the quills from aligning and flattening out.

Goose Vs Duck

- Why do we choose goose down over duck down? Big, hefty geese have larger down clusters and fluffier feathers, which gives them better insulating properties and longevity. Duck bedding is heavier because more filling is needed to create the same insulation.


Synthetic Duvets.

If it’s a synthetic duvet you’re after then the main choices here are Microfibre or Hollowfibre.

Microfibre is the new kid on the block and is knocking the spots off Hollowfibre in a big way. It is in fact a type of polyester, but it’s a far superior fibre made by spinning the polyester into extra fine fibres; measuring 1/100th the diameter of a human hair and 1/20th the diameter of a strand of silk. This results in a better ability to trap air providing better insulation and a far lighter duvet. Microfibre moves and feels like down so if you’re looking for an alternative to a natural duvet then this is definately the answer.

Hollowfibre is a thicker fibre with hollow strands which make a thicker and heavier duvet. Hollowfibre is known to be a great value option and is a good hardwearing duvet providing the heat needed at an inexpensive price.

Why choose a synthetic duvet?

- If you're an allergy sufferer. Dust-mites HATE microfibre and hollowfibre (see our anti-allergy page for lots more detail).

- If you want to wash you duvet a lot. Polyester fibres are strong and resilient, so you can wash them more at hotter temperatures - getting rid of odd dust mites and spills or stains.

- If you have kids. See above - synthetic duvets are anti-dust and pro-clean, which is precisely what every parent wants.

- If you want to save a bundle. Even the finest microfibre filling is cheaper than natural fillings - for almost as luxurious a finish!

- If you want your stuff to last for ages. Hollowfibre and microfibre retain their shape very well, giving them a long life-expectancy.

- If you want an anti-bac treatment. Polyester synthetic fillings can be treated with anti-bacterial chemicals to make them repel dust mites completely.

- If you want super-easy washing and drying. Hollowfibre and microfibre products dry very quickly.

- If you want a light and puffy duvet. Synthetic fill creates a light duvet but more of it is needed to retain warmth, so duvets tend to be bigger (not heavier) than feather and down alternatives.

Get to know your togs

One of the first questions you will be asked when buying a duvet is; what tog do you require? This isn’t a trick question, it is in fact a very important one as the tog that is suitable for you is very personal and no one can tell you what you need. So what is tog? Tog refers to the warmth the duvet is going to provide, usually duvets range from 4.5tog which would be a very cool and suitable for summer use duvet up to 13.5tog which is very warm and is what most people use as a winter duvet. There are a variety of togs in between which may be more suitable if for example you have a well insulated house or find you are very hot at night.

The Nitty gritty

Boxes and Baffles and all that Jazz!

To get a box stich duvet the top and bottom casing of the duvet is sewn together leaving a little gap to insert the filling, when the duvet is filled the gaps are sewn to ensure the filling doesn’t move around. Magic! No more waking up with the contents of the duvet at your toes and just a flimsy piece of fabric pulled up around your neck.

Baffled boxes are a similar but instead of simply sewing the top and bottom together, far too simple, strips of material are inserted between the top and bottom layer to make a cube which is then filled with the down. This results in a very even distribution as the down has more room to move around in the box. Usually this finish is used on very luxurious down duvets, you see it really is all in the finish!

Duvet sizes

- Single: Duvet 135cm x 200cm

- Double: Duvet 200cm x 200cm

- King: Duvet 230cm x 220cm

- Superking: Duvet 260 x 220cm