Shopping for a new duvet? Here’s what to keep in mind

One would usually associate a duvet with cold winter nights, but if chosen wisely, your duvet can be used throughout the year.

First you’ll need to know the ins and outs of different types of duvet inners.

Sleep plays such an essential part of our well-being. The experts at Linen Drawer offer some help to make your decisions about sleeping in comfort a little easier.

Here are a few factors you need to consider before you start looking at duvets:

    What size is your bed/mattress?Does your duvet drape comfortably over your body?Does your duvet feel heavy or light, and which do you prefer?Do you have any allergies?Have you, or your partner, higher than average body heat?What is your budget?

The answers to the above questions will start you off on an informed search for the correct duvet inner. Linen Drawer has narrowed down the options for you into two broad categories – that have natural filling and synthetic-filled duvet inners.

Natural fill is any substance that is organic such as down, feathers, wool, silk, alpaca fleece, cotton.

Feathers are a natural filling. Picture: Lisa Fotios/Pexels

Synthetic fill is any substance that is non-organic or has been vigorously processed. Examples are hollowfibre, microfibre, acrylic and bamboo.

The first difference between natural and synthetic duvet inners is price. Natural fills tend to be more expensive than man-made or synthetic fills.

The second difference is performance. Man-made or synthetic-fill duvets cleverly mimic natural-fill duvets and the choice will be based on your requirements.

Properties of natural-fill duvet inners:

    LightweightWarmer than their weightExcellent temperature control Wick well – the fabric pulls moisture away from the skin, ensuring comfortable (non-sweaty) sleepAntibacterial and antimicrobialSustainable resourceNeed careful cleaning

Properties of synthetic duvet inners:

    Non-allergenic and anti-dust miteBamboo and viscose are sustainable resources, but processing these into fibre is harmful to the environmentCan be heavier than natural fillingsLess good at temperature controlEasily laundered

When choosing a duvet inner you might see a ‘tog rating’ on the product. The tog rating is the duvet’s ability to trap air, which is what keeps you warm (this is called thermal resistance). A guideline for a winter duvet inner would be a tog rating of between 7 and 13 tog, while a summer duvet inner would be 3 to 4.5 tog.

What else should you look out for when buying a duvet inner?

Normally price is an indicator of quality – unfortunately you get what you pay for. However, irrespective of the price look out for the following:

Construction of the inner: Is the filling in squares or in long channels? Squares, often called the baffle box design, ensure that the fill does not move and clump, and the heat retention is evenly distributed. Also look at the stitching and edging – it should be secure and neat with no fill poking out.

If it’s a feather or down fill, has it been certified by the International Down and Feather Bureau and does it have a Featherite certification? The first guarantees that the down and feathers have been ethically sourced (from ducks and geese killed for food). The Featherite certification is that the fill has been cleaned to a specific standard, rendering it hypo-allergenic and dust-mite free.

What are the cleaning and washing instructions?

What is the casing made from? A down or feather duvet inner must have down-proof casing and natural-fill duvet inners should have 100% cotton casing.

Buying a duvet inner, which should last you between 15 to 30 years, is quite a commitment. So it’s advisable to do your homework before making a decision.