Your Questions

Duvets – summer, winter, heat & cold

Hi, Today I bought a silk duvet from TK Max but I can't find anything about the company on line and want to know if this is a good silk duvet or if there are better. Please advise what I should do as my current down duvet is too warm in the summer (it's arctic down & 7.5tog). Jacqueline.

  Hi Jacqueline, You're on the right tracks as a silk duvet is one of the best duvets for breathability and temperature regulation, keeping you cool in summer but also warm in winter. Our current favourite is the John Lewis Mulberry Silk Duvet - it's had rave reviews from it's buyers and gets a 5* from us as it's reasonable, ethically sourced and good quality silk.

TK Max sell other branded products under their name so it's difficult to tell which duvet you actually have. Your down duvet should be cool enough for most spring and early summer nights but 7.5 tog can get hot in the warmer summer spells. If it's really good quality down then it will still be warm even at 3-4 tog, as down produced by birds is warmer the further north you go. Again, I can't actually tell what exact product it is from your description as there are quite a few duvets out there labelled 'arctic down'.
  If I were you, I would definitely go for a 3-4 tog duvet if you're finding a 7.5 tog too warm in the summer months.   The other thing to look for is guaranteed quality - retailers like The White Company, Soak and Sleep and John Lewis have policies regards ethically sourcing down & silk and can tell you where your duvet has come from. I would prefer to buy from one of these rather than risk a poor quality product from a manufacturer who is not being quality controlled or environmentally / ethically guaranteed.

The silk duvet we mentioned before is from John Lewis and is available in a 7 tog or a 3-4 tog, which could suit you well. It has rave reviews from it's buyers and we thought it was one of the best silk duvets we've found.

Duvet Care

We recommend that you wash your duvet every 6 to 12 months. Of course, we all use duvet covers that we wash more frequently and they protect our duvets day to day. However, we sweat significantly at night and our bedding can be very popular with dust mites, so it’s important to remember to wash the actual duvet too. Please click here ‘Caring for your Duvet’ to find further advice on how to care, wash, store and dry your duvet.
A duvet’s lifespan usually depends on the quality and filling type of the duvet. If cared for, natural duvets, filled with down, feather, or Wool  tend to have a longer lifespan than synthetic duvets and often lasting more than 10 years and can come with a manufacturer’s guarantee to support this.  Synthetic duvets filled with hollowfibre and microfibre are generally less likely to last as long. Often you will find the quality of synthetic duvets deteriorate more quickly, with the filling becoming clumpy, leaving you with cool patches. If you have the budget and are looking for a duvet to last, I would opt for a down or wool duvet.
In duvet terms, one key thing to consider is whether it should be washed at home; professionally laundered or dry cleaned. Every product is different and the most important point is always check the label. However, most manufacturers advise against their duvets being dry cleaned due to the use of harsh chemicals in this process but do suggest professional laundering. This can often be easier and less of a worry for the consumer but of course, comes at a cost. With many duvets, you could clean the duvet at home, the key consideration here is whether you have a big enough washer / dryer? In my experience, most home washer / dryers can fit a cot bed or single duvet in comfortably but anything bigger becomes a challenge. This is why professional laundering is so popular. Many dry cleaning companies have commercial sized machines so they can offer this service. Read our article Caring for Your Duvet for further information.

Duvets for Allergies

As far as we are aware there are no different ratings for hypoallergenic duvets. As you have probably seen you can get different ‘fill’ types of duvets that offer hypoallergenic properties though. Synthetic duvets with anti-allergy properties will often be labelled so, however natural duvets can also be a great option for allergy sufferers. Wool offers a natural resistance to dust mites and can be a good option for younger children with allergies as it is also temperature regulating. Reviews for Wool duvets. If you like the lighter feel of a feather or down duvet, this can also still be an option for an asthma or allergy sufferer, however, I would always recommend those with Downafresh® and/or NOMITE® accreditation. A Downafresh label confirms that the duvet has been washed in line with strict European guidelines as well as being sourced within current Animal welfare legislation. The NOMITE mark confirms that a high density fabric has been used which acts as a barrier against dust mites. I recommend you read a few our reviews of Anti-Allergy duvets for further information on some great duvets currently available.

Understanding Duvets

The tog is a measure of thermal resistance of a duvet or it’s ability to trap warm air. Duvets are available from 4.5 tog to 16.5 tog in increments of 1.5 tog. The higher the tog value, the warmer the duvet will be. It is worth noting that the tog given for a duvet is the minimum actual value based on the tested environment. Adding a duvet cover, nightwear, sharing the duvet with a partner and central all add to the actual temperature you experience. For further information you can read our page About Duvet Warmth - TOG ratings
Our honest opinion? Both are excellent choices and could last you 20 years. Generally though with duvets, and especially with down duvets, you get what you pay for. Siberia is colder than Hungary, so geese and ducks will have better insulation and fluffier down - this is called ‘fill power’. Siberian down has a very high fill power, is very light and very warm. Hungarian down is still lovely and warm and beautifully light but you need to put more goose down in a duvet from Hungary in order to get the same warmth or tog rating. Overall though, both of these types of duvets will give you a very cosy night’s sleep with excellent warmth and temperature regulation even in the hotter months of the year, so either is an excellent buy. Pay as much as you can afford - these are the best duvets we’ve tried. Click here for our Down duvet reviews.
I would highly recommend an All Seasons duvet. They offer great value and during the winter months you won’t require any storage space as the 2 duvets will be buttoned together. In the warmer months, you will just need to pack away 1’half’ of the duvet which will be a lighter tog and more compact than a Winter ‘stand alone’ duvet. If you have limited storage another great option is packing your duvet up in a vacuum storage bag, as well as packing them to a reasonable size for storing, they can also protect against dust. These are available at John Lewis or Amazon One final point is that a Down filled duvet will often fold to a smaller size than synthetic ones, so this may be worth considering too (Reviews of Down Duvets)
I can’t stand sleeping bags and sleep much better under a duvet. When camping, I think the key things to look for when taking a duvet, is having a duvet that is temperature regulating as you don’t want to struggle to sleep because you are too hot or too cold. Natural duvets filled with wool or down are great for this as they naturally wick away moisture, as well as being cosy and warm. Personally, I would probably opt for wool out of the two, if it’s good enough for the sheep !! Our reviews of Wool duvets can be found here. Other things I would consider are: how much space you have in your car / tent (down duvet will pack up much smaller than a wool one); the feel you prefer (down will offer more soft and cloud-like, whereas wool is incredibly warm but more rigid) and finally the importance of keeping your duvet dry and clean when camping. A soggy down or wool duvet is not nice, so try to hang the duvet up during the day to give it a good air. I recently invested in a dry pack liner for my son’s school camping trip and it seemed to help keep his things in a reasonable state. There are a good selection of these available on Amazon, just be careful to buy the correct size for your duvet.
Many UK retailers are becoming more transparent about how they source their products. High Street retailers such as John Lewis, The White Company, The Fine Bedding Company (at Debenhams) and Quilts of Denmark (at House of Fraser) have published statements on their websites about their ethics and sourcing with regards to natural duvet production and animal welfare standards. There are several industry accreditations that you can look out for on a product’s packaging and label which will confirm if a duvet’s filling has been ethically sourced (Most companies will be proud to say they have, if this is the case!), however if you are purchasing a down, feather or wool duvet, I would expect to see some of these key accreditations / marks on those using ethically sourced raw materials: *Downafresh - as well as showing that a product meets high washing hygiene standards in production, the Downafresh mark also ensures the traceability of the filling of a feather or down product ensuring it is in line with animal welfare legislation. * Meeting Standard 100 OEKO-TEX a worldwide independent testing and certification system for textile products. *IDFL standards compliance (International Down and Feather testing Laboratory) * Membership of the European Down and Feather Association (EDFA) ‘In 2010, the EDFA member companies committed themselves to a documentary traceability system and a code of conduct. This stipulates that no down or feathers harvested in a manner that inflicts pain upon the animals may be procured or processed.
Each filling has different pro’s and con’s and so it is a really important thing to consider. As a starting place, I suggest you take a look at our Duvet comparison tables. Further information on each of the different fillings can be found in our ‘About Duvet filling types’ section of this website.

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