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Guide to Buying a Duvet

When buying a duvet, there are two decisions to make: the type of filling, and the “tog” rating of your duvet (which dictates the weight, warmth and softness of the duvet).

 Step 1 Choose your filling

There are two main types of filling – synthetic/man-made or natural. 


Synthetic duvets are made from polyester and come in at a number of price points. .   Obviously, if you are allergic to feathers and down then synthetic is the best choice. Likewise if the duvet requires frequent washing for whatever reason, synthetic is best, since they can be washed in a large capacity washing machine.  In addition consider that some duvets can be washed at temperatures above 60 degrees C which means that dust mites are killed.

Synthetic duvets also tend to be lighter than the average feather and down duvet for the same warmth, but as they are made of polyester they do not breathe as effectively as natural fillings. (In the same way that natural fibres such as cotton in clothes help your skin breathe, so natural fillings in duvets help your body breath more effectively whilst you are in bed.)  

Here at Linen House we keep a number of different synthetic duvets of different qualities and price points. At the top end, synthetic duvets feel very close to a natural filling, being spundown. 


Natural fillings are mainly made from feathers and/or down although cotton and silk duvets can be found.  As well as being more “breathable”, good quality natural-filled duvets also have a lifespan considerably longer that those that are synthetically filled.  The main downside of a natural filled duvet however is that they cannot be washed and require professional laundering.

 What’s the difference between feathers and down?

Feathers tend to be two dimensional in nature – flat with a harder quill shaft designed to help a bird fly!  Down on the other hand is from underneath the feathers and is for keeping a bird warm in winter and cool in summer.   It is light, fluffy and three dimensional in nature allowing air to be trapped that warms to keep the bird or in a duvet’s case the body warm.  This is the principle on which all duvets work.

Goose down duvets are lighter in weight than duck down and in turn lighter than duck feather and down. Goose down duvets come in a number of qualities such a simple White Goose Down or Hungarian Goose Down all of which offer a luxurious warm, lightweight and comfortable sleeping experience. 

 All our natural duvets have cotton cambric covers and are of a stitched and boxed construction to ensure and even spread of the filling and therefore consistent warmth with no cold spots.  They are of good quality and hardwearing so you can expect many years of use representing great value.

 Step 2 – Choose your tog rating

Natural duvets are better at trapping air than synthetic, so normally require less filling to achieve the same level of warmth.  Goose Down duvets are therefore very light for the level of warmth that they give.  To give some indication of how warm a duvet is beyond the “it’s thick, therefore it must be warm”, the tog rating is used.

 The tog rating represents the duvet’s warmth.  In simple terms the higher the tog rating the warmer the duvet.

As a guide these are our suggestions as to tog ratings.

Lightweight Summer Duvet - 3.0 – 4.5 Tog

Spring/Autumn Duvet - 7.0-10.5 Tog

Winter Duvet -12.-13.5 Tog

One great solution to the dilemma over what tog to choose is to opt for a ‘Four Seasons’ or ‘All Seasons’ Duvet which provide excellent flexibility.  These come in a number of fillings and are made up of two separate duvets one for the summer (4.5 togs), one for the spring/autumn (9.0 togs) and both together for the winter (13.5 togs).

 Step 3 - Other considerations

 If you and your partner fight over the duvet during the night why not consider a duvet that is one size larger than your bed ensuring that you both have some duvet during the night.

If you and your partner cannot agree on the right tog rating for your duvet then you might want to consider a duvet with different togs on each side.  These are available in a number of our duvets.  Please phone or email us for more information.  

If you are buying a duvet for a young child it is better to go for a lower tog duvet 4.5-9.0 togs as the duvet traps more air/warmth for their smaller bodies and can make higher togs uncomfortable.  An ‘All Seasons’ duvet is therefore a good flexible choice. 


 As we have already discussed our duvets come in a range of natural and synthetic materials as well as tog ratings.  This means that you should be able to find a duvet that meets your needs and price range whilst ensuring maximum comfort.  If you need more help why not email us at  or call us on 01883 651500 to discuss your needs.

 View our range here