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First and foremost we tend to be looking for warmth and comfort. The more expensive your duvet, the less weight is typically required for warmth. Equally, your bedding will tend to perform better for a longer period of time. True value for money is difficult to assess at point of purchase especially when the lifetime may well be judged over decades, not years.
In the UK, the tog rating is your guide to warmth in duvets – essentially it operates on a scale from 2.5 tog (lightest rating) to 15.0 tog (warmest rating).
A good solution is the All Seasons duvet, which combines a summer weight quilt with a warmer duvet, which would typically be used in Spring and Autumn. The two duvets can then be attached together in the event of colder weather to give, for example, a combined tog rating in excess of 13.5 togs – the space between the two duvets also contributes to trapping warm air.
Most Duvet Store products can be hand filled to any tog rating, please ask if you don’t find the exact specification you require.
Buying a duvet is no different to anything else in life. You get what you pay for. A cheap duvet may last a year or two. A top quality duvet may still be in good working order in 20 or 30 years time – so that £500 duvet can end up costing less than £20 a year and giving a level of comfort and happiness every single night….
When it comes to the top of the range fillings, the question is often asked about selecting between the different products which are presented. Our top quality Siberian or Hungarian down duvets are sourced directly from reputable long established Scottish and Hungarian manufacturers. The quality of filling is everything – the down feathers used by our suppliers are exceptionally long and of the highest possible standard – cheaper products may carry the same name but the actual quality is not! If a product costs half the price of another on the market there is almost certainly a good reason for that – it is likely to be heavier and not have the same lifetime.
The choice between down and feather can be based on two main factors. If you are looking for a duvet with more weight to it, as some prefer, then feather will provide this. The second factor is of course price! Feather does not insulate as well as down, hence more weight of filling is used – it is also a far cheaper material to source leading to the cost advantage.
We are also asked on occasion to help customers choose between duck and goose feather or down. The actual quality of filling itself is more relevant in fact – some qualities of Duck Down such as our 100% Pure European White Duck Down is far superior to most Goose Down products in the market The duvet will be that bit lighter whilst offering the same tog value.
As for natural filled duvets, the same principles apply in terms of lifetime of product. Cheaper synthetic duvets are particularly prone to losing their tog value rapidly. We use primarily Dacron branded fibre fillings which both feel softer and are remarkably resilient over a long period of time.
For warmth, the solutions are relatively straightforward. The higher the tog rating the warmer the duvet – we currently have over half a dozen 15.0 tog duvet options in our range.
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The Partner Duvet. Quite simply, rather than fill the whole duvet with the same tog rating, you choose a specific rating for each side. So for example, you may be warmer in bed and prefer 4.5 tog whilst your poor partner would be shivering all night long and a 13.5 tog would be a better option. A huge range of fillings are available – too many to show on the website so it may be best to give us a call to ensure you select the best filling and tog rating for your needs.
Should you wish to take complete control of your duvet then the traditional tubular channel duvet may be best for you. Essentially it means you can move the filling around as you wish – from top to bottom, bottom to top etc. So if you suffer cold feet, more filling goes to the bottom and so on. This is also an effective way to adjust your duvet as the seasons and temperatures change throughout the year. Again, there are many fillings available and a call may be a good idea.
One of the most exciting areas of development in recent years, there are a range of products available on the market which use advanced technology to help. These products can help improve sleep for everyone, ranging from extreme sufferers with hot flushes caused by the menopause, right through to those simply looking for a better quality of sleep (changes in temperature are the main reason for a disturbance in our sleep).
We refer to these products as ‘Temperature Control Bedding’. In it’s origin, Outlast fabric was developed further to new technology developed by NASA. Clothing, and in particular, high tec sports clothing, was developed which actively absorbed heat when the body warmed up and released it when the body cooled down again. We strongly recommend our Outlast mattress protectors to help everyone to get a better nights sleep.
The concept has also been exploited for bedding by Dupont de Nemours who created a special membrane called ‘Dacron Climarelle’. This membrane is sewn into high quality duvets, pillows and mattress protectors to interact throughout the night with the body and crucially help establish a more constant sleeping temperature. Early tests at the University of Kiel showed a remarkable 82% of trialists reported improved quality of sleep.
Perspiration control bedding. Dupont introduced Dacron Coolmax to counter the effects of perspiration and what it can do over time during the night (can make us too hot and cold as it cools down). Again, Coolmax is perhaps better known for sportswear (the European Ryder Cup team selected to have their match day shirts made from Coolmax fabric for the recent match against the USA). Each fibre is specially manufactured to have a different structure which allows moisture to move more readily and then dissipate. There is a wonderful full range of products available in the Coolmax bedding we offer – duvets, duvet protector, mattress protector, pillows, pillow case, pillow cover!
Alternative materials such as bamboo and ultra light down duvets also provide excellent solutions.
Generally the higher the quality of filling the more it will drape around your body. Goose down is particularly soft and offers excellent drape – within synthetic fibres. Dacron Suprelle Eco Fresh comes closest in this respect.
When we look for all over warmth we need to consider the type of stitching – any point where the duvet is sewn together could be a potential dead zone or cold spot. Our natural duvets benefit from cassette box construction (small squares with a 4cm wall on each side to ensure the duvet is never stitched together from front to back). Synthetics generally have random stitching which ensures best possible spread of fibre.
Warmth is generated by the capability of the filling to trap warm air generated by body heat or other means. Essentially this is achieved by minute hollow tubes inside each fibre in the case of synthetic duvets – the higher the quality of fibre the enhanced insulation (and also the less weight of filling needed to generate the same tog rating). It is fair to state that the higher quality of fibres also have a softer feel due to the enhanced internal chamber.
In the case of down and feather, remarkably the same principal applies – microscopic hollow chambers within the actual down or feather give insulation. Down, which is closer to the body, is the best insulator. Furthermore, down which is sourced from colder climates such as Siberian or Hungarian White Goose Down, has the very best insulating qualities as well as being softer.
One final suggestion for comfortable sleeping is to adopt the Scandinavian concept of partners having their own individual single duvet – this ensures one can choose individual tog preference as well as minimising the classic tug of war for the duvet in the middle of the night!!
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The choice of pillow is very much a personal one, particularly in terms of preferred firmness.
All Duvet Store pillows are rated by their degree of firmness in an effort to help you choose. It is worthwhile also considering combinations eg. a softer pillow such as goose down for the top with a firmer option underneath (feather & down for example). Generally speaking, the higher the quality of filling, be that natural or synthetic, the nicer the overall feel of the pillow will be.
All pillows can be filled to your specification upon demand.
Please remember the golden rule – NEVER dry clean any duvet or pillow, whatever the filling. For best results always take your products to commercial cleaners. Full care instructions are attached to all products. Keep your pillows plumped on a regular basis to ensure the filling stays lofty and evenly distributed. It is important to renew your pillows on a regular basis. A good airing is always beneficial particularly for natural fillings.
Whilst most manufacturers state mattress toppers can be washed we do not recommend this due to the sheer volume of filling. Machine washable topper protectors are available.