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How To Choose The Right Duvet

Is there anything better than snuggling into a comfy duvet at the end of the day? But how do you choose the right duvet for you? How big does your duvet need to be? What are they made of, and just exactly what is a ‘tog’ rating?

What is a tog?

Let’s start with the big one for duvets – what is that mysterious ‘tog rating’ that you’ll see on the cover? Well, put simply, tog is the level of heat that a duvet retains and how toasty it’ll keep you through the night. The higher the tog, the warmer the duvet. The range runs from 1-15, but the average tog for an all-year-round duvet is 10.5. Summer duvets range from 1 – 4.5 tog. Spring and autumn duvets are between 7 – 10.5 tog, and for those really chilly winter nights, a 12 – 15 tog winter duvet will keep you warm.

What duvet tog do I need?

That will depend on a number of factors including:

  • The season – a lighter duvet for summer and a thicker one for winter
  • Your age – adults will usually go for a higher tog rating. Whereas children often feel hot at night and will prefer something lighter.
  • The size of your bed
  • Personal choice

For the best all-round coverage for an average adult, a 10.5 tog duvet designed to fit your bed is the best choice. If you get a sudden cold snap, then throwing on a heavier duvet such as a 12 tog will keep you warmer. Or team up your 10.5 tog all-rounder with your lighter summer duvet and you’ve got the perfect defence against the deepest, darkest winter nights!

What duvet fillings are there?

There are two main types of duvet fillings, natural and synthetic. Both have their advantages, and the option you choose will be based on a number of personal choices.

Natural fillings

Duvets with natural fillings are mainly feather and down. Down is the traditional filling for the predecessor of the duvet, the aptly named ‘eiderdown’ which was originally filled with the down and feathers of the eider duck. Today, duck down is one of the most popular choices for anyone who wants a gloriously snuggly winter duvet. Down simply needs a quick shake occasionally to plump it up and is machine washable. They usually come with soft cotton covers that are anti-microbial, stopping dust-mites and allergens in their tracks. They’re long-lasting and sumptuously comfortable – the ultimate duvet for snuggling up in the depths of winter. The drawback with natural fillings is that some people are allergic to feathers, and they do take much longer to dry after washing.


Budget-friendly, easily available, and in a full range of sizes, tog ratings and designs, synthetic duvets are a great all-round choice. They’re made from microfibre or hollowfibre polyester and are also an alternative if you have an allergy (or even a phobia!) of feathers. The vast majority of synthetic fibre duvets are hypoallergenic. So they’re ideal for anyone suffering from allergies, respiratory conditions such as asthma (particularly dust-triggered asthma) and skin sensitivity. They’re incredibly easy to wash and dry much more quickly. In fact, if you have a large enough tumble dryer they can be popped in and tumbled. This is why children’s duvets are usually made from synthetic fibres to make them easier to wash and keep clean.

What size duvet do I need?

Duvets come in various sizes, ranging from kid’s cot duvets that are specifically designed to fit a cot, up to super king size or even emperor size.

Single - 135 x 200cm – fits Mattress size 90 x 190cm

Small Double and standard Double - 200x 200cm fits mattress sizes 120 x L190cm or 135 x 190cm

King Size - 230 x 220cm – fits Mattress size: 150 x 200cm

Super King Size - 260 x 220cm – fits Mattress size: 180 x 200cm (or 2x zip and link beds)

Emperor Size - 290 x 235cm – fits Mattress size: 210 x 210cm

Our top tip: Go for a larger duvet size that’s bigger than your bed, especially if you share your bed with your partner to avoid one of you being left out in the cold if the other one has a habit of ‘tucking and rolling’ into a duvet at night!

If you are looking for a new bed, then we have plenty of options available to you, including a single bed, small double bed and mattress, double bed and king size bed. Read our Ultimate UK Bed & Mattress Size Guide for more information on sizes.

How do I wash my duvet?

Duvets can be washed and should have at least two washes a year to keep them fresh, clean, and hygienic. However, there may be differences on how you wash your duvet, depending on the filling.

Natural fillings – feather and down duvets can be washed, but the most critical part is drying. If moisture isn’t completely removed from the duvet after washing, it can promote the growth of mould in the feathers. Our top tip: Pick a hot, sunny day, wash your duvet, put it through a very gentle spin cycle and then hang it out to dry thoroughly in the sun. Bear in mind that you need to ensure that the filling, as well as the cover, is completely dry before you use it again. Take the duvet off the line, give it a gentle shake to get the down back into place, and it’s ready for use.

Synthetic duvets – these are much easier to care for and can be easily machine washed and tumble dried. Check the label on the duvet for exact washing instructions (including the temperature of your wash), and whether it can be tumbled.

Because of the size of duvets, especially double duvets or king size duvets, you may need to pay a visit to your local laundrette and make use of one of their larger machines. Smaller single or children’s duvets can be easily washed at home.

How often should I buy a new duvet?

Duvets generally last between two and four years, depending on whether they’re a year-round 10.5 tog that sees everyday use, or a seasonal duvet that only comes out during the winter or the cooler spring and autumn months. If they’re washed and cared for carefully, duvets can last much longer, but we do recommend changing your duvet every three to four years maximum.

Top picks for duvets

At MattressNextDay, we have a great selection of duvets, including synthetic and natural options for every season. Our top picks are:

Silentnight So Cool Duvet 4.5 Tog – our top pick for summer use, and for children who prefer a lighter duvet. The Silentnight So Cool Duvet 4.5 Tog is lightweight and filled with DuPont™ fibres for a cooler feel. Hypoallergenic, and fully machine washable.

Silentnight Airmax 10.5 Tog Duvet – our top 10.5 tog all-rounder is the Silentnight Airmax 10.5 Tog Duvet. The clever mesh sides allow air to flow through the fibres, so you don’t get too hot on those warmer spring or autumn nights. It’s fully machine washable and hypoallergenic and comes with a 5-year guarantee.

Silentnight Feather and Down 13.5 tog Duvet
– the ultimate winter warmer, the Silentnight Feather and Down 13.5 tog Duvet is filled with gloriously soft and snuggly down and while it has that higher 13.5 tog rating, it’s still lightweight and breathable to keep you comfortable all night long. Machine washable and anti-bacterial for a longer life.

What about pillows and mattress toppers?

Once you’ve picked your duvet, why not make sure you get the perfect night’s sleep with our full range of pillows and mattress toppers? Our Pillow guide will help you pick the perfect pillow to go with your new duvet. Our mattress topper buying guide will tell you all about the wonderful world of mattress toppers, and how they can create a softer, more luxurious and warmer feel on those chilly winter nights.

If you’re still not sure as to which is the best duvet for you, browse our duvets or contact one of our team who will be happy to answer your questions.

Needing a new mattress? Check out our top 10 tips for buying a new mattress. Alternatively, if you are hot sleeper looking for a cooling mattress, read our best mattress for hot sleepers guide.

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