Our expert guide to how to choose a duvet covers the 4 most important things to think about when you buy a duvet: tog rating, duvet filling, fill power & weight, and how the duvet is made. Plus, duvet sizes, anti-allergy bedding, accreditations to look for and how to care for your duvet.
How to choose a duvet - 8 things you need to know before you buy!
- Tog rating
- Duvet fillings
- Fill power & weight
- Duvet construction
- Duvet sizes
- Anti-allergy bedding
- Accreditations to look for
- Washing your duvet
So, what does ‘tog’ stand for and what tog duvet should you get? The tog rating tells you how warm the duvet is and how insulating it will feel to sleep under, so it’s important to understand which tog rating is best for you and for the time of year. If you’re too hot or too cold in bed, you won’t get a good night’s sleep and you could be just a little bit grumpy the next day!
The Tog rating scale starts at a cool 1.5 tog to a very toasty 15 tog. It shows how good a duvet is at trapping air and providing warmth. Essentially, the higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet. So, you will most likely not want to sleep under the same tog duvet all year round.
Generally, you sleep best if your body remains at a cool to normal temperature throughout the night. 18C / 65F is about the right temperature to keep your bedroom. You will also sleep better if your duvet is the right tog for that season:
Summer duvet: 3 to 6 tog is ideal for the summer months, providing less insulation and keeping you cooler.
: 7 to 10.5 tog will keep you a bit warmer when the nights are colder.
Winter duvet: 12 to 13.5 tog duvets are very warm and cosy for those chilly winter nights.
All season duvet: Two duvets in one, usually a summer 4.5 tog and an autumn 9 tog, that can be easily fitted together to provide a winter 13.5 tog. A handy solution to having your sleep disturbed by being too hot in bed for some months of the year and too cold during others! It also means you have a spare duvet for guests for most of the year. Useful!
Children: As children can overheat more easily than adults, we recommend that they use a 4.5 tog single size duvet if they are old enough to be using a full size bed.
Which duvet filling is best? The duvet filling is what makes a duvet feel totally amazing or utterly awful! There are two main types of duvet filling to choose from, natural or synthetic.
- Down duvets
- Feather duvets
- Down & feather duvets
- Silk duvets
- Wool duvets
- Hollowfibre duvets
- Microfibre duvets
Natural duvet fillings
Natural fillings are soft, warm and more breathable than synthetic materials. Down and feather fillings are the most popular natural duvet fillings, both goose and duck. The majority of natural fillings are machine washable, durable and compostable.
Natural filled duvets using goose or duck down or feather have better thermal insulation than synthetic duvets. This means you don’t need as much filling to achieve the same tog rating, often making them lighter.
scooms duvets use 90% Hungarian goose down and 10% Hungarian small goose feather to add a little weight.
Down duvets: Down is the best natural insulator providing approximately three times more warmth than synthetic materials. This means you don’t need as much filling to achieve the same tog rating, often making them lighter. Soft and fluffy, down is very durable and provides the highest levels of warmth in a duvet. You will see Hungarian (like scooms!), Swedish and Canadian down duvets.
If you have a dust mite allergy, look out for the NOMITE® certification when buying down duvets. The scooms pillow and duvet are NOMITE approved, certifying that they are suitable for house dust mite allergy sufferers.
Feather duvets: Heavier, larger and probably cheaper than down, feathers can be a bit spiky if the cover fabric isn’t robust enough.
Down & feather duvets: Most duvets use a mix of down and feather to provide a good amount of both weight and warmth. A higher ratio of down to feather will give you a lighter and warmer duvet.
Silk duvets:: Not widely available but a very durable and lightweight duvet filling. It is hypoallergenic, provides good temperature regulation and can be both washed and tumble dried. (It will lose its natural properties though if overwashed.)
Wool duvets: Naturally hypoallergenic, durable and recyclable. The chunky structure of wool means it traps air really well, providing good temperature regulation. Wool fillings wick away moisture from the skin and retain dry air and warmth.
Synthetic duvet fillings
Often hypoallergenic, they can be a good option if you are allergic to feathers or wool. They can be sweat wicking and washed regularly. Synthetic fibres can be manufactured to different widths of thickness. There are different levels of quality in synthetic fillings so make sure the duvet feels well filled.
Hollowfibre duvets: Thick hollow fibres which are lightweight, wiry and firm. Particularly durable and often inexpensive. Traps warmth fairly well and provides greater loft than microfibre.
Microfibre duvets: Fine fibres which are soft and silky. Really good quality microfibre can give the feel of a high ratio down duvet but it can’t match down’s loft and airiness.
Fill power & fill weight
Fill power and fill weight are two different measurements. Both measurements can give you a good idea of the quality of the duvet you’re considering buying. Fill power measures the volume taken up by the down or feather filling in a duvet. Fill weight measures the weight of a duvet filling.
Fill power: This tells you about the down filling’s insulating ability, essentially the ‘loft’ or ‘fluffiness’ of the down. A high fill power means that the down is light, airy and breathable due to a greater number of air chambers. So, fill power is a great indicator of the quality and effectiveness of the down or feather to insulate. The higher the fill power, the better the duvet will be at keeping you warm.
A duvet with higher fill power will also be lighter, recover its fullness more easily when shaken in the morning and be more durable, so it will last longer.
Fill power can range from 450 to 900 with good fill power being 600 CUIN and above, (cubic inches per ounce).
scooms duvets have 700 CUIN fill power, which is the highest fill power for down that is a by-product of the food industry.
Fill weight: The weight of the duvet filling is often measured in ‘gsm’, which means the weight of the filling within a square metre. The higher the fill weight, the heavier the duvet.
Fill weight also determines how soft or firm a duvet is. A heavy duvet does not equal a warmer duvet. Fill power not fill weight measures the effectiveness and quality of a down or feather duvet filling. So, a duvet with high fill weight but low fill power will be heavy and provide poor insulation.
The fill weight of scooms duvets:
* Single: 9 tog - 486g, 4.5 tog - 302g, All season - 788g
* Double: 9 tog - 720g, 4.5 tog - 448g, All season - 1168g
* King: 9 tog - 911g, 4.5 tog - 567g, All season - 1478g
* Super King: 9 tog - 1030g, 4.5 tog - 641g, All season - 1671g
How a duvet is made is also important to make sure the filling stays evenly distributed as you sleep and doesn’t leave you with any chilly bits! There are two main types of duvet construction - box stitch and baffle box.
Both box and baffle stitched duvets have multiple pockets that hold equal amounts of down or feather, ensuring an even spread across the duvet and preventing the filling ending up by your toes during the night!
Box stitch: Also called ‘sewn through’, the top and bottom cover are sewn together in a criss cross pattern which forms boxes. The stitching makes sure the same amount of filling is held in each box.
We use the box stitch method for the lighter scooms 4.5 tog down duvet. This stitch is generally the best type of construction for lower tog duvets as less filling and space is needed.
Baffle box: Trickier to make, strips of material are sewn between the top and the bottom layer of material in a criss-cross pattern to form cubes. The cube shape allows for greater volume of filling than the box stitch construction. So, there is more space for the filling to ‘float’ and breathe, without being compressed, keeping the duvet nice and fluffy!
The scooms higher 9 tog down duvet uses the baffle box method as it contains more filling than our 4.5 tog duvet. This gives our down more space creating extra breathability and greater insulation.
UK duvet and mattress sizes are generally a standard size. But If your bed or mattress wasn't made for the UK market, make sure you measure your mattress before buying new bedding.
Here's our guide to standard UK duvet and mattress sizes:
|Duvet size||Mattress size|
|Single||135 x 200cm (4ft 5" x 6ft 7")||90 x 190cm|
|Double||200 x 200cm (6ft 7" x 6ft 7")||135 x 190cm|
|King||225 x 220cm (7ft 4" x 7ft 3")||150 x 200cm|
|Super King||260 x 220cm (8ft 6" x 7ft 3")||180 x 200cm|
If you share a bed and your other half likes to roll over and take all the duvet, or you just like more duvet to drape over you, you many want to choose a duvet one size larger than your bed size! A larger size duvet can also look rather attractive as it drapes over the edge of the bed.
The width of a King size duvet is slightly more than its length, so make sure you have the duvet the right way round when you put on your duvet cover.
And if you’re particularly tall and your feet do reach the end of your bed, make sure your duvet is 30cm longer than you are. Otherwise, you might get cold toes or shoulders!
Your duvet and duvet cover should always be the same size. They will be described in exactly the same measurements as duvet covers are made to fit the same size duvet.
You only need anti-allergy bedding if you are allergic to the particular filling. So, if you are allergic to wool, don’t get a wool duvet! If you are allergic to feathers, don’t get a feather or down duvet.
The majority of bedding allergies are actually to dust mites. Dust mites don't care what kind of filling your duvet has, they just like damp warm conditions. Yuck! Look out for the NOMITE mark, an anti-allergen standard showing that a product is suitable for house dust mite allergy sufferers.
Studies have shown that synthetic bedding can harbour more allergens because the casing weaving is often looser, allowing the mites to get in. Synthetics are also less breathable resulting in damper conditions that allow the mites to thrive.
The most important thing is to make sure that your bedding doesn't create an environment for mites. scooms do this by:
- Having specially tightly woven duvet and pillow cases so the tiny gaps between the cotton fibres are too small for the mites to get in.
- Using specially selected down which is naturally breathable, reducing moisture and damp conditions.
Make sure you care for your duvet and pillow properly too:
- Air your bed every morning by folding back the duvet to reduce any moisture from sweat.
Wash your duvet and pillow according to the care label instructions.
Accreditations to look out for
As well as the Nomite mark, there are other important standards and accreditations you should keep an eye out for, depending on which type of filling you are considering.
Look out for these top independent industry certifications:
- Nomite - anti-allergen standard for house dust mite allergy sufferers.
- Oeko-Tex 100 - verifies tested against harmful toxins and chemicals.
Plus, for down and feather fillings like scooms duvets:
- Single country source; by-product of the food industry.
- Downafresh - feather and down hygiene and cleanliness requirements to European standard EN 12935.
- Responsible Down Standard - ensuring down and feathers come from geese that have been treated well and never suffer from live-plucking; following the chain of custody from farm to product.
Washing your duvet
Different duvet fillings and materials may have different washing instructions, so always follow the instructions on the care label.
How to wash your scooms duvet:
- Wash your scooms duvet every 6 to 12 months.
- Machine wash at 40° - you may need to take your duvet to the laundrette unless you have a large drum capacity machine.
- Use non-bio (enzyme free) detergent - about a third of the usual amount.
Dry thoroughly and tumble dry if necessary - make sure your duvet filling is completely dry before you place it in your duvet cover.