The word duvet is derived from the French word "du-vey" which means down. In different parts of the world, it is named differently like, in Australia, it is called doona, in America, it is sometimes referred to as comforter.
Wherever you go, the duvet is an element of bedding, it is a flat filled bag usually covered with removable duvet cover.
Duvets are often used as the bed coverings along with a fitted sheet to make the bedding comfortable and relaxing. In this blog, we will have a thorough look at Duvet's history, importance, types, benefits, and variations.
History of Duvets
Duvets are not new to man, they have in use since the 16th century. At that time, duvets were only used by the rich and wealthy persons. In the mid-18th century, they became more popular and ordinary people started buying them at a large scale.
Earlier, natural filling materials like down, silk, wool, feathers, and cotton were used for making the duvets. The definition of duvet has not been the same always, earlier duvets were not used to cover the body only but also laying over the bed separately was practised.
Modern duvets are different from the old and classical duvets both in terms of definition as well as the constituent materials. Modern duvets are a filled bag of feathers, down, silk, wool, cotton or synthetic materials like poly fibre, microfiber, and polyester.
Each of these duvets varies in thermal insulation, quality, cost, and constituents. Nowadays, duvets are only used to cover the body and provide thermal insulation whereas mattress pads and fitted sheets are used to cover the bed.
How are duvets made??
Duvets consist of three layers usually referred to as top, inner, and bottom layer. All of these layers are made from different fabrics. Below is given the detail of the different layers of duvets.
The top layer is also called the decorative or upper layer of the duvet. It is usually made from a piece of upholstery fabric and is embellished with patchwork, embroidery, prints & patterns. It is because the top layer faces up and contributes to the interior's decor.
Note that the top layer of the duvet has nothing to do with the comfort of the duvet because it is not directly in contact with the body, so various embellishments and other patchwork do not cause itchiness or discomfort.
For daily use, lightweight & plain/printed fabric materials like cotton, Egyptian cotton, linen, and polyester are used for making the top layer. White cotton and linen are the most widely used for this purpose.
This is the reason you'll see 50% of the duvets plain white because they blend well with all interiors and complement the existing bedding set. One of the main reasons for using these light-weighted printed or plain fabrics is that they are cheap and affordable.
Whereas for special days or occasions, embroidered or patch worked heavy silk, velvet, and chenille are used. These duvets are often expensive but remember the more you invest the more you get.
The inner layer of duvets
The inner layer is also called the middle or padded layer. Many natural and synthetic materials are used as a filling or padded material varying in warmth, weight, and softness.
Natural padding materials include cotton, wool, down, and duck or goose feathers. From which cotton and wool are obtained from plants whereas down and feathers are obtained from birds feathers. Feathers and down-filled duvets are softer and fluffier than the wool and cotton one.
They also stand out for their thermal insulation and high quality. Whereas synthetic fillings include polyester, poly fibre, and microfiber. These materials are manufactured in industries by blending different natural and artificial materials to get the desired exceptional qualities. All of these synthetic fillings are soft, fluffy, and provide volume to the duvet.
They also provide exceptional thermal insulation but their significant breathability helps them stand out.
These help the body's natural respiratory system work efficiently and promote normal breathing which favours their use for the patients having any respiratory disorders. Also, these fillings are chemical-free and suitable for hypoallergenic persons. When compared with natural fillings, synthetic fillings are cheap and affordable.
The bottom layer of the duvets is mainly responsible for the comfort because of it us directly in contact with the body. So it is made from a soft, anti-pilling and plain fabric. Usually, a fabric material with higher thread count and light in weight is preferred for this layer.
Cotton and Egyptian cotton are the best materials when it comes to the bottom layer because they are super soft and unlikely to pill. Egyptian cotton is made from long staples which prevent pilling or just a little Lint and retain its soft texture over the years. Moreover, both of these fabric materials tend to absorb the body moisture, keep the body dry, maintain the body temperature, and promote sleep.
What are the types of duvets?
Duvets are classified based on thermal insulation which is measured on the tog scale. On the scale, the tog rating varies from 1.5 to 15. Where 1.5 is the lowest of the coldest and 15 is the highest or the warmest. The duvets may be;
Duvets having a tog value of 3.5 to 7.5 are called the summer duvets. Only a little padding material is inserted inside them in order to provide less warmth and cosiness. This makes the duvet airy and breathable allowing more air to pass through. Plus, this keeps the body cool and promotes sleep.
Fall duvets or spring/autumn duvets have a tog value of 7.5 to 10.5. These are more thermally insulated than the summer duvets and less airy. These duvets do not provide much warmth or keep the body cool which is why Fall duvets can be used around the air providing that your house has a temperate maintenance system.
Duvets having a tog value of 10.5 to 13.5 are called the winter duvets. These are warmer than the fall and summer duvets and provide more thermal insulation.
They are less airy and usually, more of the padding material is added to these duvets. Also, note that winter duvets are less breathable and heavy.
Extra warm duvets
These duvets are the warmest and have a tog value of 13.5 to 15. That is why they are not the most commonly used. These duvets are the warmest and least breathable which makes them favourable for the areas having temperature several degrees below zero.
Which Duvets are suitable for hot and cold sleepers?
Duvets for warm sleepers
Lightweight and light warmth duvets are recommended for the warm and sweaty sleepers. There are two best duvet options when it comes to the light warmth duvets.
- Prefer silk as the padding and cotton or linen as the fabric material. These duvets are often stitched in a box pattern, where boxes are first filled and then stitched together to make the duvet. The filling material is tried to be kept as low as possible for a limited loft.
- This allows the movement of filling material inside each box and increases the air passage which keeps the body dry and cool helping warm or sweaty sleepers to sleep comfortably.
- Down duvets are an alternative of the silk duvets. These are also called all-season duvets. They help to maintain the body's temperature and maintain healthy and comfortable sleep. Moreover, down duvets absorb the body moisture and keep it dry and cool helping the sweaty sleepers stay cool and dry at night.
Duvets for cold sleepers
Warm and extra-warm duvets are recommended for cold sleepers. Baffle stitching makes the duvets warm and cosy useful for the cold sleepers. Extra warm duvets often have more of the filling material which is filled inside the fabric material and is stitched tightly to create more loft.
This keeps the filling in place making the duvet fluffier & warmer reducing the cold spots. Heavy silk duvets provide an extra degree of insulation adding more to the weight of the duvet and providing warm and cosy sleeping space to the cold sleepers.
What is the importance of duvets?
Chilly nights are more pleasant than the warm nights. To cherish the chilly nights duvets are the best go-to option because they provide warmth and protection to your mattress as well adding more to the beauty of your place. Duvet is the best source to provide warmth at night and decoration during the day.
They reduce the need for complex bedding elements like throws, blankets, comforters, and top sheet making more space for pets and your partner. Duvets help in making easy bedding for example, with a duvet you need to add only a fitted sheet, a few pillows, and cushions for making the bed. This helps you save money and energy that you are likely to spend on buying and making the bed respectively.
Another advantage of using duvets is, they make the bed softer, fluffier and more comfortable. This makes the bedding well organized and adds a soft texture to your place.
Duvet size is another factor which is responsible for the popularity of the duvets. They come as a single, double, twin, king size, and super king size duvets. It is advisable to go for the complimentary sized duvet for a proper covering and well-organized look. This makes the tug and war of duvet unlikely when you are sharing it with someone and let you cover yourself completely.
Duvets also provide you with a warm and cosy bed which is much needed in the winter season. It makes your sleep wonderfully comfortable and cosy.
When to replace the existing duvets?
According to an international report, duvets are likely to bear less pressure than the pillows and bedding sheets so they should last longer than them. The average lifetime of an average quality duvet is 5 years whereas a high-quality duvet must last up to 10 to 12 years. Here’s when & why you should replace your places.
When duvets get snagged & wicked
Duvets are heavy and thick which makes washing difficult and next to impossible tasks. Which is why when bedding sets are washed regularly, duvets are often overlooked which leads to reducing their lifetime. As duvets are always in contact with the body whether it's summer, fall, or winter and absorbing the body moisture, fluids, and dirt mists. Thus makes the duvets dirty and wicking which changes the color/shade of the duvets apparently. If you notice something like that try washing the duvets and if it doesn't work, it's time to change the duvet.
When duvets start to limp
Also, duvets contain a filling or padding which is supposed to be spread uniformly inside the Duvet's boxes but if you notice any limp, uneven texture or spreading there's no solution except replacing the duvets. Sometimes due to overuse and overpressure, the filling material starts coming off through the boxes which are alarming and indicating that the duvet is no more useful and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
Wrong tog rating or weight
Thermal insulation of the duvets is characterized by their tog rating. As stated earlier, which tog rating to go for greatly depends on your sleeping habit and body type. Like, if you are a sweaty or warm sleeper you should opt for a higher tog rating because it’s too warm to provide you with a comfortable sleep. Similarly, if you are a cold sleeper you cannot sleep under the same duvet because it will make your body cool and keep you up all night. You cannot sleep well under the summer duvet during the winter or vice versa. So if you feel that you've got a wrong tog rating, it’s better to replace the duvet with a better one.
Weight on the other hand is another factor which greatly impacts. The weight of the duvets vary with the age groups as well as the sleeping habits. The weight of the duvets decide the pressure you are likely to feel when the duvet is on. For instance children will not feel comfortable under the same duvet as that of the adults because their body tends to warm quickly & they need a light weighted and less warm duvet.
How to increase the lifetime of duvets?
Duvet covers are a flat bag or covering of the duvets. They cover the duvets like the pillow covers cover the pillows. They are the best source to protect the duvet from getting soiled, damped, snagged, smelly, and stained.
This retains the texture of the duvets as fresh as new, increasing their lifetime and helping your money in the long run. Moreover, duvets are impossible to be at home and duvet covers make the washing unlikely.
Duvet covers will also add a pop of colour to the duvets adding more to their appearance and opulence feel. Different colour schemes and prints add a refreshing feel to place protecting the duvets at the same time. They also upkeep the luxurious and lavish look of the duvets.
Proper storing and regular maintenance is also a key to increase the lifetime of the duvets. Note that duvets with baffle stitching tend to last longer than the box stitched duvets because it keeps the filling material in place and reduces the movement which makes the limping unlikely and increases the lifetime of the duvets.
How to choose the right duvet according to your age and climatic conditions?
Duvets vary greatly in size, weight, tog rating, and filling material which greatly influence the buying process. So, when buying the duvets consider the factors described above in detail.
Also consider choosing the duvet according to your body weight, sleeping habit, and the climatic conditions of your area. Consider the guide below to consult the weight and the filling material of the duvet according to the climatic condition and your sleeping habits.
For sweaty sleepers and the summer duvets opt for the following;
- 170 gram silk per meter Polyester
- 170 gram silk per meter microfiber
- 200 gram silk per meter cotton
- 200 gram silk per meter bamboo fiber
For fall duvets opt for the following;
- 270 gram silk per meter polyester
- 272 gram silk per meter microfiber
- 400 gram silk per meter polyester
- 340 gram silk per meter microfiber
For cold sleepers & winter duvets opt for the following;
- 600 gram silk per meter wool
- 500 gram silk per meter microfiber