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I want to know everything about duvets

Duvets are a great way to enhance your bedroom décor. Not only are duvets easier to keep clean than other types of warm bed coverings, they're easier to straighten in the morning. If you've never used a duvet or perhaps don't even know what they are, here are some commonly asked questions about them and their answers.

What is a duvet?

A duvet is a bed covering that's a bag filled with either natural down, feathers or wool or synthetic material. The original duvets were filled with feathers, but more recently, synthetic fill is used because it's less expensive and normally hypo-allergenic. If a duvet is filled with down, it's often fluffier and lighter, but still does a remarkable job of keeping you warm in the winter.

How is a duvet different from a comforter?

Comforters are bedspreads. They're made as a casing with filling inside, which is then stitched or quilted across the top to keep the filling evenly distributed and prevent clumping. While many of today's comforters are often filled with synthetic fibre, there are still down filled comforters available. In fact, comforters were originally filled with down.

Comforters are just one part of the bedding and often sold with other pieces of linen. It's meant to sit on top of a sheet which helps keep it separate from the body and reduces the amount of body oil and skin cells it collects. While some comforters are meant to be washed in a washing machine, some require special care. Even those that are washable, but fluffier, require a larger capacity washer and dryer when washed.

Duvets, on the other hand, are meant to be used alone. They are basically a closed sack of filling, similar to a comforter, but then covered by an outer shell, a duvet cover, that you can remove for washing. The duvet covers are easy to change and can provide variety to your bedroom décor with limited expense. The duvet covers, created similar to a large pillowcase, are easier to wash, making it easier to maintain and eliminating the need for a top sheet between the bedding and your body. Duvets are also easy to use, since making the bed is just a matter of shaking and pulling the duvet up to cover the bed.

Is a duvet the same as a quilt?

No, a quilt is three layers with decorative top stitching. Normally one of the layers is made with patches of fabric sewn together. Quilts were often made from worn clothing and a way to use all the available fabric, rather than throw it away, hence the patchwork design. Quilts are often an expression of art using the complexity and design of the stitchery that shows the craftsmanship of the maker. Because of that fact, many quilts are now used as decorative pieces and are frequently hung on walls or displayed as part of the room's design.

Is a duvet the same as a coverlet?

Again, the answer is no. A coverlet is a lightweight bedspread that can be made of a variety of materials, but normally is thinner than even a lightweight duvet. It can be a woven blanket or a thinner quilted material. These are often thought of as bedspreads, although quilts, duvets and comforters can also be bedspreads, too. Many coverlets have a layer of batting, allowing them to be used without other bedding bar a top sheet.

Best types of duvets

Best filling

One very obvious method is for those who have allergies. For those people, choosing one with a hypo-allergenic filling is mandatory. For those who want the most luxurious or warmest duvet, get one with a high fill power. Fill power describes the amount of air it can trap. The more air it traps, the softer and more comfortable it feels. The higher the ability to trap air, the more insulation or warmth it provides. Most duvets provide up to 600 fill power, but high end, extremely luxurious ones may have a fill-power count of as much as 900.

Things to look for when buying a duvet

Duvets are often sold by TOG value. While the actual formula and definition is a bit complex, it basically means how warm it will keep you based on the outside temperature. Lower tog value duvets trap less heat, so one with a tog value of 1.5-4.5 tog is lightweight and used primarily in the summer. For the spring or autumn months, a 7.5-10.5 tog would do. In the cold of the winter months 12.0 to as much as 16.5 would be recommended. The amount of warmth it maintains also depends on the type of duvet cover used and whether extra blankets or sheets are added for more warmth or you can use two duvets together to increase the tog rating. Normally this is achieved by using a winter duvet of 14 tog or more in conjunction with a spring or autumn duvet of 10.5 tog, giving an overall tog rating of 24.5, but you'd have to be a pretty chilly morsel to need a duvet with a tog rating over 20!

Additionally, maintenance is important so you may want to consider easy wash duvets for ease of use.

Can you use all these types of bed covers together?

If you live in an area prone to winter extremes, it's not unheard of to use several types of bed coverings together. Another example of when you might want to combine the various types of bed covers is if you want to expand the use of a summer or autumn duvet into a colder season. By adding one more type of bedding or quilted bedspread, you'll increase the tog value. You can create a new and interesting decorating scheme by switching two or more bed coverings around, putting a different one on top to get a different look for the bedroom. if you just want extra warmth across your feet a bed runner will provide you with such, plus it will also add further visual interest and style to your bed.

Benefits of using a duvet

Since duvets have covers, which are much like large pillowcases, you can change those covers easily to wash, but also to change your décor. Just imagine how much room it would take to store 10 different comforters. Now, compare that with the space it would take to store 10 different duvet covers, which each take the space of two top sheets or less. That's a huge benefit that allows you to change your décor more frequently, not only taking less space for storage, but also costing far less in the process.

Most people that use duvets have two to three of them. One for spring and autumn, one for summer and one for the winter months. Some choose to use only two, winter and summer duvets, using the summer duvet and rotating extra blankets or coverlets in during the autumn and spring. These still take up far less space and give more variety than using several different comforters. Many duvet covers come with matching pillowcases to give your made bed a fully coordinated look.

Duvets make it easy to ready up your room. In the morning, there's no “real” making of the bed, pulling and straightening layer after layer. Just shake and pull the duvet up to cover the bed evenly and you're done. It's the lazy way to make the bed that always looks nice!

As noted before, the covers are far easier to clean than washing the entire duvet, but you will need to wash duvets, every three months. Look for duvets that are washable for easier care. Dry cleaning a duvet may be necessary in some cases.

Why use a duvet in the summer?

Some people love the security of having the weight of a blanket on them and feel less exposed that sleeping with no cover at all would impart. A lightweight summer duvet can provide the weight and feeling of protection, without adding to the heat. An alternative to a summer duvet is a down blanket that is as thin as some bed sheets. In fact, some people use them in place of sheets in the winter to add extra warmth and insulation during those chilly months.

The fabric for your duvet cover also plays a role in its suitability for summer or winter. Choosing a cover made of flannel is more appropriate for the winter months since it can add extra warmth. A duvet cover made from lyocell, which is best known by the brand name tancel, cotton or a bamboo-blend can help create a cooler version for the summer months.

Another option is to use just the duvet cover as a top sheet, particularly if you tend to be a hot sleeper or the temperature is extremely high. Remember, even though some of these products provide cooler sleep, they simply won't replace an air conditioner for comfort. If you live in an air conditioned home, finding a year around duvet to suit your needs is the best option.

Duvets provide inexpensive versatility

When you want the best of all worlds, a great looking bedroom with décor you can change quickly that won't break the budget, a duvet is your answer. There's are hundreds of different duvet covers available, most of which come with matching pillowcases, that are extremely low cost. You'll be able to choose a favourite or two and can add to your collection as your mood strikes or when your decorating muse urges you to do so. Changing the look in a bedroom may be as simple as changing the pillowcases and duvet cover, plus adding or removing some accent pieces from the room.

You can have a complete makeover for the cost of a duvet cover and pillowcases, plus the price of new shades, curtains or blinds. Simply by changing the colour scheme, pattern or focus of the décor, you'll find that redecorating is not only easy when you have a duvet, it's super inexpensive, too.

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