Tog ratings are based on a duvet’s ability to trap warm air. Natural filled duvets have better thermal properties than synthetic, and need less filling to achieve the same level of warmth, so their weight can be deceptive.
You just need to remember that the higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet:
- Lightweight summer duvet – 4.5 tog
- Spring/Autumn weight duvet – 9.0 -10.5 tog
- Winter weight duvet – 12.0 – 13.5 tog
Some combination quilts are available, for example, two separate duvets – a lightweight 4.5 tog for summer and a warmer 9 tog for autumn and spring. During winter, you simply Velcro the two duvets together for a really warm 13.5 tog duvet.
Duvets with natural fillings are soft, light and comfortable, in the same way that natural fibres help your skin ‘breathe’ more effectively. They are also highly resilient and tend to last longer than those with synthetic fillings.
However, synthetic duvets are lighter giving the same warmth for less weight. They’re a practical choice if you’re allergic to feathers and down, or if your duvet is likely to require frequent washing. Natural filled duvets can be professionally laundered, but synthetic duvets will dry faster.
A top quality natural-filled duvet could last as long as 30 years, whereas the average lifespan of a good quality synthetic will be up to 10 years.
However, the number of times a duvet is laundered will have an impact on its lifespan, as will repeated lying or sitting on top of it as this has the effect of compressing the filling and eventually diminishing its ability to trap air.
It’s worth taking time to find the type of pillow that will provide the correct balance of comfort and support you need. It’s important to remember that pillows will generally have a more limited lifespan than duvets, and over the years the level of support will deteriorate.
Natural filled pillows will keep their shape and level of support for longer than synthetic. Down and feather fillings mould snugly round the head and shoulders. The more feather there is in a pillow, the firmer it tends to be, and the proportion of down adds softness.
Synthetic fillings provide an ideal alternative for those allergic to feathers and down. Pillows made from latex foam provide very firm support and maintain their shape. They do not collect house dust and are particularly suitable for asthma sufferers.
Different Shapes and Sizes
Large square or little boudoir pillows give an attractive and inviting layered effect when added to conventional rectangular ones on a bed, as do one or more continental (square) pillows.
These can also make an elegant, versatile choice for daybeds and sofas. Choose from:
- Boudoir pillows – 30 x 40cm
- Square pillows – 66 x 66cm (also useful for sitting up in bed as well as being decorative)
- King-size pillows – 50 x 90cm (ideal for super king-size beds as 2 will cover the full width of the bed)
- Companion pillow (V-shape for extra support when sitting up in bed)