Are you looking to replace your old duvets and pillows? It can be hard to choose the best duvets when there are so many options out there and choosing pillows can be tricky too when you need to consider the sleeping position you find most comfortable. Our handy duvet and pillow buying guide goes into detail on everything from the pros and cons of natural and synthetic materials to the different tog ratings available for your duvet. You will also find out how often you should replace your duvet and pillows, and it is probably more often than you realise.
How to Choose a Duvet
Not sure whether to go for a down duvet or synthetic duvet? We have covered the advantages and disadvantages of all the different duvet fillings available to you, as well as the various tog ratings and their meanings to help you make an informed decision the next time you buy a duvet.
What Tog Duvet Do I Need?
Duvet tog sizes relates to the duvet’s warmth and the higher the tog the warmer the duvet will be. Some choose to have a different duvet for every season, while others opt for the flexibility of an all-season duvet they can use throughout the year.
What Tog Duvet Does a Child Need?
Toddlers only need a light duvet with a tog rating of 4 or less, anything warmer and they may struggle to regulate their body temperature when they are asleep. You should also aim for a tog rating lower than 10.5 for young children.
Best Tog Duvet for All Year Round
A 10.5 tog is best for all season duvets as it should provide you with enough warmth throughout the year. And if you do need an extra layer of warmth in the colder months you can always use a blanket. Consider the type of filling in your all-season duvet too, with some fillings providing a weightier duvet than others.
Which Duvet Filling is Best?
We offer a range of different duvet fillings from feather and down to luxury synthetic. The duvet you choose is completely down to personal preference, so the list of fillings below should help you make a decision.
Feather duvets are filled with feathers found on the outer layers of the bird, such as their wings and back.
Pros: feather fillings give duvets a chunkier look and feel, resulting in a weightier duvet.
Cons: you should not wash feather duvets at home as the feathers can be difficult to dry completely.
Down fibres are found in the protective and insulating sub-layer of the underside of the bird.
Pros: when cared for properly, down duvets can last twice as long as synthetic alternatives. They are light and airy, so the duvet is always breathable but remains superior at retaining heat.
Cons: down is not hypoallergenic so it can be an unsuitable duvet filling for those with allergies. Down duvets can also be incredibly pricey compared to synthetic fillings.
Microfibre duvets are made with super-fine fibres that are woven together to create a lightweight quilt.
Pros: microfibre duvets are soft and warm. They are a great alternative to down duvets as they offer the same plumpness and warmth at a more accessible price.
Cons: they are less durable and will not last quite as long as natural duvets. Microfibre is highly absorbent and more prone to staining.
Synthetic duvets are made with polyester and are designed to give you the same softness you would get from a feather and down duvet, but at a lower price.
Pros: synthetic fillings are a great choice for allergy sufferers as you can easily wash the duvets at home. The synthetic filling is also superior at keeping you warm at night.
Cons: they are not as breathable as natural fillings, so if you suffer from night sweats you may prefer a different filling.
UK Duvet Sizes
The size of your bed dictates the size of the duvet you need. Buying the same size as your bed will ensure your duvet covers you comfortably throughout the night, but if you prefer extra coverage you can always size up. The table below goes into detail of the different UK duvet sizes.
From down pillows that offer support all through the night to synthetic pillows that are incredibly easy to maintain, we have a range of pillow fillings that offer various characteristics. See which pillow fillings are supportive, soft or firm.
Pros: down holds its shape up to three times longer than synthetic alternatives. They offer good support for your head and neck and with proper care can last for several years.
Cons: down pillows can feel too soft for some and can be very expensive to buy.
Pros: feather pillows are more affordable than down and are incredibly light and easy to shape.
Cons: feather pillows are of course filled with feathers. And over time the feathers’ quills move and align parallel to one another. This can cause the pillow to become flat and uncomfortable, so you may find that feather pillows are filled with clusters of down to counteract this.
Pros: hollowfibre pillows offer good neck support as they are a springy and plump type of pillow. They hold their shape well which means you will never have to fluff them up like you would a feather or down pillow.
Cons: these pillows can flatten quite quickly and have a short lifespan between 6 months to 2 years. The filling can clump together which becomes uncomfortable to sleep on.
Pros: it is easy to maintain, affordable and warm thanks to the closely woven fibres that hold heat well.
Cons: Like hollowfibre, microfibre pillows can flatten and lose their shape so they may need replacing more often than a pillow with a natural filling.
What are the Differences Between Microfibre and Hollowfibre Pillows?
Microfibre pillows have a tightly woven structure and a slightly silkier feel than hollowfibre. Hollowfibre is slightly heavier but just as durable as microfibre. They are both airy and soft and ideal choices for those with allergies.
How to Choose a Pillow for Side Sleepers
As a side sleeper you need to keep your neck in the right position. Sleeping with your neck too low or too high can damage your spine’s natural alignment, so using an orthopaedic or memory foam pillow is best. These types of pillows ensure your head and neck remain at an optimum position throughout the night.
How to Choose a Pillow for Back Sleepers
Hollowfibre pillows are perfect for back sleepers because they provide a bouncy, supportive surface that is not too soft. They have a medium comfort grade and provide adequate support without pushing your head too far forwards.
How to Choose a Pillow for Front Sleepers
Have you ever woken with a stiff and painful neck after sleeping on your front? Your pillow may be too high for your sleeping style. The best type of pillow for a front sleeper is one that is slightly softer. Down and feather pillows are perfect because they will not raise your head too high, as doing so risks arching your spine backwards.
Pillows for Arthritis, Neck & Back Pain
A pillow that is too hard or too soft can aggravate arthritis as it puts your neck in an uncomfortable position. You may find a memory foam pillow, or pillow specially designed to support your body’s natural position, works best at keeping you comfortable all night long.
If you have neck and back pain, consider supporting your arms with an extra pillow to see if it offers more comfort. Body pillows and memory foam support pillows ensure your body stays in the same position you find most comfortable too.
How Many Pillows to Sleep With?
You only need one or two pillows, but how many pillows you sleep with is really down to what you find most comfortable. Just remember that sleeping without a pillow may cause headaches, back pain, neck pain and aggravate snoring.
How Often Should You Replace Duvets and Pillows?
It is generally advised you should replace your duvet every 2 to 5 years. Pillows on the other hand, should be replaced every 1 to 2 years. If you find you are waking up with back or neck pain, or struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position at night, then it may be time to replace them sooner. Replacing your duvet and pillows ensures they stay clean, comfortable and free of allergens.
Using a pillow and duvet protector is a great way to ensure you get the longest lifespan from your bedding. A protector is much easier to wash and remove stains and dust mites.