Buying the Right Duvet for Summer

June has been colder than usual this year but as the weather hopefully warms up, it will be time to say goodbye to the heavier autumn/winter duvets we’ve been snuggling under and say hello to the light summer duvets that will keep us cool over the next few months. A question I am often asked is why bother with a summer weight duvet at all? Surely a duvet that can see you through the whole year is more cost effective?

While it is true that only owning one duvet will be lighter on your wallet in the short term, in the long term an autumn/winter weight duvet will be heavier on you and make you uncomfortable during the warmer months. If you share your bed with a partner, then a summer weight duvet is even more important. Couples generate a lot of body heat and a heavier duvet will store more of this heat than a summer duvet and you’ll wake up feeling like you’ve both spent the night sleeping in a sauna!

There are many different department stores and bedlinen specialists out there selling a wide range of duvets to suit all budgets. In my personal experience, I can highly recommend John Lewis as a supplier of quality bedding that is value for money. To review the different summer duvets on offer, I recently took a trip to the Grand Arcade in Cambridge to visit the city’s premier department store – John Lewis Cambridge. Here are my recommendations to help you choose the right duvet this summer.

Tog Rating

Tog rating is a measure of how well the duvet traps warm air. It is a measurement that was originally developed during the Korean War by the American Air Force for their flying suits. The higher the Tog number, the warmer the duvet. A good summer weight duvet is between 2.5 Tog and 4.5 Tog. If your home is well-insulated then you should go for a lighter Tog rating.

Synthetic Fillings

The polyester hollowfibre duvets are suitable for those who are allergic to feather and down or who will need to wash their duvet frequently. All John Lewis polyester duvets can be washed in a large capacity washing machine at 60ºC. This is the temperature which is hot enough to kill house dust mites that live in bedding and cause allergies. A good quality synthetic duvet can last up to 10 years.

Polyester duvets are heavier in weight compared to natural filled duvets and are not as breathable so if you do not have allergies it is better to go for a natural filling for better comfort. Saying this John Lewis has now launched a new range of premium synthetic duvets called Breathe which are made from Modal – a breathable material that actually draws moisture away from the body and helps regulate body temperature. John Lewis also sells a reassuringly low priced duvet with a filling made from recycled drinks bottles.

John Lewis Microfibre Light Duvet, 2.5 Tog – £30 to £75
John Lewis Microfibre Light Duvet, 4.5 Tog – £35 to £80
John Lewis Breathe Duvet, 4.5 Tog – £55 to £105

Natural Fillings

Duvets with natural fillings are softer and lighter than synthetic fillings. They will also last longer than a synthetic duvet as they are very hardwearing. The natural fillings and covers also make these duvets breathable and therefore give a better night’s sleep. Natural filled duvets need to be completely dried after washing so I recommend you get them professionally laundered by your local dry cleaner as thorough drying may difficult to achieve using a domestic tumble dryer.

The best quality goose down duvets last as long as 30 years. Lifespan is decreased each time the duvet is laundered so only do this as and when required. Avoid lying or sitting on top of your duvet as this crushes the filling and reduces the fluffiness and warmth of your duvet.

Duck feather and down duvets are great value as they are less expensive than goose down duvets. However, they are heavier than goose down and not as soft. Even so, they are still light and cool and a good choice if your budget can’t stretch to the higher quality goose down.

John Lewis Duck Feather and Down Duvets, 4.5 Tog – £30 to £45
John Lewis Duck Down Duvets, 2.5 Tog – £40 to £75

Goose down duvets are lighter and fluffier than duck down, but still offer the same level of warmth. John Lewis manufacture all their goose down duvets in Herbert Parkinson – their own factory in Lancashire. This means that they can ensure the highest levels of quality control. The Hungarian goose down duvets from John Lewis provide luxurious lightweight feel and are so comfortable that they feel like you’re wrapped up in a fluffy cloud.

John Lewis Goose Down Duvets, 4.5 Tog – £55 – £95
John Lewis Hungarian Goose Down Duvets, 2.5 Tog – £70 to £140
John Lewis Hungarian Goose Down Duvets, 4.5 Tog – £90 to £180

For ultimate luxury, John Lewis exclusively sells a premium goose down duvet made from the down of the Winter Snow Goose that lives in the Altai mountains in Russia. This remote glacial region helps produce large down clusters from the bird’s thickest winter coat which are used by John Lewis to create a fluffy duvet that is almost as light as air and is the best quality money can buy.

John Lewis Winter Snow Goose Down Duvet, 2.5 Tog – £180 to £380
John Lewis Winter Snow Goose Down Duvet, 4.5 Tog – £220 to £440

You can buy any of the above quality summer duvets by going to the John Lewis website or visiting your local John Lewis store.

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