At times after a long day at the office or a challenging day, all you want is to flop into a warm, comfy bed and be wrapped up in the folds of a fresh, clean duvet, with memories of being tucked in.
Duvets comprise three materials, the inner filling, the outer shell, and the cover. Each material type is available in either natural or synthetic fibers. The duvet’s filling power, thread count, and construction method are all essential points to consider for duvet materials.
If the thought of finding the perfect, comfy duvet is daunting, then read on. This article will clear up any misunderstandings you may have about duvets, the materials, and choosing the best duvet for you.
5 Fabric Types For The Duvet Filling
The duvet’s inner filling keeps you warm during the cold winter months and cool during summer. Here are a few suggestions for duvet fillings depending on your needs and requirements.
You will find duvet fillings in either natural fibers or synthetics.
1. Down And Feathers For Duvet Filling
Traditionally beddings were filled with either duck or goose down. Ultimately, down is the best choice as a duvet filling. It comes from the soft, more delicate layer of feathers rooted below the more mature feathers of the bird.
Down provides almost three times more heat than synthetic fibers! This was because they have a natural ability to retain heat and manage temperatures by keeping you cool in summer and toasty warm over winter. As a natural fiber, it is also breathable, durable, and lightweight, so you aren’t weighed down even when temperatures drop.
Duck down is cheaper than goose down. This is because duck down is more affordable to produce than goose down. But if you want to spoil yourself on luxury, go for a goose-down duvet. You won’t regret it!
The clusters between the two also contribute to the duvet’s comfort, insulation, and weight. Duck-down clusters are sparser, whereas goose-down clusters are larger. This provides better insulation and is more lightweight.
You may find some duvet manufacturers use a combination of down and feathers. This combination brings an interesting blend of weight and warmth. Having a duvet with feathers alone makes for a heavier, bulkier duvet. Although cheaper than down, the spiky feather points are uncomfortable if the cover fabric is not denser. With a higher ratio of down to feather, your duvet will be lighter and warmer.
2. Silk And Bamboo For Duvet Fillings
If you are hypersensitive to allergies or have sensitive skin, you cannot go wrong with choosing a duvet with either silk or bamboo filling. The natural fibers of silk and bamboo provide adequate insulation with good moisture wicking.
If you enjoy being warm while sleeping, a duvet filled with silk or bamboo is ideal.
3. Wool Filling For Duvet
As a natural animal fiber, wool is a sustainable, renewable fabric that is excellent for duvets fillings. Wool is heavier than other natural fabrics and denser, so it is best suited for colder climes as a duvet filling.
The bulky nature of wool fibers traps air, which provides even heat distribution and temperature regulation. Wool fibers provide up to a third of their weight in moisture-wicking. You are guaranteed a dry, comfortable sleep.
However, the negative side of wool is that it is weighty and not as comfortable as a down-filled duvet. Wool-filled duvets may also have a slight animal aroma which may be unpleasant when you are trying to get restful sleep.
4. Microfiber Filling For Duvet
Microfiber is a synthetic fabric produced from polyester. The fine threads of this man-made fabric make microfiber a good substitute for natural fibers. Being polyester-based makes microfiber cheaper and faster to produce on a mass scale.
The microfibers are soft and sleek, which accounts for microfibre-filled duvets being warm and comfortable. Some good-quality microfiber fillings can give the appeal and touch of a high ratio down-filled duvet. However, as synthetic fiber, it does not match the light airiness of a down-filled duvet.
5. Hollowfibre Filling For Duvet
Most synthetic fabrics are produced to imitate the qualities of their natural counterparts, as is the case with hollow fibers. Hollow Fibers are very similar to microfibres, but each fiber strand has a hollow core that traps the air. This hollow core makes the fabric loftier and warmer than microfiber.
The hollow fiber-filled duvets are lightweight and airy but strong. As with microfiber, hollow fiber fillings are cheaper and quicker to produce on a mass scale. They are also much cheaper than some of the natural fibers filled in duvets.
Both microfiber and hollow fiber-filled duvets are easy to clean because the fibers are durable and robust. However, with continued washing and drying, the fillings will get thinner and not retain the same look and feel they did when new.
However, being synthetics, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
- They are not recyclable or biodegradable.
- Microplastics are released during the washing process, which is harmful to the environment.
Material For Outer Shell / Ticking Of Duvet
The filling is encased in an outer shell or ticking, as it is commonly referred to. The ticking is most often made of cotton fabric. As it is cotton and similar to sheeting, it has a thread count. Thread count is about the number of threads contained in a square inch of fabric.
Sheets with a higher thread count are softer and more comfortable. The higher thread count is an essential factor with duvets because the more densely woven the cloth is, the better it contains the filling. This also allows for a better loft of the duvet filling.
Ideally, the ticking should have a thread count of 300. However, if you are using a cover over the duvet, there is no need for a higher thread count. A thread count of 200 is acceptable for ticking.
You may also choose bamboo as an alternative fabric for ticking, especially if you or your family members are prone to allergies or skin irritations. With a bamboo shell, you have the properties of cotton, such as providing better temperature control with the fringe benefit of being great for sleepers who prefer being warm.
5 Of The Best Fabrics For Duvet Covers
When selecting a duvet cover, you would first take into account the aesthetics and appeal of the room’s decor. A duvet cover can make a visual statement in your room; it often reflects your individuality and personality.
Listed below are five fabrics most commonly used as duvet covers. However, many neglect the purpose of the duvet cover. If you understand the fabrics better, this will facilitate choosing the correct cover for your duvet.
1. Linen Fabric For Duvet Covers
As a natural fabric, linen is a good choice for a duvet cover. It is breathable, comfortable, soft, and durable. All these make linen duvet covers ideal for all-year-round use. With each wash, linen becomes softer as it loses some of its stiff starchiness.
Linen is washable but does wrinkle, and some shrinking may occur. However, it may be hung out to dry and ironed with no fabric damage.
Linen duvet covers are also more pricey. But they take comfort and luxury to another level. It is for these reasons many prominent hotels use only linen bedding.
2. Cotton Fabric For Duvet Covers
Cotton bedding has been used for thousands of years. When you take a closer look at the properties of cotton fabric, you can see the reasons why. Cotton is a natural fabric that is breathable, durable, soft, and strong. It is also economical to produce and manufacture fabric as a natural resource.
As a breathable fabric, it wicks away moisture keeping you dry and comfortable during those hot summer nights and warm during winter.
Cotton duvet covers are often the standard choice for children because they are easy to clean. Cotton duvet covers are also available in a wider range of colors and are easy to print or dye.
3. Organic Cotton Fabric For Duvet Covers
Recently there has been a considerable increase in people going for organic foods because they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. There is a significant rise in many people choosing organic fabrics for clothing and bedding.
There is not much difference between organic cotton and non-organic type. The advantageous properties of the fabric are the same between both types.
The differences lie in the production of the fabric. Organic cotton is grown free of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. For the environment, fewer chemicals are leaked into the ground, thereby causing harm to the ground and any animals around.
This means the workers are not exposed to harmful chemicals, which may cause long-term health problems.
So, when you choose an organic cotton duvet cover, you may rest easy no harm was done to the environment.
4. Supima Cotton Fabric For Duvet Covers
Supima cotton fabric is rare and expensive and the highest quality fabric available! It is grown and manufactured in the United States. Compared to regular cotton, Supima cotton is extremely difficult to farm. This is the contributing factor to the expense of the fabric.
If you have the idea of a brightly colored bohemian design, I suggest you go with a Supima cotton duvet cover. Supima cotton has extra-long fibers, which adds to the strength and durability of the fabric. It is also softer than regular cotton and retains color better.
Taking in the cost factor, it may be more pricey than regular cotton or any other type of fabric but the comfort and luxury are definitely worth the cost!
5. Flannel Fabric For Duvet Covers
Just hearing the word flannel evokes memories of comfy winter pajamas, toasty and warm. As a duvet cover, flannel is quite good because it is soft, durable, and breathable. However, you may be limited to design choices because of the weaving method adopted.
You will find flannel in tartans or striped fabric because of the particular weaving method. It brings a great classical look to duvet covers.
Flannel is traditionally a cotton fabric but sometimes may also be wool or other synthetic fabrics. The fabric goes through rollers with fine bristles that brush the fabric’s surface as it moves across the rollers. This brushing motion creates a raised effect over the fabric surface, referred to as nap. The brushed effect is a contributing factor to the soft fabric.
The drawback to using a flannel duvet cover, it is not as easy to clean as other natural fabrics. It is not as implausible as you would think, but it will take more than one wash to remove a stain.
The other thing to remember about flannel is that it is slippery with a propensity to bunch together. So be prepared to pull the duvet back into the corners to ensure an even look and feel.
Fill Power And Fill Weight In Duvets
Fill power and fill weight are two differentiable factors to consider. Both are measurements used to calculate or determine the duvet’s quality.
Fill power refers to the volume of down, feathers, or other filling types in a duvet. On the other hand, Fill weight measures the bulkiness of the duvet filling. The fill power is how lofty or fluffy a duvet is and its insulation abilities. A duvet with a high fill power is light, airy, and breathable. These are all due to the number of air pockets in the material.
From this, you can deduce the quality is determined by the fill power and the temperature regulation ability of the duvet filling.
A filling with a high fill power is better at keeping you warm, but it also means the duvet is light, has better recovery when shaken after use, and is more durable. Fill power ranges between 400 – 900. Good fill power is in the range of 650 and more CUIN (cubic inches per ounce).
The unit of measure for the fill weight is “gsm,” which is the weight of the filling per square meter. A duvet filling with a high fill weight means the duvet is bulky.
Although fill weight determines how soft or firm a duvet is, it does not mean a duvet with a high fill weight is warm. On the contrary, a duvet with high fill weight but low fill power signifies the duvet is heavy but has poor insulation.
Helpful Hints For Care Of Duvets
Your duvet, like any item of clothing, needs to be taken care of to ensure a longer lifespan. Here are a few helpful hints for you to remember regarding cleaning thereof.
- Duvet fillings cannot be washed. However, some companies can recycle the down and feathers.
- The duvet fillings should be regularly removed from the cover and given a good shake to ensure the filling stays lofty, airy, and springy.
- Hang out the fillings to air. Nothing beats e dose of fresh air and sunlight to help remove body odors and prevent dust mites.
- The covers can be regularly removed, washed, and ironed.
- To ensure your duvet keeps its loft and sponginess, take care not to weigh down the duvet with too many layers or constantly lay down over it.
Construction Methods Of Duvet
If you know all the duvet materials, it also helps to know how the duvet is constructed. The construction method is another contributing factor to the cost of the duvet.
The construction method refers to the manner in which the ticking is stitched onto the filling to hold it down, preventing the duvet filling from sliding around in the covers. The purpose of using the duvet is defeated if your duvet slides off the bed on a cold night!
There are three essential methods used in the construction of the duvet. These methods are briefly explained below.
Baffle Box Stitch On Duvet Filling
In this method, little squares of fabric are stitched between the top and bottom layers of the duvet filling. This creates more air pockets between the layers that add to the loftiness of the duvet filling and means better insulation. You will find this detailed stitching on the more expensive duvets.
Box Stitch On Duvet Filling
The upper and bottom layers are stitched together in a criss-cross pattern on a box stitch to form a box shape. This stitching method ensures that the same quantity of filling is held within each box.
The box stitch is verily used on lightweight duvets. This is the best stitch type for duvets with low fill power because less filling and air space are needed on these duvets.
Gusset Stitch On Duvet Filling
With this stitch type, the duvets have walls around the sides, increasing the duvet height and giving it more loft. These types of duvets are more expensive than any of the others.
However, you will be rewarded with luxurious comfort!
You may think a duvet is just another item to dress your bed and spruce up your bedroom. In actuality, a duvet is three layers, the filling which provides warmth and insulation. The ticking or shell is the second layer of material that protects the filling, especially if the filling is down or feathers. The final layer is the duvet cover. You would certainly not want those flying around your bedroom!
A duvet should be soft, comfortable, and provide sound insulation when cold. Have another think about the materials involved in a duvet, then go out and find the best one suited for you.