Making a bed today can be so much more than just throwing a duvet across your mattress. After all we spend a third of our lives asleep so it pays to make our beds havens of comfort.
What is a duvet tog rating and how do I decide which tog I need? The tog rating refers to the level of thermal insulation provided – the higher the tog, the warmer the duvet. ‘Duvets range from a 2.5 tog for the height of summer to an 18 tog for deepest winter,’ says Sarah Smith, head of buying at soakandsleep. ‘For a fail-safe option, invest in an all-season set – two duvets that can be used individually or combined for perfect warmth all year.’
What are the different filling options? The main choice is between a natural or synthetic filling, which comes down to personal preference and budget. Natural fillers tend to be more expensive, but are durable and versatile. ‘Down is luxurious, soft, fluffy and exceptionally warm, but at the same time very light,’ says Sara Wadsworth, brand marketing manager at finebedding.co.uk. ‘Feather is heavier, but brilliant if you like a “tucked in” feeling.’ The two materials are often mixed, and the higher the down content the lighter the duvet will be. Alternatively, go for a wool, cotton or silk filling: they all have a denser feel and are naturally hypoallergenic. Silky microfibre and springy hollowfibre synthetic fillers are also good for people with allergies.
How do I choose a pillow that’s good for my back and neck? Side sleepers need a thicker pillow that will support their head and neck at the right height, whereas back sleepers ideally need a firmer pillow with a lower profile. Front sleepers should choose a softer, low-profile pillow. Specialist pillows, often made from breathable latex, are good for people with specific back or neck problems – you can find a selection designed by physiotherapist Sammy Margo at thegoodsleepexpert.com.
Words: Claudia Baillie