Don't know which tog duvet to buy? The best tog for summer, winter and all-rounders

No more guessing names required - pick the perfect duvet for you by getting to grips with the tog jargon

Neutral bedroom with linen sheets on bed beside wooden table
(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

If you’re not sure which tog duvet to buy, you’re not alone. While there’s nothing better than buying new bedding, sleep lovers across the UK regularly buy the wrong tog and find themselves tossing and turning as a result. That’s why we want to take the hassle out of buying a new duvet. 

After all, we’ve tried and tested some of the best duvets on the market at Ideal Home. We’re well-versed in how the right duvet can complement the best mattress and send you off to sleep in seconds, but we’re all well-versed in how complicated the duvet-buying process can be. From choosing the right filling to finding hypoallergenic duvets, things get even more difficult when you see just how many tog ratings there are. 

But what do these numbers mean, and how do you know which tog to go for? Don’t worry. We’ve spoken with some of the best experts in the sleep industry to help you get to the bottom of which tog duvet is best for you and your sleeping habits.  

How to know which tog duvet to buy

Pile of duvets folded on unmade bed

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'It is important that you choose a duvet that matches your body temperature; overheating is the biggest cause of sleep disturbance,' explains Sally Bonser, sleep expert at Snug. 'So a higher Tog value isn’t always better, as most people sleep more soundly when their body is kept at a cool to normal temperature.' Below, you’ll find everything you need to find the perfect tog rating for you.

What do duvet tog ratings mean?

Pink bedroom with wall panelling, wooden bed and pendant lighting

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

So, first thing's first. To know what the best duvet to buy is it's pretty important to know what the tog system actually is.

'The tog rating is a scale measuring the thermal insulation of a duvet, so the higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet will be,' says Emily Attwood, Founder, scooms. 'When you’re shopping for a duvet, you should look at purchasing a higher tog for the colder months to keep you warm, and a lower tog for the warmer months to help keep you cooler.'

It's key to remember that the tog is about the insulation and not the actual thickness of the duvet, which is a common misconception.

What tog duvet is best to use in the summer?

Bed with pillows, blue and white striped bedding and flowers on nightstand

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

While some people eschew duvets altogether in the summer, many of us like the comfort of one, so it's important to find the right tog duvet to offer this without overheating should a heatwave arise.

'We’d advise having a different duvet for summer and winter, so during the warmer months we’d recommend a low tog of 4.5 for your duvet,' suggests Danielle Mason, Head of Product Development, The Fine Bedding Company.

'The best summer duvets will help you to avoid sleeping badly and then waking up feeling sticky and tired,' elaborates Emily from scooms. 'As well as the tog rating, you should check the breathability of the duvet casing and filling. A summer duvet with good breathability will help any moisture from sweat to escape more easily, whilst naturally breathable duvet fillings like goose down, offer up to four times more better air circulation than their synthetic counterparts.'

'Always ensure your summer duvet cover is 100% cotton and not synthetic - this is because cotton is both temperature regulating and wicks away moisture with ease.'

What tog duvet is best for winter months?

Bedroom with bed covered in duvet

(Image credit: scooms)

Conversely, in the winter months, all we can think about is staying warm and toasty when sleeping. As well as potentially sizing up your duvet, you'll be looking at the higher tog ratings.

'We’d always advise a 9 tog to 13.5 tog for the winter months as this is ideal and will keep you warm,' says Emily from scooms. 'If your house is always on the warmer side, then a 9 tog duvet would probably suit you better throughout the winter months, and you wouldn’t want to go any higher. This will prevent you from overheating which can disrupt your sleep.'

Remember that tog ratings are a very personal thing, so keep in mind whether you're a hot or cold sleeper. Additionally, you can always choose a more mid-level tog duvet for the winter months and layer on your favourite throws when the temperatures really drop.

Can you go too high with your tog duvet?

Neutral bedroom with linen sheets on bed beside wooden table

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Some of the colder sleepers in less well-insulated homes might assume to just go as high as possible with their tog choice in order to sleep better, but that's not the best route. 

'Man-made fibres can feel stifling if you have a duvet that is too high on the tog rating,' notes Sophie from Floks. 'They will only trap the heat and therefore it can build up to uncomfortable degree.'

'You actually can get duvet togs up to a rating of 18 tog which will feel incredibly warm and are ideal if you live in a tent in the Arctic!,' says Emily from scooms. 'On a serious note though, the duvet warmth you go for is really down to personal choice. If you feel very cold at night and your sleep is being disturbed, then you should increase the tog rating of your duvet.'

What's the best tog duvet to use year round?

White bedroom with bed covered in duvet

(Image credit: Floks)

Ok, so we've got our warmer and chillier months covered, but what if you're looking for one does-it-all duvet? Danielle from The Find Bedding Company suggests opting for a 7 or 10.5 tog duvet depending on your body temperature, but there are other options.

'If you’re looking for a year-round duvet, then opting for an All-Seasons combination would be your best choice as it offers the most versatility,' advises Emily from scooms. 'An all-season duvet is a set of two duvets, combining a lower tog duvet (ideal for the warmer months) with a higher tog duvet (ideal for the cooler months) that can be used individually or fastened together for a thicker, winter duvet.'

'Typically, a 4.5 tog duvet is paired with a 9 tog duvet giving you a summer heat duvet and a winter heat duvet, that can be fastened together to make a very toasty 13.5 tog if you need it.'

Alternatively, you can try a different filling and see if that works for you. 'Wool is a wonderful choice for a year-round duvet as it will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter,' offers Sophie from Floks. 'Wool is a clever fibre which can trap and release heat to react to individual body temperatures.'

Tips for choosing the perfect tog duvet

Of course, we can understand that the information above may seem a little overwhelming. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a checklist below to help you choose the perfect tog duvet for you and your needs: 

Consider the season and room temperature: Rachael Shah, Head of Sustainability at Linen Connect, says, ‘For summer, a lighter duvet around 3-4.5 tog is ideal, as it provides comfort without excessive warmth. In contrast, for winter, a tog rating of 13.5-15 offers cosy insulation during colder nights.’ But if you don’t want to buy two separate duvets, you could opt for a dual-tog or two-in-one duvet, which allows you to combine two different togs into one duvet. 

Think about your warmth preferences: Do you run hot at night? Are you always cold? Everyone has their own warmth preferences when it comes to their duvet, and some people like to be a little chilly, while others want to sweat their way through the night. Because of this, it’s important to consider your warmth preferences before buying a new duvet. 

Consider the duvet filling: In a world of synthetic fibres, goose feathers, and vegan options, it’s always a good idea to consider how a duvet aligns with your own personal views. If you’re looking for an ethical vegan duvet, you may have to compromise on the tog rating as the options are more limited. 

Think about quality: If your aim is to make your bedroom feel like a hotel, why don’t you follow in the footsteps of these hotels?  David Stockton, Head of Ecommerce and Marketing at Richard Haworth says, ‘Hotels will always opt for synthetic tog duvets, and this is to combat any allergies guests might have. Typically, they will opt for a 10.5 tog, as this is perfect for all year round, and hotels won't want to store different types of duvets where they can help it. Homeowners also like to avoid having multiple duvets for different seasons, and opting for this tog is a great way to avoid this.’

FAQs

Is a 10.5 tog duvet warm enough for winter?

Yes, a 10.5 tog duvet is the most common duvet tog choice as it can be used all year round without you getting too hot or too cold. But while this duvet tog may be warm enough in winter for some people, it’s important to note that everyone is different. Some people run hot at night, while others run cold. So, it may be that you need a higher tog to ensure you don’t get too cold.

What duvet tog should I get?

Ultimately, this is down to your personal preference. But many experts would suggest buying two duvets - a 4.5 tog and a 9.0 tog - to last you the whole year. 

This way, you can use the lighter tog during the summer months and then the thicker tog during the colder months. If you’re still cold during the depths of winter, you can then put the two duvets together to make one 13.5 tog duvet. 

Hopefully, we’ve provided you with all of the information you need to buy the perfect tog duvet. So, happy shopping! 

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.

With contributions from