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Enjoy a great nights sleep with our expert guide to finding the right duvet and pillow for you
Care and storage
- The best way to store duvets and pillows is in a breathable cotton bag. Plastic vacuum-pack bags are OK for synthetics, but they will squash feather or down quilts and ruin the bedding.
- Most duvets are now washable, but it’s best to have them professionally laundered (different from dry cleaning). Professional laundering as opposed to home washing also prolongs the lifespan. Once a year is usually sufficient.
- Pillows should fit in a domestic washing machine one at a time, and are easier to dry than a duvet (especially synthetics), so home laundering is an option.
- Airing is an essential part of caring for a natural duvet, so give your bedding a regular shake. Also plump your pillows daily to circulate the filling so it doesn’t compact.
- Pillow and mattress protectors are a sound investment, as they help to ward off wear and tear.
- The number of times a duvet is laundered affects how long it will last, as will repeatedly lying on top of it. Both compress the filling and affect its ability to trap air.
Choosing a duvet filling: the options
Natural materials tend to feel more luxurious, are more
breathable as they draw moisture away from the body and, as a rule, last
longer than synthetics. Most are stitched across the outer cover to
stop the filling moving about and to create pockets, which help to trap
The most basic natural filling is duck feather and down. An
affordable option, it tends to be heavier than a pure down duvet – ideal
if you like to feel cocooned in a more substantial cover.
silk duvets naturally repel dust mites, so are a good choice for people
with allergies. Also, as it’s the ultimate breathable material, it
helps regulate your body temperature, too.
are practical if your duvet may need regular laundering, as they’re
easier to dry, so can be washed at home in a large-capacity washing machine. A 60º wash will kill off dust mites that can cause allergies.
There are several types of synthetic materials, many of which are non-allergenic. The
Microfibre Light Combination is the best-selling duvet in John Lewis and feels most like down for softness and drape.
you don’t fancy the idea of lugging your new duvet home yourself, why
not buy online and have a mail-order company bring it to your door?
Choosing a pillow: the options
Pillow fillings are similar to duvets, but with added options. As such, here are a few things to consider before you make your next pillow purchase:
- Down and feather pillows
mould round your neck and shoulders and give more choice in terms of
firmness. It’s important to choose pillows with a high thread count
casing, totherwise feathers can escape.
- Synthetic fillings are best for allergy sufferers and are easy to wash, making them a good choice for kids.
- Ergonomic/memort foam pillows shape themselves to your neck and head. Can be good for people suffering with neck problems.
- Latex pillows give firm support and are excellent for asthmatics as they don’t collect house dust.
- Greenfibres sells pillows made from natural materials, from kapok to millet husks – an eco-friendly option.