A bed covering originating from Scandinavia, which in the last few decades has pretty much taken over from the traditional sheet and blanket bedding arrangement.

Duvets consist of two layers of fabric filled with lightweight stuffing held in place with a grid of stitched lines. They are easy to use, available at any price, soft and light, and you can snuggle up into them. Duvets depend on the air being trapped in the filling to monitor the temperature. The tog rating, ranging between about 3 – 15 domestically, describes the amount of heat that will be retained, directly related to the depth and density of the filling. Winter-weight duvets can be swapped for summer-weight duvets with low tog ratings as the seasons change, or two can be buttoned or tied together. Fillings are most usually feather, down, fibre and silk and combinations of these; they can be machine washable, hypoallergenic, and refreshed by most manufacturers.

* Duvet covers are cotton or linen, generally with tie or button closures along the foot or the side. Using them with a flat sheet underneath allows the duvet cover to be changed less often, with more opportunity for it to be decorative, and in effect more like an old fashioned eiderdown, or comforter.

* To keep the duvet in place on the bed, the bottom can be made as an open envelope, approx. 70 cms ( 28“ ) deep that tucks in under the mattress.

* Sizes: single duvets on a single bed just fall off; always upsize so that each person can wrap themselves up if they want to. Two double duvets on a king size bed almost always offers improves sleep, and the perfect plan for accommodating squabbling children and non-couple guests.

* Even though duvets are extremely practical and easy to use, we all seem to love the texture and variety, the colours and perhaps the history of woven covers, so blankets are still very much in use as throws or over covers. Also, especially since big beds are so much more sensible and readily available, duvets create quite a slab of colour in the room, which often requires breaking up a bit with a throw or blanket.

* Heavy bedcovers over a duvet rather defeat the object, defying the physics, so any covers are for day time only. The duvet needs to be shaken up if a heavy cover has been lying over it, and for a cold night a double duvet is more effective that a dense blanket ..

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