It’s crucial that we get enough sleep - and one of the best ways to do that is by making sure we have the most comfortable sleep space. Many people associate comfort with warmth, but it’s not just about being nice and toasty in the winter - it’s important to regulate your temperature year-round, which also means staying cool in the summer.
To be precise, experts recommend that the temperature in your bedroom stays at a pleasant 16 - 18 ºC (60.8 – 64.4 ºF). This might seem cold to some, but the trick is that your body temperature is regulated with a duvet to trap the heat your body creates naturally, helping you sleep well - so that you wake up rested with a clear head.
However, our bodies are all very different, and finding the best duvet for you is a personal matter. To help you find the perfect duvet, our resident Sleep Expert Christabel Majendie BSc MSc PBPsS has put together a simple guide below - Starting off with a lesson on what a tog actually is!
Duvet Togs Explained - What Is A Tog?
Duvets almost always come with a ‘Tog’ rating attached - but what does a tog actually mean, and how should that affect your buying decision? Essentially, the Tog Scale is a way of measuring the thermal insulance (heat retention) properties of a given material - in this case, a duvet. The higher the tog, the toastier that duvet is going to be!
The tog rating of a duvet can’t always be deduced by touch or sight, as it depends on a range of factors such as the type of filling used in the duvet. As synthetic materials (such as hollowfibre) are often less thermally insulative than natural materials (for example, sheep’s wool), it takes more synthetic fibre to produce the same tog rating as an equivalent natural-fibre duvet.
This means that a thicker duvet doesn’t necessarily mean warmer! Natural fibre duvets can sometimes feel lighter than synthetic duvets, but this doesn’t mean they are less thermally insulative. Natural fibres are simply able to trap air better than synthetic fibres, and therefore provide more warmth - which is especially noticeable in those cold winter months!
For those who get extra cold at night, our Organic Lambswool Duvets come with ties around the edges, enabling you to attach two weights of duvet together. With these combinations considered, this means that the following weights are available: 300g, 500g, 600g, 800g & 1000g.
Duck Feather DuvetsShop Duck Feather Duvets
Feather your nest with this duck feather duvet. The white duck feathers are wonderfully plump and airy, keeping you warm when you need it, and allowing airflow when it counts. This duvet settles down over you, creating a feeling of sleeping in a cloud.
Goose Feather DuvetsShop Goose Down Duvets
Like duck feathers, only more luxurious: our white goose down duvets are made by cleverly combining 70% goose down with 30% feathers. Feathers give the duvet loft and structure, and the down adds plump cosiness and comfort - ensuring a good night's sleep.
Wool DuvetsShop Organic Wool Duvets
Perfect for those with allergies, our organic lambswool duvets offer a slick and slender profile, and are somewhat different from the traditional plush down duvets. Due to wool’s amazing natural properties, these quilted duvets are amazing at regulating temperature.
A Side Note on Breathability
Another important thing to note is that tog rating is independent from the breathability of a duvet.
Duvets rated to a lower tog will often be thinner than their high-tog counterpart, and that usually translates to less space for trapped air, and therefore more breathability - but breathability also has much to do with the material a duvet is stuffed with.
As a rule, natural materials are more breathable than synthetic materials, meaning that a natural-fibre 7.5 tog duvet is likely to be more breathable than its 7.5 tog synthetic duvet counterpart.
How are Duvet Togs Measured?
Togs are measured using a simple scale, ranging from 1 tog (the least insulative) to 15 (the most insulative).
Generally, industry experts recommend a tog rating of between 1 - 7 togs for warm summer nights, whereas the tog rating of a winter duvet could range between 9 - 15 togs. However, this depends entirely on your climate and personal tastes, and is merely guidance.
Why are Some Duvets Measured by Weight?
You may see some natural-fibre duvets (such as our Organic Wool Duvets) referred to by weight, using the measurement of gsm (which stands for Grams per Square Metre).
Due to their natural versatility and breathability, this is a much easier way of measuring natural-fibre duvets. For example, our 300g Organic Wool Duvets are filled with, on average, 300g of organic wool per square metre.
Choosing A Tog Rating For You
We all know that being too hot or too cold at night is a recipe for bad sleep. If you live in a climate where seasons wildly differ in temperature from one to the next, choosing a separate duvet for a given season might be the answer to your woes. However, if your climate doesn’t change all that much seasonally, an all-year-round duvet is probably the best option for you.
Tog rating should never be considered in isolation, as you also need to think about things like:
- How warm your bedroom normally gets;
- How well your body naturally regulates heat;
- If you will be sharing your duvet, or sleeping under it alone;
- The climate you live in;
- Your budget.
Do Duvets Lose Their Tog Value?
Now that you have your perfect duvet in mind, you may wonder if its tog rating will decrease over time. Just how long do you have left to enjoy your duvet before you need to replace it? Well - like most things in life, duvets don’t last forever.
Lots of us are guilty of clinging on to our favourite pillow for just a tad too long - sometimes long enough to see it flattened far beyond its original condition. Just like pillows and all other bedding, duvets will show signs of wear and tear over time. Choosing wisely to start with, and opting for duvets made with more durable natural fibres will ensure you get to enjoy your duvet for longer.
According to the Sleep Council, you should consider changing your duvet every 5 years. However, with proper care and regular cleaning, natural fibre duvets have been known to keep for far longer. It’s important to note here - all Naturalmat organic lambswool duvets are strictly dry clean only - this is to preserve the structure of natural fibres, which even the most hi-tech of modern washing machines still can’t properly deal with. Technology, eh?
Natural Duvet Fillings
The next consideration when buying a duvet is the filling. We’ve already touched on the difference in breathability between natural and synthetic fibres, but there are actually many reasons to go for natural duvet fillings - here are just a few:
1. Natural fillings (such as white goose down, feathers, and organic lambswool) are free of synthetic chemicals - so you can rest assured you are not sleeping under anything toxic. We’re proud to say that we don’t use any synthetic materials in any of our duvets.
2. Due to natural fibres’ ability to trap air more efficiently, less filling is needed to provide the same warmth. This means a thinner duvet than the synthetic equivalent of the same tog rating.
3. Natural fillings are very breathable compared to synthetic fillings, meaning your skin is able to breathe more efficiently throughout the night - which is particularly important if you are prone to sweating.
4. Due to their breathability, natural fillings generally sit lighter around your body, so don’t be fooled into thinking that a heavier duvet means a warmer one – it doesn’t.
5. It’s simply an irresistibly luxurious feeling to be sleeping under a soft and fluffy feather and down duvet - you just can't replicate the feeling synthetically.
Are Naturalmat Duvets Hypoallergenic?
Not all Naturalmat duvets are suitable for allergy sufferers, but the most popular duvets in our range, our Organic Lambswool Duvets, are perfectly hypoallergenic, meaning that those with allergies can sleep soundly. On that note, did you know that wool isn’t actually an allergen?
Duvets For All the Family
Picking a duvet for yourself is hard enough, and picking it for your child can be a whole different level of complicated! Check out these tips by our Sleep Expert Christabel for choosing a duvet with the right tog rating for your child.
1. Duvets are not recommended for children under the age of 12 months.
2. The active growth of young children tends to make them naturally warmer than adults - so think about starting them off with a lower tog duvet, like our Organic Wool duvet 300g (roughly 3-5 togs). As they grow, you can start to use duvets with a higher tog rating.
3. Tying multiple duvets together means you can adjust the tog rating as and when you need it, turning your lightweight summer duvet into a snuggly winter duvet when it starts getting colder.
After all, a happily sleeping child is a happily sleeping parent too!