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Synthetic vs Natural duvets: Which is your best bet?

Synthetic vs Natural duvets

Are you confused about duvet fillings? Don't be! Here's a simple guide that will help you choose between synthetic and natural duvets.

It may be hard to believe, but go back some fifty years and virtually no-one in Britain had ever heard of a duvet, let alone slept under one. Now they are firmly ensconced as the nation’s favourite thing to snuggle under whether it’s a cold one or one of those occasional hot days. That being the case, the debate has now moved on to a more nuanced level. Which is best – synthetic or natural duvets? We’re here to guide you through this conundrum and choose a duvet that will help you get a good night’s sleep for years to come.


The Lowdown on luxury king size duvet
When it comes to natural duvets, there are two fillings that have dominated the market for years – feathers and down. However, silk duvets are now also on the scene and offer an interesting alternative.

Feathers and Down Duvets
What’s the difference, you may well ask? Whereas feathers come from any part of the bird (incidentally, usually from geese or ducks), down refers to the soft under-feathers that cover the breast of the bird. As down does not have a stiff quill like a feather, it is naturally light and fluffy, making them the best choice for keeping you warm at night. For ultimate luxury, Hungarian goose down is the way to go. Whilst not quite as decadent, feather duvets are also an excellent choice and give you many of the benefits of down.

Best of Both Worlds
A great compromise is a feather/down mix duvet, combining insulating down with robust, hardwearing feathers. Many people appreciate not only the wonderful insulating qualities of down and feather natural duvets but the breathability that they provide. Some appreciate the comforting nature of the slightly higher weight of a feather duvet. Check out our great range of natural duvets by clicking here.

How Warm Are Duvets?
Natural duvets are available in a range of tog duvet ratings. Tog refers to the insulating quality of the duvet. Lower tog ratings, those below 7, are more suitable for summer use, with those above 7 being warm enough for winter nights. Another advantage of a natural duvet is that they are very hardwearing. You should expect about 20 years’ wear out of a full down duvet, and at least 10 years from a down and feather mix duvet.

Silk Duvets
Praised for their high levels of breathability, silk bed linen is a lightweight alternative to hungarian goose down duvets or feather duvets. Many people appreciate the hypoallergenic nature of silk duvets, meaning that even people will allergies are able to choose a natural duvet. They also hang well and sit comfortably atop your body in bed. Interestingly, silk super king and king size duvets are not measured in tog ratings but are rather measured in silk weight. A higher weight means a higher level of warmth.

duvets rolled up

Natural Duvet Pros

  • Highly insulating and breathable for warmth and comfort
  • Comfortable against the skin with a luxurious feel
  • Extremely hardwearing and durable

Natural Duvet Cons

  • Some people are allergic to feather and down
  • Feathers quills could occasionally breach the outer fabric of the duvet and prick you in the night
  • Feathers and down may bunch in the pockets of the duvet over time

The Story of Synthetic Duvets

When browsing synthetic duvets, you’ll notice that many are keen to make a connection with their natural equivalents. With ‘touch of down’ and ‘soft as down’ two selling points used, it’s clear they’re aiming to match that natural experience. This is good news if you are an allergy sufferer, and therefore unable to choose a feather or down mattress topper. Let us guide you through the world of hollowfibre duvet and microfibre duvets so you can choose the right bedding protectors for you.

Microfibre Duvet
The luxury player in the world of synthetic duvets, microfibre duvets are soft, warm, and sumptuous. Made from very fine fibres, they mimic the natural qualities of down, and share many of the same characteristics, making them a great alternative. Microfibre is also highly breathable and excellent at wicking water away from the body. The fine nature of the fibres means that they are not as full and thick as hollowfibre, which may be a plus or a minus, depending on your preference. Click here to see our wide range of microfibre duvets.

Consider The Cover
Many people who appreciate the properties of a synthetic filling still value the natural benefits of cotton bed linen against their skin. If this is your preference, be sure to check the composition of the finish. Egyptian cotton bed linen is particularly cool and luxurious and, combined with a synthetic filling, can give you the best of both worlds.

Synthetic Duvet Pros

  • Suitable for those allergic to feathers and down
  • Easily laundered in the washing machine
  • Often more affordable than natural duvets

Synthetic Duvet Cons

  • May not be as hardwearing as a natural duvet

The Verdict

Synthetic vs Natural Duvets

The lowdown is complete, so is there a clear winner? The fact is, both are very high-quality products. Whilst there will always be some people who favour the natural insulating qualities of hungarian goose down duvets, synthetic duvet technology has advanced to produce amazing products. On the key criteria of warmth, breathability, and durability they are very evenly matched – although natural duvets do just pip their synthetic cousins for durability. This needs to be factored into the usually higher purchase price. For allergy sufferers, there’s no need to feel that you are compromising by having a synthetic duvet, pillow and mattress. These days they are just as luxurious as down. At Littens, we recognise that your bedding needs are as individual as you are. That’s why we have a wide range of choice to suit everybody’s needs. Click here to choose your perfect duvet sizes from our fantastic range.



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