1 EAGLETON NOTES: Duvet Decisions

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Saturday, 7 July 2018

Duvet Decisions

When I was a child we had sheets and blankets on our beds. The top cover was either a rug or an eiderdown which was easily discarded in hot weather. What is an eiderdown? It's a quilt originally filled with down from of the eider duck and used on top of the blankets.

In 1964, just 6 years before I married, Conran introduced duvets (otherwise known as 'downies' or 'continental quilts' in the UK , 'comforters' in the US and 'doonas' in Australia). We bought our first duvet in Edinburgh before we married. I have never slept under anything other than a duvet since.

The only slight disadvantage to duvets over blankets is that one has to keep a variety of different warmths (ie tog ratings) for different weather. I'm fortunate to live in a well-insulated and generally warm house but I like a cool bedroom.  I use a 13.5 tog duvet in the winter and a 4.5 in the warmest weather (ie at the moment). 

Okay, so this is looking like a really boring post. Indeed it is a really boring post. The excitement comes when guests are arriving. Which duvet should I put on their bed? I can choose from togs 4.5, 7.5, 10 or 13.5.  Now there's a First World decision for me.

35 comments:

  1. I guess my duvet has a TOG but never look I just get the cheapest I can find, usually Lidl or Asda. it isn't brilliant in winter but good enough for the dogs to dry themselves on.

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    1. I have the advantage, Adrian, of not having to consider the pooches. Apart from that I do like to be comfortable in bed.

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  2. In summer, I use vintage cotton tableclothes as covers.

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    1. That, Maywyn, sounds like a very good use for them.

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  3. Your bed wear is much the same as ours. Except that we add a top sheet so that we can throw back the duvet to the middle of the bed and have the sheet over us until such time that we cool down and flip the duvet back again.

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    1. Heron, I always use a top sheet too. The idea of having to replace a duvet cover every week fills me with dread.

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    2. I'm glad someone else brought this up... as I watch a lot of BBC TV, I notice a lot of sheet-free duvet use on the tele, and it grosses me out slightly. Also, never like showing up at a B&B and finding just a duvet... the cleanliness factor of having a sheet between me and the comforter/duvet/eiderdown/thingie is worth the extra laundry!

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    3. Sorry for the delay Mrs S. Just been checking the unmoderated (ie > 10 days old) comments. Oddly my NZ guests all did away with the intermediate sheets. The duvet cover just gets washed each week instead of the sheets. I use a sheet because I really do not like putting duvet covers on.

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  4. After a lifetime of my mum's sheets and blankets I was keen to get a duvet when I married. I only got a cheap one, it was too small, too hot in summer and too cold (as well as light) in winter and I went back to blankets. I mourned the inability to use my original duvet cover, which I paid a lot for. After years in the linen cupboard it has been put into service on my son's bed. It must be 28 years old and it's pristine!

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    1. The idea of not having a duvet is not one I would relish, Kylie.

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  5. Those duvets are complicated. I like "comforters" quilts with goose down . They work ell in both summer and winter.

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    1. Red my duvets are filled with a variety of things from goose and duck down to very light and warm synthetics. Generally I've discovered that I prefer synthetic fillings.

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  6. At this time of year we sleep on top of the duvet, in winter we sleep beneath it with an added very light-weight, pure wool, open-weave (can't remember what they're called) blanket. We are never too hot, and never too cold; probably just rustic.

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    1. That sounds pretty well perfect, Cro. When I lived in a hot climate I just used the air con when it got over 30℃.

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  7. No matter how warm a night is, I need tomfeel my shoulders are covered or I can not sleep. When we are in the middle of a heat wave, weeks and weeks if daytime temperatures over 30C and nights hardly cooler, I only use a duvet cover without a duvet in it. Most summer nights, I sleep under my normal duvet without feeling too hot. In winter, I add a woolly blanket on top for extra snuggliness.

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    1. Meike, I agree with you 100%. I have to have my shoulders covered. I would rather be too warm with covered shoulders when I could get to sleep than suffer insomnia in the cool with uncovered shoulders.
      I have added 'snuggliness' to my list of your memorable words and phrases.

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    2. My answer would be almost exactly the same as Meike's. I use the same duvet all year round, with a blanket on top in winter for extra warmth, and sometimes just an empty duvet cover in summer... I may also try just a thin cotton shawl over my shoulders when going to sleep, but the duvet at hand at the bottom of my bed so that I can stick my feet under it, and draw it up over the rest of me later in the night if it's cooler then :)

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  8. Hahahaha! Anything and everything...small, large or medium can be of interest! :)

    I use a doona and the cotton weave blankets...and as it was around 2C or 3C here this morning...following a chilly night of fairly strong westerly winds...they are presently keeping me nice and warm, as well as my two furry mates.

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    1. Ooh, Lee, I'd want my 13.5 tog for that!

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  9. I can still remember the joy of changing from the old style bedding to duvets. They were so light in comparison. No longer did one have to sleep under a weighty pile of various textiles in the wintertime.

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  10. You obviously have plenty of storage space in your house. Here in our London flat, we have room for just 2 duvets. In winter the guests get the summer one and plenty of blankets. In summer, they get a sheet and a lightweight blanket. You may ask why we have all those blankets. Well, they fit more easily in the carved chest my grandmother left me than duvets do. And yes - they're more versatile!

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    1. Jenny I am not short of space I have to admit. However in order to keep all the duvet and other things in the storage space under my lift-up beds I use vacuum packs. They reduce a 13.5 tog duvet to a pack a few inches deep and about two feet square.

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  11. I remember the joy when duvets were introduced. They made bed-making so easy. And no more chasing blankets around the bed. You'd find one, then lose another! And they sure have stayed the distance unlike so many other 'new' things which have come and gone.

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    1. Yes, Pauline, I think they are definitely one of the more enduring of the things with which we live.

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  12. I'll will no doubt get drummed out of this group, but I use an electric blanket to stay warm in winter. I live at an altitude of 7,300 feet, and it even gets cold enough at night in spring and fall to turn on the blanket, set on low.

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    1. Jill, I, too, have an electric blanket on all the beds in the house. I like my bedroom to be quite cool but in winter I don't like getting into a cold bed. I'm definitely a comfort lover when it comes to me bed.

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  13. Ski trip, with school 50 plus years ago, to Switzerland introduced me to duvets and when 'responsible' for my own bedding it's been duvets all the way. Currently we have an electric duvet that serves winter well, warmer nights switched off and we have a thin (homemade) thing in the duvet bag that covers us in the summer. The last few weeks when the bedroom temp. is over 23 degs we have had the fan on overnight as well.

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    1. Potty, living as I do in a part of the country where the temperature rarely reaches above the mid 20s I do occasionally get down to a 4.5 tog duvet but rarely ever just a sheet as used sometimes to be the case in New Zealand even with the air con cooling the room down before bedtime.

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  14. lol I own a pair of togs but have never worn them. We call them duvets here in NZ, we have one on our bed and it's usually warm enough in itself.

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    1. Yes, Amy, I had togs in New Zealand too: a much better name than swimming trunks or swimming costume. When, one day, I referred to my togs here I got very blank looks. I used a medium weight duvet in NZ but then I was never there in midwinter and my cottage was new and therefore well insulated.

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  15. I wonder whether sheets and blankets will make a come back some day? Most things seem to.

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    1. Well, Frances, not for me they won't.

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  16. Not a bit boring! I love my comforter and use it all year. On the very hottest nights, I do as Librarian does and just use the cover.

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    1. Thanks Nan. As it happens my NZ family arrive today and the weather has done its third change in a week and I've just put a cooler duvet on their bed. Life is full of decisions.

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