How to choose winter bedding

Posted Nov 27, 2011

Despite the ‘second summer’ that appeared out of nowhere this autumn, this winter is set to be a cold one, with weather forecasters predicting a very chilly start indeed to 2012. To make sure you stay snug and cosy at home it’s important you invest in winter bedding. 

Winter bedding is not necessarily any thicker than summer bedding, but the materials used and the way the bedding is formed are better at insulting and keeping the heat under the duvet. Additionally, it’s important to get breathable sheets, as despite a drop in temperature, you still sweat during the night in the wintertime.

Here is a short and sweet guide to winter bedding to help you make the right decision. 

Tog rating

The tog rating is a measure of thermal resistance or insulation. The higher the number, the better the insulation. Winter weight duvets should have a tog rating of between 12 and 13.5. However, you can now get ‘combined’ winter and summer duvets with a light 4.5 summer duvet attachable to a mid-weight spring/autumn duvet with a tog value of 9 to 10.5. Together they make up a winter duvet with a tog value of 13.4 to 15. 


You need to let your skin breathe whilst you sleep otherwise you will sweat and when you do the sweat will stay trapped on your skin and will actually cool you down if your sheets aren’t breathable. Sheets made from natural fibres are generally more breathable than those made from man-made materials. Cotton is the best, but it does cost more. You can go for a cotton-synthetic mix to maximise breathability on a budget. 

Thread count

Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch. The higher the number, the better the quality of the material. Sheets with a thread count over 200 are ideal, and if you can afford sheets with a thread count of 500 you will be rewarded with truly luxurious, hard-wearing but soft sheets. 

Feather fillings

Duvets filled with natural fibres use bird feathers from either ducks or geese. Duck feathers are heavier than goose feathers, but both offer the same insulation and breathability. Down are the softer, fluffier feathers found underneath the outer feathers; they provide greater insulation and are softer and smaller. The higher the percentage of down, the more luxurious the duvet but you will have to pay for the luxury.


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