By Camilla Swart                                                                                                                  

Sleep plays such an essential part of our well-being that at Linen Drawer we take sleeping comfort very seriously!

Today we are helping you to choose the correct duvet inner for yourself.  Hopefully helping you to make an informed choice and demystifying the whole process.  I found so many options available when researching this article, that my head was spinning at the end – but first a few questions:

  • What size is your bed/mattress? 
  • Does your duvet drape comfortably over your body?
  • Does your duvet feel heavy or light, and which do you prefer?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Have you, or your partner, higher than average body heat?
  • What is your budget?

The answers to the above questions will start you off on an informed search for the correct duvet inner. I have narrowed down the options into two broad categories – natural and man-made/ synthetic filled duvet inners.

Natural fill is any substance that is organic – such as down, feathers, wool, silk, alpaca, cotton.

Animal Feathers








Synthetic/Man-made fill is any substance that is non-organic or has been vigorously processed – such as hollowfibre, micro-fibre, acrylic and bamboo.

cotton Wool








The first difference between the two above is price; natural fills tend to be more expensive than man-made/synthetic fills.

The second difference is performance – man-made/synthetic filled duvets cleverly mimic natural filled duvets, and the choice will be based on your set of requirements.

Let’s talk about Natural filled duvet inners - down, feathers, wool, alpaca, silk and cotton:

These fills have the following in common:

  • Lightweight
  • Warmer than their weight
  • Temperature control excellent
  • Moisture wicking – water vapour escapes from body during sleep and is wicked away, ensuring comfortable (non-sweaty) sleep
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial
  • Sustainable resource
  • Need careful cleaning

Man-made/Synthetic fills have the following in common:

  • Non-allergenic and anti-dust mite
  • Bamboo and viscose are sustainable resources, but processing into fibre is harmful to environment
  • Can be heavier than natural fillings
  • Less good at temperature control
  • Easily laundered

When choosing a duvet inner it is important to have taken everything above into account, but you might see a ‘tog rating’ on the product.

 A quick explanation is that the ‘tog’ rating is the duvet’s ability to trap air, which is what keeps you warm (this is called thermal resistance).  Therefore, a high tog rating will result in a duvet which is warmer. 

A guideline for a winter duvet inner would be a tog rating of between 7 and 13 tog, while a summer duvet inner would be 3 to 4.5 tog.

What else to look out for when buying a duvet inner?  Normally price is an indicator of quality – unfortunately you get what you pay for.  However, irrespective of the price look out for the following:

  • Construction of the inner – is the filling in ‘squares’ or in long channels?  Squares, often called the ‘baffle box’ design, ensure that the fill does not move and clump, and the heat retention is evenly distributed. Also look at the stitching and edges – should be secure and neat with no fill poking out.
  • If it’s a feather/down fill, is there certification by the International Down and Feather Bureau and does it have a Featherite certification? The above guarantees that the down and feathers have been ethically sourced (from ducks and geese killed for food). The Featherite certification is that the fill has been cleaned to a specific quality standard, rendering it hypo-allergenic and dust mite free.
  • What is the tog rating?
  • What are the cleaning and washing instructions?
  • What is the casing made from?  A down/feather duvet inner must have a down-proof casing, and all natural-fill duvet inners should have casing made from 100% cotton.

It seems a great deal to take in, as well as to remember. Buying a duvet inner, which should last you between 15 – 30 years, is quite a commitment, and we, at Linen Drawer can help you with your choice.

At Linen Drawer we stock Micro-fibre, Cotton and Down/Feather duvet inners. You are welcome to chat to our knowledgeable team should you have any queries about any other types of duvet inners, or contact us at