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The Ultimate Duvet Tog Guide

Author: James Higgins

When you get into bed, especially after a long day at work, you want to know that you’re settling down for a comfortably cosy night’s sleep, whether it’s the height of summer or a bleak winter’s evening. But the only way to guarantee luxury is by having quality bedding.

In this article, we’ve explained everything you need to know before buying a duvet, including useful insight into what ‘tog ratings’ really are and the different types to choose from.


What does tog mean?

You’ll have likely seen the term used to describe duvets, but what does tog mean and how does it affect your quality of sleep?

Choosing a duvet with the right level of heat retention is perhaps the most important decision you can make when buying bedding. After all, it’s often the embrace of your quilt that guides you into a comfortable slumber.

You’ll typically notice that duvets are labelled with a ‘tog rating’, which is a standardised measurement that defines their level of warmth; however, some retailers will also highlight whether the duvet is best-suited to ‘winter’, ‘summer’, or ‘all seasons’.

Reading on, we’ve explained how to decipher the duvet tog rating system, and how to choose the right duvet for optimum comfort.


Duvet tog rating system explained

When browsing duvets, it can be helpful to have an idea of what the different tog ratings mean. The scale ranges from 1 to 15, with 1 being very cool and 15 being the warmest – but most duvets start at 4.5:

  • 4.5 tog – a 4.5 tog rating is designed to keep you cool at night, and ideal for anyone who suffers from night sweats. It’s the best duvet for hot sleepers, especially in the summer. 
  • 7.0 tog – a 7.0 tog rating is still on the cooler end, but offers a little more warmth if your room is air conditioned or you keep a fan on in the night. It’s also perhaps the best duvet type for when the temperature begins to start fluctuating between seasons, and often chosen for year-round bedding.
  • 10.5 tog – slightly warmer, a 10.5 tog rating continues to offer enough insulation to keep you toasty when it’s cold without becoming unbearable in the heat. This type of duvet is generally considered best either side of winter.
  • 13.5 tog – a 13.5 tog rated duvet is ideal for cold-weather bedding, but might become a little too much when the temperature starts to crank up. Consider buying alongside a cooler quilt that you can swap over.
  • 15 tog - a particularly thick duvet,15 is the highest tog duvet rating, and, again, might feel a bit too much in the heat. You should almost definitely consider buying alongside a thinner duvet, so you have a cooler option.

Before buying new bedding, it’s also worth acknowledging that, while commonly the case, duvet thickness and heaviness doesn’t always equate to warmth. Some materials and fillings can be heavier than others, but provide a cooler sleeping experience. The only way to determine warmth is to check the tog rating.


What about thread count?

When choosing a new duvet, it’s important to consider more than just the filling, of course. You should also think about the quality and make-up of your duvet cover. Specifically, its thread count

Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads woven together within every square inch of fabric. For example, if your duvet cover consisted of 150 vertical and 150 horizontal threads within each square inch, the thread count would be 300. 

Typically, the higher the thread count, the cosier, softer, and more luxurious the material, with any thread count above 300 considered to be of great or excellent quality.


How is a duvet made?

When it comes to duvet construction, the outer shell is typically formed via either a box stitch or baffle box. Of course, it’s highly likely neither of these terms mean anything to you, so we’ve delved into what they are:

Box stitch: a box stitch refers to when the top and bottom layers of your duvet shell are sewn together with criss-cross patterning. This subsequently forms a series of small boxes in the quilt, hence the name. Each box is then filled, with filling evenly distributed across the duvet. 

Baffle box: a baffle box duvet design is similar to a box stitch, but a little more complex. Rather than sewing directly between the top and bottom layer, extra material is added within the duvet, to make more room for extra filling. The stitching then forms something that resembles cubes. 

Choosing the right duvet tog for each season

As the seasons change and the temperature begins to either rise or drop, it can be tricky to get consistently comfortable in bed with the same duvet. Unless you have an all-season duvet, it helps to have two quilts that you can swap between throughout the year: one for the cooler months and one for the warmer months.

What tog is a summer duvet?

In high summer, when the weather’s bordering unbearable and the evenings begin to feel clammy and uncomfortable, you might want to swap out your regular duvet for one that keeps you a little cooler. Otherwise, you can end up spending the whole night awake, feeling sweaty and struggling to drift off.

Consider a summer tog duvet that’s rated 4.5 or less, that combats the high temperatures by releasing body heat as you sleep. If the weather’s not quite so warm, your best duvet might be one rated 7-9 tog.

Winter duvet tog ratings

In contrast to summer, when winter rolls around, you might want a quilt that more effectively traps your body heat to keep you warmer. Otherwise, you run the risk of suffering from shivering and broken sleep. However, before choosing, bear in mind that an increase in central heating might do enough to combat the cold nights.

If you have an older home or heat-inefficient property, though, consider a quilt that’s at the very warm end of the scale. A thick duvet with 13.5+ tog will offer ultimate heat retention during the long and chilly nights. If you’re someone who prefers to keep things a little lighter, a winter duvet that’s 10.5 tog should also keep you comfortable.



Duvet tog



4.5 or less


Late spring/early autumn

7 to 9


Early spring/late autumn





Very warm



What is an all-seasons duvet?

An all-seasons duvet combines the benefits of a winter and summer quilt, and is often made in two parts. The two parts can either be separated or attached, to combat the conditions, whether hot or cold.

Typically, the cooler part of all-in-one duvets will be 4.5 tog, while the warmer part will be 9. Combined, you’ll have a 13.5 tog duvet that can keep you warm during even the chilliest nights.


How to find the right duvet tog

To find the right duvet tog, it’s important to consider two key factors:

  1. The temperature of your bedroom

Your room temperature will play a big part in which duvet you choose. For instance, if you have a poorly insulated bedroom that gets very cold at night, you might want the highest tog duvet to keep warm.

  1. Your own sleeping preferences

Every sleep style is different, so feel free to take your own preferences into account. For instance, you might want a quilt that keeps you cool at night, even during the winter months.


Shop our unique super soft eucalyptus silk all-season duvet



What is the highest tog duvet for children and babies?

Children typically need more sleep than adults, so having the right bedding for a comfortable night’s rest is even more important. Without enough sleep, children can become lethargic and tired, which makes it more difficult for them to learn, play, and engage.

When buying duvets and pillows for children, toddlers, and babies, it’s also important to bear in mind that their bodies can’t regulate warmth as efficiently as adults, and they’re more likely to overheat with a duvet tog rating that’s too high. As a rule of thumb, consider:

  • Babies: babies under 12 months old don’t require any kind of duvet, because they overheat very easily. Any kind of heavy cover can also run the risk of suffocation during the night. Instead, babies find it much more comfortable to sleep with a lightweight blanket.
  • Toddlers: just like babies, toddlers struggle to regulate warmth and are likely to overheat with a duvet tog rating that’s too high. Aim to stick to a duvet tog rating of 4.5 or less; but if they’re room gets particularly cold in winter, consider upgrading to a 9 tog.
  • Children over 3 years old: once children reach the age of three, their bodies begin to get better at regulating warmth and they’re less at risk of overheating. Children between three and nine can comfortably sleep with a duvet tog rating between 4.5-9, while older kids can handle up to 10.5.


The different types of duvet fillings

Of course, duvet warmth isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing new bedding; you’ll also need to take the filling into account, depending on personal choice and circumstances such as allergies. We’ve outlined the different types of natural and synthetic fillings and why you might want to consider each.



Down or feathers – down and feathers are similar, but also slightly different. While feathers come from any part of the bird (i.e. duck or goose), down refers to the soft and fluffy under-feathers found at the breast. You can often buy duvets with one filling or a combination of both for a luxurious night’s sleep.

Wool – wool-filled duvets can offer excellent insulation, thanks to the material’s knack for efficiently trapping air. On top of being especially warm, wool is also a relatively light material that can be smoothly dispersed for an even sleeping temperature.

Silk – instead of being stuffy and bulky, silk duvets are noticeably thinner and more lightweight than other popular alternatives. Additionally, due to silk’s hypoallergenic properties, they’re the ideal option for anyone who struggles with dust and mites. Interestingly, unlike most other duvets, silk isn’t measured in togs but by weight instead; the higher the weight, the warmer the duvet.

Bambooour popular duvets are filled with a bamboo blend that’s perfect for all seasons. Breathable and comfortable, each duvet is also resistant to dust, mites, and mould, ideal if you’re looking for hypoallergenic bedding.

Why choose a natural duvet filling?

With a number of natural fillings to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to high-quality bedding. But what are the benefits of picking a natural filling over synthetic alternatives? We’ve picked out the top three reasons to choose natural duvets:

Long-lasting and durable: many natural materials offer long-lasting resilience to everyday wear and tear, meaning you can often comfortably  enjoy your duvet and duvet cover for a number of years. 

Breathability and comfort: many natural duvet fillings offer great breathability, helping you to keep comfortable at night, whether it’s the height of summer or depths of winter. 

A diverse range of fillings: with fillings ranging from cotton and wool to luxurious silk and bamboo, you’re sure to find the perfect sleeping solution when comparing natural duvet fillings. 

The advantages of choosing a natural duvet filling might have already swayed your decision, but we’ve also provided a little insight into the type of sleeper who might benefit best. A natural duvet might be for you, if you’re looking for:

  • Natural fibres that provide a comfortable night’s sleep, keeping you cool in the summer season and warm when the temperature drops. 
  • A durable fabric that stands the test of time and retains an effective robustness against everyday wear. 
  • A duvet filling that offers hypoallergenic properties, protecting you from dust, mites, and dirt.


Synthetic duvets are typically made using lightweight hollowfibre or microfibre polyester, offering soft and silky comfort all night long. Benefits of synthetic duvets include:

Hypoallergenic properties: synthetic fibres are hypoallergenic, which makes them suitable for anyone who suffers from sensitivity to mites and dust.

Affordable: synthetic materials are generally more affordably priced than luxurious natural alternatives, like silk and bamboo. .

Easy care: hollowfibre and microfibre fabrics can be machine washed frequently and are straightforward to look after.

With a number of useful benefits associated with buying a duvet with synthetic filling, you may be wondering who would best-benefit from either types of duvet. Fortunately, we’ve answered just that – a synthetic duvet might be for you, if you’re looking for:

  • A fabric that provides the same cosy warmth of a natural filling, with a weightier, thick duvet feel. 
  • A hypoallergenic sleeping solution that lets you enjoy each night without having to worry about sniffling and sneezing. 
  • A fast-drying fabric that’s easy to look after. Synthetic materials typically dry quicker than natural alternatives, making them the ideal pick for anyone who enjoys simplicity. 

Duvet fill power

You may have heard the term ‘fill power’ when searching for a new duvet, and while you can probably have a vague guess as to what it’s referring to, it’s worth running through what it actually is in a little detail. 

Essentially, when we talk about fill power, we’re referring to the volume of filling within the duvet casing. More specifically, it talks about the duvet’s thermal efficiency – or how effective it is at keeping you warm at night. A similar metric to duvet togs, the higher the fill power, the more thermally-efficient a duvet is.


Duvet construction

When browsing duvets, it’s well-worth keeping an eye out for and prioritising those with a quilted or boxed design, constructed to keep the filling as evenly-distributed as possible. This is important, as it helps to keep you warm throughout the night, and prevents your filling from clumping in the corners. 

While your quilted duvet will be easier to maintain, you may find you need to shake it out from time to time. If and when so, just make sure to shake from the sides rather than the top or bottom, to prevent the filling from becoming displaced.

How to choose the right duvet size

The size of your bed will dictate the size of duvet you need, ranging from single and double through to king, super king, and emperor. Duvet sizes in the UK are:





140 x 200cm


200 x 200cm


225 x 220cm

Super King

260 x 220cm


290 x 235cm


As a rule of thumb, you should buy bedding and duvets that match your mattress, but feel free to size up if you want to feel especially cosy or you tend to find yourself fighting with your partner for coverage.

It’s also useful to pick a duvet that’s around 20-30cm longer than your height, to ensure your feet or chest don’t chill during the night. If you’re taller than your bed, you might want to consider an upgrade on frame and mattress, but in the meantime it can be helpful to choose the right size duvet at the very least!


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Shop our natural eucalyptus silk duvet covers (various colours)


How to clean your duvet

Whether you choose a natural or synthetic filling, effective duvet care is an absolute must if you want your bedding to last long-term. Always check the label for specific washing instructions (some duvets are dry clean only), but as a rule of thumb, aim to run your duvet through the washer every three or four months. 

If you notice a specific stain, be sure to shake the filling away from the affected areas as best you can and apply a mild detergent to the spot, before loading it into your washing machine. Giving it a shake will prevent the soap from damaging the filling. 

Drying your duvet

Washing your duvet is the main battle, but it’s equally important to take care when drying. Once removed from the washing machine, let your quilt air until it’s completely dry, before running a warm iron over the outer casing to remove any remaining bacteria and further-enhance freshness. 

Protecting your duvet

Knowing how to clean and dry your duvet is all well and good, but it’s useful to know how to prolong your duvet’s life. Investing in a duvet protector or zip-up liner is always a good start, designed to keep your spare duvet fully enclosed and protected from dust and mites when not in use. 


Why choose an Ethical Bedding duvet?


When choosing between different duvet types, never settle for second best, in terms of both comfort and quality. With a tog rating of 7.0, our unique quilt is the ideal all-season solution, offering sufficient warmth in the winter and breathability during the hot summer months – but if you do want to up the cosiness, you can always add another layer!

Each Ethical Bedding duvet is made using 100% organic eucalyptus silk and filled with a blend of recycled plastic and bamboo. This makes the quilt both responsibly sourced and sustainably harvested, as well as completely resistant to dust, mites, and mould. The duvet shells are also woven from Oeko-Tex certified, earth-friendly fibres, guaranteeing you a non-toxic textile that doesn’t hurt the planet. 

But that’s not all; because eucalyptus silk is softer than cotton, you’re guaranteed lavish luxury every single night.

Hopefully, our duvet tog guide has offered useful insight into the steps to follow when exploring our complete range of bedding. In the meantime, check out our blog for even more advice from our passionate team of experts.