Oscar Wilde said, “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” It is considered wiser to choose one perfect thing that is the best quality with the finest, most comprehensive function rather than amassing many lesser quality baubles - which will likely lack durability – and for which you will spend money, repeatedly and often, to replace. That “perfect thing” in this discussion is a year-round comforter - or duvet.
According to the New York Times, "the average American will spend 36 years in bed over the course of their lifetime." How we spend our time should contribute to our success and well-being. Ideally, it would also be pleasurable. There are a few other considerations to help round out the formula for year-round happiness – at least in a comforter. Other aspects to factor in are comfort as in softness and coziness as well as comfortability as in temperature control, and of course, value for your investment. With the advent of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) considerations – knowing the materials that go into creating the product are hypoallergenic and are certified toxin-free are critical to our physical health as well as our peace of mind.
Duvet or Comforter?
If you want simplicity – a comforter is one piece, typically with cotton, wool or man-made fill but also bamboo and eucalyptus (yep – surprised me, too!). If you’re willing to splash out a bit, there are also silk-fill comforters available. Comforters are designed as one piece and have one color or design – you choose what you fancy that will go with your bedroom décor.
A duvet (it’s a French word - pronounced doo-vay) goes into a duvet cover – so two pieces. The duvet is an insert filled with down or a man-made down alternative (for people who have an allergic reaction to down). Duvets are typically covered in white or natural cotton. The duvet goes into the duvet cover, which is constructed similarly to an envelope, sewn shut on three sides with the bottom (usually) equipped with big buttons, a zipper, or a deep fold-over pocket to help keep the duvet in place inside the cover. Also, most duvets have loops sewn at the corners through which you use the ties inside the corners of the duvet cover to secure and ensure the insert stays in place. You might want to read up on how to master your duvet cover.
While a comforter comes with the one color or design, duvet covers come in a seemingly endless array of colors, patterns, and fabrics. You may select whatever you fancy. Also, if you use your duvet and duvet cover as they do in Europe, you simply fluff and float it over the bottom sheet. No need for a top sheet. Makes for simple, snappy bed-making. And you ought to make your bed every day. Here’s why. (I just love this.)
Fill power is the 'fluff factor' of the down filling that goes into the comforter or the duvet. When it comes to down, a fill power around 600 is considered optimal for year-round use. The type of duvet cover you use can help adjust the amount of warmth. For all-in-one comforters – cotton and bamboo will be cooler while wool, silk, and down will offer more warmth. Optimal sleep occurs in a cool room (think 65 degrees Fahrenheit/18.3 degrees Celsius ) so if you sleep warm – select a cooler fill or a lower down density. If you have a lower body temperature, you might want to invest in a winter comforter.
With this due diligence done, you are ready to make your investment. Being properly and thoroughly informed assures that you will make a wise decision; one from which you will derive satisfaction and value from your investment plus -- you’ll sleep better for it.