Duvet and pillows
- Buy your duvet one size bigger than the bed - it looks more luxurious and offers more to snuggle up under. So, if you have a double bed, buy a queen-size duvet.
- Use two pillows per person; the back of which should be a king pillow (50 x 90cm) while the front should be standard (45 x 70cm).
- Invest in a feather or down duvet as it adapts to body temperature, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. Consider an ‘all season' goose feather or down duvet, which has two separate duvets attached to each other, and so can be used separately.
- Feathers and down are natural products that are excellent insulators in winter and cooler than polyester in summer.
- Some people are allergic to feathers and down. However, leading suppliers do treat their fillings with an anti-allergenic agent approved by the SABS, so look out for this information on the packaging.
- Regularly hang your duvet out to sun. Wash it annually in the bath and flat-dry. Do not wash it in very hot water, as the feathers have already been pre-cleaned at very high temperatures.
- Synthetic fillings are more affordable and ideal for people who suffer from allergies, as hollow fibre fillings trap air - hence their puffy appearance. Those made from polyester are flatter. Synthetic materials don't isolate as well as natural fillings do.
- It is much cheaper than natural products and ideal for allergy sufferers and, if you buy a quality product from a reliable supplier, it can stay tip top for years to come. Hollow-fibre also has insulating properties, making it comfortably warm in winter.
- In the hotter parts of the country, certain synthetic fillings may be too warm or heavy in summer.
- Although many labels state synthetic duvet inners are machine-washable, it's safer to wash it by hand and let it flat-dry.
Buy the best bed-linen you can afford. Cotton percale is the preferred choice, although there still seems to be some confusion as to the term ‘percale', which simply refers to the quality of the weaving pattern in linen. Any fabric with a thread count of above 180 (180 threads in a 2.5cm square) is called percale. The standard thread count is 180 to 200, while 300 and more counts as top quality. The higher the thread count, the more comfortable the linen is to sleep on. Look out for 100% cotton percale, as there are many polyester/cotton blends on the market.