The nights are getting colder and that calls for warmer bedding. But there is lots to consider before buying a winter duvet. Should you go for natural or synthetic? If the former, should you opt for feather or down? Or maybe wool or silk? If synthetic, should you go for hollowfibre or microfibre? And what about the tog rating?
Down is the most luxurious and lightweight, yet warmest, of all the natural duvet fillings. Feather is a cheaper and slightly heavier alternative, and while it can be used as a duvet filling in its own right it is often mixed in with down to give a bit more balance when it comes to weight and warmth.
Silk and wool are other natural fillings that are lightweight and durable, with the added bonus of being hypoallergenic and regulating your body temperature.
Synthetic duvets are a good choice for people with allergies, as well as those who get sweaty at night and if you’re looking for a more affordable option.
Hollowfibre tends to be thicker and more hardwearing than microfibre, which has the benefit of feeling closer in feel and weight to a naturally filled one.
Remember that a duvet’s weight won’t necessarily tell you how warm it is, especially when it comes to those that have a natural filling that have better thermal properties than synthetic.
This is where the tog rating comes in. We’d suggest 10.5 or above for winter – or you could go for an all-seasons version, which combines a low tog duvet (for summer) and a medium tog (for spring and autumn) that join together with poppers for winter. For more information, read our helpful duvet buying guide.
We tested duvets for weight, plumpness, softness, warmth, breathability (nobody wants to wake up clammy), ease of cleaning, longevity and overall feel. For natural fillings, we also tested the evenness of distribution and traceability of the filling.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Eve snug duvet, 13.5 tog
This full, fluffy and indulgent duvet feels like down, thanks to a clever combination of microfibre and cashmere. The only giveaway clues that it isn’t are: A. the price and B. the weight, which is slightly heavier. It’s a great option for those who want to snuggle under something really thick, but make sure you have some storage space ready for the warmer months. The box construction means the filling stays consistently thick throughout and if you use the duvet with an Eve bedding set, you can tie the loops together to stop the duvet getting lost in the cover.
Buy now £120.00, Eve
Slumberdown all seasons duvet, 14.5 tog
All seasons duvets are a great way of making sure you always have the right tog no matter what the weather, without having to fork out more than once. With this one, you get a 4.5 tog duvet for summer, a 10.5 tog one for spring and autumn, then you fix them together for those really chilly winter nights. Made from hollowfibre, this one feels instantly full and cosy (we could barely believe how tight they’d packed it in the bag), and you can refresh it easily enough in the washing machine and tumble dryer. But as the poppers are only in the corners, it can pull apart a bit if you move around a lot in your sleep.
Buy now £24.39, Amazon
Simba hybrid duvet, 10.5 tog
This appears in our best summer duvet round-up too. Confused? It’s made with Stratos technology – a thermo-regulating ingredient designed for astronauts which reacts to the temperatures of both your body and the environment. That means it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, so you don’t need to own more than one duvet. It also means that if your partner gets cold at night and you get hot – or vice versa – you’re both sorted.
Buy now £149.00, Simba
Silentnight yours and mine 10.5/13.5 tog duvet
If the Simba hybrid duvet is out of your budget, this is a more affordable solution for couples who disagree over what tog the duvet should be – one half of the microfibre duvet has a higher tog (13.5), the other a lighter one (10.5). It maintains its shape well, while the soft and silky threads of the microfibre filling stay soft. It comes out particularly well once washed at 40C and it can go in the tumble dryer too. But it’s not as lofty and airy as some duvets. Only available in double and king (£50) for obvious reasons.
Buy now £40.00, Argos
The Wool Room deluxe washable and traceable warm duvet
We love wool as a filling for most things sleep-related – pillows, mattresses, toppers and duvets. Not only is it hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant, but it is also durable and comfy. Best of all, it wicks moisture away from the skin and retains dry air and warmth – great if you’re prone to night sweats. This one is the equivalent of 11 to 14 tog and although you’ll notice it feels thinner than most winter duvets, it’s no less soft and warm. We like that the wool is completely traceable too – the brand even allows you to see the sheep that help you sleep – and it is machine washable. For breathability, it’s the king of duvets.
Buy now £127.49, The Wool Room
Brook & Wilde Marlowe duvet, 10.5 tog
“How much?” we hear you ask. While it is the most expensive in this round-up, it provides a cloud-like splendour that we’ve rarely ever encountered. Made from 90 per cent Hungarian goose down and 10 per cent European white feathers and cased in 100 per cent Egyptian 305-thread count cotton, it’s so light that it practically floats, yet it stays full and plump. Most importantly though it keeps you toasty warm even on really chilly nights and lovely and cool during hot summers. Hungary is the world’s main source of top-quality goose down and both this and the feathers are 100 per cent traceable. A super soft option that is also likely to last you longer than most other duvets.
Buy now £629.00, Brook & Wilde
Dusk feels like down duvet, all seasons
This has a luxurious down sensation thanks to a particularly cosy version of fine microfibre synthetic fibres that also happen to be anti-allergy. It’s plump, springy and bouncy and the outer casing, which is made from 233-thread count cotton percale, is nice and breathable. We tried the all seasons version – a 4.5 tog for summer and a 9 tog for spring/autumn that join together. But, there’s a plain 13.5 tog winter version available too. The brand also sells pillows in the same range and these – together with the duvet – can be washed up to 40C and tumble dried on a low setting.
Buy now £98.00, Dusk
The White Company perfect everyday duck down duvet, 10.5 tog
This combination of duck down (60 per cent) and feather (40 per cent) is just the ticket to a good night’s sleep and gives the best of both worlds – the loft and softness of pure down with a bit of weight from the feathers. The 233-thread count percale cover is soft to the touch and it comes with a pure cotton storage bag for when it’s not in use in the summer months. We were also impressed by the 10-year guarantee. The brand recommends it as being a great choice for children’s beds and guest rooms, but we’d be quite happy using this completely natural duvet every night, just as its name suggests.
Buy now £110.00, The White Company
Soak & Sleep ultimate 90% Hungarian goose down duvet, 13.5 tog
This lightweight yet snug duvet may be expensive, but it is actually very good value given the quantity (90 per cent goose down and 10 per cent goose feathers) and quality (it comes from one of Hungary’s best-known duvet manufacturers). The down clusters are washed in a local natural spring – the 48C water, we are told, opens up the loft of the down clusters more than if washed in cold water with chemicals, which is typical of most down. We like that each duvet arrives with a unique traceable QR code and that it comes encased in a soft and breathable 233-thread count cotton casing. There’s a massive range of sizes and togs, including all seasons.
Buy now £220.00, Soak & Sleep
Silentnight warm and cosy duvet, 13.5 tog
Most duvets this cheap aren’t up to much, but we were impressed with this warm and snug duvet that’s non-allergic and literally comes out of the washing machine and tumble dryer looking and feeling as good as new. Made from hollowfibre – a polyester that’s similar to microfibre but is more plump and traps warmth particularly well – it makes you feel really cocooned. The synthetic filling may not suit people who sweat at night and it’s another one that’s tricky to store away in the summer just because it won’t fold down small.
Buy now £28.99, Amazon
The Fine Bedding Company smart down duvet, 13.5 tog
Instant brownie points from us are awarded for the sustainability factor – this filling of the duvet is made from recycled plastic bottles that go through a spinning and blowing process to give it the feel of natural down and feather. It’s breathable, keeps its shape thanks to the cassette construction (so no need to be constantly shaking it out) and the cotton cover with its 280-thread count is soft. Boutique hotels are among the customers that are catching onto the benefits, with growing numbers installing them in all their rooms – we don’t blame them. Can be washed at 40C and tumble dried.
Buy now £155.00, The Fine Bedding Company
John Lewis & Partners synthetic collection breathable microfibre 3-in-1 duvet, 13.5 tog
This is another lightweight duvet that will keep you toasty warm. It’s an all seasons number, so when the spring or autumn comes, you can take off the 4.5 tog duvet to be left with a 10.5 tog only, doing the opposite in the summer months. The first thing you’ll notice is how incredibly soft it is – it’s like lying under a cloud, and it lives up to its name of being particularly breathable, without you having to compromise on warmth. The additional ingredient of modal, which comes from wood pulp, helps wick moisture away, while the high thread count cover feels silky smooth.
Buy now £140.00, John Lewis & Partners
The verdict: Winter duvets
If you’ve got the budget, we’d recommend the Brook & Wilde Marlowe duvet, which is the absolute ultimate in luxury. If you’re looking for something with less bulk, but will still keep you toasty, we loved The Wool Room deluxe washable and traceable warm duvet. But, for a full, cosy duvet that will see you through the chilliest of winter nights, our vote goes to the Eve snug duvet.
To secure a great night’s sleep, regardless of seasons, take a read of our round-up of the best mattresses that are dreamily comfortable