Chunky grey blanket

How to choose the right winter bedding

There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s morning than pressing the snooze button on your alarm clock, so you can have a little longer wrapped up inside your warm duvet.

Changing your bedding to suit the season is just as important as digging out your winter boots and woolly hat. It’s time to embrace the cold, and you’ll need the right winter bedding to do it!  

What kind of fabric keeps you warmest in winter? 

When it comes to dressing your bed for winter, it pays to pick fabrics that are comfortable and retain heat well. Cotton is an obvious choice – it’s breathable, hypoallergenic, and can be used all year.

Use sheets with a high thread count (between 300 and 500) in the winter months when the temperature drops. Sheets with a higher thread count have a tighter weave, so not only do they feel thicker, but they are more effective at retaining heat.

Sheets made from bamboo and linen are a great alternative. Just like cotton, they’re breathable, and by regulating your body temperature, they can help you stay warm in winter and cool in summer.

If you’re prone to being cold at night or you live in a draughty house, opt for sheets made from a fleece material. This stretchy, synthetic fabric is a great insulator. 

Picking the right type of duvet for winter 

Your winter duvet needs to be warm, comfortable, and practical. So, which is better – a synthetic or natural-filled duvet? 

Synthetic duvets

Synthetic duvets can either be filled with a microfibre or hollow fibre polyester. This is the type of quilt you’ll see stocked on supermarket shelves and in big box home stores. A synthetic duvet is ideal if you suffer from allergies or you want something that’s machine washable.

Natural duvets   

Most natural duvets are filled with feathers or down, but they can also be filled with wool or silk. Duvets with a high feather content are ideal for winter because they feel heavier, and like all natural duvets, they’re great at stopping heat from escaping and keeping the bed warm.  

When you’re buying a duvet, be aware that the filling weight and a duvet’s tog rating are two separate things. The tog rating is a measure of how much heat a duvet can retain – in other words, its thermal performance. So, although your choice of duvet might feel lightweight, it can still have a high tog rating.  

Winter duvets

What tog is a winter duvet? 

The tog rating for duvets starts at 1 and goes all the way up to 15. The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet.

The ideal conditions for sleep are different for everyone, but as a general rule of thumb, most people prefer a higher tog duvet in winter to keep them warm at night when the temperature drops.

A duvet is considered to be suitable for winter if it’s between 10.5 and 13.5 togs depending on how warm you like to be at night. In the warmer months, you can replace it with a quilt that has a lower tog rating to help you stay cool while you sleep.

Spring and autumn in the UK are difficult months to plan for because they can either be very warm or very cold. In this case, look for something between a 7.5 and 10.5 tog – or consider buying an-all season duvet. 

What is an all-season duvet? 

An all-season duvet is not one duvet but two! The two duvets have different tog ratings, and they can be combined to make a quilt with a higher tog rating for the cold winter months.

A popular way to do this is to put together a 9 with a 4.5 tog to make a 13.5 tog duvet that is suitable for winter.

In practice, this means you have three duvets to choose from throughout the year, so when the temperature changes, you can switch between the duvets or combine them for the ultimate winter quilt.

And with an all-season duvet, you’ve always got an extra duvet on-hand for unexpected guests who want to crash on your sofa bed.   

Did you know that you can order custom duvets that have different tog ratings on the left and right sides? Perfect for couples who can’t agree on a duvet to suit them both. 

Bed with throws and wooden headboard

How to dress your bed for winter  

We all know what the British weather is like – it can lurch from snow to sunshine in a day. The best way to prepare for this is to add layers to your bed with comforters, throws, and blankets.

When the temperature drops, you can add these layers to keep you warm, then either fold them up at the end of the bed or store them in a blanket box when you no longer need them. 

For winter, choose a soft, plush fabric that looks comforting, like velvet, in a warm, rich colour. Here are a few suggested colours that work well in the winter months:  

  • Jewel tones like ruby and emerald  
  • Charcoal 
  • Terracotta or similar desert tones 
  • Rose
  • Mustard 
  • Olive 

If you’re undecided, you’ll find plenty to inspire you online and in magazines. Try using paint sample cards from your local DIY store to find interesting and new shades that complement the colour scheme in your bedroom.

You could also consider adding an upholstered headboard to your bed if you don’t already have one. A headboard can make your bedroom look more inviting, and on a practical level, it adds a layer of insulation between your head and the cold wall so you’ll feel warmer too.  

Read our blog on the benefits of a headboard and how it affects your sleep to find out more. 

Winter bedding – the bottom line

Creating the right environment is key to getting a full forty winks and that includes being at the right temperature. If you’re too hot or too cold, then you could find yourself missing out on precious hours of sleep.

Changing your bedding in winter for a higher tog duvet and adding layers of blankets will keep you feeling warm even when the temperature drops. We just can’t promise that you’ll want to get out of bed in the morning!