Duvet Tog Guide: How to pick the perfect duvet

Even the comfiest mattress wouldn’t be complete without a cosy duvet to snuggle up under at night. But not all duvets are made alike, and the best weight and thickness for you will depend on the season, your home, and your personal preferences. In this duvet tog guide, we’ll explain how the tog system works and how it has an impact on your warmth and comfort, so you can work out which duvet is right for you. We’ll cover:

What does 'tog' mean?

What does 'tog' mean? Duvet togs explained

You’ve probably already noticed that duvets are sold with a tog rating on the label, and that quilts with a higher rating tend to be thicker. But what does ‘tog’ mean, exactly?

A tog is essentially a measure of how effectively a duvet insulates heat. The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet will be, with 1 tog being very cool and lightweight, and 15 being the warmest. Typically, the thinnest, lightest duvet you’ll find on the market is 4.5 tog, while the thickest and heaviest is usually around 13.5 tog.

It’s worth remembering that a thicker duvet isn’t necessarily warmer, as the effectiveness of the insulation will depend on the type of filling used. And, certain synthetic materials can be heavier than natural fibres, but still offer a similar level of insulation. So, rather than weight or thickness, the tog rating really refers to a duvet’s overall effectiveness at trapping heat.

The right tog rating for you will depend on your personal preferences and certain environmental factors, including the temperature of your bedroom and the season.

What duvet tog is right for me?

Which duvet is right for you will depend on two key factors: the temperature in your bedroom, and your own preferences. As the temperature of your home will usually change according the season, it’s best to invest in two different duvets: one for summer, and one for winter. This will keep you cool on warm nights and snug and toasty when the mercury drops. In this duvet tog guide, we’ve shared what to look for in both types.

Best duvet tog for summer and spring

There’s nothing worse than being unable to sleep on a hot summer’s night, which is why you need to have a lightweight duvet that will keep you as cool as possible. A 4.5 tog summer duvet is perfect for the warmer months, and will keep you comfortably insulated without overheating. Some people also prefer the feel of a heavier duvet, even in warmer weather: if so, a 7.5 tog style might be a better option for you. Duvets made from synthetic fibres are usually better during this time of year, as they tend to be more breathable.

Best duvet tog for winter and autumn

During winter, you’ll need to swap your lightweight summer duvet for one with a higher tog rating that provides extra insulation on those chilly nights. A 13.5 tog winter duvet is perfect for the colder months, depending on how low the temperature drops in your bedroom overnight. Ideally you should try to keep your bedroom heated to between 18 and 21 degrees overnight but, if your home gets colder, then you could even go all the way up to 15 tog.

Your personal preference

Another key consideration is your own preferences. Every sleeper is different, and we all regulate heat slightly differently. Some people may like the snug, comforting feeling of a thicker duvet, while others could find these to be too heavy and cumbersome. If you’re ever in doubt, you can always opt for a duvet with a medium-warm tog rating — around 10.5 tog — and add a quilt or throw for those nights when you want a little extra warmth.

Adding a quilt is also a very handy solution if you share a bed with a partner who has slightly different duvet preferences to you, as you can adjust the weight and thickness on your side of the bed without disturbing them. Take a look at our blog post on co-sleeping to find more tips that will help you and your partner to get the best night’s sleep possible.

Your mattress

How warm you feel in bed may be affected by the type of mattress you sleep on. Many people find that memory foam mattresses retain more heat than traditional pocket sprung styles. So, if you have a memory foam mattress and you find it quite warm to sleep on, you may prefer to use a light summer duvet all year round, possibly switching to a slightly thicker 13.5 tog duvet in the winter months. This will help to stop you from getting too hot in bed.

What’s the best duvet tog rating for a child or toddler?

Children and toddlers have different needs when it comes to duvets. Their bodies can’t regulate heat as effectively as adults can, meaning they can very easily overheat if their bedding is too thick. As such, your child will need a thinner duvet with a lower tog rating — even during the winter months.

Assuming the temperature in their bedroom remains between 18 and 21 degrees overnight, the best duvet tog rating for a child over the age of three is around 4.5 tog. If their bedroom usually gets a little colder than this during the winter, then you can take this up to 9 togs.

Duvets for toddlers and children

While it might seem strange to give your child a lightweight duvet, it’s important to remember that children will feel much warmer under heavier bedding than an adult would. If the temperature of your little one’s bedroom falls below 18 degrees overnight and you’re concerned that they may feel the cold, then give your child a cosy blanket that they can add to their bedding if they wake up feeling chilly.

Your child will be ready for their first duvet cover from about one year old. This should be very lightweight and preferably no more than 4 togs: again, if you’re concerned about them getting too cold, keep an eye on the temperature of their bedroom and add blankets as needed. Once they reach three years old, you can consider increasing the number of togs, particularly during the winter.

Do babies need a duvet?

Babies under 12 months old shouldn’t have any kind of duvet at all, as this puts them at risk of suffocation. Infants of this age can also overheat very easily, so it’s much safer and more comfortable for them to have lightweight baby blankets and sleeping bags, instead. You can always tell if your little one is comfortable by feeling their tummy with the back of your hand to see if they’re very hot, and then adjust their blankets as needed.

We hope our duvet tog guide has helped you work out how the ratings system works, and how it affects your warmth and comfort. Now you know how it all works, you can start shopping for your ideal cover. Here at Dormeo, we have a wide range of duvets and bedding to suit every kind of season and sleeper, so you can get a great night’s sleep.

We also have a huge range of comfy mattresses, including memory foam and pocket sprung mattresses. If you're not sure which is the best for you, take a look at our guides to the best mattresses and pillows for front, back and side sleepers. You can also find more tips, tricks, and news that will help you to get better rest in our sleep expert blog.

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