Investing in Luxury Down Duvets & Pillows May 03 2013
Choosing a Down Duvet
Our parents, especially those of European heritage, slept under the most delectable down duvets and, if we were lucky, shared the comfort with us. There are down duvets in circulation that are 100 years old where the down is still in good condition. To prolong the life further a good cleaning and re-ticking would be recommended.
Given proper care a hand-crafted luxury down duvet will last for generations.You may fully expect to enjoy your duvet for 15-20 years or more.
Deciding which down duvet would work best for your personal needs and comfort requires some careful consideration. Our down specialists at Fino Lino are highly trained to help you make that choice. Improving your sleeping comfort is something they are passionate about and they take great care to provide the finest down in the world. There are many things to consider when making your choice.
Type of Down:
The most important virtue of a luxury duvet or pillow is the quality of the down fill. Down is the soft underplumage that that keeps the geese warm. A mature cluster of down looks like a dandelion, puffy and soft; it is three dimensional and can hold a huge amount of air that creates the insulation. Mature down can hold more air per ounce than any other known material, and is well known for its lightness and breathability.The larger and older the bird the better the down clusters and the higher the loft (loft indicates how high the down can puff up). Apart from the loft, the density and cling of the down also affect its performance.
The density of the down describes its characteristics in the centre of the cluster. The more tiny fibres there are and the smaller the air pockets, the more air will be trapped and the better insulated you will be. With high density the duvet may by very light but still keep you warm and comfortable.
The cling is created by microscopic hooks on the down filaments which catch other down clusters to increase the insulating power, and keep the down from seperating. This cling is particularly characteristic of Eiderdown; genuine Eiderdown is the finest down in the world, and is extremely rare, but is by far the most comfortable and long-lasting, providing the best sleep environment.
When handling a high quality down duvet, it should appear luxuriously full, with the down springing back after compressing it - it should feel like a very airy soft cloud!
The fabric casing (shell) that surrounds the down will affect the way it behaves. A high quality shell will allow the down to loft up, whilst keeping it evenly distributed. It will also allow for the free movement of air, whilst keeping dust and dustmites out - for these reasons shells should be made from a closely woven natural fibre, soft enough to drape gently around the body, creating a personal cocoon.
The shells of the duvets we carry are constructed of a high quality long staple cotton spun in Germany, making them soft to the touch, breathable, dust mite and down proof. There are no harmful coatings or chemical treatments on these fabrics. The shell design is unique to our manufacturer and allows the down to puff up, to stay in place on top of the sleeper and avoid cold spots. A deep rectangle baffled box is chambered to hold the down in place. Internal seams are tucked and sewn to avoid cold spots and a fabric valve is sewn between each chamber allowing the filling tube to enter and self seal afterwards. This patent features allows for more down to be added at a later time if required.
Choosing the right weight of down duvet is important to give maximum sleeping comfort;
the amount of fill required will vary according to the type of down, and its power of insulation. A higher quality down with less fill will insulate more effectively than an overstuffed duvet with poor quality down.
Here is a general guide to the weights we carry:
Winter weight is for average/cool sleepers in a cold bedroom.
Classic weight for warm sleeper and heated bedroom.
Summer for very warm sleepers and warm weather.
The Cleanliness of the down:
Nowadays we are fortunate to have gentle yet effective cleansing processes available to purify down before it enters our homes (unlike our parents down that was dusty and had an odour). Thorough down cleaning is a specialised and expensive process - always purchase down from a trusted source and look for a "Downmark" tag. This is a non-profit organisation devoted to maintaining quality standards.
The down we carry is ozone treated cleaned with the "Zurguard Down Purifying System". It gives you "assurance of the highest standards of freshness, purity and cleanliness". The Zurguard process is careful and gentle and guarantees the down is hypo-allergenic (within a certain time from your purchase). There are no harmful coatings or chemical treatments on these fabrics.
For hygiene reasons down products cannot be returned, ensuring that you can be confident of clean, fresh pillows and duvets.
Choosing the correct size:
Twin bed - Twin duvet (72"x 86")
Double or Queen bed - Queen duvet (90"x 92")
King bed - King duvet (108"x 92")
Super sizes and custom sizes are also available, although we recommend keeping within the guidelines above, as placing a larger duvet on a smaller mattress will cause the duvet to pull down on the sides and not loft up correctly, rather than giving the wonderful sensation of floating on top of you.
The price paid for a down duvet is consistent with its quality and lifespan. An inexpensive duvet cannot be expected to perform like a high quality duvet and its price is inclusive of these fine characteristics. The higher the quality of the down duvet the better the performance, and the more luxuriously restful your bed will feel.
Choosing a Down Pillow
The firmness is essential and must be suited to your individual needs to ensure comfort. The right pillow weight will allow the neck muscles to relax and may aid in less snoring. Pillows come in fill weight of soft, medium and firm and will lose approximately 10-15% of their puffiness in the first few nights. Choose the fill weight based on your physical size, sleeping style and preference. When lying on your side the pillow should keep your head aligned with your spine. For back sleepers the head needs to be level with the body and stomach sleepers require very little support and a soft fill.
Regular 20" x 26"
Queen 20" x 30"
King 20" x 36"
Euro 26" x 26"
For a king bed, choose either 2 king pillows, or 2 queen pillows if a smaller sleeping pillow is preferred; alternatively 3 regular pillows will also allow for a smaller sleeping pillow whilst giving a fuller look. For a queen bed, choose either 2 regular or 2 queen. For a double bed, choose 2 regular size pillows. For twin beds 1 king pillow provides a more luxurious look, but either 1 queen or 1 regular pillow are also popular options. European pillows are mostly used decoratively or to provide back support for sitting up.
Compression of the down:
This dictates how much the pillow sinks down and springs back. The higher quality the pillow (and the higher the loft) the greater the compression, being therefore a better choice for anyone who moves around a lot. A feather pillow doesn't have much compression. Many people choose their pillow to be soft and sumptuous and others to be firmer - these are very personal choices. We recommend trying a range of sample pillows instore before making your final decision.
Down pillows are longer lasting than either feather or synthetics, providing excellent support with a luxurious feel. Due to their longevity they need to be covered with a pillow protector to ensure they are kept clean.
Pillows may be customised to create the perfect fit for your sleeping preference. Down can be either added or removed - we request that pillows are cleaned before being brought in for this service.
Things to remember for both duvets and pillows:
Down can be added to our duvets but can't be removed. If in doubt we recommend going for a lighter fill, with the option to add more down if required. There is usually a natural acclimation period for a new duvet, so always allow time for your body to adjust to a new environment before making any extra changes.
The higher the quality of down duvet or pillow the better the performance.
The higher the quality of the down the wider the comfort range, meaning they will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Eiderdown has the widest comfort range.
When it comes to luxury goods you get what you pay for!