Australian Doona, Duvet, and Quilt Buying Guide
Quilt Buying Guide
There’s more to buying a quilt than just choosing what looks good. This is not to say, of course, that aesthetics aren’t important. They absolutely are! But your quilt shouldn’t just look good, it should also feel good. Besides, quilt covers can help you get the look you crave while allowing you to choose a quilt that meets your comfort needs, such as weight and warmth.
The following are points of consideration to keep in mind when shopping for a quilt.
Who is the Quilt for and where will it be used?
Your first consideration should be who the quilt is for and where it will be used. Is the quilt for an adult or child? Adults are likely to prefer a heavier quilt while children will usually be comfortable with a lighter weight quilt. And speaking of children; care is especially important when choosing a quilt for a child since you’re more likely to have spills and other messes to contend with.
Your next consideration should be where the quilt will be used and the environment. What part of the country are you in and what’s the climate like? Do you need something for mostly warm weather or cold nights? Perhaps you want something in a material that will keep you or your child warm in the winter and cool in the summer? You can choose something season-specific or a 2-in-1 quilt. Is the room heated/air conditioned? These are also factors to consider.
What is the difference between Quilt, Doona or Duvet?
It can be a little confusing to know what’s what when it comes to quilts, doonas, and duvets. This is because they are used interchangeably to refer to a cloth bag filled with feathers or fibres that you place on your bed to keep you warm. At the end of the day, all three names are usually used to refer to the same thing, but for the sake of interest, here is a little history on each:
- A quilt is often called a “Doona” in Australia, which is a trademarked brand name registered to bedding manufacturer, The Tontine Group.
- The word “Duvet” is French for “down” and is the term most commonly used in Europe and the United States, where they are also referred to as “comforters”.
- And “Quilt” is the British English term for the same thing.
What is the best quilt filling?
When choosing your quilt filling, you’ll want to consider your budget along with your bedroom’s temperature and whether or not you suffer from allergies.
- Microfibre: quilts are synthetic, lightweight, and warm. They give you the warmth and comfort of feathered quilts and are hypoallergenic. They’re also available in different weights and are machine washable.
- Wool: quilts are natural and sustainable. They’re warm, yet breathable which make them a great all-season option that will keep you cool and dry in the summer and warm in the winter. They also won’t loft as much as other types.
- Down and Feather: quilts are filled with down and feathers are warm, lightweight, and breathable. They’re a great choice for cold weather climates with down providing the most warmth and goose offering the greatest loft. Down and feather duvets need to be dry cleaned.
- Cotton: this natural fibre is ideal for people with allergies. Cotton quilts offer breathability and comfort, and are especially great for lightweight quilts.
- Bamboo:this natural and sustainable material is ultra-light and extremely breathable. It helps to wick away moisture to help keep you warm and dry.
- Tencel: is made from a natural eucalyptus fiber that is hypoallergenic and has antibacterial properties, making it ideal for people with allergies and asthma. Tencel® is eco-friendly and very warm.
- Alpaca wool: softer and warmer than other materials, alpaca wool is also unusually light in comparison to other materials. It’s good for temperature regulation.
How to choose the right weight and warmth
To make it easier to choose the right weight and warmth, the density and height are calculated by GSM and Loft.
GSM, which stands for Grams per Square Metre, refers to the weight of the quilt filling (more precisely the number of grams of filling per square meter - the more filling the warmer). The following will help you to better understand what GSM is best for your needs:
- 240 GSM is best for Summer
- 350 GSM is best for Autumn and Spring
- 500+ GSM is best for Winter
- Four Seasons: Comes with 2 quilts - 1 x light weight (Summer) and 1 x medium-weight (Spring/Autumn) - attached together is ideal for Winter
Loft is another measure of a quilt’s warmth based on its height/thickness. To give you an idea:
- Light Loft is the equivalent to 300 GSM or two blankets
- High Loft is the equivalent to approximately 450 GSM or 3 blankets
- Super Loft is the equivalent to 500 GSM or 5 blankets
Along with GSM and Loft, the type of fill will also determine how warm or cool a quilt is.
Dual-Warmth Quilts are also an option for those looking for versatility or for couples who, like most, have differing temperature preferences when they sleep. Dual-warmth comforters offer two weights without looking any different for a seamless aesthetic.
How does the construction impact warmth?
The way a quilt is constructed impacts warmth because of the way it allows the fill to move or keeps it in place.
The two main constructions are:
- Boxed – This refers to seams that create “boxes” of feathers or filler are fully sealed so that they can’t move around and leave cold spots. This provides an even weight and warmth across the entire quilt.
- Channel construction - With channel construction the seams run parallel the entire length of the quilt so that the down or filling can shift to different parts. This offers the versatility of moving the fill around so that you get more/less warmth where you want it. This can also cause the filling to shift and bunch when you don’t want it to.
Brands and Manufacturing
It’s no secret that some brands offer higher quality than others. Investing in the best brand that you can afford offers you the most bang for your buck now and in the long run. Consider where a quilt has been manufactured too, as local materials and manufacturing means that the quilt spends less time compressed in transport so that you get a warmer quilt.
Though we have covered the different materials already, it is worth stressing that those with allergies should consider quilts that are made from hypoallergenic materials, such as Tencel and microfibre.
Care guide/ longevity:
Caring properly for your quilt is key if you want to get the most out of it. Be sure to read labels and follow care instructions. Shaking out your quilt daily will help keep it free of dust and also allow the feathers or fill to stay evenly distributed.
You can prolong the life of your quilt by following the manufacturers recommended care instructions, as well as covering it with a quilt cover which protects it while allowing you to match it to your décor.