Duvets & pillows buying guide

Make your bedroom a haven of comfort by choosing your bedding with care. The type of pillow or duvet you choose, and whether you to use mattress protectors or toppers, can all make a difference to the quality of your sleep. We have all the information you need to select these essentials. We also recommend you take a look at our buying guides to beds and mattresses.

Find out more about choosing duvets and pillows in our video guides, and take a look at our Made in UK duvets video to find out how we make them.


All our bedding is sized for the beds we sell.

  • Small single fits bed W75 x L190cm (2’6” x 6’3”, often the width of bunk or junior beds)
  • Single fits bed W90 x L190cm (3’ x 6’3”)
  • Double fits bed W135 x L190cm (4’6” x 6’3”)
  • Kingsize fits bed W150 x L200cm (5’ x 6’6”Good for you!)
  • Super kingsize fits bed W180 x L200cm (6’ x 6’6”, usually also the width of 2 zip-and-link beds)

Duvet types

The weight, softness and warmth of a duvet depends on its tog rating and filling. Our duvets come in a range of tog ratings and in natural and synthetic materials, so you can choose to meet your needs and price range and ensure maximum comfort.

If you like your bed to have a fuller, well-made look, or find that you and your partner tend to fight over the duvet, then you might want to choose one that’s a size larger than your bed.

Choose your tog rating

Tog ratings are based on a duvet's ability to trap warm air. 
Natural filled duvets have better thermal properties than synthetic, and need less filling to achieve the same level of warmth, so their weight can be deceptive. You just need to remember that the higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet.

Our All Seasons duvets offer great flexibility. They consist of two separate duvets – usually a lightweight 4.5 tog for summer and a warmer 9 tog for autumn and spring. During winter, you simply put the two duvets together for a cosy 13.5 tog duvet.

Fill power

Duvets containing feather and/or down are also given a "fill power". This is the volume occupied by the filling and it varies depending on the quality. It's about how well the filling recovers and relates to thermal efficiency. The higher the fill power, the better the duvet:

  • Lightweight summer duvet 3.0 - 4.5 tog
  • Spring/Autumn weight duvet 7.0 - 10.5 tog
  • Winter weight duvet 12.0 - 13.5 tog

Compatibility duvets

If you and your partner can't agree on the right tog rating for your duvet - perhaps one of you feels the cold more than the other - then we may have the solution for you. Our factory in Lancashire is able to make Hungarian or Siberian goosedown duvets to order with a different tog rating in each half. They can also make duvets in non-standard sizes. Please ask in our shops for more details of this service.

Duvet fillings

Choose your filling

Duvets with natural fillings are soft, light and comfortable,
in the same way that natural fibres help your skin 'breathe' more effectively. They are also highly resilient and tend to last longer than those with synthetic fillings.

However, our synthetic duvets  give the same warmth for less weight. They're a practical choice if you're allergic to feathers and down, or if your duvet is likely to require frequent washing. Natural-filled duvets should be professionally laundered, because they need to be thoroughly dried and this may difficult to to achieve at home.

A top quality natural-filled duvet could last as long as 30 years, whereas the average lifespan of a good quality synthetic will be up to 10 years. However, the number of times a duvet is laundered will have an impact on its lifespan, as will repeatedly lying or sitting on top of it as this has the effect of compressing the filling and eventually diminishing its ability to trap air – especially with a synthetic duvet.

Natural fillings

Duck feather and down duvets are heavier than goose down, which many people prefer. Our options are hardwearing and great value.

Goose down duvets are lighter in weight than duck down, but 
still offer the same level of warmth. These are made in our own factory, so that we're able to exercise ultimate quality control. We offer Russian, Hungarian and Siberian goose down duvets, all of which offer luxurious lightweight warmth and comfort.

Synthetic fillings

Our polyester hollowfibre duvets are non-allergenic and a good choice if you know you'll need to wash your duvet frequently. Ours can all be washed in a large capacity machine at 60ºC, the temperature at which house dust mites are killed. Our range includes 3 hollowfibre types; Spiral Light, Polyester Hollowfibre and Microfibre Light. All provide good loft and warmth, but the Microfibre Light is the closest in feel and weight to a natural-filled duvet.

We've added the weight per square metre to all our duvets to help you make your choice.

Duvets for children

When choosing a full-sized duvet for a child, unless their bedroom is very cold, it's best to stick with a lighter weight duvet between 4.5 and 9 tog. As children are smaller it means that their duvet traps more air and increases the level of warmth over and above that experienced by most adults. A heavier 13.5 tog duvet may well prove uncomfortable and is not recommended.

See our range of single size duvets

You can buy duvets in appropriate sizes for cots and cot beds online and from our Nursery departments in our shops. Note, however, that duvets and pillows are not suitable for children under 12 months and that a room temperature of 18°C is recommended by many health professionals.

Pillow types

It's worth taking time to find the type of pillow that will provide 
the correct balance of comfort and support you need. By all means try in our shops before you buy – our selling assistants will be pleased to advise you. Everyone’s different, and you and your partner may find the same pillows don’t suit both of you.

All our pillows can be laundered in a large capacity 
machine (wash just one at a time), but synthetic pillows will
dry more quickly; some of these are also washable at 60ºC,
the temperature at which house dust mites are killed.

It's important to remember that pillows will have a more limited lifespan than duvets, (because of the weight of our heads and the fact that you lie on top of a pillow and flatten it) and over the years the level of support will deteriorate. Natural filled pillows will keep their shape and level of support for longer than synthetic, but plump all pillows up daily.

See our selection of pillows

Different shapes and sizes

Large square or little boudoir pillows give an attractive and inviting layered effect when added to conventional rectangular ones on a bed, as do one or more continental (square) pillows. These can also make an elegant, versatile choice for daybeds and sofas. Choose from:

  • Standard pillows: 50 x 75cm
  • Boudoir pillows: 30 x 40cm
  • Square pillows: 66 x 66cm (also useful for sitting up in bed as well as being decorative)
  • Kingsize pillows: 50 x 90cm (ideal for super kingsize beds as 2 will cover the full width of the bed)
  • V-shaped pillow ( for extra support when sitting up in bed)


Pillow fillings

Synthetic fillings

These provide the alternative for those allergic to feathers and down. As with duvets, we have a range of different hollowfibre types to choose from, including lightweight fine fibres which provide the closest in feel to a down pillow.

Pillows made from latex foam provide very firm support and maintain their shape. They do not collect house dust and are particularly suitable for asthma sufferers.

We also stock a pillow made from Tempur material; a non-allergenic, visco-elastic temperature sensitive material that has unique pressure-relieving qualities, allowing your head and neck to rest in a natural, tension-free position.

If you are pregnant or have neck problems, we also have a range of specially designed support pillows.

Natural fillings

Down and feather pillows mould snugly round the head and shoulders. The more feather there is in a pillow, the firmer it tends to be, and the proportion of down adds softness. Our best quality duck and goose down pillows are made in our own factory. All our natural pillows come in downproof casings, but we would always recommend use of a pillow protector to prevent staining and help prolong the life of a pillow.

See our selection of pillows

What’s your sleep style?

If you’re not sure what kind of pillow will suit you best, consider how you sleep.

If you sleep on your back, a medium-firm pillow is recommended, while a firm pillow, supporting your neck, is best if you sleep on your side.

Stomach sleepers should choose a soft pillow for cushioning and comfort, but remember that you also need to match your pillow to your mattress too.

Mattress and pillow protection

Mattress protectors not only help to prolong the life of mattresses and pillows by protecting against soiling and general wear and tear, but create an extra layer of softness and warmth. They can also keep your bedding fresh and revitalise tired mattresses and pillows. Mattress toppers are a means
of softening the feel of your mattress and providing extra support – see our guide to mattresses for further information.

If you are looking for basic, practical protection, we stock a range of 100% cotton mattress covers that either completely enclose the mattress or work like a fitted sheet. We also have pillow protectors and pillow ticks to help stop soiling or feather leaks.

If you want comfort, quilted covers give added softness, and we have a range of cotton, polycotton and wool-filled protectors.

If you're looking for extra warmth and comfort, place a cotton 
or acrylic fleece underblanket on top of your mattress cover.

Our breathable waterproof pillow and mattress covers provide
a discreet way of ensuring extra protection against soiling.

For anyone who suffers from asthma or other respiratory problems, our breathable anti-allergy protection can be helpful. Our zipped anti-allergy protector is made from a special barrier fabric that allergens cannot penetrate and completely encloses your mattress or pillow. Use our anti-allergy protectors to keep new bedding allergen-free, or as a safeguard against the allergens already present in old bedding.

Tips from our expert Partners

"We can't pretend that washing duvets and pillows isn't a chore, but you can save yourself time and energy by using duvet and pillow protectors - far easier to wash."

"Do feel free to try out pillows in store. Sleeping at the wrong height is the cause of many aches and pains, and two poor pillows can slip during the night and cause you discomfort. 
One good pillow’s better!"

Ulla, Linens, John Lewis Glasgow

"All our natural down and feather fillings are thoroughly cleansed in the country of origin and then again in the UK to eliminate any possible contaminants."

Karen, Call Centre, John Lewis Sheffield