Buying Guides

Pillows and duvet

How to choose duvets and pillows

A good night's sleep starts with the right foundations. We have great quality duvet and pillow options for all budgets and we're here to help you find the right combination to suit your needs. This buying guide is designed to help you understand key considerations for each product type. Need something in a hurry? Not a problem – we offer next day Click & Collect.

Where to begin choosing a Duvet

There are four important things to consider when choosing your new duvet:


It may seem obvious but size is the first choice to start narrowing your options. We offer all standard sizes in our core ranges as well as bespoke options in selected premium ranges.

Pillows and duvets on a double bed


An important decison, this dictates how warm or cool your duvet will keep you. See below for our quick guide to understanding togs.

White pillows and duvet on a double bed

Filling type

Natural or synthetic is the next decision to make. Both have a range of benefits that may make them more suitable for you. Read on for a break down of what to consider.


Other benefits

Looking for something more specific? We have products specially designed for those who suffer with allergies, get too hot at night, and some that are vegan accredited.

Bed with grey bed frame and folded duvet on top
Choosing the right Tog

Tog stands for "Thermal Overall Grade". A duvet's tog rating is important as it relates to its warmth (but not its weight, which depends on filling). Simply put, the higher the tog rating the warmer the duvet. 

A good rule for a great night's sleep all year round is to select a duvet to suit the season. For couples who like differing levels of warmth in bed, consider a custom duvet. There’s no compromise necessary – each side of the duvet can be given a different tog rating. 

To help you make your decision we have feeler samples in stores so different togs are easy to compare.


Light and cooling, low tog duvets are perfect for hot summer sleeping

Shop 2.5 & 4.5 Tog

Spring & autumn

If you’re looking for a reliable between season duvet, our mid tog duvets are a great choice 

Shop 9 & 10.5 Tog


Ideal for cold winter months, our high tog duvets are designed to create a warm, cosy sleep environment

Shop 13.5 & 15 Togs

All seasons

If you want flexibility, all season duvets are for you. Constructed from two separate duvets designed to work together, they give you all year round comfort. 

Shop 13.5 All seasons

Custom-made duvets

Our experienced team of Partners at Herbert Parkinson create many of the natural-filled duvets and pillows sold in our shops – they can also custom-make duvets to your specifications.

We can make customised duvets up to a 13.5 tog rating (the higher the tog, the warmer the duvet), and in a size to suit your specification. We can even construct a duvet with a different tog rating on either side, for a couple who like different levels of warmth.

Dual togs

Our bespoke dual tog duvets are designed for different sleeping preferences. Whether you usually feel warm or cool during the night, its innovative design places a different tog rating on each side of the duvet, which teams highly insulated down of your choice and a small percentage of feathers.

Shop Dual Togs

Toasty toes

This bespoke duvet is designed to keep your feet warm at night thanks to a higher tog rating in its lower panels. Just like our dual tog duvets, it’s filled with highly insulating yet luxuriously light Hungarian goose down, plus a small amount of feathers. It also bears the Nomite™ mark meaning it’s suitable for people with dust mite allergies.


An introduction to eiderdown

Eiderdown is extremely rare and is the pinnacle of all downs due to its insulation characteristics. It's produced by the eider duck and offers the ultimate in luxury. Eider ducks return year after year to Iceland’s rugged coast to nest. They are exposed to bitterly cold Icelandic temperatures and polar storms and use their unique down to protect them. The female eider duck sheds her down in the breeding season to line the nest for her eggs, so protecting the next generation.

What is so unique about eiderdown?

Icelandic ederdown has extra large clusters of down which retain heat and give unsurpassed insulation, whilst also being much lighter than other feathers. This means you feel perfectly warm, without being weighed down. These duvets have a premium cotton cover, providing you with pure luxury and promising years of use.

Shop Eiderdown

What duvet filling should I choose?

We offer a range of fillings including synthetic microfibre, feather and down, cotton, silk and wool. Some of our natural bedding comes with treatments and fabrics that protect against allergens, while clever new synthetics feel just like natural down or help provide specialist support.


We source all of our feather and down from certified farms and have full traceability of supply. We always use class A down to offer the best quality.

If you:

  • Like the feel of real feather and down
  • Want a duvet that will let your skin breathe
  • Need a quality duvet that will last
  • Like a down alternative, such as wool, silk or cotton

Then choose a natural duvet because:

  • Duvets with a high down content are traditionally lightweight but offer excellent thermal performance (choose a high feather content if you like your duvet to feel heavy)
  • They’re made from natural fibres with all-cotton covers
  • They’re durable and resilient
  • All natural down and feather duvets have a tightly woven fabric cover which acts as a barrier against dust mites (Nomite™).

Synthetic duvets are predominately made from microfibre or hollowfibre polyester which makes for a soft, silky, warm and lightweight feel. Both microfibre and hollowfibre are machine washable, making them very easy to care for.

If you:

  • Need a duvet that can be washed frequently
  • Suffer with allergies
  • Are looking for an affordable alternative to other fillings

Then consider a synthetic duvet because:

  • These duvets give you the same warmth as a natural-filled style (although an equivalent tog rating may be heavier if compared to a duvet with a high down content)
  • They’re made with non-allergenic fillings
  • They dry more quickly than natural duvets
  • They include more specialist products, like anti-allergy, plus cooling and temperature regulating options
Bedding Collections
Anyday title

For style, comfort and quality you expect at prices you wouldn’t, ANYDAY offers excellent modern living solutions

Shop Pillows | Shop Duvets

Synthetic title

Discover great value products that can be washed time and time again, making them easy to keep hygienic and fresh

Shop Pillows | Shop Duvets


Including responsibly sourced fillings, while offering exceptional value

Shop Pillows | Shop Duvets

Specialist Synthetic title

Cleverly designed using innovative, active anti-allergy materials to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep

Shop Pillows | Shop Duvets

Specialist Synthetic title

We seek out the finest fillings for our Natural Collection, carefully crafting each design with impeccable attention to detail

Shop Pillows | Shop Duvets

Specialist Support title

Our Specialist Support pillow collection is designed for a superior nights sleep with the right support

Shop now

Synthetic Collection title

Our premium Synthetic Collection combines the best of cutting-edge science with luxurious details, for a more indulgent experience

Shop Pillows | Shop Duvets

Ultimate Collection title

Our Ultimate Collection is the pinnacle of bedtime luxury – extremely high quality, indulgent and blissfully comfortable

Shop Pillows | Shop Duvets

Where to begin choosing a pillow

There are four important things to consider when choosing a new pillow:

Sleeper position

The position you sleep in can play an important role in the feel of pillow you select. Read on for more information about recommendations.

Bed wth pink frame and white pillows
Filling type
Natural, synthetic or foam is the next decision that needs to be made. Each has a range of benefits that may make them more suitable for you. Read on for a break down of what to consider.
Bed with pillows and duvet

Other benefits  

Looking for something to meet a more specific need? We have specially designed options for those who suffer with allergies, or get too hot at night.

Pile of white pillows on a bed

Size and shape  

As well as standard pillows, we offer square (sometimes called continental) pillows, great for sitting up in bed and styling, as well as king size pillows, designed extra wide for bigger beds.

3 pillows on a bed up against a bed board
Sleeper type/pillow feel

A bed for your head ... pillow comfort is essential to getting a peaceful night's sleep. If you don't have the right pillow it can affect your posture and how much rest you get. So it really is worth taking time to find the type of pillow that will provide the correct balance of comfort and support for you.

The position you sleep in can play an important role in the feel of pillow you select, so it's a great starting point. However, as sleep and comfort are so personal it's worth taking time to find the type of pillow that works best for you. Why not try in our shops before you buy? A John Lewis Partner will happily advise you. 

Remember, everyone’s different so you and your partner may find that the same pillows don’t suit both your needs.

Things to consider:

  • The pillow against the mattress – a firm pillow won’t work well with a soft mattress
  • Your body shape and height
  • For the best sleep health, you need a pillow to help you maintain a straight spine throughout the night.
Side sleeper

Go for a firm pillow if you drift onto your side. They're ideal for side sleepers as they provide sufficient support to the neck, back, and shoulders – keeping the spine aligned and preventing hunching and a painful neck.

Shop Firm & Medium/Firm Pillows

Back sleeper

Medium firmness pillows are great for snoozing on your back as they provide enough support for the neck without affecting the alignment of your spine. They're also ideal for sleepers with flexible comfort preferences or those who change positions throughout the night. A majority of people will find these pillows both comfortable and supportive. 

Shop Medium/Firm & Medium Pillows

Front sleeper

Soft and lower profile pillows are the best option if you are out like a light laying on your front. They are perfect for front sleepers who like to snuggle up with and scrunch their pillows at night. 

Shop Soft/Medium, Soft & Low Profile Pillows

What pillow filling should I choose?

We offer a range of fillings, including synthetic microfibre, feather and down, cotton, silk and wool. Some of our natural pillows come with treatments and fabrics that protect against allergens, while clever new synthetics feel just like natural down or help to provide specialist support.


If you:

  • Want a pillow to fit snugly 
  • Are looking for a firm yet soft feel

Then consider a natural pillow because: 

  • Down and feather pillows mould snugly round the head and shoulders
  • The more feather there are in a pillow, the firmer it tends to be
  • The proportion of down adds softness – down is the best quality, a mix of feather and down offers a good value compromise

If you:

  • Suffer from allergies
  • Are looking for fresh, breathable comfort 
  • Need a pillow that can be washed frequently

Then consider a synthetic pillow because:

  • Synthetic pillows use innovative new materials and tend to be more affordable
  • They offer more specialist properties, like anti-allergy, cooling and temperature regulating
  • Our hollowfibre pillow types, including lightweight fine fibres, provide the closest feel to a down pillow
Foam and latex

If you:

  • Are looking for a more specialist support 
  • Like products that mold to the shape of your body 
  • Are looking for more specialist treatments and finishes, like cooling and temperature regulating

Then consider a foam or latex pillow because:

  • Memory foam pillows are made from a non-allergenic, visco-elastic, temperature-sensitive material; this has unique pressure relieving qualities, allowing your head and neck to rest in a natural, tension-free position
  • Latex has an open cell structure, is breathable and stays fresh, dry and cool in the summer
  • Our latex pillows also have natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-dust mite properties, making them suitable for allergy sufferers.
Common bedding conundrums

Allergy sufferer?
First and foremost it is important to understand what is triggering your allergies as this may dictate what type of bedding you select. Our Active Anti Allergy range is treated with HeiQ Allergen Tech*, an innovative and long-lasting treatment using naturally-derived probiotics to break down and diminish inanimate allergens such as dust mite matter, pet allergens (including hair and dander) and some types of pollen. HeiQ Allergen Tech* is 100% biobased, proprietary technology which is certified to reduce the exposure to allergens, helping you to achieve a more peaceful night's sleep. 

However, if natural is your preference and you suffer with allergies, you can buy our feather and down ranges with Nomite cases. Nomite™ allows people with dust mite allergies to enjoy natural bedding. Following a hygienic washing and high-temperature drying process, fillings are then sealed in a tightly woven fabric cover which acts as a barrier against dust mites. Alternatively, choose a wool option which is naturally hypoallergenic.

Sharing with a partner?
Disturbance in the night and feeling too hot are two of the main conundrums when sharing a bed with a partner. A dual tog duvet means there’s no compromise necessary – each side of the duvet can be given a different tog rating suited to your preference. Also consider sizing up your duvet to avoid hogging in the night.

Hot at night?
If you're prone to a high temperature during the night, natural materials are a good choice. These materials help to promote air flow and wick away moisture, helping to regulate body temperature when sleeping. Wool is particularly good at regulating your temperature and helping you stay cool throughout the night. However, if synthetic is more your thing we offer specialist ranges engineered to support your body that feel cool to the touch, such as our Temperature Regulating and Smart Cool ranges. It’s important to consider everything in your sleep environment and how it impacts your temperature so make sure you are selecting the right protectors and duvet covers to support this.

Neck pain?
Ensuring you have the right pillow support can improve a pain in your neck. Whilst we are not offering medical solutions, making sure you select a pillow to suit your sleep position is the best thing for the job. We would always recommend testing pillows in store on a mattress as the best way to find what's right for you. We also have a range of memory foam pillows offering more specialised support solutions.

Ordering your duvet or pillow

We offer a range of delivery options:

Click & Collect
Shop online to use Click & collect from John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners, free when you spend £30 or more. You can also pick up from a local Collect+ store at a charge of £3.50 per order.

Standard delivery
If you spend £50 or more on duvets and pillows online, we offer free Standard delivery to your home.

Duvet and pillow guarantees

We offer guarantees on John Lewis & Partners branded bedding:

  • 5 years on all natural feather and down duvets and pillows
  • 5 years on light cotton comfort duvets and pillows 
  • 2 years on Wool mulberry silk duvets and pillows 
  • 2 years on synthetic duvets, pillows, mattress protectors and toppers 
  • 1 year on our ANYDAY John Lewis & Partners range


Your guarantee covers you against

  • Case stitching coming apart
  • Popper breakage
  • Faulty workmanship during manufacture, such as holes or fabric flaws, feather/down escaping from the product, migration or clumping of filling

Find out more about guarantees

Getting started with your duvet or pillow

You may notice a slight odour after the pillow or duvet has been taken out of its plastic packaging. Bedding with natural fillings will occasionally release a natural smell – whereas synthetic and foam bedding can sometimes release a chemical odour. These smells are no cause for concern and will dissipate once the products have been well aired, leaving it in a well ventilated room for a few hours. It’s a good idea to continue to air the bedding on a regular basis by leaving out of any bed linen for a few hours each time. This will allow air to circulate around and through the bedding, enabling body moisture to dissipate.

Getting used to your new bedding 
It is important that you allow enough time for your body to get used to your new pillow. Your new pillow may be providing a greater level of support compared to your old pillow, and this can take some time to adjust to. Your pillow or duvet may also feel slightly different to the model tested in store as this will have been handled by many other customers. A change from synthetic to natural or vice versa can also take some getting used to, which is why we recommend testing in store.

Protecting your investment
Protection for our pillows comes in the form of a liner or pillow protector – some zip up to fully to enclose them. This helps to prevent soiling and protects against general wear and tear. Mattress protectors or toppers can revitalise tired mattresses and pillows and prolong the life of your bedding.

Caring for your duvet or pillow

Duvet and pillow care tips 

  • When the weather’s dry, hang out your synthetic and wool duvet and pillows to air them
  • Shake clumped down loose by hand, or put it in a dryer with a damp towel to create airiness without sacrificing fill power
  • Plump all pillows up daily to bring them back to life and help keep their shape 
  • Always shake your natural duvets from the side and not the bottom to prevent the filling from moving between boxes.

How to wash your pillow and duvet

  • We recommend that you have your natural-filled duvets and pillows professionally laundered as they need to be thoroughly dried immediately, which may be difficult for you to achieve at home
  • All our pillows can be laundered in a large capacity machine (wash just one at a time); some are washable at 60ºC, the temperature at which house dust mites are killed.

Is it time for a new pillow? 

Pillows have a more limited lifespan than duvets due to the weight of our heads, which flattens them over time and reduces support level. As a guide we recommend replacing pillows around every 2 years to get the best support possible – although natural pillows tend to keep their shape and level of support for longer than synthetic. Signs to look out for that may suggest it’s time for a new pillow are discolouration, if your pillow is feeling flat or lumpy, or you’re waking up with neck ache.