Polyester, goose down or microfibre? What’s the difference?

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With your Sealy mattress as a firm foundation and your Sealy mattress protectors and Sealy luxury pillows picked off the Sealy Top of Bed catalogue, what duvet inner is going to be best for you?

Entering any department store's bedding section can be daunting. The numerous pillows and duvet inners stacked from floor to ceiling give the impression of a padded cell. Add the salespeople who spew jargon at you and you will be forgiven for thinking you have entered another paradigm.

'All I want is two single duvets for my guest bedroom' you mutter whilst the sales staff continue to rattle off the benefits of using sustainably-sourced feathers given voluntarily by very happy and philanthropic geese.

Fear not! Here is a simple guide to help you get the duvet inner that you need at a price that suits your pocket. There are four main fillings used to create duvet inners. Here they are in all their glory.

1. Polyester- The unnatural, synthetic fibres mean that this duvet inner is light in weight but has very low air flow. It is cheap and easy to manufacture and can be washed and dried easily at home. However, this duvet-inner does not hold its shape well and will need to be replaced often.

2. Polycotton - Any blend of polyester and cotton. Polyester gives the duvet inner lightness whilst the cotton breathes. The higher the ratio of cotton to polyester the cooler you will be. The quality of cotton varies depending on the plant used and how it is manufactured. The gold standard in cotton is Egyptian cotton so a polycotton duvet inner made mainly from Egyptian cotton will make a cool, but heavy duvet inner which may work well for young children and menopausal women and others who are prone to over-heating at night, but require the weight of a duvet to stay asleep.

3. Micro-fibre - The lightest and tiniest polyester filling that can be made manufactured in various structures to make a coller or warmer duvet inner. Perfect for asthma and allergy sufferers this new-technology fibre has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. The fibres do not house dustmites and can be easily machine washed at 60 degrees to eliminate any dirt, bacteria, fungi or mould.

This duvet inner gives a lightness and airiness close to that of a down & feather duvet inner.

4. Down & feather - Any down-and-feather-filled duvet will be soft, comfortable and long lasting. These duvet inners are seen as an investment in a luxurious sleep lifestyle.

However, not all down and feathers are created equal. Duck down and feathers are larger and heavier than goose down and feathers. This means that a duvet inner stuffed with duck down and feathers will be inferior to a duvet inner stuffed with goose down and feather. Additionally, down is softer and traps more air than than feathers do so a higher ration of down to feathers will give a softer and more cushy duvet inner. The gold standard would be a duvet inner filled with goose down as this is the softest filling one can get.

The 'down' side to this filling is that it is a breeding ground for dust-mites and therefore not suitable for allergy-sufferers whose bedding requires regular washing. This duvet inner can be washed but requires professional laundering. This inner is also not suitable for children who are prone to bed wetting.

The Sealy team hope that this guide helps you to complete making up your dream bed! Now when you are instore, you won't be baffled by the jargon and you should be able to find what you need without much fuss.

Last tip: For better cover and a lovely aesthetic, choose a duvet inner one size bigger than your mattress (eg. single bed= 3/4 duvet inner or queen bed=king duvet).

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