What should I consider before buying a bed quilt or doona?
A good night's sleep is golden. It helps create a healthy life and a happy home. Part of that good night's sleep is curling up under a comfy quilt or doona.
But which one is best for you? The kids? Or even your guests?
There are some important elements to consider before choosing a quilt or doona for you, your family and friends. Quilts and doonas are available in a wide variety of sizes and materials, with different insert types to suit different needs and preferences.
Follow along with us, and make the best decisions right off the bat.
SIZE & CASING
You'll need to buy a quilt or doona that covers your whole bed (single, double, queen or king). Some experts suggest buying a quilt or doona that is one size up from your bed, especially if you and your partner tend to compete for the covers.
Quilts are encased using two main styles - channelled and boxed - sometimes called baffle boxed. Channelled are sewn in straight lines from the top to the bottom, which means you can redistribute the filling by pressing or pushing it down the channels with your hands depending on your warmth requirements. Boxed quilts are sewn into smaller squares, which means the filling is distributed more evenly for you.
It's what's inside that counts - especially when it comes to quilts and doonas. The filling of a quilt will have a huge impact on how it regulates your body temperature and, ultimately, how well you sleep. Certain fillings may also aggravate allergies - choose carefully.
Here are some of the most common fillings and what you need to know about them:
Wool filling is a high loft quilt classic. A warm and insulating natural fibre, wool creates a micro-climate that is excellent at regulating body temperature and humidity. This means it's a great choice for sleep partners with differing body temperature needs.
Wool is not naturally hypoallergenic so allergy sufferers or asthmatics should check if the filling has been treated to manage this issue or not, otherwise it may agitate. Wool quilts are also mainly dry clean only. Check the care instructions before buying.
Down & feathers
Down - soft, fluffy duck feathers - is a popular, natural choice for sleepers who want comfort and warmth but also retain a light and lofty feel.
Down is a natural insulator and helps reduce sweating. It is often mixed with feathers in a quilt - the more down there is, the softer, lighter and warmer your quilt or doona will be. These quilts usually come in a boxed style to help keep down evenly distributed.
Feather quilts and doonas are similar to down but feel heavier. Renowned for their warmth and cosiness, they're safe for those who suffer from allergies.
Increasingly popular as a sustainable and hypoallergenic choice, bamboo quilts offer comfort and breathability.
Eco-friendly bamboo fibres are lightweight and softer than man-made fibres, and they don't irritate the skin. Bamboo has the highest loft of most popular fillings. Perfect for allergy sufferers, it's naturally anti-bacterial and naturally resistant to dust mites, mold, bacteria, fungus and odour.
Bamboo also draws moisture away from the body, increases absorbency and offers a consistently good night's sleep.
Another lightweight filling that absorbs moisture well, cotton helps you sleep cooler during summer or in warmer climates. As a natural fibre, it is machine-friendly, durable and usually well-suited to people with allergies.
Synthetic fibres are man-made and come in several different types, including polyester and microfibre. Polyester is popular due to its low maintenance and high loft, while microfibre is finer than polyester and may feel similar to down.
Synthetic quilts are easy to throw in the washing machine and fast drying, if you expect to be washing a lot. They are soft and lofty, as well as hypoallergenic and odourless for sensitive sleepers. They're usually lower priced than natural fibres and, though relatively durable, they tend not to last as long.
Your choice of size and filling will impact the weight of your quilt or doona - and the weight itself can impact the quality of your sleep.
If you move around a lot at night and your quilt is very light, it might end up on the floor and you'll wind up chilly. Some people have a winter weight and a summer weight quilt they change according to the seasons. Think about how heavy or light you prefer your quilt and factor that into your choice of filling.
Temperature is regarded as the biggest sleep disruptor so getting a quilt and doona that warms or cools appropriately is key. Think about the climate where you live and the job you need your quilt to do. Are you in the tropics? Do you get cold during winter evenings?
Your body temperature varies through the night and different people can have different biological thermostats, literally running hotter or colder than someone else. People will also have temperature fluctuations based on gender, stage of life and medical issues.
Natural fibres are a good choice for those concerned about temperature because they tend to be more breathable and adaptive. You'll want to pair your quilt or doona with sheets and other bedding that also reduces temperature and sweat.
If you deal with lots of temperature variation in your environment, you might want to consider having two quilts or doonas - one tailored for colder nights, the other to throw on when the heat dials up. Otherwise, look for quilts and doonas that can accommodate temperature variation and adapt well to your body and surroundings.
Quilts and doonas are one of the biggest investments you'll make, and one of the most important for helping create a happy and healthy home. These tips should help you choose wisely and deliver years of blissful slumber.