To give you a brief summary first, TOG stands for “Thermal Overall Grade” and it basically just describes how warm the duvet is. Or, to be more precise, how good it is at keeping your body temperature under the duvet and not letting it seep out into your room.
Generally speaking, TOG ratings go from 1 to 15 but you can also find duvets with a 16.5 TOG rating from time to time.
As we've mentioned, during hotter summer months, you'll typically want a duvet with a fairly low TOG. While the scale does technically start at 1, more often than not, you'll usually find summer duvets with a 4.5 TOG rating.
And this should be more than enough to keep you comfortable during the summer! However, do make sure that you pair your summer duvet with the appropriate duvet covers. This is because the covers will be in direct contact with your skin and if they're too dense or stuffy, the duvet itself might feel a lot warmer than it should.
However, if even a lighter-weight duvet feels a bit too stuffy, you can also just cover yourself with the covers and take out the duvet insert entirely. But do keep in mind that you should only do this if it's very hot at night.
And if you want to find duvets that are generally good for hot sleepers, you can check out some of our favourites right here.
When it comes to those slightly colder and fresher nights, you typically want medium duvet TOGs. And more often than not, a 10.5 duvet TOG rating should keep you comfortable. If you're a hot sleeper, you might want to find a 10.5 TOG duvet that specifically has a very breathable cover.
As we've said before, this will make the duvet just a bit cooler without nullifying the warmth that comes from the duvet fillings. On the other hand, if you tend to get cold during the night (even during warmer nights), you want a cover that can help trap warm air.
It's also worth noting that 10.5 TOG duvets often fall under the all-season duvet category. However, this isn't always the case. So, just know that these two terms don't always mean the same thing and we'll cover what else you should expect from all-season duvets a bit later on.
The higher the TOG rating, the warmer the duvet. That's why winter duvets typically start at 13.5 TOG. However, you can find an even warmer duvet if you look for it – like a 15 or even a 16.5 TOG.
Generally speaking, winter duvets tend to be quite straightforward. Since even hot sleepers rarely have overheating issues during the winter, you just want the warmest duvet possible. So, the colder you get, the higher the TOG should be.
And even the duvet filling is more up to your personal preference. After all, if you prefer the feel of a 15 TOG synthetic duvet over a 15 TOG wool duvet, there's no reason not to go for it. However, we will discuss duvet fillings in more detail a bit later on.
And you can check out our favourite winter duvets right here.
To round off this section, we wanted to talk about all-seasons duvets as we've mentioned them a few times already. The basic premise of an all-season duvet is that you can use them year-round and stay comfortable.
Sounds quite ideal, doesn't it?
However, it's important to know how exactly this works. For one, as we've said in the Autumn/Spring section, a lot of all-season duvets have a TOG rating of 10.5. This means that they're not too hot or too warm. On top of that, most all-season duvets will have fillings that help regulate your temperature, like wool or specifically-treated microfibre.
And for some people, these all-season duvets will do what they're supposed to do. However, others might prefer the “other kind” of all-season duvets. This other kind has two separate duvets that can be combined when needed. For example, an all-season duvet can be made up of a 4.5 TOG and a 9 TOG duvet. You use the 4.5 TOG for Summer, the 9 for Autumn/Spring, and then combine the 2 for a 13.5 TOG winter duvet.
And if you take a look at our list of the best all-season duvets, you'll see that both groups are fairly popular.
When looking for the perfect duvet, it's important to know which duvet fillings are right for you. After all, even though the TOG rating is #1 when it comes to controlling your body temperature, you still want a cosy duvet as well.
And knowing the difference between synthetic duvets and natural duvets can make it easier to determine which duvet is going to be perfect for you. So, let's quickly go over all of the most popular duvet fillings and see what they typically bring to the table.
Down and feather duvets are the most popular when it comes to winter duvets. So, if you're looking for a higher TOG duvet, you'll probably run into this filling quite often. And that's because both feathers and down are good insulators and can keep you warm even during very cold nights.
But of the two, down is definitely the more important factor. This is because, just like in birds, a down filling is more capable of trapping air and maintaining a higher temperature. So, a winter duvet with a 90/10 duvet-to-feather split is typically going to be a lot warmer than a duvet that has a 50/50 split.
And this isn't exclusive to only winter duvets either! We see that high-end sleeping bags often use down to keep people safe even in the coldest environments. And in terms of comfort, if you want a softer pillow, a down filling is also usually the way to go.
However, it's worth mentioning that among natural-filled duvets, down duvets can be especially pricey. Plus, some people might be allergic to the feathers and/or down (although this is very rare). And you have to be a bit more careful when it comes to cleaning down duvets so that the filling doesn't clump up.
Wool-filled duvets, just like down duvets, are typically going to pop up when it comes to higher TOG ratings. However, since wool can regulate temperature to a degree, and not just trap air, they can fit into the summer duvet category as well.
So, if you see a thinner duvet with a wool filling and a lower TOG rating, know that you're not getting ripped off. Plus, just like down duvets, wool duvets tend to be fairly light. However, they aren't as fluffy as down duvets.
When it comes to cons, it's most of the same stuff you'll be dealing with when getting other natural duvets. Wool duvets can be more expensive and some people can have a wool allergy. Plus, wool can initially have a specific smell that some people might find off-putting. But don't worry, it goes away after a few nights.
You can check out our list of the best wool duvets right here if you think a wool duvet is the right duvet for you!
While synthetic materials might sound like a bad thing, your new duvet can absolutely have a synthetic filling and offer you a good night's sleep. And this is because when it comes to versatility, synthetic fillings are the best.
That's why you'll find them in almost all of our best duvet lists, regardless of the TOG rating we're looking for. Not to mention that they also vary the most when it comes to price. Luxury silk duvets can use synthetic fillings and budget-friendly polyester duvets can use synthetic fillings. It's truly the Wild West in this regard.
But if you do want to keep the price down, for example, if you're just getting a spare duvet for your guest room, this is a huge plus! After all, even a King-size microfibre duvet can often be less expensive than a Double duvet that has a natural filling (even if it has the same TOG rating). Plus, synthetic materials can usually be machine-washed.
So, are synthetic fillings perfect? Of course not. In terms of quality, they can still fall behind their natural brethren and last for a lot less. Plus, when you have a million choices, making the right one can be difficult. Lastly, when it comes to comfort, if your sleep style involves pretending you're under a cloud, a synthetic duvet might feel a bit underwhelming.
When it comes to getting a duvet for your precious little bundle of joy, there are a few things you should consider. Some are more obvious, like having a smaller duvet size and making sure it's a lighter duvet.
However, other factors aren't as obvious. For one, you need a lower TOG duvet. This is because young children produce a lot more body heat and sweat than adults. So, even a 4.5 TOG duvet is likely going to keep them comfortable during colder nights.
Additionally, you'd want a duvet that's breathable, since they also tend to sweat more, and can be washed easily. If it can help eradicate dust mites, that's also a big plus. You can check out our list of our favourite toddler duvets right here.
Lastly, and this is a big one, professionals advise that children under the age of one shouldn't use any duvets at all! This goes for other bedding as well, so hold off on buying that firm pillow. This is because the child is still too weak at that age to push the duvet away and it can lead to potential danger.
To finish things off, let's take everything we've learned so far and compile a list of tips and tricks that you can use to find the perfect duvet. We'll do this by detailing the questions you need to ask yourself before you press that add to cart button.
And if you have any questions or tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments!
As we've established at the very beginning, different TOG ratings are made to “combat” different temperatures. However, even if it's winter, if the temperature in your room never falls under 22 degrees Celsius, you likely won't even need a winter duvet.
So, depending on your heating options, see how cold or hot it typically gets during the night. Also, if you share the bed with a partner or have a toddler, keep this in mind for their duvets as well.
Now that we know how hot the room gets, let's talk about you. If you're a notorious hot sleeper and like to keep the AC all night, not only do you need a low TOG duvet but you should also find a duvet that can help you cool down.
Silk duvets are a solid choice in this regard or duvets that utilise a bamboo cover. You can even get a thin duvet with a wool filling in the 4.5 to 7 TOG range if you don't mind the slightly higher price.
This might seem like the same question but it's not. Namely, the answer to this question will dictate whether you need multiple duvets or just one. For example, if your room genuinely never gets colder than 20 degrees or hotter than 22, just get a summer duvet.
However, if the temperature fluctuates a bit more (which will be the case for most people), you can still get away with a 10.5 TOG all-season duvet. That is as long as it doesn't get colder than 10 degrees.
Lastly, if you don't use central heating or the temperature swings drastically from season to season, ideally, you'd get one summer duvet, one medium TOG duvet, and one winter duvet. Or, alternatively, one of those all-season duvets that are made up of two duvets.
Lastly, let's talk about comfort. If you sleep like a log when under a very light duvet, try to find a duck feather and down model. However, if feeling snug is your favourite sensation in the world, a wool or synthetic heavier duvet is a much better option.
If you have sensitive skin and/or allergies, utilise naturally hypoallergenic materials such as bamboo. And if you tend to toss and turn quite a lot, most duvets will come in larger sizes that will fit your sleeping preferences. After all, it's a lot harder for a King size duvet to end up on the floor.
Lastly, we're going to leave the world of duvets for just a second. And that's because even if you get the perfect 13.5 TOG duvet for winter and the most breathable summer duvet for warmer weather, there are other factors that influence your comfort.
So, if you've been sleeping in the same bed for over a decade and notice your back is aching, it's likely not a coincidence. And even a new bed frame could be just what the doctor ordered.
Alternatively, a higher TOG rating duvet might get you through those chilly nights but a bad mattress can cause you to overheat during the summer. In this case, getting a cooling mattress might be a better solution than a lower TOG duvet.
And the point of this section isn't to make you feel like you need to buy every sleeping product on the market. Rather, that if you think you've gotten the correct duvet with the correct TOG but are still uncomfortable, be aware that there are other pitfalls!
And that's all you need to know about duvet TOGs, how they differ, what affects them, and how you should pick out a duvet. We'd say this is as extensive as a duvet TOG guide can get! But if you do have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
After all, we've updated this article based on feedback from one of you!