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How often should you change your duvet?

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As duvets affect your sleep quality and come into contact with your skin, they should be replaced every five years for a healthy sleep environment.

A duvet is an essential item of bedding that can help keep you warm, cosy and comfortable in bed.

A good-quality duvet can last up to twenty five years with proper care. However, most experts recommend that you replace your duvet every five years. Doing so will help to ensure your duvet remains clean, comfortable, and free from allergens.

A young redhead lady in bed with duvet covers over her head.

Creating and maintaining a sanitary bedroom environment can help improve sleep quality. Over time your bedding accumulates dust, dirt, sweat, dead skin cells and bodily fluids. Therefore, cleaning and replacing bedding items like duvets is essential to keep your bed fresh and prevent the spread of bacteria.

Duvets contain natural or synthetic fillings. Natural fillings such as down, feather, silk, and wool are more luxurious, breathable and typically last longer than synthetic materials. Synthetic fillings, such as hollowfibre and microfibre are typically inexpensive but are less breathable.

Signs you need to replace a duvet

Unlike pillows, which flatten or go lumpy with prolonged use, it can be difficult to know when to replace duvets. But there are a few signs to look out for that may suggest your duvet is past its best.

Allergies have worsened

Allergy sufferers often experience worse symptoms at night. Dust mites are a leading cause of allergy symptoms. They thrive in warm conditions and often live in bedding. These microscopic bugs are not visible to the naked eye. Someone sensitive to dust mites may experience a runny nose, coughing, wheezing, sore throat, skin breakouts, and trouble sleeping.

If your symptoms have worsened at night, your old duvet could be causing the problem. Though regularly washing and airing can help, replacing your duvet may be the best course of action.

Wear and tear

Over time, duvet fillings will typically break down and clump together. Your duvet may become lumpy, flat, and discoloured. It may feel uncomfortable and ineffective at keeping you warm at night.

Though regular cleaning can help prolong the duvet’s life, it will eventually be past its best and need replacing.

You’re too warm or too cold at night

A good night’s sleep starts by choosing the right bedding. Choosing the wrong duvet can disturb your sleep, even if you have a comfortable mattress. So, sleeping with a duvet that keeps your body at a comfortable temperature throughout the night is essential.

A duvets tog rating relates to its warmth. The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet. However, whilst a warmer duvet will keep you warm and cosy in the winter, it may result in overheating during the summer.

If you wake up at night because you are either too cold or too warm, your duvet could be causing the problem. Therefore, use bedding that is appropriate for the season and will keep you comfortable. It’s often a good idea to have a winter and summer duvet so you can switch between the two where necessary.

You sweat a lot in bed

Sweat can cause a build-up of bacteria and stain your bedding. While it’s normal to sweat at night, your bedding could contribute to excessive sweating.

If you’re hot in bed, keep your bedroom cool and consider switching to lightweight, breathable bedding. You should also replace your bedding more frequently.

You or your partner are hogging the duvet

Choosing the right size duvet is essential for sleep quality. There’s nothing more frustrating than waking up cold in the middle of the night because the duvet isn’t covering your body properly.

Consider buying a bigger duvet If you or your partner constantly fight over who gets the covers in bed. But even if you sleep alone, there are plenty of reasons to upgrade. A bigger duvet can result in a more peaceful, restful night’s sleep because you’re not constantly waking up to adjust the covers. It may also help save on energy costs as you’ll be warm and cosy in your bigger duvet.  

How to extend the life of a duvet

How long your duvet lasts depends on its quality and how well it has been looked after. There are several ways you can extend the life of your duvet:

  • Cover your duvet to protect it from stains, spills and allergens.
  • Wash your duvet properly by following the manufacturer’s care instructions provided on the label. However, do not overwash your duvet, as this can cause the fillings to clump together.
  • Leave your bed unmade when you wake up in the morning. Allow your duvet to air before making your bed.
  • You should avoid vacuuming your duvet as doing so may dislodge the fillings.
  • Avoid sitting or lying on top of the duvet, as doing so may cause it to flatten and lose shape.
  • Flip and rotate your duvet occasionally to help even out the wear and extend its life.

Bedroom hygiene

There’s no better feeling than getting into a clean bed. Besides changing your duvet, it may also be a good time to consider changing other bedding items, such as your pillows. You should typically replace your pillows every two to four years so that they remain supportive, clean, and fresh.

Furthermore, as we spend around eight hours a night in bed, you may also consider changing your mattress if it’s uncomfortable, unsupportive, or disturbing your sleep. You should typically replace your mattress every seven to ten years to ensure you get the best possible sleep.

Final thoughts

On the surface, your duvet may look fine, but it can contribute to various health issues, so it’s important to replace it regularly.

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About the author

About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

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