We've all heard the word "tog" when it comes to describing a duvet. But what does this actually refer to? And what duvet tog is best for your needs throughout the year?

Take a look at our duvet tog guide to discover more. We set out to explain exactly what you need to look for when you choose a duvet, how you can decipher the different tog ratings associated with different duvet options, and how you can make the right choice for your personal preferences and sleeping habits.

What Does Duvet Tog Mean?

A tog is simply a unit of measurement that is used to classify different types of duvet. However, unlike the centimetres or inches you might use to define the size of a duvet, a tog is something that is almost exclusively used for this kind of product.

A duvet tog refers to how warm a duvet makes you feel when you are under it. The higher the tog rating, the warmer you will feel as you sleep or as you relax in bed. The lower the tog rating, the cooler you will feel.

But this is not an arbitrary scale. The tog rating system measures the efficiency of the thermal insulation within the duvet. If the material is not an efficient thermal insulator, heat energy will be allowed to transfer through the duvet and the tog rating will be low.

Understanding Duvet Togs

Recognising the thermal insulation level of a duvet is the main reason for the tog rating system. However, there are other aspects to consider when you choose a duvet with a certain tog rating. Generally, the more material that heat energy needs to pass through, the harder it will be to transfer this energy to the other side. This means, at a very basic level, the thicker the duvet, the higher the tog rating.

Of course, if duvet thickness was the only measurement we needed, we wouldn't require a tog rating system at all. We would just measure the thickness and that would tell us how warm we will be when we sleep. It's important to bear in mind that this is just a general rule and does not take into account thinner duvets stuffed with denser inner materials. These duvets may carry a higher tog rating than some products with a greater thickness.

Duvet Weight vs Warmth

While the duvet tog rating refers specifically to how warm you will feel under the duvet, this does lead to other considerations. Any product that is thicker or denser than another product will also be heavier. While this is not something you need to worry about with many types of products, it is something you need to consider when purchasing a duvet. The duvet will be resting on top of you while you sleep, so you need to make sure that the weight is right for you.

This is essentially a compromise. You need a duvet that will keep you warm when the nights begin to get colder. But, at the same time, you need something that is going to be comfortable and is not going to make you feel trapped or claustrophobic when you sleep.

It all comes down to personal preference. It may be that you and your partner overheat easily at night, and so you do not require a heavy blanket with a high tog rating. On the other hand, you may want to purchase a duvet that is going to keep you nice and toasty — but which is not too heavy.

What Duvet Tog Should You Get?

No one can tell you precisely which duvet tog suits your own situation, but there are some things that should be taken into account as you make your choice. As part of this duvet tog guide, we want to help you find the right rating for you, so this is what you should bear in mind.

What is the climate of your area? 

The United Kingdom isn't a vast landmass, but it does include a number of different climates and microclimates. If you live on the west coast of Scotland or in the Lake District, you're going to see far chillier temperatures than in other places around the UK. If you live in Central London, summer temperatures are likely to be one or two degrees Celsius higher than other areas, which can make a real difference when you are trying to get to sleep. 

When will you be spending time at your property? 

Are you buying a duvet for your regular home, where you will be spending most of the year, or do you need a duvet for a holiday home or another seasonal property? This will certainly have an impact on your decision.

Are there major shifts between summer and winter temperatures in your area?

Many of us will require different duvets, with different tog ratings, throughout the changing seasons. If you live in Fort William in the Highlands, you are looking at highs of around 12 degrees Celsius in July, dropping to an average of about -1 in January, so your duvet choice will reflect this. In Oxford, however, you could see average highs of around 22 degrees Celsius in the summer, while winter temperatures remain comfortably above freezing on average.

What kind of sleeper are you? 

It's not a myth that people can be either hot sleepers or cold sleepers. Some people love getting to sleep in a cooler atmosphere, while others prefer to be snuggled up as warm as possible before they sleep. There are many factors that can influence this, ranging from disorders such as idiopathic hyperhidrosis, where the body produces more sweat than is required, through to menopause or simple personal preference. Decide what kind of sleeper you are, as this will influence the tog rating of the duvet you choose.

The Different Duvet Tog Ratings

Duvet togs are represented by certain numbers along a scale. In most cases, the duvet tog rating will fall into one of four categories:

4.5 tog duvets - This category would be considered a low tog duvet, suitable for cooler climates and weather conditions and also for sleepers who prefer to keep cool during the night.

7.5 tog duvets - In most duvet ranges, this is the next step up from the lowest tog rating. This intermediary rating is good for those who don't want a covering that is too heavy or too hot but still want a bit of additional protection from the nighttime chills.

10.5 tog duvets - Moving up from 7.5 togs, most duvet providers will stock a 10.5 tog duvet as the next level up. This category of duvet features an above-average level of thermal insulation, which will provide comfort for those who want to be kept that little bit warmer at night.

13.5 tog duvets - In the majority of duvet ranges, the 13.5 tog product will be the warmest option, providing the highest levels of thermal insulation. These duvets are for those people who like to be extra snug and protected from the cold. They are also for use when the temperatures begin to really plummet, or for when you want to scale back on your heating usage.

Which Duvet Tog For Summer?

British summertime is a notoriously unpredictable customer. Generally, we would suggest opting for a low tog rating during the summer months, when the average temperatures are at their highest in your area. You've most probably experienced that unpleasant feeling of a hot and sticky night when, try as you might, you just can't get to sleep. A 4.5 tog duvet is probably best for these situations.

However, we've all also experienced those summer nights that really don't feel like summer nights at all. As a result, some people might prefer to "level up" and choose a slightly higher tog rating, such as 7.5.

Which Duvet Tog For Winter?

Winter is the time that thoughts really begin to turn to duvets. It's not good for the environment — nor for your energy bill — to blast the heating on full all day and all night, so investing in a good-quality high tog duvet is a good idea.

This is where it comes down to personal preference, as well as your own personal situation. Some people love the idea of a heavy, well-insulated 13.5 tog duvet during the winter, while others find this a little off-putting. If you are in the latter category, a 10.5 tog cover should offer a good level of thermal insulation while not being too heavy.

Which Duvet Tog For Spring & Autumn?

Spring and autumn are obviously times of transition, when the weather changes quickly and temperatures rise or fall depending on the season. You probably won't need an extremely high tog rating for spring and autumn, as the temperatures are not likely to be extreme. However, you are probably not willing to get the summer duvet out in spring either and keep using it far into autumn.

Instead, a medium-rated duvet is probably the best option here. Something in the 7.5 tog or 10.5 tog range will probably give you the protection you need without feeling too stuffy and unpleasant. Again, you will need to do some experimentation to find out which one works best for you.

Which Duvet Tog For All Year Around?

The UK is not Canada, despite being on the same latitude as the North American nation. We have the lovely Gulf Stream to keep us sheltered from extreme temperatures — and also to provide us with all that rain that we love to complain about. So, while Edmonton basks in sweltering temperatures in the summer and drops substantially below freezing in the winter, Manchester — which sits at a similar latitude to the Canadian city — does not experience such dramatic highs and lows.

As a result, it is in fact possible to choose a duvet that you can use all year round. In most cases, it's best to find a duvet that sits in the mid-range. This way, it will still provide adequate protection when the nights grow a little colder, but shouldn't be too hot or unpleasant in the summer. It should also not feel too heavy or uncomfortable on you when you are trying to get to sleep.

Just like when you are choosing a versatile duvet for spring or summer, look for ratings around the 7.5 or 10.5 tog levels. This should provide what you need.

It's also worth thinking more about warmth when choosing a duvet for year-round usage. In the summer months, you can always remove the duvet altogether when the nights get a little hotter, and then you can replace the duvet on your bed when the temperatures start to fall again. This is much easier than finding that your duvet is not warm enough during the winter months and discovering that you need to add an extra layer.

Find The Right Duvet For Your Needs With SleepSeeker

Hopefully, this duvet tog guide has provided you with useful insight you can use as you make your choice. Browse the duvets in our range and find what you need. If you still have questions about the right duvet, reach out to our team today.