- Make sure your duvet is filled with superior quality goose or duck down. Only the top grades of down will stay fluffy for many years. Poor quality or low-grade down will flatten and clump into tiny balls in a couple of years. The colour of the down is unimportant - the famous eiderdown duck (the most impressive down in the world) has down that is brown, to almost black in colour. Look for the blue Downmark® label as an assurance of a quality down or feather product made in Canada.
- How many ounces of down does your duvet contain? Do not buy a duvet without knowing this fact. Some manufacturers state the entire weight of the duvet, cotton covering included, or include mostly feathers with the down.
- Do not buy a duvet that contains a considerable amount of feathers. Feathers add weight only, not the warmth and wicking ability that you get from down. Feathers trap the down filaments so that they cannot expand (or loft) to maximum fullness. Keep in mind that all commercial grade down allows for a small amount of waterfowl feathers by law as it is impossible to separate absolutely all of the feathers from the down. In Canada, a minimum requirement to be considered down is 75%. It is illegal to state that any down is 100% down, it can never be.
- Make sure that the duvet covering is of superior quality. A down-proof 100% cotton ticking with 230-280 threads per inch is best. Some cheaper ticking has a low thread count disguised by smoothly pressed sizing or filler which soon disappears with use. The down will escape through this porous cotton. Also, some very high-thread-count ticking is too fine and wears through quickly and allows down to escape faster.
- Make sure that the sections of your duvet are not too narrow or too small and confining. Check to see if the inner walls (baffles) are high enough to allow the down to loft. The warmth from down results from its ability to 'loft' and trap air around the filaments within the down cluster. The more air that is trapped, the better the insulation and breathability.
- Be aware that duvets sewn in squares are not adjustable in any way. With squares, the down cannot be moved to one end during hot summer nights, for example. Also, the baffles around the squares will not be very high (often there is no height at all), forcing the duvet to be flat. With long, high and wide tunnels, the down can circulate freely and loft. If some centre squares flatten with extra use after a few years, they cannot be topped up with fresh down the way a duvet sewn with tunnels can.
- In duvets with Karo step (randomly stitched through with an 'X' or tiny circle), the down can shift to one area and the tacked spots act as obstacles when you try to redistribute the down.
- Is your duvet fully washable and dryable in the dryer? Dry cleaning is not recommended as it flattens the down faster, and some harsh chemicals can be used in the process which are not desirable.
- Does the size of your duvet fit standard North American-size beds and duvet covers? Check the actual measurements. Some packaging states a certain size, but the measurements can be way off. It is desirable to have a cover that is slightly smaller than the duvet, so that it does not shift around, and no ties or clips are required.
- Be sure and buy from a trusted company that gives you a full guarantee. Be careful of very cheap, unbelievable sales. Superior-quality down is expensive, at least $50 per pound (16 oz). Some prices are too good to be true.
- Remember that a duvet is an investment. Buy excellent quality and it will last many, many years.
- Our Austrian model is our fattest, warmest and fluffiest duvet. This is for people who like to turn down their heat and/or open their window at night or for people who are always cold in any temperature or season. This is our most popular duvet since you can use it even on a warm night; done through down adjustment by punching the down to the end of the tunnels to make the section on top of you as thin as you like. Some customers add another pound or half a pound to the duvet if they want an even fatter duvet or if their surroundings are very, very cold.
- Our Bavarian model is still very warm and fluffy. It can also be adjusted the same way as the Austrian model. It is our mid-weight duvet. This is the model that we recommend or dual zone duvets be customized with (see custom services). This model is very comfortable for warm summer nights, and keeping you toasty in the cooler months as well.
- Our Classic Duvet is not as fat as the other 2 models, but is great for customers that find that their body temperature is always warm and/or if you live in a warm environment. It still contains the same top grade, beautifully fluffy white goose downs as the other models, but in lesser amounts.
Many people with allergies are delighted to learn it is extremely rare to be allergic to down. The allergy is most often to the quill of the feather (dust mites), and of course, down has very few quills. If you have allergies you may sleep with a down pillow and a down duvet instead of those made with synthetics that flatten, become lumpy and never breathe. Superior-quality down has been washed, sterilized and placed in vacuum chambers to remove dust and allergens, leaving it hypoallergenic. Studies have even shown that polyester fibres support dust mites to a greater extent than down, so people with allergies can sleep comfortably with down bedding. We have had excellent success with customers that thought they would never be able to use down-they are! Our down and feather is all cleaned, sorted, sanitized and graded in Toronto to Canadian (or better) standards.
SAVE ENERGY - SLEEP THE HEALTHY WAY
When sleeping under a duvet, turn down your heat at night to save energy and/or open your window. It has been proven that breathing cool, fresh air does wonders to help you relax and have a sound, healthier sleep. Wear light-weight, loose-fitting clothes to promote natural relaxation. Do not tuck in the duvet - sometimes use just a part of it, letting your arms and feet hang out. During the night, if you wish to change the temperature under your duvet, simply lift it and give it a slight fluff. The cooler air in the room will immediately filter through. For hot summer nights, your duvet with tunnels is fully adjustable. The down can be punched to the end to make the part on top as thin as you wish.
Bed-making is simple with a duvet. There are no multiple layers of sheets and blankets to straighten, rearrange and tuck in. All that is required is a fitted bottom sheet, and a duvet cover (that can be washed). Just fluff your duvet every morning, filling it with as much air as possible. Pat to fill in the thin areas, then fluff again. 45 seconds is all it takes! This allows the down to loft to its fattest, adding years to the life of the duvet. If you want a smooth, neat look, gently smooth and straighten the corners.
A duvet cover is a necessity in order to protect and maintain the cleanliness of the outer down-proof cotton of your duvet. Duvet covers should be the exact size of the duvet or even smaller so as to fit tightly and keep the duvet in place. If you wish, you may make your own duvet cover by sewing together two sheets cut to the exact size of your duvet. Leave a 30" to 60" opening in the middle of one end and close this with a zipper or velcro tabs. All department or linen stores carry duvet covers in a wide variety of sizes. Very light-weight duvet covers are best as they allow your duvet to fluff to maximum height without adding extra weight. When fitting your duvet into its cover, make sure that all four corners are pushed securely into the duvet-cover corners. It is best to use only a bottom sheet with your duvet (and duvet cover), eliminating the top sheet and promoting airiness and breathability.
Absolutely we do! We can custom make duvets or pillows in almost any size, and we can custom fill to your specifications as well. Our duvet shells are not pre-manufactured, they are made by us to order. Email us the measurements you are searching for and we can give you a quote. We also make “DUAL ZONE” duvets. A dual zone duvet is perfect for two very different temperature sleepers sharing one bed. We custom fill and mark one side of the duvet with MORE down for the cooler sleeper, and LESS down on the side for the warmer sleeper-this way everyone is happy. We can advise how much down to add/subtract based on your individual needs. The best style of duvet to make a dual zone duvet from is our BAVARIAN duvet.
A down duvet is fully washable and dryable in a dryer. However, since your duvet will always be covered with a duvet cover that will be washed regularly, the duvet itself will rarely require washing. If you get spills or spots, just sponge these with soapy water or wash a small area in the sink or tub, and put in the sun or dryer. Twice a year, to freshen your duvet, place outside in the sun for several hours. Dry cleaning a duvet is not recommended as the cleaning fluids flatten the down filaments and the fumes linger for some time. If you really must wash your duvet, place it in the washing machine with mild detergent. Do not use bleach as this weakens the cotton fibres and creates tiny holes. Dry in the dryer, but remove many, many times to pull apart the wet clumps of down and reposition the duvet. Do not over heat the duvet - use a lower heat setting if possible. Remove the duvet and frequently check it. It takes up a lot of space in the dryer, so you do not want it against the heating element/vent for long periods of time. The drying process will take several hours. Finish off in the sun, fluffing and turning to make sure the down is very, very dry.
Down creates a pillow that is heavenly and airy, allowing your head to sink through.
- Our 'soft' down pillows are just for people who like a very, very soft pillow - one that you can squish into a ball or roll up under your chin. Almost like not having a pillow at all, but you do!
- Our 'medium' down pillow has quite a bit more filling but still feels soft. Meant more for sleepers that flip from back to side to tummy.
- Our 'firm' down pillow is filled almost to maximum but is still not hard - it is impossible to make such a fluffy filling hard! Meant for side sleepers to provide some support between your head and the bed.
Half Down/Half Feather Pillows
If you wish to be propped up a little, buy a pillow that is half down and half feather. The feathers we use are very fine and don't poke through. You can hardly tell the difference between this half-and-half filling and the down, however, the feathers give more bulk and prevent your head from sinking right through to the mattress.
- The 'medium' half-down/half-feather pillow is perfect for a lot of our customers - just the right balance!
- The 'firm' half-down/half-feather pillow is very full to satisfy those who like to be propped up by a bulky (but not hard) pillow.
- If you want only a down pillow, but also want to be propped up, try using an old, hard, flat pillow underneath your fluffy down pillow.
- If you want to make a pillow more firm, just put it in a smaller (width-wise) pillow case, or sew one narrower on your sewing machine.
- Queen-size pillows do fit into standard pillow cases, they just reach the edge of the opening.
- King-size pillows are not as popular because of their size. The larger the pillow, the more space for the filling to move around. People tend to use three standard or queen-size pillows across a king-size bed.
Cleaning & Care:
- A down pillow can be washed in the washing machine with mild detergent and put in the dryer. Pull it out of the dryer many, many times to pull apart wet clumps of down and then put back in. Dry for a long time to make sure all the down is very, very dry.
- A pillow protector is not necessary with Old Europe Duvet pillows since we have two layers of cotton on our pillows to keep the down clean.
- If you feel you want extra protection, do not use a zippered extra cover, just use an old thin pillow case under your regular case-or even two pillowcases for extra protection!
If you have allergies to feathers, buy a down pillow. It is very rare to be allergic to down. Most often, the allergy is to the quill of the feather (quill mites). Down has very few quills. If down and feather are properly cleaned and sanitized, both can be considered hypoallergenic. Buy only top-quality down and feather, and make sure they are properly sanitized.
*Customer is responsible for all duties/customs/taxes incurred in country of delivery, these are not included in the purchase price. Please contact your local customs agency to estimate these charges.