History[ edit ] From Viking times, duvets of eider down were used by people on the northern coast of Norway. From the 16th century, wealthy people all over Europe began buying and using such duvets. In the story The Princess and the Pea from , H.
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Andersen tells about a princess lying on 10 eider-down duvets. In the midth century, Thomas Nugent , an Englishman on a grand tour then passing through Westphalia , observed with surprise: There is one thing very particular to them, that they do not cover themselves with bed-clothes, but lay one feather-bed over, and another under.
This is comfortable enough in winter, but how they can bear their feather-beds over them in summer, as is generally practised, I cannot conceive. Duvets can reduce the complexity of making a bed, as they can be used without a top sheet, blankets or quilts or other bed covers.
Duvets can be made warmer than blankets without becoming heavy.
The duvet itself fits into a specially made cover, usually of cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. The duvet cover can be removed and laundered as often as the bottom sheet and pillow cases. The duvet itself may be cleaned much more rarely, and depending on its contents, may require specialist dry cleaning.
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While a comforter is fundamentally the same as a duvet in terms of construction, it is used somewhat differently. In the United States, comforters are used on top of the flat sheet, often without a cover.
Regional variations[ edit ] Duvets are the most common form of bed covering, especially in northern Europe. They became popular throughout the world in the late 20th century.
In Asian countries like India and Pakistan, duvets are known as "ralli quilts" or razai. Thermal performance tog rating [ edit ] Manufacturers rate the performance of their duvets in togs , a measurement of thermal insulation. This enables the purchaser to select a duvet appropriate to the season: A few manufacturers have marketed combined duvet sets, one of approximately 4. The light-weight one is for summer and the medium one for spring and autumn; snapped together, 14 togs is designed for winter.
Standards and sizes[ edit ] Modern manufacturing conventions have resulted in a large number of sizes and standards. In popular culture[ edit ] The term " duvet day " is used in some countries to describe an allowance of one or more days a year when employees can simply phone in and say that they are not coming in to work, even though they have no leave booked and are not ill. The provision of this benefit became fashionable in the late s with many larger companies in the UK.
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