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Silk vs down: which is the best filling for a duvet?

When it comes to getting a restful night’s sleep, the materials you choose for your bedding can greatly impact your quality of sleep. With each option offering different benefits, it can be a difficult decision when choosing the right filling for your duvet. Two of the more luxurious options are down and silk, with both offering an indulgent feel that can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the day ahead.

If you’re looking to upgrade your bedding set-up and are struggling to decide between these two options, our useful guide will help you to make a more informed choice. Join us as we discuss the best duvet filling, alongside their advantages and disadvantages.

What are the different types of duvet filling?

In modern-day society, duvet fillings are typically made of cotton or polyester. This is most often because these materials are relatively cheap to source and can keep in the heat making them suitable, if not very comfortable, options. However, traditionally, feather down was an extremely popular choice for those who could afford it, and silk has always maintained its own luxury appeal. Today, both are seen as high-luxury options and each possesses a unique set of qualities. Moving away from cotton and polyester fillings to one of the more opulent materials can transform the way that you sleep, as they offer more temperature-regulating properties and breathability, as well as a set of natural benefits that ultimately result in a greater level of comfort that can lull you into a restful slumber.

What are the benefits of silk as a duvet filling?

Silk is known for being incredibly soft to the touch, with nothing coming close to its opulent feel. It naturally conforms to the shape of the body, enveloping it in a comfortable embrace. This material has much to offer which makes it an excellent choice for a duvet filling, and we’ve highlighted a few of the most relevant benefits below. However, if you’d like to read a more in-depth guide on the relationship between silk and sleep you can refer to our ‘can sleep make a difference to your night’s sleep?’ blog.

Silk is hypoallergenic

Silk is naturally hypoallergenic, which makes it ideal for sensitive sleepers such as those who have allergies and those with skin conditions. It contains sericin, a protein that is antibacterial and antifungal which helps to repel mould and dust mites that are typically harboured in bedding materials such as cotton and polyester. For the most sensitive of sleepers, we’d recommend opting for a silk-filled and silk-covered duvet, paired with a silk bedding set to help combat any allergens.

Silk Filled and Covered Duvet - All Seasons Weight

Silk Filled Silk Covered Duvet - All Seasons Weight from £885

Silk is less rigid than other materials

Silk is made of fine filaments which are not bulky which allows the material to reshape itself and follow the shape of your body. This enhances comfort and ensures that the filling won’t bunch up inside of its casing, meaning that you’ll no longer have to adjust any lumps or bumps in your duvet, ideal for those who exhibit a lot of movement through the night.

Silk has natural temperature-regulating properties

Mulberry silk has thermoregulating properties which means that when used as a duvet filling, it can keep you warm in winter and cool in summer by trapping enough body heat between the threads and allowing excess heat to escape. It also works to wick away moisture for added comfort and temperature stability, as silk is very lightweight and has a mesh-like natural structure which makes it more breathable than materials such as down and cotton.

What are the benefits of down as a duvet filling?

Down presents a few of the same benefits as silk, such as being lightweight, breathable, and a good thermal insulator. However, despite rigorous cleaning, it cannot be considered fully hypoallergenic and doesn’t have the same fluid-like movement as silk. So when deciding between silk vs down for your duvet, does it have any other advantages?

Down duvets are better for cold sleepers

Down can retain quite a lot of heat which makes them ideal for colder conditions or those who need extra warmth. This property is why many padded coats contain feather down, due to its excellent insulation ability. However, on the other hand, if you regularly get too hot during the night, or want a single duvet to last through the hot and cold seasons, then this material may not be the best option for you.

Down provides an unmatched feeling of loft

As silk has its unparalleled soft splendour, down has a loftiness that cannot be replicated in other materials. Some people prefer this feeling as it can feel more breathable, padded, and supportive. This also gives a hotel-like feeling, alongside a material that can help disperse moisture and help to provide more stable body temperature regulation.

Down is very durable and long-lasting

When cared for correctly, down can be a very durable material. Of course, the same can be said about silk, but typically down is slightly less high maintenance. This will make your investment in down more appealing as you’ll get years of use out of your duvet. However, you should bear in mind that you are likely to need to reloft your down duvet as repeated use will cause the quality to change.

Silk vs down duvet - which is the better of the two?

When it comes to choosing between these two materials, your decision will largely depend on the feeling that you prefer. When looking at the qualities of each, we would recommend silk as this seems to have an advantage over down in several areas, including better temperature regulation and quality maintenance. However, if you would prefer a supported and lofty feeling then down may be the better choice. Both materials are likely to have a positive effect on your sleep quality, especially if you are currently using cotton or synthetic blends like polyester. 

Silk duvets are also more suitable for use throughout the year, especially when opting for an all seasons weight. This means that you’ll be kept at a comfortable temperature throughout the night, whether that be a cool winter’s eve or a hot summer climate, and you won’t need to switch out your duvet multiple times a year or worry about appropriate storage for these luxury materials.

Find your perfect duvet filling with Gingerlily

If you’re not ready to make the switch to a full silk duvet, we offer a selection of silk blend duvets at Gingerlily. Using the finest long-strand pure mulberry silk wrapped around a polyester core and encased in cotton, you can start to experience the splendour of silk and effortlessly enhance your sleeping space. Alternatively, for a full upgrade to your bedding set, browse through our collection of silk pillows and mattress toppers.