The Real Story On Silk Duvets
September 2021 Update-
This blog post was originally published in July of 2014. We have updated the article in an effort to keep this information current and accurate.
If there is one thing we’ve noticed a lot of over the past few years, it’s the amount of misinformation and misrepresentation of silk filled duvets. The Mattress & Sleep Company ships silk filled duvets all over Canada and we’re huge fans of this type of duvet. That being said, we feel that often a silk duvet is purchased for the wrong reasons and that the intended use is often not well matched by the characteristics of this filling material.
The Marketing Angle
Silk duvets are advertised with two large benefits over other duvet types:
- Silk duvets are exceptionally light-weight
- Silk duvets sleep cooler than anything else
Both of these statements are misleading and generally false.
Yes, compared to synthetic fills, we would agree that silk duvets are light-weight. However, compared to most other natural filling materials, silk duvets are often heavier.
While the fill weight is often similar to other natural fillings, it is actually the fabric shell where we find a large difference in weight. The types of fabrics used for silk duvet construction are usually heavy woven jacquard’s.
For example, the St Geneve Premium Silk Duvet features 22 ounces of silk fill in a queen, compared with 20 ounces of down fill in the St Geneve Maple Creek Duvet. However, the fabric on the silk duvet is twice the weight. The result is that the Maple Creek duvet weighs approximately half as much as the Silk duvet as the fabric shell contributes more total weight to these duvets than the filling.
It’s not just about the total weight. You must also consider how you want the duvet to feel on top of you. A silk duvet closely follows the shape of your body, transferring the complete weight of the duvet to you. A down duvet on the other hand floats above you, a side effect of the significant amount of air that high quality down will trap. This means that a down duvet feels significantly lighter than any other duvet filling as the already light weight construction is enhanced by the floating effect of the filling material.
While everyone may have their own preferences as to what they believe is more comfortable, there is an objective reason that the behaviour of a down duvet is superior to all other types of duvets.
When we sleep, we naturally change positions during the night. It is critically important when we turn over that our bedding is not restricting this movement.
When a duvet or blanket is heavier the chances of restricting your movement are greater. When this happens, we're more likely to come out of deep sleep. Down duvets are not only the lightest style of duvet, they also float more freely above the body, which greatly improves the ease of turning over.
While we're on this topic, we'd also like to briefly mention The Elastic Bed Principle. This principle guides everything we do. A mattress which is more elastic is simply more supportive and much easier to turn over in.
Coolest Sleeping Temperatures
This is false. Although silk duvets tend to sleep very cool, they also operate in a narrower temperature range when compared to most other natural fillings. This sounds like a negative statement, but it isn’t. If you have a climate controlled environment which doesn’t vary, a silk filled duvet can be absolutely fantastic to sleep under. They will maintain a very stable temperature and will do a fine job of balancing humidity.
However, if your temperature and environment are variable, silk may not be the best choice. High quality goose down tends to work in the widest possible temperature range, followed by various wool’s such as Mérinos d’Arles Antiques® from Brun de Vian-Tiran.
Why choose silk?
The reasons to choose silk are as follows:
- You’d like a medium weight duvet which drapes naturally around the body.
- Your bedroom temperature is stable and does not vary during the season(s) in which you plan to use the duvet.
- You are okay with the possibility of having to use two different duvets for summer and winter if the climate varies significantly where you live.
- You would like the health benefits of a natural filled duvet at a more reasonable price point.
Silk Duvets are a wonderful choice when purchased for the right reasons. The Mattress & Sleep Company prides ourselves on having a very high success rate in matching our customers with the right type of duvet!
No matter which type of duvet you choose, a natural filled duvet of any variety is superior to any synthetic duvet or comforter. They’re cleaner, healthier and made from renewable resources.