Many of us have grown up with just one option, the only option we’ve ever known and never really considered researching something new. If your current doona option works for you, then this article might not be of interest to you… But if you’re undecided or ever thought your doona could be a little warmer or maybe a little “fluffier” then read on!
You might be unaware but there are actually many different doona options on the market today, and it can be a very difficult and frustrating task to find the right one for you!
Let’s start with the basic four options you have – duck down, microfiber, wool and cotton – and there is a big difference between them! Most can be purchased from any good linen or bedding retail store and each have their pros and cons. We look at the four main choices below:
1. Duck Down
This is the traditional choice as the oldest duvets (from the 18th century onwards) were made out of duck feathers. But you may be wondering what is “down”? It’s the stuff that keeps little ducks and geese warm by trapping air particles in, keeping the animals insulated against the cold.
It’s very light and feels unbeatably fluffy! Sleeping bags used in the Arctic are usually made of duck down, so you’re pretty safe here if warmth is your main concern!
Pros: Ultimate warmth- you certainly won’t find a warmer option.
Cons: Bacteria LOVE the pockets of warm air between the feathers, maybe even more so than you! Down doonas are notorious for attracting and providing a breeding ground for bacteria growth – gross! Unfortunately, these doonas are not machine washable and require regular professionally cleaning. Being an organic fibre, bacteria growth simply can’t be avoided!
Experts also recommend that feather doonas are ‘puffed’ regularly which involves the doona being hung on a clothes line and beaten with a tennis racket to keep its fluffy appearance.
Feathers are also a major culprit for allergies and are renowned for irritating asthma suffers, as well as causing eczema and hay fever like symptoms. For this reason, this is generally not the safest option if you have children.
2. Microfiber Doona (The down alternative)
If you are looking for a hypo-allergenic option that’s easy to keep clean but still has the “fluffy” appearance and warmth of the traditional down doona, this alternative is a hard one to beat!
“Microfiber” is a blanket term for a synthetic fibre which mimics the air trapping action of a down doona.
Pros: High warmth rating which can easily compete with that of the down doona. It won’t cause allergies or trap any nasty bacteria and best of all, it’s 100% machine washable!
Cons: Despite serving almost the same purpose as down doonas, they do not have the heavy feel of one- which some might argue just isn’t quite the real deal.
3. Wool Doonas
This is another great, warm doona that’s often forgotten! Wool doonas are hypo-allergenic, easy to clean and are more natural for those who do not like the idea of a “synthetic” option.
Pros: A wool doona’s warmth is usually measured in GSM – the weight of the doona, therefore the heavier is it, the warmer it should be! This makes it relatively easy to make sure the warmth rating is high enough for you! These are also 100% machine washable.
Cons: Wool is much heavier than down and microfiber so you won’t get the soft fluffy feeling with this option. It will be warm, but flat and heavy.
This option is really the summer quilt option- light and cool, making it the perfect quilt for warm nights.
Pros: 100% machine washable and just the right thickness for warmer nights.
Cons: Not for “all year around” use – if you are after one doona which can serve its purpose throughout the year, cotton is not for you!
For those who really feel the cold at night the warmth of Down is unbeatable. In saying this, if you experience allergies or someone in the family does, its best you go to the next best thing, Microfiber. Wool is a great natural option which is easy to clean and will keep you warm during the cooler nights, just make sure you check the GSM. Finally, if you’re looking for something just for the summer, Cotton will do the trick!
If you want to know our pick it’s Microfiber. It has the warmth of a feather doona, without the allergy rick and hassle of a regular professional clean and “fluff”. It is machine washable and can be used all year round!