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Devon Duvets Blog

  1. How a summer duvet can help to keep you cool

    How a summer duvet can help to keep you cool

    As the nights start to get a bit warmer, you may be thinking about a lighter duvet, but with so many options out there, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees (and speaking of trees, we’ll get to that a little further on in this blog!). So, with keeping cooler in mind, we’ve put some pointers below and if you’d like more information, then we’re here to help.

    Firstly, each one of our duvets is individually handcrafted, here in Devon, by our brilliant seamstresses. We only use natural fibres for our fillings because they are breathable and better for temperature regulation, unlike synthetic fibres, which can trap heat and make you feel hotter. Natural fibres are also sustainable and eco-friendly too, because when it’s time to replace your duvet, it won’t sit in landfill for decades. You can even use the filling for compost in your garden!

    Secondly, we often get asked when the best time is for making the switch to a summer duvet. Although this will depend on when you are starting to feel a bit too warm under your winter duvet, there are other factors to consider, such as the ambient temperature in your bedroom. Natural fibres have the ability to adjust to this, releasing or retaining heat and thereby helping to keep your core body temperature level. The time taken for this adjustment to take place depends on the tog rating of your duvet. For example, with our lightweight 100% British wool duvet, there is one layer of wool, so it can react more quickly to warmer temperatures, releasing heat, whereas our medium (warmer weight) wool duvets, has two layers so the adjustment will take slightly longer in a warm bedroom. The same applies to our other lightweight duvet options. This makes a lightweight natural fibre duvet a great choice for the summer.

    We’ve put some information below about the lighter tog duvets available in our range of natural duvets, together with their features and benefits. However, if you’d like to chat through any opt

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  2. How to create a calm and peaceful environment in your bedroom

    How to create a calm and peaceful environment in your bedroom

    April is Stress Awareness Month and it is now widely recognised that not getting enough uninterrupted sleep each night can have an impact on our stress levels. If we’re not sleeping properly, then we are tired during the day, we find it hard to concentrate and can struggle with our daily jobs and chores. This can then add to the usual stresses of everyday life.

    It’s hard to relax sometimes, with emails pinging back and forth, constant communication available through our mobiles and social media - and distressing news on the radio and TV. Night sweats, experienced by those going through Peri Menopause and Menopause, are also well-known culprits for causing disrupted sleep patterns. However, getting a good night’s sleep is critical and so it’s important to find ways to switch off around bedtime and get the best possible night’s sleep.

    Here’s some tips on how to get ready for cosy slumber and creating a peaceful environment in your bedroom.

    Cool it

    In order for our brain to trigger us into sleep, our body temperature has to drop by 1 – 2 degrees and this also helps us to stay asleep for longer. Hot, stuffy bedrooms that are heated will end up keeping you awake. The ideal bedroom temperature is said to be around 17 degrees centigrade, so turn that radiator down or off (this will help with heating bills too!) and if you can, open a window. Having a warm shower or bath about 30 minutes before bedtime will cause your body temperature to rise slightly and then drop as you cool down and this can also help trigger sleep.

    Colour me beautiful

    Choose calming colour schemes for your bedroom. These include all the natural tones, such as beige, pale greys, off-white, as well as pale blues, soft greens and very light pinks. Try to avoid purple, red and orange as these evoke energy and creativity. Very dark browns and bl

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  3. How Devon Duvets featured on UK wide radio for World Sleep Day

    How Devon Duvets featured on UK wide radio for World Sleep Day
     

     

    Last Friday, 18th March, was World Sleep Day. The focus for this annual event is the importance of sleep for our health and wellbeing. Our founders and owners, Dick and Pauline Beijen were approached by a number of UK radio stations, from Scotland to Cornwall, and as far as the Channel Islands, to talk about sleep and how to create the best environment to help achieve a great sleep when you tuck yourself up each night. They were also featured on Sky News Radio.

    One of the topics discussed was ‘Sleep Divorce. Recent research has revealed that there has been an increase in couples choosing to sleep in separate beds due to their partner’s annoying sleep habits. The study discovered that 51% of Brits prefer to sleep apart from their partners so that they can sleep better. Nearly half of UK adults admit that they don’t get the right amount of sleep, with women (54%) being more likely to agree than men (41%) – with differences in body temperature being one of the main reasons

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  4. Why wool is better than synthetic fibres

    Why wool is better than synthetic fibres

    Wool Wellbeing Tip #1: Wool Clothing

    It can be difficult to know if you are making environmentally-friendly choices when you are shopping for clothes, but one thing is clear – choosing natural fibres over synthetics can make a huge difference in protecting our soils, waterways and oceans.

    Microplastic particles from synthetic clothing and textiles are widespread in aquatic and land-based ecosystems around the world and 35% of those in marine environments are fibres from synthetic clothing. During a recent survey, 44% of people asked did not realise that the synthetic fibres in their clothes (such as polyester, acrylic or nylon) are actually plastic.

    Naturally (excuse the pun!), because we handcraft wool-filled bedding products, we regularly write about how wool is better than synthetic fibres because of its sustainability.  A sheep’s fleece continuously grows and so in the spring and summer needs to be sheared to relieve the sheep from its heavy winter coat. Wool also has temperature regulating properties, as well as a natural resistance to dust mites. But it doesn’t just stop there. When it comes to biodegradability, wool is a lot better for the planet than synthetic materials because it does not cause microplastic pollution.

    So, it's not just about being better for us but also for our beautiful planet too – and we call this ‘wool wellbeing’! Recent studies have shown that wool readily biodegrades, releasing nutrients, and this is better for our soils and, ultimately, our marine environments.  

    When you are next out and about, shopping for new wardrobe items, here are some things to bear in mind:

    • Check the labels: choose garments that are made from natural fibres or, at least, have a high percentage of natural fibres. Examples are wool, cotton, tencel, linen, bamboo and silk. Clothing made from synthetic (plastic) is listed a
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  5. Our award winning toppers are even bigger and better than before

    Our award winning toppers are even bigger and better than before

    Although we have won several awards for our individually handcrafted 100% British wool mattress toppers (including an ‘Indy Best Buy’ from The Independent), we don’t want to rest on our laurels. As more and more people are discovering the joys of sleeping more soundly having purchased one of our wool mattress toppers, we’re constantly looking for ways to maximise the way we build luxury into every stitch.

    Working hand-in-hand with our brilliant seamstresses, here in our workshops on the edge of Dartmoor, we tried a number of new ideas. Through this process, we discovered that if we combined additional layers of wool with hand fluffed wool, this would create an even plumper topper that has a bit more ‘spring’ to it. More wool and more ‘springiness’ means even more comfort!

    If you’re at the stage of thinking about using a mattress topper for the first time, then you might not have considered wool before. We know we’re biased because we love wool - but we have many good reasons for this, which we’ll share with you. Firstly, wool is sustainable and 100% natural. That means it is eco-friendly and we all increasingly want to do our bit to help the planet where we can!

    Wool is also breathable and temperature regulating, so works with your body’s core temperature and the ambient temperature of your bedroom to help keep your temperature consistent, which means less interrupted sleep. This is very different from synthetic fibres, which can trap heat in the warmer months and make you feel even hotter. Being too hot can lead to a very disrupted sleep and that’s not good for anyone. Naturally resistant to dust mites and the build-up of micro bacteria, wool is also hypoallergenic and more hygienic than many other fibres. All of this adds up to what we call ‘wool wellbeing’.

    The really good news is that because we want to support British farmers, we only ever use

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  6. How to help boost your immunity this year

    British wool helping your wellbeing

    Now that we are in to 2022, we all have hopes for a positive year that will bring us happiness and wellbeing. A good immune system is so important for good health and trying to live a healthier lifestyle will help give this a boost.

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  7. Why we have been snuggling into duvets for 5000 years

    Why we have been snuggling into duvets for 5000 years

    Duvets have been around a lot longer than most of us realise. This is probably because it took a while for them to become popular in the UK and they have been through various transformations throughout their history.

    Some archaeological digs have suggested that an early form of duvet was used in China, as far back as 3,000BCE. In Ancient Rome, patrician Romans used both blankets and quilts on their beds (lecti cubicidates) but the first documented use of a duvet dates back to the Viking era. Many of the largest and most richly equipped Viking burial mounds discovered contained beds with several types of bird feathers and down from pillows and duvets. This has included down from the Eider duck and feathers from the Eurasian Eagle Owl, the largest owl in northern Europe. The luxury of owning a pillow and duvet was reserved for the wealthiest in Norse society.

    In the mid 18th century, Thomas Nugent, an Englishman on a tour of Europe, passed through Germany and remarked that there was one very peculiar thing about the people there: “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 can they bear their feather-beds over them in summer, as is generally practised, I cannot conceive.”  Of course, if they had used wool then this wouldn’t have been so surprising perhaps… but more on that later!

    By the early to mid 1800s, eiderdowns were popular with affluent Victorians and continued to be so until well into the 20th century. These tend to be heavier than duvets and balance on top of the bed, without any overhang. They were used to add warmth to sheets and blankets in the coldest months, and older generations in the UK today will remember these still being popular in their childhood. In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy story ‘The Princess and the Pea’ (published in 1835), the princess has to lie on 10 eiderdown quilts to avoid being b

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  8. Why we sometimes feel more tired in the Winter

    Why we sometimes feel more tired in the Winter

    Winter is a wonderful time of the year – cosy nights in front of the fire, hot chocolate, comfort food and frosty days with bright blue skies.  We can also feel a bit more tired and less energetic - and there’s a reason for this change. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are tilted away from the sun as part of the Earth’s natural orbit, and this is what makes the daylight hours shorter and darker hours longer. It’s colder too, as a result, making it harder to leave your cosy bed! All of this makes us want to sleep longer.

    Sunlight helps our bodies to make vitamin D, which is essential for good health, so we notice a difference when we don't get enough. Less sunlight also causes our brain to produce more of the hormone melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy. These changes in daylight and melatonin levels have an impact on our internal clock, also known as our circadian rhythm. As a result of the darkness our brain tells us that we should be tucked up and sleeping more. Although it’s nice to have extra time in bed, and whilst we sometimes wish we could stay in bed and not have to get up for work or get the kids to school we all have our busy daily lives. So, it’s all about managing that – and here’s some ideas to help:

    • Let there be light! Firstly, make sure you are letting in as much light as possible throughout the day. Open your curtains as soon as you wake up and maybe even the window to let some fresh air in. You could even wrap up and try some meditation or yoga in the sun to allow your body to relax and soak it all up. The more sunlight you get, the better you will feel!
    • Step up! Exercise is good for you and helps you feel fresh and revitalised. It’s so easy to slip into bad habits and practically hibernate during the cold weather but push yourself and you will feel much better for it. Why not try getting sunlight and exercise all within the same hour? Go for a light early morning jog – even a brisk walk will set you for th
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  9. Things you might not know about Alpacas

    Things you might not know about Alpacas

    Although we’ve been famous for our individually handcrafted 100% British wool duvets for over 11 years, more recently we’ve developed our range of alpaca duvets. We only ever use high grade, natural white 100% British alpaca wool that’s been approved by the British Alpaca Society and we receive a limited amount each year, so once it’s gone, it’s gone – until next year’s shearing!

    Alpacas are from South America, and it is thought they were originally domesticated in the Puna region of Peru around 6,000 years ago. They are a member of the camel (Camelidae) family, although they are not strong enough to be ridden. They were first imported into the UK in the mid 1800s but did not arrive in larger numbers until the early 1990s, when they became popular for their appealing looks and luxuriously soft wool.

    Ellie, one of our customer services team, has done some research and has found some facts that are less well known about Alpacas.

    • Just your type: There are two types – Huacaya (Wah-ki-ah) and Suri (Soo-ree). Huacaya are most common and make up 90% of Alpacas. They can be crossbred and are then called Huarizo. Their fleece has long, soft fibres, comes in 22 colours and it is naturally breathable, hypoallergenic (dust mite resistant) and fire retardant. We choose white alpaca wool as it does not show through the duvet casing in the same way as the darker colours can – and, as mentioned above, we only use natural white alpaca wool, so that we don’t have to use bleach or chemicals to make it white.
    • No Alpaca is an island: they are very social animals that don’t like to live alone but are best kept in groups of three or more.
    • Within spitting distance: Alpacas have no teeth in the top front of their mouths, but they can spit up to 10 feet, although spitting at humans is generally rare.
    • Alpaca talk: They hum, haw and ‘orgle’ sounds, but they can also screech loudly if they feel threatened.
    • Alpaca love: Fe
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  10. Going to the mattresses

    Going to the mattresses

    Having a great night’s sleep is very important for health and wellbeing – and, of course, we know that 100% wool filled bedding will aid a better night’s sleep. Wool’s temperature regulating properties, combined with its resistance to dust mites and the build-up of micro bacteria means that it not only helps you to maintain a balanced core body temperature whilst you sleep, but it’s also more hygienic - and great for asthma sufferers.

    However, we often forget that investing in a good mattress is also a vitally important part of creating the right environment for a restful sleep. There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning all night because you just can’t get comfy or waking up with backache because your mattress sags and dips, so doesn’t give you the right support whilst you sleep. There’s also the hygiene aspect to consider too. A mattress used over an 8-year period can accumulate 23,000 hours’ worth of sweat, dead skin…and dust mites. It makes us all feel a bit squeamish to read the cold, hard facts - but this is why the general guideline for mattress replacement is every 8 years.

    So, how do you go about finding the ideal mattress for you and your needs? Here’s some top tips.

    1. Research the different types of mattresses:

    • Innerspring – these mattresses use coils, which provide a traditional ‘bounce’ feel and offer support. Many are made with natural materials so they are breathable and can help to regulate temperature - this is particularly so with mattresses containing wool.
    • Latex – latex comes from rubber trees. Mattresses made from latex can offer ‘bounce’ and responsiveness but are more effective at temperature regulation if they have air-circulating innerspring coils.
    • Memory foam – these mattresses are designed to contour to the body, but some users find that memory foam can ‘sleep warm’ as they can trap heat.
    • Hybrid – these combine memory foam or latex layers on top of an innerspring mattr
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