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9 best summer duvets with a low tog to keep you cool on hot nights

From wool to bamboo, these lightweight and breathable covers will help you beat the heat

Zoe Phillimore
Friday 11 August 2023 13:39 BST
<p>Choose from man-made and natural fillings </p>

Choose from man-made and natural fillings

Our Top Picks

Getting a good night’s sleep can be tricky at the best of times, so, when the mercury rises, the changing of winter to summer bedding is something of a landmark event in our seasonal housekeeping calendar.

Body temperature is a key factor in getting a good night’s sleep, so investing in a cooling summer duvet is a foolproof way to improve your slumber during the warmer months. And, aside from the obvious benefits of having a light duvet as the nights warm up – staying snug without overheating – there is a science to back up changing your duvet to match the seasons.

“Our core body temperature is crucial to determining how we are able to fall asleep and this is why it is often really important to get bedding right, including how thick your duvet is,” says Dr Maja Schaedel, Clinical Psychologist at the Sleep Disorder Centre at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital, and founder of The Good Sleep Clinic.

“In order for our body to get ‘ready’ for sleep, we need several physiological changes to occur.” They add. “We need our core body temperature to drop by 1-2C, we need our breathing to slow down and for our muscles to relax. If our body temperature is too high, it signals to us that we need to stay alert and awake and we are not yet in a safe place to go to sleep.”

Science aside, there are two main types of duvetto look for – natural and man-made fibre. The former can be made from plant-based products such as bamboo, or from animal products such as sheep’s wool, and are often thought to be better temperature regulators. However, man-made fibres are often more budget-friendly, but can include less environmentally friendly fillings. The best summer duvet for you should be breathable and lightweight, but provide a bit more of a snuggle factor than a simple sheet.

How we tested

We laid down on the job on this one, testing numerous summer duvets during some warm spring evenings. We were on the hunt for ones that were breathable and lightweight, but also good value for money too. What makes for a good duvet can be slightly subjective, so we recruited a highly fussy co-tester to help us and these are the undisputed best summer duvets.

The best summer duvets for 2023 are:

  • Best overall – Simba hybrid 3-in-1 duvet: £249,
  • Best lightweight wool duvet – Devon Duvets lightweight wool duvet: £170,
  • Best budget buy – Dunelm fogarty 4.5 hollowfibre duvet: £18,
  • Best cotton duvet – Dusk 100 per cent cotton duvet: £35,
  • Best cooling duvet – Next active cooling duvet: £90,

Simba hybrid 3-in-1 duvet

  • Best: Overall
  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Tog rating: 7 + 3.5

So clever old Simba has answered the question of which duvet to use and given us everything all in one product. There’s a 7 tog duvet for spring and autumn, a 3.5 tog duvet for summer and then you can put them together for full winter coverage. Simba has even colour coded them so you don’t get mixed up.

Let’s plumb the layers. The casing is made from temperature-regulating cotton that draws heat away from you when you need it. It’s made from a layer of eco-friendly modal fibres, which is super breathable and also wicks away sweat. There is also a layer of “Simba renew”, which is a green option as it’s made from recycled PET bottles and provides breathable warmth. The two-layered duvet also snaps together using poppers at each corner, making changing the duvet a bit less faff.

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Panda London cloud bamboo duvet

  • Best: All-season duvet
  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Tog rating: 10.5

Panda claims its made a down-feather-like duvet without using any actual feathers. Great for Vegans, but did it pass muster in testing? The quick answer is yes – hence why it’s on this round up. The Cloud duvet is fluffy and feels premium. The 100 per cent organic bamboo casing feels hardwearing, yet silky to touch.

Why are we supposed to be excited about bamboo? Well, it’s eco-friendly in comparison to cotton thanks to the production process being much lower impact on the environment. Bamboo is also all natural, hypoallergenic, breathable and wicks away sweat. Genius. Panda goes a step further and ensures all the bamboo it uses is grown sustainably. The filling of this duvet is actually 50 per cent organic bamboo and 50 per cent nano fibre, which is a material made out of recycled bottles. This makes it possible to chuck the duvet in the washing machine, if needs be.

If you’re after a thicker summer duvet, this is a good option. It’s 10.5 tog, and what’s known as an all-season duvet. That means it’s a one-size-fits-all approach – great if you don’t have much storage for a myriad of duvets (who does?!) or you don’t want to faff about changing over every season. We found it perfect for the April evenings we used it on as it felt super snuggly and we didn’t overheat once, nor did our fussy and prone-to-overheating co-tester.

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Soak & Sleep New Zealand Mitchell wool duvet

  • Best: For couples who can’t agree
  • Sizes: Cot, single, double, king, super king
  • Tog rating: N/A

Yet another wool duvet, but this one is sourced from sheep in New Zealand. It feels slightly thicker than the Devon Duvets’ option (£170, but you can buy this duvet in different thicknesses for different seasons if that was a dealbreaker. Obviously, we tested the summer thickness for this roundup, but it was still decently weighty. This created a nice secure feeling as we drifted off to sleep.

We liked this wool duvet for its excellent temperature regulating properties. Of course we roped in our fussy co-tester and found that both of us stayed temperate all night long. This clever duvet is perfect for those couples who cannot agree on what temperature they like to be when they sleep, as it creates your perfect temperature on each side of the bed. It’s like sleeping in a blissful cocoon. Another thumbs up goes to its hypoallergenic properties, and it’s also machine washable.

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The White Company hypoallergenic soft and light breathable duvet

  • Best: Premium man-made fibre duvet
  • Sizes: Cot bed, single, double, king, super king
  • Tog rating: 4.5

This duvet feels as pillowy as a candyfloss cloud. It’s filled with smartfil polyester fibre and modal filling, so it’s incredibly lightweight and also hypoallergenic. It allows air to flow through the duvet to keep you cool, and those modal fibres are going to help with moisture control (aka suck up your sweat).

The duvet feels luxurious thanks to the 200-thread-count cotton cover. Although we tested the 4.5 tog, it still feels pretty snug with a good drape around our body at night for that reassuring weighty feeling. Plus, we didn’t overheat, even when sharing the duvet with one other adult and one roasty toasty young child. Other points we liked was that it comes with button holes so you can partner your duvet up with another if you want to bolster the tog rating, and it also has a drawstring bag for dust-free storage. And it’s amazing value for money.

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Devon Duvets lightweight wool duvet

  • Best: Lightweight wool duvet
  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king, emperor
  • Tog rating: 4-7

We’ve long been jealous of our children’s wool duvets, so we were thrilled to take one of our own for a spin. Wool is a fantastic temperature regulator, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter and it’s also naturally flame retardant, so it is free from any chemicals if that’s a concern. Plus it’s hypoallergenic.

What we especially want to shout about on this duvet is that it’s not a big fluffy one – it’s substantial without loads of pillowy action. Some might like it for this, others might not. All opinions are valid. But if you want a low-profile duvet, this is a great option.

It is however nice and toasty. We were surprised how perfectly warm the duvet kept us despite not being fluffy. It also had a lovely drape to it, which made us feel extra snug. Other things we liked was that the wool on this duvet has been sustainably sourced from live sheep, and then handmade in England.

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Dunelm fogarty 4.5 hollowfibre duvet

  • Best: Budget buy
  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Tog rating: 4.5

We had to rub our eyes when we saw the price of this duvet. Just how Dunelm is making kingsize duvets for sub £20 we don’t know, but it makes for a very purse-friendly purchase. Made from hollowfibre, we found this duvet incredibly soft and light to snuggle in to, yet it still offered some warmth against cooler evenings. The casing is microfibre, which is good for wicking away sweat and it’s stain resistant too.

Another plus point is that this duvet is hypoallergenic, and allergy sufferers will also benefit from being able to machine wash this one too. While we didn’t find this duvet as premium as others on this round up – it’s slightly less good at temperature control, and the seams aren’t bound – but for the price we think this is a great deal.

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Dusk 100 per cent cotton duvet

  • Best: Cotton duvet
  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Tog rating: 4.5

If you want a high-end duvet but feathers just aren’t for you, then this 100 per cent cotton one provides that bouji feeling without animals getting involved in the process. The loft isn’t huge on this duvet, as there’s no fluffy fibres inside. But it draped nicely around us to make us feel snug all night long. Although Dusk says this is lightweight, we actually found it slightly weightier than other products in this round up – for us that’s no bad thing though.

Cotton is great at helping to control your temperature, so it’s going to keep you cool on those balmy summer nights without you needing to kick off the covers. The casing is also 100 per cent cotton, and the whole duvet feels very premium and incredibly soft. Allergy sufferers will like that you can bung it in the washing machine at 40C and even tumble dry it on a low heat.

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Next active cooling duvet

  • Best: Cooling duvet
  • Sizes: Double, king, super king
  • Tog rating: 4.5

Not content with just being a lightweight summer duvet, Next has made this duvet active cooling too. The casing on the duvet is infused with heiq cool dual-action cooling technology which means it offers a cooling sensation on touch, sensing when you start to get too hot and activating to release moisture to cool you down again. It will then also sense when your body temperature has lowered and stop working so you don’t get chilly. Actual witchcraft, right?!

We loved this duvet for its high-tech features. We certainly never felt too hot under it. Did we notice the cooling effect? Not tangibly, but we suppose that’s sort of the point. We were asleep, after all. The cover of the duvet is 100 per cent cotton, the filling is 100 per cent polyester, making for a lightweight duvet that still has a cloud-like pillowy-ness to it.

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Silentnight cooler summer duvet

  • Best: Thicker summer duvet
  • Sizes: Single, double, king
  • Tog rating: 7.5

This Silentnight duvet is perfect for spring and autumn, or if you feel the cold and the thought of a 4.5 tog makes you shiver. It’s still very lightweight though, as it’s made from 100 per cent polyester. The soft-touch cover is also polyester, but designed to wick away any sweat to help you stay cool all night long.

Another great thing is that it’s hypoallergenic and can be machine washed at 40C to blast all germs and mites. We found it offers the perfect level of warmth on an April night – we didn’t overheat underneath it, but found it comfortable and cosy. If you love a big fluffy duvet, this isn’t it. But again, it’s remarkable value for money.

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Summer duvet FAQs

What type of duvet is best for summer?

When it comes to choosing the perfect summer duvet for you, it’s important to consider the material it is made of. Natural duvets, like those that have duck and goose feather filling as well as down, tend to be more insulating, which means they can feel much warmer with less filling. But, if you pick one with a low tog, it could still be suitable for the summer months as they are remarkably breathable. When your duvet has a higher down-to-feather ratio, it will be more lightweight.

Wool duvets are chunkier, denser and hypoallergenic. And, while they are typically reserved for winter, they retain air well, which can keep you cool in the summer too.

Alternatively, synthetic duvets are filled with hollow fibres or microfibres. The former is more effective at trapping warmth, while the latter is a higher quality option that mimics down filling but with a more lightweight feel, which makes them great choice for those who want lighter duvets, or suffer from allergies.

What tog is a summer duvet?

The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet. So, when shopping for a summer duvet for your bedroom, an ideal tog rating is 4.5 or less.

However, you can also buy specially designed cooling duvets that are perfect for summer, which can measure up to 11 tog.

Do duvets keep you cool in summer?

Sleeping in the heat can affect even the deepest of sleepers and, while some people simply choose to sleep under a sheet during the summer months, there are others who still prefer to use a duvet.

If you fall into the latter category, the good news is that it is possible for a duvet to keep you cool. The weight, or tog, of the duvet will play a significant role, so make sure to invest in one that measures no more than 4.5 tog, or choose an all-seasons duvet that you can alter depending on the weather.

Some more high-tech styles are even made with Nasa-designed thermoregulating technology that help regulate your temperature by absorbing heat away from your body, and then returning it to you if you happen to get a chill.

The cover you use matters too, as some fabrics will help to keep your body at a more consistent temperature through the night than others. Linen and cotton are both ideal for sleeping in the heat as they are woven from natural fibres that breathe really well, which is key for staying cool.

However, linen is often the top choice as it is also a natural temperature regulator and insulator, which means it actually keeps you cooler in the summer and warmer in winter.

The verdict: Summer duvets

It’s hard to fault the Simba hybrid duvet. It covers all bases, is flexible, lightweight and eco-friendly to boot. We were thoroughly impressed. But we also acknowledge the price tag isn’t going to be for everyone (although it is an every season duvet, with two components). So, if you’re after something that leaves less of a dent in your wallet, Panda London’s bamboo duvet is fantastic. And a special shout out to Next for its futuristic cooling duvet, too.

Now that you have your summer duvet sorted, read our edit of the best mattresses to buy in 2023

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