We’ve got lots of information about doonas and quilts on site, but there are always more questions being asked! Here are some of the things you wanted to know about this bedroom staple.
Doonas, quilts or duvets?
In Australia, before the 1970s, quilts were referred to as a continental quilt. In the 1980s the term ‘doona’ was coined, after a popular brand came about. The word ‘doona’ is said to have stemmed from the Danish word ‘dyne’ which means down feathers. So we took on this term in the 1980s like an Australian slang term for quilts, and it has stuck around ever since! Most Australians now use the term doona meaning a quilt: there is no difference between a quilt and a doona. You might also hear the term ‘duvet’, which is used most commonly throughout Europe. This also refers to a quilt or doona. All three terms can be used interchangeably.
So what is a doona exactly?
A doona or quilt is a soft, flat bag filled with something for warmth, whether that be down, feathers, cotton or a synthetic fibre. The filling is typically held in a white fabric casing. Your doona goes into a doona cover and sits on the top layer of your bed above your fitted and flat sheet.
The standard doona sizes in Australia are:
- Cot - 100cm x 135cm
- Single - 140 cm x 210cm
- Double - 180cm x 210cm
- Queen - 210cm x 210cm
- King - 245cm x 210cm
- Super king - 270cm x 240cm
Note that all the lengths are the same, from single right through to king. All are 210cm long, but their widths vary dramatically.
Comforter vs quilt
A comforter (also called a coverlet or bed cover) has the same characteristics as a quilt, except the casing is finished. That means instead of a plain white casing, designed to be put inside a quilt cover, it features a casing designed to be on display. This may be plain, quilted, waffle, or some other design. It’s a finished, all-in-one version of a quilt and does not require an additional quilt cover.
All your doona questions, answered
What is GSM for quilts?
You might understand what quilt sizes and materials mean, but what is a quilt’s GSM? When it comes to quilts and doonas, GSM refers to grams per square metre - the weight of the fabric. When you take a sheet of material that is 1m x 1m and weigh it in grams, that’s the GSM. This is one of the benchmark specifications to meet in terms of production quality, and will indicate how warm and heavy your doona is.
What is the best lightweight summer doona?
The best doona to buy for summer is something that is light on the body, and composed of a fibre that doesn’t contain or produce heat. There are three ultralight products we particularly recommend:
- The Bambury Commercial Chateau Micro Down quilt range - although it is microfibre, this quilt is only 250GSM and comes in a cotton casing to keep you cool.
- The Hilton Deluxe Bamboo Breath Easy quilt range - This is 350GSM with a cotton cover. It is hypoallergenic and because it is bamboo it is antibacterial and odour resistant.
- The Hilton Deluxe Cool Cotton quilt range - Again, this quilt is just 350GSM with a cotton cover to keep you comfortable all summer long.
Are bamboo quilts warm?
Bamboo quilts are great for a lot of things, but we wouldn’t describe them as warm. If you’re looking for warmth you’re generally looking for something heavier in weight. Our Bamboo quilt is 350GSM, which would be considered an ultralight quilt meaning it is designed for summer. Although bamboo quilts can be warm enough through summer and maybe even into spring and autumn, most people would need to add a blanket or a heavier quilt in the winter months.
Can you give us a review of microfibre quilts?
Our microfibre quilt review? 5 stars! Microfibre is a synthetic material which is super light and fluffy while also being hypoallergenic. It offers a lot of loft, particularly if you choose a higher GSM product. Microfibre is extremely cozy, and is the perfect alternative to feather and down for allergy sufferers who can’t use those or for people who are simply looking for a more cost-effective option than feather and down. Microfibre is great value for money, and on top of it all it is easy care to make washing your doona simple.
How often should I be washing my doona?
Adults can sweat up to 200mls of liquid every night, so you can understand why it’s really important to keep your bedding clean! And that doesn’t just apply to your sheets. Our rule of thumb is that a quilt should be washed after six months of use. If you change your doona with the seasons, this can be an easy way to remember - when you switch from your winter quilt to a coverlet or lighter doona for summer, send it off to be dry cleaned before storing it away, and do the same with the other quilt at the end of the summer.
Does a doona need dry cleaning?
It’s always important to look at the care label for your product before you make any decisions about cleaning. Some may say washable up to sixty degrees, while others will say dry clean only. If it says dry clean only then it’s definitely best to send it to the professionals. You don’t want to be washing a feather doona at home (although we recommend giving it some time in direct sunlight to kill dust mites before it goes for professional cleaning!).
If your product label says it’s okay to wash your doona, you still might want to get the pros involved. Unless you have a large family size washing machine, your home washing machine probably won’t cope with the size of your doona, especially if you have a king or super king quilt. If you do have a washing machine that’s sufficient, drying can still be tricky. You might need to make sure it’s a warm time of year and put it out on the line every day for a week. So think these things through before you make your decision.
In general if your doona is made of a synthetic fiber it can be washed, whereas if it is made of a natural fibre such as wool or silk it will probably be dry clean only.
Isn’t it expensive to order a bulky doona online?
Not if you order from us! We ship some of the very best quilts Australia wide for one low shipping rate of $9.95, so you don’t have to worry about paying extra for a bulky or heavy package. It’s fine to buy online, and you won’t even have to worry about getting it home from the shop!
If you have more questions, be sure to check out our article on quilts and doonas, or get in touch and we’ll be sure to help!