Everything You Wanted to Know About Quilts

Quilts and Doonas

We’ve got lots of information about 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.

Quilts or duvets?

Penthouse Living 500GSM Quilt Range

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?

Woolstaar Ultimate All Seasons Quilts Doonas

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

MM Linen Aviana Quilt Cover Set Rose

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?


Woolstar Ultimate All Season Australian Wool 550

You might understand what quilt sizes and materials mean, but what is a quilt’s GSM? When it comes to bed 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 quilt?


Cool Cotton 350GSM Quilt Range

The best quilt 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:

 Are bamboo quilts warm?


Bamboo Breathe Easy 350GSM Quilt Range

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?


Microfibre Quilts Doonas

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?


Washing Quilts Doonas

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 sets at the end of the summer.

Does a doona need dry cleaning?


Herington All Seasons Wool Quilt Doona

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 quilt 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! We also have a wide range of quilt covers Australia that comes in various size from single size, queen size doona covers, king size quilt and doona covers into a super king size.