What is Hollowfibre? Hollowfibre is so called because of the hollow strands of fine polyester from which it is made. The hollow, air-filled centre running through the fibres traps warm air and gives the duvet a bouncy filling. Hollowfibre duvets are very lightweight, but offer great TOG ratings, so you can keep very warm without having a thick, smothering duvet on your bed.
What is Hollowfibre?
Hollowfibre is a synthetic polyester material used for the filling in duvets and pillows (amongst other things). With a dense structure, hollowfibre has a full, springy feeling that creates lightweight puffy duvets and pillows.
Hollowfibre is a synthetic, or ‘man-made’ material similar in appearance to candy floss. The fibre is soft and bouncy, making it a perfect filling for pillows and duvets. It is durable, long-lasting and fully machine washable, the most popular filling choice for most duvets.
It is also ideal for allergy sufferers. Synthetic, or ‘non-allergenic’ duvets are hypoallergenic – the only real option for those who suffer from allergies to feathers or down, but also those allergic to dust mites. Hollowfibre duvets and pillows can be machine washed at 60 degrees, killing dust mites and bacteria. The hollow, synthetic fibres also take away any sweat and can be washed much more regularly than natural fillings.
Synthetic vs Natural Duvet Filling
There are, of course, a number of differences between hollowfibre and down duvets fillings, but perhaps the biggest is that of price vs. durability. A feather/down duvet could last up to three times as long as a hollowfibre filled duvet, but could cost three times as much.
Synthetic Filling Duvets
- The first thing to mention about hollowfibre and other synthetic duvet fillings is the price. They’re cheaper. Quite considerably. This this value for money, however, can often comes with a shorter lifespan for your duvet, but that isn’t always a bad thing. It means you can afford to replace your hollowfibre duvet more often and, if we’re being honest, there’s nothing quite a nice as brand new bedding! Also, a good quality synthetic duvet, properly cared for, can easily last up to 10 years.
- If you’re unlucky enough to suffer from allergies, eczema, asthma, rhinitis or are sensitive to dust, then hypoallergenic hollowfibre is should be your first choice.
- Hollowfibre duvets are very light, compared to feather and down duvets. Sometimes, natural filling duvets can feel very heavy, which certainly appeals to some, but not everyone.
- Synthetic duvets are considerably easier to look after. They can be washed at higher temperatures (up to 60°) and quickly dried outside on the washing line or in your tumble dryer (assuming it’s big enough!). You don’t need to wash hollowfibre duvets before use, either, something that’s frequently recommended for feather and down filling duvets.
Natural Filling Duvets
- Feather and down filled duvets tends to be more commonly found in the ‘higher-end’ establishments, like five-star hotels. Whether this is any indication of being ‘better’ is a debatable point, but if you’re running a guest house or B&B, your guests might have an experience they consider more ‘luxurious’. This however, means that natural filling duvets tend to be considerably more expensive than hollowfibre.
- Feather and down duvets are more ‘breathable’, meaning they will absorb more of the moisture in the bed. This moisture, of course, can’t just stay there and natural duvets will need airing regularly to release this moisture. Regular airing is precisely the same for synthetic fillings, however the duvet will not absorb as well as feather. Natural filling duvets are a little more difficult to clean and dry, requiring much lower temperatures and long drying times.
- Natural filled bedding is a lot more durable than synthetic. It will accept considerably more ‘wear and tear’ and in some cases, can last up to three times longer than a synthetic filled duvet. A premium quality feather/down filled duvet could last as long as 30 years.
- Feathers are biodegradable, so better for the environment (although the birds contributing their feathers may disagree). Synthetic filling duvets are not biodegradable and need to be disposed of in a responsible manner, like any other synthetic materials.
- A feather/down will need a thorough wash before used, as the feathers can be quite dirty and greasy, until washed properly. Hollowfibre filling duvets can be used straight out of the box (bag/wrapper/etc.). Washing is an all-round pain, compared to synthetic filled duvets.
Duvets from Kerry Linen
When we were kids, we called them ‘Continental Quilts’ and they were the brand new – even a bit posh – thing! Nowadays, a duvet is much an essential part of any bedroom as the bed itself! As of writing this post, we stock only hollowfibre filled duvets, although we’re in the process of finding good value and quality feather/down duvets. While we appreciate the ‘luxury’ element of natural duvets, we’re generally much bigger fans of the hollowfibre ones. They are much easier on the pocket and, if properly cared for, will last a long time. They’re also considerably more convenient when it comes to washing and drying.
We offer three hollowfibre duvets in 4.5 TOG, 10.5 TOG and 13.5 TOG – the three most popular variations. If you’re unsure about TOG Ratings, check our post describing the differences.