The History of the Duvet

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The duvet has become an essential bedding item within the UK and is the most popular form of bed covering in the whole of Europe! Gone are the days of blankets, bedspreads or sheets – duvets provide superior comfort and ease in making the bed then ever before.

But where did the duvet come from? And who made it popular within the UK?

This article discusses the history of duvets and their rise to popularity.


Where did the duvet come from?

The honest answer is, we don’t know! Sources from archaeological digs suggest that the Chinese were the first to invent duvets around 5,000 years ago – although this is difficult to confirm.

The first person to bring duvets to the UK was an English gentleman named Paul Rycaut. He brought the concept over from Germany and tried to market the duvet in England. However, he failed to create a demand for the product and eventually gave up.

A hundred or so years later in 1749, an English writer named Thomas Nugent noticed the use of duvets on his grand tour of Europe. In Victorian Britain, this inspired the creation of the eiderdown, an early form of duvet. However, they did not replace blankets as Victorians preferred the superior warmth blankets of the time offered.


Modern day duvets

The duvet really started to catch on in the 1970s, where in Britain it was known as the ‘Continental Quilt’. In 1964, the founder of Habitat – Sir Terence Conran – made the bold decision to import duvets from Sweden to the UK. Very soon the concept caught on, they were marketed as the ’10 second bed’ and gained huge popularity due to their convenience and comfort. This was the start of the nations love affair with duvets which is still prevalent today!

In the modern day, duvets now come in all shapes and sizes. There are many fillings and thicknesses to choose from, depending on your preference. Individuals who suffer from allergies now have access to anti-allergy duvets, whilst there is a whole host of synthetic fibres and downs to choose from.

If you are looking for a new duvet, then why not check out our great selection here at Sleepy People. We stock great winter warmers duvets, duck feather duvets, and even pure cotton duvets. There really is something for everyone, so get browsing our collection and find your perfect duvet today!