Hollowfibre is a hollow strand of polyester (like a human hair). That gap down the middle traps air and holds warmth – superb for a duvet. It comes in different deniers (thicknesses), but it is always thicker and more wiry than microfibre. It doesn’t bend easily so hollowfibre gives structure, support and loft to duvets and pillows.
Because it’s fairly rigid, hollowfibre is often blended with microfibre - a perfect combination. The supportive hollowfibres combined with the soft microfibres produce duvets and pillows with a feel that’s as soft as natural down.
Microfibre is a type of polyester, made better. It's spun into extraordinarily fine fibres - they measure 1/100th the diameter of a human hair and 1/20th the diameter of a strand of silk. That means we can stuff even more into duvets and pillows, trapping more air, keeping you warmer.
From the outside, a microfibre duvet responds like a natural feather and down duvet. It'll be warm, light and luxurious. Even better, because the fibres are so fine and soft, they tend to produce duvets and pillows with a softer feel.
Though you don't see it, filling makes your duvet wonderful (or truly terrible). It's the most important aspect to consider when you're choosing bedding - but don't fret. We're here to help you with all the technical bits. So what exactly goes into a synthetic filling?
Polyester is a manmade fibre that has been improved and perfected over the years. It may not be a fashionable word, but polyester is super-popular across the home furnishings market. Did you know that its fibres are extremely strong and resistant to stretching and shrinking (unlike natural fibres like wool)? It's also mildew resistant. Polyester is quick drying, retains its shape, and is easy to wash and dry.
Why choose a synthetic duvet?
- If you're an allergy sufferer. Dust-mites HATE microfibre and hollowfibre (see our anti-allergy page for lots more detail).
- If you want to wash you duvet a lot. Polyester fibres are strong and resilient, so you can wash them more at hotter temperatures - getting rid of odd dust mites and spills or stains.
- If you have kids. See above - synthetic duvets are anti-dust and pro-clean, which is precisely what every parent wants.
- If you want to save a bundle. Even the finest microfibre filling is cheaper than natural fillings - for almost as luxurious a finish!
- If you want your stuff to last for ages. Hollowfibre and microfibre retain their shape very well, giving them a long life-expectancy.
- If you want an anti-bac treatment. Polyester synthetic fillings can be treated with anti-bacterial chemicals to make them repel dust mites completely.
- If you want super-easy washing and drying. Hollowfibre and microfibre products dry very quickly.
- If you want a light and puffy duvet. Synthetic fill creates a light duvet but more of it is needed to retain warmth, so duvets tend to be bigger (not heavier) than feather and down alternatives.