triman (triman) wrote,

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What's on your bed? - What a mess...

So, when I moved into my NY apartment in 2005 it was all a bit of rush, I rented furniture, bought as little as I could as I didn't want it to become my permanent home. So when I moved to Austin I didn't have a bed or anything much in the way of bedding. I bought a king size platform bed, heck I had room for it, I live alone in a 3-bedroom house ;-)

For the first two years it was pretty hot right through the year and I wasn't used to such warm overnight temperatures, so didn't need much in the way of covers. I bought a king size Duvet cover and loaded it up with a blanket and I was good to go. However, these days I've been feeling the cold. This might be coz I've finally got used to the heat; I've dropped a few pounds and converted most of my fat to muscle; or just coz it's been cold already.

So, I started looking at options. I don't have and don't want a bedroom that looks like a "Whores palace"; I spend no more time in bed than is required. I don't watch TV, much, and I have no TV in the bedroom. So I wanted something to keep me warm and thats about all. It has to fit in with the modern design theme, it's a platform bed, which means they covers get tucked right in when you make it. The alternative is you keep hitting your legs on the platform...

And so heres where my general confusion turned into a major dilemma, which turned out to be another of those great American rip-offs. So I have a duvet cover. In fact the wood, paint and "dressing" around the room were picked to match the duvet cover. So simple solution, get a mid-weight duvet to put in the duvet cover.

Turns out, Macys, Marshalls, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target don't sell Duvets. Although they all have hundreds of different Duvet sets and individual duvet covers. Go figure. Ikea does sell duvets but they use some abstract rating that they call "warmth rate" to give you some clue how thick/warm they are.

So I figured I'd head over to Bed Bath and Beyond just across the street from the office and work it out there. After all their website says: "A DUVET cover is just a fancy name for a comforter cover." This is not only wrong, but it's also misleading and selling stuff you don't need.

In Europe it's pretty straight forward. There are no such things as comforters, what kind of word is that anyway? There are Duvets and Duvet covers, and the UK they are sometimes but not always called (continental) quilts, and quilt covers. In the US, a quilt is something completely different. It was only today while writing this post that I found Wikipedia points out that Bed Bath and Beyond has it completely wrong.

Here's the problem.  Bed Bath and Beyond, and everyone else duvet covers(and sets) the duvet cover is SMALLER than their comforters. Also, there duvets tend to have thread count related covers. So 400/500/600. These are essentially quality sheets that form one or both sides of the duvet itself. However, if the sole purpose of the duvet is to go inside the duvet cover, it really doesn't need any kind of fine cotton thread count cover of it's own.

And theres the rub, generally the comforters sold in US Retailers, even the plain white ones and much more expensive than their equivalent in Europe. Why, becuase you are buying a thread count cover you don't need. Fine if you are a hotel and can launder these thing frequently, but not so good for you and I.

Second, the comforters that the likes of Bed Bath and Beyond and their like are selling are generally too big for the Duvet covers they sell to put them in. How borked is that? Here is a fine example of what I wanted to buy yesterday. The King comforter measures 108" W x 98"; Sadly this is bigger than my existing duvet cover will take, so I started looking at theirs. Surprisingly, the same store doesn't sell covers that fit their own comforters.

When I asked the manager, he went through the whole thing with me, and finally conceded that I was right. You buy the wrong Duvet and you'll end up with bunched edges coz in generally, covers are standard sizes for single, twin, double, queen, king and California King. What he wouldn't agree was they'd go it wrong.

IKEA have it right, simple, solid, unfinished Duvets, in exactly the right size for my existing Duvet cover(86x102, or those sold by the major US retailers. The only puzzle is why are they so expensive ? Here in the US the king version is $149.99, the same Duvet, called a Quilt on their UK web site is just 58.99 UKP, or at an over generous 2-US Dollars to 1-UK pound, it's only $118, more realistically it should be priced around $70. Interestingly, the UK IKEA website uses the more conventional/standard tog rating as well as their own proprietary "warmth rate"

The only conclusion I can draw is the Bed Bath and Beyond are just stupid, along with Target, Marshalls, Macys, Kohl's etc. have jacked up the prices, and are in essence making you buy things you don't need or don't want, IKEA knows it, and are keeping their prices high to cash in on the confusion.

Finally, for information I tried to get online help from IKEA on their warmth rating, my conversation with "ASK ANNA" went like this, read and weep!

Welcome to IKEA. I'm Anna, IKEA USA's Automated Online Assistant. You can ask me about IKEA and our products and our services. How can I help you today?

ME: What is warmth rate as used to describe your duvets
ANNA: Here you will find the Quilts. 
ME: what kind of answer is that ? 
ANNA: I don't know the answer to that question yet, I am sorry. Please contact your local store for help on the issue. 

ME: useless... you want me to call or drive and you can't handle a simple question online ??
ANNA: On this page you will find valuable information on handles. Would you like to browse through our range of handles in the product area?

So, either I'm turning gay(I know not funny), my metro side has taken over, or I've become a bedding expert, go ahead and ask...

Tags: bed bath and beyond, bedding, beds, comforter, duvet, ikea, quilt
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