European Style: Double Duvets

July 11, 2013
Home & Garden, Travel

Double duvets at Berlin's Arcotel Velvet

Let’s be honest. You’re either a blanket-hogger or you sleep with a blanket-hogger. Or, maybe you fall into both categories. Either way, it can be kind of a pain. Plus if it is winter, it can be awful cold in addition to being annoying. Some European cultures seem to have this problem figured out. They put two twin-sized duvets on a bed, one for each person. For the record, I fall in the previous category. …most of the time. (At least that is my story and I am sticking to it!)

I have done some light research. From what I have read online it seems that, at least in part, the intention behind the double duvets is for reasons of cleanliness. And, of course, if you do happen to have a blanket-hogging partner, the separate duvets can help both to get a better night’s sleep. Admittedly, there are also a fair amount of people on the internet that are anti-double duvets. These vocal critics are complaining about the double blanket choice, seemingly nonplussed by why anyone would do that and how simply weird Europeans are.

In my travels to Berlin and to Munich in Germany, I’ve experienced the double duvets style. And I have to admit, it is kind of nice. It certainly meant each individual was able to remain warmer and it is actually quite comfy. But the separate blankets can make it feel a little 1950s: as though you and your previous blanket-hogging buddy are in separate beds. Which, of course, could also be the case as it is also seemingly common to push two beds together to form a single larger bed in Europe.

So blanket-hoggers and lovers of blanket-hoggers, what are your thoughts on the European style of double duvets on a single bed? Would you give it a try?

Photo from the website for the ARCOTEL Velvet Berlin.

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  • Christopher Heppinstall

    The pushing-together of twin beds to make a double is mostly prevalent in hotels when they don’t have enough double rooms to meet their demand, so they just chuck you in a twin and push the beds together. Then in the middle of the night, one of you slips down the middle, never to be seen again (ish).

    • reverberations

      My understanding it that it’s not just a hotel “thing.” People actually live that way. ;-p

      • Liz

        I just came across your post and figured as a born and bred German I might be able to help out. 😉
        Basically in continental Europe specifically in Germany and Austria when you speak of a ‘double bed’ you are talking about one large single bed frame that holds two single mattresses. So it is not supposed to be two single bed frames pushed together, but one bed frame with two mattresses. I believe the reason why in hotels they push single beds together is because some people want a double bed and other people prefer a twin room. If I go on vacation with one of my friends I might want to be in the same room with them, but not sleep in the same bed. Also I suppose elderly couples often prefer to sleep in separate beds.

        The reason why we have two single mattresses is generally because that way you have a “your side” of the bed and a “my side” of the bed. Maybe it’s because we’re not as big on cuddling or less intimate. I really don’t know the reason, but I guess it’s just the way it’s always been.
        There is an insert that you can buy to bridge the gap between the two mattresses because some people find it annoying if they roll over and land in the gap although that has never happened to me. It’s just a matter of what you are used to. I live in the UK and there just like in the US it is common to have a double bed with one large mattress, but two single mattresses together are larger than one American/English double bed. So I find the single mattress double bed simply way too small for two people. I personally need my own space even when sleeping.

        With two single mattresses as a double bed it would make little sense to have one duvet for two people so we use two single duvets. I think you are right, it has mainly got to do with hygiene. Say if my partner ate a lot of garlic that night I do not want to be stuck under the same duvet. Also in winter you stay warmer if you have your own blanket to roll up in that way no cold air gets in. Often one person has to get up earlier for work than the other so you are not as likely to wake each other up. Having a double bed with two mattresses and two duvets gives you the option to be intimate when you want to be and to have your own space if you don’t want to.

        • Hi Liz, Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. It’s just kind of nice not having to always fight for the blanket 😉

          • Liz

            Thanks. I’m really enjoying your blog. 🙂

  • Saundra Davis

    Just returned from Berlin, Amsterdam and Brussels and I LOVE the double duvet way of sleeping. I found the beds themselves to be very comfortable and I rested much better than in our Tempurpedic Cali-King. I found your article because I am in search of the best way to accomplish this at home. We have a Cali-King and finding the bottom sheet and two twins hasn’t been easy. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Saundra, sounds like you had a great trip! Generally, it’s just twin-sized comforters that are folded in half or thirds. However, this likely’ll be a little short on a California King. I’m not sure what the solution would be; perhaps you can find an extra long or over-sized twin comforter? I also found several US/UK/European reference charts for bed linens that you might find of interest: http://www.overstock.com/guides/international-bedding-size-conversion-guide

  • wahid

    The pushing-together of twin beds to make a twofold is for the most part common in inns when they don’t have enough twofold rooms to take care of their demand, so they simply toss you in a twin and push the beds together.

    Twin Bed Frame

  • Steve Hassett

    How can you cuddle up to your partner when the bedclothes are split up in the middle!? You end up in the gap with no covering at all. It’s amazing they are even able to reproduce with seperate covers!