The Double Duvet Debate

Who knew that the type of duvet you choose as a couple, and the style you’re used to in your respective countries could cause so much debate, and indeed horror, when faced with adopting said duvet in the other country.  But that’s exactly what happened when we got together, and it was via the medium of the duvet that we came across the first big ‘cultural’? difference in the Anglo-German relationship.  In Germany, for those of you, like me, who hadn’t realized this about Europe’s most powerful nation, couples like to sleep under two separate duvets on a double bed, usually, although not always, composed of two separate mattresses coupled together, hopefully with not too big a ridge in between.  In Britain on the other hand, most adults, whether in a couple or not, graduate sometime after their student years, to a double bed composed of one mattress and snuggle under one big duvet, in my case, super king size for the rest of their days.  At the beginning of our relationship, which started in the UK, I hadn’t realized that there could be anything weird about sleeping under a double duvet, or in deed that that might be a compromise for my German partner, but one day whilst he huffed and puffed about having to change such a big duvet, the differences came out.  On canvassing opinion in both countries, we encountered shouts of derision on the choice of the other person’s country, so Germans thought it was ‘disgusting’ to sleep under one duvet, and wondered how we could possibly manage to sleep or have any proper and efficient rest when we might have to be constantly defending or stealing back the duvet from the other person.  The British, like me, think it’s weird to sleep under two separate duvets, with a ridge in between your mattresses, where’s the romance? where’s the closeness? Where’s the cuddle opportunities when you have to inch towards each other without opening the duvet too much and letting in the cold winter air?  But, how can you fart discreetly, without being found out, if you share a double duvet wondered some Germans?  In Germany, it seems to be considered somehow unhygienic, inefficient and downright stupid, another ‘pretty but useless’ invention of the British to sleep under the same bit of cloth.  In Britain, most people would agree that it’s typical of the unromantic calculating nature of their German neighbours that couples choose to divide even their sleeping time into carefully delineated categories.  The championing of the respective styles extends to shops too, whilst you can buy non child themed single duvet covers in the UK, they are not as plentiful as the wide choice of double duvet covers in all sorts of thread count, colours and patterns.  In Germany on the other hand it was almost impossible to buy a double duvet cover in the shops, and in fact, when M went to buy one, before my first visit, he was laughed at by various shop assistants.  In the end he resorted to the internet, and I was kept happy on my arrival.  Now it’s summer though, and the one weight duvet is a bit too hot, the debate is rearing its ugly head once again.  Whilst in winter, when warmth is needed, I was able to convince M of the need for a double duvet, now that we need a lighter weight summer one, will he be persuaded to shell out more money on something he considers unnecessary when he has two perfectly good light weight summer single duvets which we could use.  For now, we’ve both compromised, as we use a double duvet on a bed coupled from two singles, but as the summer advances it remains to be seen what will happen…..whilst there’s romance around though, I’m hoping the double duvet reigns supreme, now on to the pillows…..


About thedoubleduvetdebate

Emma is a freelance writer and broadcaster with a love of Europe. She's spent time living in 4 European countries to date, including her own 'not in Schengen' country, the UK. The Double Duvet Debate was created to highlight the often funny trials and tribulations of the cross cultural landscape which is Europe, on which she often reports; and her own cross cultural personal relationship between England and Germany.
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