Here is a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning duvets and pillows.

Where can I buy duvets and pillows with the «Swiss Guaranty VSB» quality seal?

Bedding with the „Swiss Guaranty VSB“ seal is available from specialist retailers, major distributors, department stores and from mail order businesses.

A list of retailers is available here

Can I wash my duvet even if there are no instructions on the care label?

If there are no clear washing instructions on the care label, you should not attempt to wash the duvet yourself. Duvets that cannot be washed should be professionally cleaned every three to five years. The cleaning process involves emptying the filling into a purpose-built cleaning facility, washing it with soap and water, drying it at over 100°C to destroy any germs, disinfecting it and then returning it to a new cover. If there is a shortfall in the amount of filling, new filling is added to return the duvet to its original plumpness. With this cleaning process, your duvet comes back to you almost as good as new. It isn’t worth cleaning pillows in this way as it would be cheaper to buy a new one. Either take your down duvet to your local specialist retailer or send it to a VSB member company for a free price estimate.

VSB members

How should I wash my duvet?

Washable pillows and duvets with corresponding washing instructions on the care label can be washed at up to 60°C. It is important to use a pH neutral liquid detergent suitable for delicates. Special detergents are available from specialist bedding retailers. Remember – never use a conditioner.

  • Duvets and pillows should be washed separately.
  • It is better to use a programme with a spin cycle.
  • Repeat the spin cycle because down and feathers absorb many times their own weight in water.
  • Tumble dry each piece of bedding separately at 100°C.
  • Shake it every 30 minutes or so.
  • This reduces the drying time, which can last from between 60 to 120 minutes depending on the size of the tumble drier.

My pillow/duvet doesn’t have the «Swiss Guaranty VSB» seal. Is it still good quality?

Only a bedding expert can tell you that. “Swiss Guaranty VSB” is the only Swiss quality seal that gives you clear information about the product’s quality. Look for this quality seal the next time you buy bedding.

What product lifespan can I expect from my pillow/duvet?

You should have your duvet cleaned (or replaced if need be) at least every three to five years. Pillows should be replaced every 3 years because the feathers quickly lose their supportive spring. Duvets and pillows are exposed to heavy wear and tear night after night. The human body loses around half a litre of moisture during the night, which is absorbed into the bedding and then released into the air outside the duvet. Down duvets and feather pillows that have reached the end of their useful life can be recycled back into nature by the manufacturer or the following aid organisations.

By giving your down duvets or feather pillows to Texaid, you are not only protecting the environment, but also making a valuable contribution to the following Texaid associated relief organisations which receive part of the proceeds:

  • Schweizerisches Rotes Kreuz (Swiss Red Cross)
  • Winterhilfe Schweiz (Swiss Winter Aid) 
  • Schweizerisches Arbeiterhilfswerk (Swiss Workers Relief Organisation)
  • CARITAS Switzerland
  • KOLPING Schweizer Kolpingwerk (Swiss Kolping Organisation)
  • HEKS Hilfswerk der Evangelischen Kirchen der Schweiz (Swiss Interchurch Aid)

My duvet/pillow is losing down/feathers. Why?

Sometimes very fine down or feathers can slip through the light covering fabric. This in no way affects the fill volume. If, however, your duvet or pillow is losing a significant quantity of feathers or down, it should be returned to the place of purchase.

Where can I take my down duvet/feather pillow to be cleaned?

Duvets with the quality seal can be given to your local specialist retailer for cleaning.

A list of retailers is available here

What is a four seasons double duvet?

Double duvets are composed of two separate duvets that can be fastened together to make one warmer duvet for the wintertime. Each of the duvets has a different fill quantity, ideally 1/3 and 2/3. The light duvet is perfect for the summer, the heavier duvet for the spring and autumn and in winter, you simply clip the two together. A double duvet offers the perfect solution, whatever the season.

Where can I buy oversize (comfort size) duvets or custom-made duvets?

You can order oversize or custom-made duvet sizes from your local specialist retailer who will then pass your requested dimensions on to a bedding manufacturer.

What distinguishes «Swiss Guaranty VSB» bedding from other duvets and pillows?

The «Swiss Guaranty VSB» quality seal is a mark of the highest quality. Only duvets and pillows that fulfil the strict requirements have their own seal and individual identification number.

Further information about the «Swiss Guaranty VSB».

What are the standard duvet and pillow sizes?

160 x 210 cm normal size 
160 x 240 cm single bed maxi duvet 
200 x 210 cm French bed 
200 x 240 cm French bed, maxi duvet 
240 x 210 cm extra wide duvet for French beds and double beds 
240 x 240 cm double bed maxi duvet 
55 x 65 cm and 65 x 75 cm for prams 
80 x 100 cm and 90 x 120 cm for cots

German-speaking Switzerland: 50 x 70 cm, 65 x 100 cm and 65 x 65 cm
Western Switzerland: 50 x 70 cm, 60 x 90 cm and 60 x 60 cm
Ticino: 50 x 70 cm and 50 x 90 cm
Infants: 30 x 40 cm, 40 x 50 cm and 40 x 60 cm

How much does it cost to have a duvet cleaned?

Take your duvet to a specialist retailer who will then be happy to give you a price estimate. A full clean involves:

  • Emptying the duvet
  • Washing, drying and disinfecting the contents in purpose-built cleaning facilities
  • Adding new filling to make up any shortfall and
  • Returning the filling to a new cover

The costs will vary depending on the quality of the feathers and down and the re-fill quantity. The Swiss Bedding Manufacturer’s Association members will be happy to provide a price estimate free-of-charge.

Where do the down and feathers come from?

Most of the down and feathers come from countries where ducks and geese are farmed for their meat. These include Eastern European countries, France and Asia.

Can I store my duvets and pillows in a so called «space bag»?

If down and feathers are kept under vacuum for a long time the filling potency will decrease. Furthermore it is important that the beddings are absolutely dry before being put into vacuum otherwise mould fungus develops and the beddings will smell badly. We suggest keeping duvets and pillows in a bag permeable to air.

Does VSB bedding use live plucking?

The Swiss Bedding Manufacturer’s Association (VSB) avoids all forms of live plucking and, in 2001, was the first association in the world to establish a complete ban on live plucking in its statutes as well as in the agreements between VSB member companies and their suppliers. The systematic and cruel practice of live plucking described in the contribution and the processing of the resulting down and feathers are serious breaches of Swiss and EU law and should be the subject of criminal proceedings. Our association wholly supports such investigations… more

Down and avian flu

Can avian flu be transmitted via bedding filled with feathers and down?

No, avian flu cannot be transmitted via duvets and pillows because all the down and feathers are washed straight after plucking in the country of origin and dried before they are exported. 

The H5N1 virus, like all influenza viruses, is surrounded by a lipid coating (a layer of fat). This coating is destroyed if it is exposed to heat or to drying with the result that the virus is then no longer infectious. Feathers and down are washed and dried at temperatures in excess of 100°C straight after plucking to render them germ-free. Only then are they transported and processed. It is practically impossible that a virus should survive this process. For this reason, bedding filled with down and feathers is free of avian flu.