This evening I was changing my bed linen, which involved one of the lifelong battles with which any adult in a temperate climate should be familiar: getting the duvet back inside the duvet cover. It wasn’t my most successful campaign; I’d managed to catch my finger on the door latch and almost break the light in my frenzied attempts to stuff one large, unwieldy piece of fabric into a much lighter piece. This was the instant of my epiphany.
Whoever invented the duvet cover is an idiot, and we are fools for letting them get away with it.
In case you’re the type of person who doesn’t have to change duvet covers – perhaps due to local climate, youth, wealth, vagrancy or mastery over a genie – the issue is this: duvets need to live inside duvet covers for reasons of bedroom aesthetics, avoiding skin irritation while sleeping and (if you’re allergic to dust mites) not waking up with your airways filled with more crap than a UKIP manifesto.
The problem is that only one side the duvet cover actually has an opening – one of the narrow sides, the one kept at the foot of the bed by all right-thinking individuals. This necessitates that you “push” the duvet up into the cover, which is stupid, because fabric doesn’t push well. Fabric bunches, and of course when it does there’s a huge amount of friction against the duvet cover itself which, being lighter, decides to come along for the ride. Having to wrestle with inch after inch of quilting in this way isn’t just stupid, it’s an affront to our innocent comrade-in-arms, physics.
I was stood at the end of the bed, rumpled and furious, when I realised there could be another way. A better way. Once the duvet’s in, you see, you can regain some measure of satisfaction by sealing the bloody thing away with plastic studs, colloquially called poppers (at least when I was growing up) thanks to the satisfying sound when you seal them. Why, I fumed, couldn’t they at least put the poppers on the “side” of the duvet cover rather than the bottom? At least that way you’d be able to reach in with your arms and tug the duvet most of the way in, which is only feasible from the bottom end if your Dad’s Mr. Tickle.
No, hang on… Why couldn’t all of the sides have poppers? If that were so, you could simply:
1. Arrange the bottom portion of the cover on your bed with the poppers facing up.
2. Place the duvet on top like the filling of a snooze sandwich, then
3. Lazily – nay, decadently – lay the rest of the cover on top and pop the two halves together!
Even if you kept the edge closest to your face “popper-free” as a defense against all those nasty allergens, it’d still transform the way we make our beds. And as a bonus, all of the wayward pants and pillowcases that inevitably end up trapped in the duvet cover could be recovered with grin-inducing ease. As a nation, we’d save billions on socks alone.
I want this to happen. I think we, as a species, need this to happen. It’s been a long time since sliced bread, and there’s space for a new Greatest Thing. In fact, if people read this blog and don’t march on Parliament to ensure we can drag our duvets into the twenty-first century, rather than endlessly around the bedroom, I’m going to learn to sew well enough to file the patent myself.
Just as soon as I’ve made the bloody guest bed.