What Does GSM Mean for Quilts?

Machine wash

Whether we like it or not, cold weather always has its part to play during the middle months of the year. Unless you are a Gemini, Cancer, or Leo and have a birthday to enjoy, the coldest period of the year can feel like a lifetime for so many Aussies.

Having the perfect sleeping environment is critical when the degrees plummet and your choice of quilt leads the charge in this battle against the almighty freeze!

However, with so many options out there, what are the key characteristics that you need to look out for when trying to find the perfect quilt?

GSM is one such characteristic, but what does it mean? Continue reading to find out!

Table of contents

  1. What does GSM stand for?
  2. What is the best GSM for quilts?
  3. Best GSM for winter months
  4. Best GSM for summer months
  5. But what about the different types of quilt fillings?
  6. Why isn't the Pacific Ocean warm?

What does GSM stand for?

Light weight

GSM stands for grams per square metre.

Grams of what you say? In layman's terms, it refers to the specific amount of fill that a quilt contains per square metre, it's essentially the weight of your quilt.

So, through our common sense lens, you can ascertain that the higher the GSM score, the warmer it will be.

It's probably important we also outline that GSM is a standalone measurement, and has nothing to do with the type of filling your quilt is made with. It's simply grams per square metre, no matter if it's wool, down, feather or something else!

Some of you in the know might be thinking though - what about TOG?

What is TOG?

TOG refers to the 'Thermal Overall Grade' of your quilt.

It's a mechanism for measuring a quilt's overall ability to retain and trap heat.

In theory, the higher the TOG, the warmer your winter sleeps will be.

But potential quilt buyers be aware - TOG is not a measurement for the overall quality of a quilt, nor does it measure the weight.

That's what GSM is for, and why we're using it as a truer representation of a quilt's ability to provide warmth and comfort.

Side note: with all this talk of quilts it's important you have the perfect mattress to accompany said quilt. Check out mattress sizes explained to size up your perfect sleeping buddy!

We're getting side tracked though...

What is the best GSM for quilts?

Quilt buying guide

Simple enough question right!? Not necessarily.

As GSM refers to the weight of a quilt's filling, the higher the GSM the warmer it's going to be.

So, the best GSM for one person might not necessarily be the best for another.

It all depends on time of year and personal preference.

To find the best GSM for your quilt, it's important to factor both elements into the equation.

Best GSM for winter months

Machine wash

If you're looking for the right GSM to accompany those colder nights then you're going to want a quilt with a GSM of between 400-500.

Scores in this region are perfect if you are a cold sleeper, or live in some of the more colder climates across Australia.

But wait, there's more!

We know many parts of Australia deal with more mid-seasonal temperatures during Winter and therefore, may have no need for quilts with GSM scores above 400.

If this is you than a GSM of 250-400 should provide enough warmth during the middle of the year without causing you to swelter.

Also, remember that your quilt is just one piece of the bedding puzzle. To truly deliver on the ideal sleeping conditions for the big freeze, your bed sheets need to be taken into account.

Check out our journal detailing the best sheets for winter in Australia!

Best GSM for summer months

Summer

If the higher the GSM, the better suited a quilt is to colder weather, than it's simple common sense for what is better suited to warmer months right!?

All jokes aside, yes.

If you want a lighter and more breathable quilt for the warmer months, than a GSM somewhere between 150 and 250 is recommended.

Or, you might just be a hot sleeper regardless of the outside temp, in which case, quilts with a lower GSM are always going to be your go-to.

What about the different types of quilt fillings?

Yeah, we know this journal is about GSM, but it would ill-advised of us not to delve into the different quilt fillings and what their characteristics mean for you.

Bamboo quilts

If you're looking for the perfect combination of weight, comfort and breathability, than look no further than a bamboo quilt!

Made from bamboo fibres that have moisture wicking properties, a bamboo quilt is both highly breathable and incredibly warm.

This means your quilt will wick sweat and moisture, allowing you to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Wool quilts

A durable and long-lasting material, wool is one of the easiest quilt types to maintain.

Wool quilts are incredibly breathable because wool is great at regulating body temperature.

Not to end there, but wool, as a natural material, is also great for sleepers with allergies. So if you have zero time for bacteria, excess dust and other icky stuff, a wool quilt might just be what the sleeping doctor ordered.

Feather quilts

If you're considering going with feathers in your quilt than you will be pleased to know they're good for sleepers with allergens, and provide what many refer to as a cosy and 'tucked in' feel.

Why?

Feather quilts are heavier than some other materials on the market such as silk and down, but not too heavy that you feel like a ton of bricks are sitting on top of you.

This means feathers as a quilt filling contribute to a sumptuous sleeping environment during the colder months.

Down quilts

What is down you ask? It's a fluffy layer that can be found under a waterfowl's feathers. Considered a luxurious material, down quilts offer several unique characteristics including:

  • the ability to act as a natural insulator to keep your body temp steady
  • the ability to draw excess moisture such as sweat away from your body
  • the ability to provide optimal warmth and comfort without being overly heavy

Silk quilts

If you struggle with the weight of your quilt than silk may be the perfect material for you!

Incredibly light, silk can also help to regulate your body temperature and mitigate allergens.

One other thing, all materials aside, you don't want to sleeping with a dirty quilt so whatever GSM and material you go with, learn how to wash a quilt properly before dozing off!

Why isn't the Pacific Ocean warm?

Wool quilt

Because it's bordering on Chile!

Okay okay, all bad jokes aside, we hope you now have a thorough understanding of what GSM means for quilts.

The next time you're in the market for a quilt, be sure to remember what you've learned here today and consider your own unique preferences alongside the GSM score. With any luck, the right bedding will have you sleeping better than ever!


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