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Difference Between Duvet And Comforter? (Explained)

There are comforters, duvets, duvet covers, and coverlets, but what's the difference?

In this post, we explain the differences between a comforter and a duvet as well as a duvet cover and a coverlet. It’s a confusing world out there in regards to different bedding accessories, and we’re here to help you navigate it.

They didn’t explain the whole duvet vs comforter debate to us in high school home economics, so we’ve done our own research to set the record straight.

Introduction To Bedding Accessories

As much as we love mattresses here at the Slumber Yard (we’ve tested over 90 online mattresses at this point), we know that some quality bedding is what helps make your bed comfortable and inviting. Whether you prefer your bed to look like a big white cloud or you like to spice things up with bright colors or patterns, bedding is an easy way to personalize your sleeping situation to your liking.

But the more we looked into bedding for our mattresses, the more we got confused. Are a comforter and a duvet the same thing? Do duvet covers only work with duvets? And what in the heck is a coverlet? As a young millennial team, we struggle to just make our beds in the morning, let alone know what each piece in a bedding set is. That’s why we’ve constructed a little guide to teach you what each piece is and how to use it, so you can determine which might be best for you and your sleeping experience.

Duvet vs Comforter

Comforter. A comforter is a fluffy, thick, quilted blanket used as the top blanket on your bed. Sheets or additional thin blankets can be used under them. Comforters are typically filled with synthetic fiber materials such as polyester or cotton blends, and are usually quilted or stitched in some pattern so that the material is secure and in place and distributed evenly.

Comforters are typically sold in bedding sets or bed-in-a-bag sets with other coordinating pieces such as sheets and pillow shams, all being in the same bed size. This means that they are meant to be the final piece, and so not meant to be covered with anything or need any additional accessories. This makes decorating your bed very simple.

comforter set
Who doesn’t love a big comforte

Comforters are also usually very easy to wash, and can either be hang dried or machine dried on a low and gentle setting.

Duvet. A duvet is a soft, flatter version of a comforter that is usually filled with synthetic fibers or down such as feather or wool. Unlike a comforter, they’re not supposed to be quilted or stitched. Duvets are meant to be a type of insert, and are sold separately from other duvet covers or coverlets. This makes it so you can mix and match them with other bedding, without being tied to a whole set that comforters usually come in. Duvets are usually warm enough that you don’t have to use additional sheets or blankets with them.

For this reason, duvets are great if you hate spending a lot of time making the bed or fussing with a top sheet, because a duvet with any sort of cover can easily be removed and washed instead. Duvets themselves are usually dry clean only, which is more expensive and time-costly. Mind you, you can still use sheets, as they’re still probably easier to wash then a duvet cover.

SEE ALSO: Mattress Finder Quiz

Similarities Between A Comforter And A Duvet

The similarities between the two are that they both work as the main fluffy, thick blanket on your bed. They both should be aesthetically pleasing to you (with or without a cover), as they will most likely be a visible main feature.

Differences Between A Comforter And A Duvet

The difference between these two bedding items is that a comforter is supposed to be used as is, and a duvet is supposed to be used with a duvet cover, coverlet, or top quilt. A duvet might keep you warmer, as well, because it’s meant to be used without any additional sheets or blankets, although you can add them if you wish.

SEE ALSO: Best Budget Mattresses

Duvet Cover vs Coverlet

Duvet Cover. A duvet cover to a duvet is as a pillow sham to a pillow. It is usually attachable to the duvet by either ties, buttons, or both. They’re meant for easy removal and washing, so that you don’t have to bother washing and drying the thick duvet. They are also meant to be interchangeable, so you can easily decorate your bed without having to buy a whole new comforter set. They can be used with comforters as well, but just double check the sizing. If you use a duvet cover, you can still use sheets, but some think they’re unnecessary. It’s really up to your own preferences.

duvet cover
An example of a duvet cover.

Coverlet. A coverlet is a non-reversible top blanket that is usually quilted or woven. It’s mostly used as a decorative layer to go over a thick duvet or comforter, but is not attachable. They’re commonly used on hotel room beds as an easy aesthetic piece. They’re not limited to beds though; they can also be used on sofas or chairs.