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Difference Between Duvet And Comforter

Difference Between Duvet And Comforter

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.

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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.

Duvet vs Comforter: What’s The Difference?

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. What’s the difference between duvet and comforter? Are they 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.

How Is A Duvet And Comforter Similar?

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.

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

What Is A Duvet?

So…what’s a duvet? It might seem like a simple question, but there tends to be some confusion around the answer. 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 than a duvet cover.

SEE ALSO: Mattress Finder Quiz

What Is A Duvet Cover?

You might be wondering, what is a duvet cover and how do you use one? 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.

duvet cover
An example of a duvet cover.

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.

What Is A Duvet 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.

How About A Duvet Insert?

A duvet insert works similar to a mattress comforter in that you drape it over your bed, but it’s usually covered with a duvet cover to keep its cleanliness.

What Is A 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 comforter?

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

How About A Comforter Cover?

This is the cover that goes over the top of the comforter to protect it from staining that results from everyday use, pet dander, and more. They’re also much easier to wash compared to a comforter.

How To Use A Duvet Cover

If you haven’t used a duvet cover before, here’s how you do so:

Step one: Open the packaging, then turn the duvet cover inside out with the opening facing the foot of your bed.

Step two: Next, you’ll lay your duvet insert on top of the cover.

Step three: Start from the top and roll the insert and the duvet cover as one heading towards the foot of your bed.

Step four: After creating the bundle, you’ll invert the cover around the sides of the bundle

Step five: Close the duvet cover using the buttons or zipper on the cover.

Step six: Unroll the bundle!

How To Wash A Comforter Or Duvet

In terms of cleaning, there’s a slight difference between comforter and duvet washing techniques. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and you should double-check the label on your duvet or comforter before washing.

Considering that comforters come in different fabrics it’s especially important to pay attention to the washing instructions on the tag of the comforter and the packaging it comes in. With most comforters, you’ll be able to wash in your washer on certain heat settings, while others require you to take it to the dry cleaners to wash it.

On the other hand, duvets are usually dry clean only. However, when you use a cover on top of your duvet, you can easily remove it and throw it in your washing machine.

Duvet vs. Comforter: Pros And Cons

Duvet pros

  • Lightweight fabrics make them fluffier in texture
  • Easy to clean
  • Freshen up looks with ease

Duvet cons

  • Doesn’t provide as much coverage (overhang) as a comforter
  • Can be prone to bunching with cover
  • Materials can trap allergens

Comforter pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Better for allergy sufferers
  • Great for decoration as they hang over the bed more than duvets

Comforter cons

  • Some require dry cleaning
  • They have a tendency to flatten over time
  • They might not be warm enough during winter months


Which brand has the best duvet covers?This depends on your needs. If you want a soft luxurious feel, then the thread count will be an important consideration. If you’re trying to remain cool, on the other hand, texture and fabrics used will be a primary concern. With this in mind, Brooklinen receives high marks for its comfort.
Where can I buy cheap duvet covers?You can try online retailers such as Amazon, where you can compare multiple brands in one spot. Your local brick-and-mortar retailer like Walmart or Target may also be a viable option for you to consider.
What is the best comforter for hot sleepers?If you sleep warmer, then consider using comforters made of breathable material like organic cotton, or eucalyptus fabric like the comforter from Buffy.
Can you use a duvet as a comforter?The duvet’s use is meant to be more like an insert, so while you could use it as a blanket with the cover, some might prefer the comfort and softness a comforter has more.
What is included in a duvet set?This depends on the manufacturer. Most will include the duvet and two pillow shams while others will also include the duvet cover as well.
What is the purpose of a comforter?A comforter serves as the main blanket on your bed. It can also be a decorative piece that ties your bed’s design and style altogether.
Do you sleep under a comforter?This depends on your comfort level with comforters. While many prefer to sleep under a comforter, you can also fold it toward the bottom of the bed and use your sheets if your preference is to use a thinner blanket.
Is A Duvet or Comforter better for people who have trouble sleeping?If you have a hard time getting to sleep, you might want to check out a weighted blanket instead of (or in addition to) your duvet or comforter. They’re specifically designed to trigger the release of chemicals in your body that promote happiness and calmness to help you get a better night’s rest.