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What Is a Duvet Cover?

When you’re dog-tired and crashing into a cozy bed, you probably couldn’t care less about the technicalities of bedding terminology; you just want to sleep in it! But since you’re here reading this article, we’re assuming you’re a little more awake – and now that you’re here, why not take a couple minutes to learn a few fun facts about that bed you return to night after night? Here are the clear-cut definitions of duvets, duvet covers and comforters, defined once and for all.

What Is a Duvet?

A duvet is a large, puffy blanket or quilt filled with synthetic fibers or genuine down feathers. Duvets are used as bedding, often in place of sheets or throw blankets to create a more luxurious look.

What Is a Duvet Cover?

A duvet cover is a covering with a zip or tie closure that encloses a duvet. The purpose of a duvet cover is to protect the duvet, which is usually made of delicate down feathers. Duvet covers are popular because they provide an extra layer over the duvet; only the cover comes into contact with the skin, keeping the duvet itself permanently clean.

Difference Between Duvet and Comforter

A duvet is a large quilt that goes inside a larger cover. A comforter is a large quilt that is used “as is,” no cover required. Since comforters usually are too large to be washed, many people choose to use a comforter with a top sheet underneath it, to protect the comforter from skin’s oils and dirt.
Whether or not you choose to sleep with a duvet or a comforter is up to you. One of the benefits of choosing a duvet is that a duvet’s cover is usually affordable and easy to wash, meaning you can change it out for a fresh bedroom look or clean it as needed. Many people, however, still prefer comforters over duvet covers, since they tend to be less bulky than duvets. Comforters also require less work; you don’t need to zip a comforter up or tie it closed as you would with a duvet cover. While more work (and often more expensive than comforters), a duvet set pays off, if for no other reason than cleanliness. (Just think about all those dust mites, dead skin cells and body oils that accumulate in and around your bedding; wouldn’t you want to be able to wash what comes into contact with your skin as you sleep at night?)

Our take on the duvet-vs-comforter debate? Use a duvet set for nightly sleeping; use a comforter (with a top sheet) for guest rooms.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.