Duvet vs. Comforter – What’s The Difference?

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Duvet vs. comforter, what’s the difference? If you were to look at them, on beds, side by side it might be hard to tell. They are both big, they both look fluffy and cozy and both comforters and duvets make a stylish alternative to lots of hard to handle sheets and blankets.

But there are some big differences between the two that you should know about if you want to make the right choice for you.

The biggest difference between the two, in most people’s eyes, is that a comforter is a ‘ready to use’ piece of bedding and a duvet needs to be encased in a cover before you sleep under it.

But the differences don’t just stop there, as you’ll discover if you read on as we explore this oft asked question in more detail.

The Difference Between a Duvet and a Comforter

As mentioned, at a quick glance duvets and comforters look very similar. However, one needs a cover, one does not.

Duvets also tend to be looser and fluffier, thanks in part to the fact that they are not sewn in channels in the way comforters are. The channels in comforters are designed to keep the fill inside in place, so without those ‘restraints’ you can expect the down – or down alternative – in a duvet to move around a lot more.

Comforters are also usually larger than duvets and are designed to hang over the bed rather than just lie on top of it.

So, Which Should You Use?

A white duvet

The choice between a duvet and a comforter comes down to lots of things. If you like things to look neat and tidy in your bedroom, then the fact that a comforter usually hangs over the bed may annoy you. On the other hand if you don’t want the ‘seams’ between your bed’s base and your mattress to show, and you don’t want to bother with the hassle and expense of an additional bed skirt then a comforter may be the way to go.

Then there are the aesthetics. When you buy a comforter the pattern/design/print you see when you open the bag/box, is the one you will see for the duration of its useful life. A duvet, on the other hand, is a blank canvas. A duvet itself is plain and boring, a white ‘sack’, but it’s not meant to be seen.

The fact that you can change a duvet cover easily and often means that you can essentially change your bedroom’s decor in just a few minutes. So, if you are the kind of person who likes to change their bedroom aesthetic according to the season. or just your mood, then a duvet is probably a better choice for you.

Duvet vs. comforter considerations are not just aesthetic though. A comforter holds its shape better as the loose fill in a duvet can get lumpy as it shifts, which can be very annoying. On the other hand, a comforter is not as fluffy – the term for it in the bedding world is ‘loft’, and duvets are usually loftier.

Lots of the comforters you’ll find out there don’t make use of a down filling, it’s often a cotton or polyester which lies flatter than the down – or down alternative – that almost every duvet is ‘stuffed’ with whereas almost all duvets do.

Finally, there are laundry day considerations. A duvet is almost always ‘dry-clean only’ where there are lots comforters (but not all) that can be tossed in the washing machine. However, a duvet does not need to be washed very often as it is encased in a cover that can be easily laundered. And while a comforter can be washed in your machine every time you do so the filling will get flatter and the colors will fade, decreasing its useful life considerably.

Improve Your Bedroom Décor with One of These Comfy Duvet Sets

Need some shopping inspiration is you have made the decision to opt for a duvet set? Here are some options that are well worth a second look:

Jellymoni  Duvet Cover Set

JELLYMONI Green Duvet Cover Queen Size - 100% Washed Cotton Linen Like Textured Comforter Cover, 3 Pieces Breathable Soft Bedding Set with Button Closure (Green, Queen 90'x90')

This 100% cotton duvet cover set is eco-friendly and comfortable and nicely neutral in terms of aesthetics, making it suited to all kinds of bedroom décor. It’s also very gender neutral – great for a shared bed – but thanks to the striking sage shade isn’t boring at all.

Check it out on Amazon »

Annadaif Duvet Cover Set

annadaif Khaki Duvet Cover Queen Size, 3 Pieces Soft Washed Microfiber Duvet Cover Set, Comforter Cover with Bowknot Bow Tie (1 Duvet Cover 90x90 Inch, 2 Pillowcases) Easy Care Bedding Set

This is a great example of a fancier, and yet still very gender-neutral duvet cover set you might love. The butterfly cover closure ties add some visual oomph and the fact that the khaki color turns pinkish in certain lower lights is an interesting visual choice that adds some extra versatility.

Get it on Amazon »

Leadtimes Floral Boho Duvet Cover Set

Leadtimes Floral Duvet Cover Set Flower Boho Vintage Holiday Bedding Sets with 1 Duvet Cover and 2 Pillowcases (Style2, Queen)

Boho style is still very popular right now, but this duvet cover marries two popular bedroom décor styles – floral and boho – in a rather beautiful way. The flowers are bright and colorful – in beautiful shades of blue, pink and green – without being too girly and the matching pillow shams – all the sets featured here come with matching pillow shams by the way – are just as stylish and visually striking.

Check current price on Amazon »

SunStyle Home Duvet Cover Set

SunStyle Home Duvet Cover Set with Zipper Closure,Full/Queen Size

Florals and black? This striking duvet cover proves that this unusual combination can really work! The darker colors are great for adding visual interest to a larger, sparser bedroom and the fact that it is a darker color can help hide a multitude of stain sins (that bedtime hot chocolate you spilled for example) until you have the time to throw it in the wash.

Get it on Amazon »

Ink+Ivy Rhea Cotton Jacquard Duvet Cover Set

INK+IVY Rhea 100% Cotton Duvet Set Mid Century Modern Boho Design, All Season Comforter Cover Bedding Set, Matching Shams, King/Cal King, Geometric Clipped Jacquard Ivory 3 Piece

This textured duvet cover is a monochrome marvel that closely resembles a traditional blanket, right down to the faux folds. It’s just a lot less hassle to handle – and to launder – and as it’s crafted from cotton rather than wool will be a lot less itchy too!

Check current price on Amazon »

XeGe Plush Shaggy Duvet Cover Set

XeGe Plush Shaggy Duvet Cover Luxury Ultra Soft Crystal Velvet Bedding 1PC(1 Faux Fur Duvet Cover),Zipper Closure (Queen, Dark Gray)

Who says that a duvet cover set can’t be shaggy and plush? This duvet cover set proves they can! Crafted from an easily laundered polyester blend this dark grey duvet cover set – it comes with shaggy pillow shams too – this would look great in any bedroom, and is suitable for everyone, no matter what their age, sex or decor preferences.

Get it on Amazon here »

Great Bay Home 3 Piece Seascapes Quilt Set

Great Bay Home Full/Queen Coastal Quilt Bedding Set, Summer Coastal Quilt with Shams, Beach 3-Piece Reversible All Season Bedspread Quilt Set. Lightweight Nautical Quilted Coverlet, Navy

Remember the summer friendly quilt sets we mentioned? Great Bay offer a seascapes range of three-piece quilt sets that feature various very striking nautical patterns – everything from seashells to octopi – that are 100% microfiber, meaning they are easy to wash, cool to sleep under and will last for years!

Check current price on Amazon »

Can a Duvet Cover Be Used on a Comforter?

This is a question some people ask when they consider our last point, the fact that a comforter will be aged and damaged to a certain extent every time it’s washed. Technically you can use a duvet cover on a comforter, but it’s not very practical.

It’s hard to get the right fit for a start, as comforters are larger than duvets and even if you manage to stuff a twin comforter in a full size duvet cover the result will usually be a floppy, sloppy mess that’s hard to sleep with!

What Can I Use Instead of a Comforter?

You could, of course, opt for duvet. But that’s not your only choice. You could do things the ‘old-fashioned’ way and make use of a fitted sheet, a top sheet and a blanket. But that’s an awful lot to deal with when making you bed in the morning, and an awful lot to wash.

There are quilts and quiltlets too. These lighter bed covers come in lots of different designs and are often used as summer bedding. In fact, lots of people use a comforter or duvet in the Spring, Fall and winter and then make use of a quilt in the summer, which is not, it has to be said, a bad idea.

The best duvets – and some of the more expensive down comforters – can be used in warm weather too though, as the down they are filled with is naturally temperature regulating (if it weren’t how would ducks survive the summer?)

So, Duvet or Comforter, Which Is Better?

Both beddings appear similar to one another but there are differences between the two.  To recap a duvet needs a cover and comes in different color and designs. A comforter comes with a built-in cover that isn’t removable and can be purchased in many more different styles, color and designs.

They’re both great options and ultimately it comes down to personal preference.