Duvet vs Duvet Cover

an Explanation



What is a duvet?

A duvet is an upper layer of bedding that's used to keep you warm at night. It can be made from different fabrics, the most common being cotton because it's soft and comfortable.

Duvets are usually white and filled with natural or synthetic fibers such as down, silk, wool, feathers, polyester, or down alternative. Duvets are stitched all over in such a way as to keep the stuffing evenly distributed.

Duvets originated in Europe. The word “duvet” comes from the French word “down,” referring to the soft and fine layer of feathers under the tougher exterior feathers on the bellies of geese and ducks. Traditionally, European duvets were always filled with down. If someone says they sleep "European style," that generally means they use a duvet. 

What is a duvet cover?

The use of a duvet actually requires two different pieces: the duvet itself (sometimes called the duvet insert) and the duvet cover. A duvet cover is a large cloth bag used to cover the duvet. It has a zipper or buttons to keep the duvet inside.

While duvets are usually white, duvet covers come in a variety of colors and patterns and can be made from a variety of natural or synthetic materials including cotton, linen, and silk. Duvet covers can be removed and washed regularly, keeping the duvet itself protected from dirt.

Unlike a duvet, which is protected by a cover, comforters are typically used with a top sheet for hygienic purposes, as this creates a barrier between the comforter and the sleeper’s body.

Duvet vs. comforter

Consult the chart below to see the main differences between duvets and comforters:



Usually white

Comes in a variety of colors and patterns 

Very fluffy

A slightly flatter feel

Warmer for winter months

A bit cooler

Used with a duvet cover

Used with a top sheet

Doesn't require washing

Requires regular washing

Sold separately

Sold as part of a matching bedding set

Advantages of a duvet

Every type of bedding has its pros and cons. Here are the main benefits of using a duvet:

  • Duvets are easy to clean. Since they’re used with and protected by the duvet cover, the cover is what needs regular washing, not the duvet. You can place the duvet cover on the top of the bed without the duvet/insert in it and save time by not inserting the duvet in it, just wash and change bedding easily. Buy a larger size and it will cover your bed better on all sides.

  • Duvets are versatile. You can change the look very easily by changing the duvet cover.

  • Making a bed with a duvet is extremely easy since you don’t have to worry about the top sheet.

  • The extra fiberfill makes them fluffy and warm enough even for cold winter months.

Disadvantages of a duvet

Duvets also have a few drawbacks. The main ones include:

  • Inserting a duvet into a duvet cover might be challenging.

  • A duvet isn't usually sold as part of a bedding set. You'll have to either mix and match or find a set that includes a duvet cover and buy your duvet separately.