What Is The Difference Between a Comforter and Duvet?

A lot of people often use comforter with duvet interchangeably, thinking that duvets are just flatter and more lightweight comforters. Now, this is something that they did not teach us in high school home economics.

After the sheets, all we know is either the blanket or the comforter. As such, in this post, we will cover the differences between comforters and duvets as they could come in handy the next time you make a shop on beddings. 

Comforter vs duvet: a quick comparison

Comforters and duvets are two different types of beddings that may sometimes be in a one-bed ensemble especially when you are in hotels. But just for a quick comparison, a comforter is enough on its own, complete on its own while duvets must still be covered. 

Moreover, comforters usually come in sets but duvets could be bought separately from duvet covers and coverlets. Duvets can be laid down as it is without a top sheet but comforters need one. 

What is a comforter?

Comforters are this warm, big, and fluffy bedding that serves as the top sheet in your bed. Duvet covers or other thinner types of blankets can be put underneath it to maximize the warmth you can get especially during comforter season which is in winter. 

Comforters are warm and fluffy because of the insulators inserted in the middle layer. They are usually cotton, polyester, duck or geese feathers. The top layer is then weaved in knits or quilts to make air pockets for better airflow. 

This type of bedding is usually bought in sets. It comes along with pillowcases and bedsheets. This indicates that you won’t need to add any more sheets to have a complete bedding ensemble which gives you less time to assemble everything in place. 

Pros

  • Warmth is commendable. 
  • Can be used in lieu of blankets. 
  • Greater bed coverage. 
  • Easy to clean and maintain. 

Cons

  • Harder to store because it is big and fluffy. 
  • Requires thorough cleaning. 
  • May trap allergens. 
  • The cushion feels can flatten over time. 

What Is A duvet?

A duvet can be considered as a flatter version of a comforter but warmer than it. The most common materials used to fill a duvet would be a feather, wool, and also synthetic fibers like polyester. The major difference it has with a comforter is that it does not have any weave; the front layer is not knit nor quilted. 

Duvets commonly come with a duvet cover. It can also be reinforced with a thinner coverlet or thicker covers like a jacquard duvet cover during the colder seasons. Duvets are good on their own, however, and do not need these two most of the time but then again, having them is still a recommended choice. 

Although slightly thinner than comforters, duvets are warmer and you will not need additional blankets to warm you up. As such, duvets are more economical than comforters. It is also time-saving since you will no longer need additional sheets atop it. They are also easier to take off from the bed. Maintenance of duvets should be dry-cleaning only. This is the only time it is more expensive than comforters. 

Pros

  • Made of lightweight materials. 
  • Warmer than a comforter.
  • Fluffy but the texture is comfortably flat. 
  • Easy to clean and maintain. 
  • Can be bought as it is. 

Cons

  • Does not give the same bed coverage as comforters. 
  • When covered, it can have bunching. 
  • The air pockets can trap dust, dirt and other allergens. 

What is a duvet cover?

The simple analogy here is that a duvet cover complements the duvet in the same way pillows have shams. Duvet covers are attached to the duvet with either buttons or ties. Some duvet covers can be attached through both buttons and ties. 

Basically, duvet cover functions to cover the duvet. Duvet covers are thinner and easier to take off. Instead of dry-cleaning the duvet every now and then, you can just detach the duvet cover and have it washed to be attached to the duvet again. 

Duvet covers are the reason why duvets are handier when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. The good news is that you can also use duvet covers for comforters to function like what they do for duvets. 

Differences between a comforter and a duvet

Well, as have been said, duvets are good enough on their own without additional sheets or fabric layers put on top of it. Duvets are warmer than comforters albeit being flatter than them. Unlike comforters, duvets do not need to be knitted or quilted to generate greater airflow. 

Although duvets could be purchased singularly, you would still want to get a duvet cover. It protects the duvet from dirt and since the duvet cover is thinner and more lightweight, you can easily detach it for washing instead of taking the whole duvet out to be cleaned. 

On the other hand, comforters come in sets and they are harder to clean because they are big and fluffy. Comforters are still good choices when it comes to warmth especially during the colder seasons. They also come in complementing shams and pillowcases so all in all, it is as good as duvets. 

Factors to consider when buying a duvet

In picking the best duvet, some factors need to be considered. You cannot just storm out to a store and pick the first duvet your eyes lay on. To help you with making the choice, here are three factors to consider when buying duvets: filling and weight, shell, and layering. 

Filling and weight

There are two types of materials used as filling for duvets. Natural materials such as silk, down and wool and there’s the synthetic filling. Down materials especially duck feathers have high insulating properties and are more lightweight too.

Wool is denser so if you need to warm up year-round, go for wool. Synthetic filling is hypoallergenic and inexpensive and has more weight than wool. With these as pointers, you may choose right away the duvet for you. 

Shell

This one is the duvet’s outer layer. It is said that the higher the thread count of a shell, the more lightweight and softer the duvet will be. Duvet casings are also made of natural and synthetic fibers. Bamboo fiber is considered the best duvet shell because it is said to have the highest air regulating the capacity of all materials. 

Layering

This one has something to do with the duvet cover that you can attach to have more warmth. If it is not too cold, a coverlet can do just fine. But during colder seasons, you might want to consider a jacquard duvet cover since it is thicker and could add a solid layer for greater warmth under the sheets. 

Which is better, duvet, or comforter?

This is a tricky question for many reasons but to be as objective as possible, here are some aspects to factor in. 

In terms of price and maintenance, duvets are more economical. Aside from the duvet cover, there is nothing else to pay for after. Aside from that, duvets can be bought ala carte. But comforters which come in sets, may not be cost-friendly when it tears or it bunches because you will have to buy an entire set again. So in terms of practicality, we go for duvets. 

In terms of warmth, duvets are warmer than comforters on their own. Comforters, on the other hand, may still need additional reinforcements like blankets, quilts, and other sheets. However, comforters have greater bed coverage than duvets. But since we are talking about warmth here, again our vote goes to duvets. 

The last thing to factor in would be ease of use and cleaning. Both duvet and comforters are easy to lay down but comforters need more sheets on top of it and duvet just needs a duvet cover. Both also need thorough cleaning but since duvet covers can be detachable, duvets are easier to maintain. 

With all things considered, duvets are better than comforters. 

Comforter vs Duvet – FAQs

If you think you already know everything about duvets and comforters, here are added FAQs to help you in narrowing down your choice to duvets or comforters in the future. 

Can you use a comforter as a duvet?

Yes. Aside from being a one-time-big-time set, it has greater bed coverage than duvets. Since duvets are warmer than comforters, you can use it during damper days or when the temperature is just a tad lower than what you can endure. Or if you are fond of more sheets layered in your bed, you can choose comforters over duvets too. 

The good thing is that, although comforters do not usually come with a covering or it is just topped with another bedding, you can actually use a duvet cover for it so that it will be easier to clean. 

Do hotels use a duvet or comforter?

Hotels usually use duvets, specifically, they use weighted duvets to add more warmth under the sheets. Hotel duvets are complete with duvet covers and additional coverlets on top. The flattest duvet types made of wool or microgel insertions are typically used in hotel duvets.

Just to clarify, hotels make use of comforters too. Specifically, down comforters are used because they are fluffier and warmer. They are either knitted or quilted and have fluffier air pockets for greater airflow during the summer. 

Why are duvets so expensive?

Duvets can go from $50 to $200 depending on the quality of materials inserted in it. The most expensive duvets are made of natural materials like wool, silk, and down or feathers of ducks and geese.

As such, duvets are expensive because they are more breathable and also because there is more fabric needed to fill duvets. This adds to greater fabric costs when making duvets but these are strategic in having bedding that is easy to clean and maintain and it also makes it flat and resistant to wrinkles and bunching. 

Should a duvet cover be the same size as the comforter?

No. The thing is, duvet covers have the tendency to shrink by 5% because of excessive washing. Hence, it is recommended that duvet covers should be at least 2-4 inches longer than comforters or you can buy comforters that are exactly the same size as the duvet covers. But between the two, the first recommendation is the rule of thumb. 

Can a duvet cover be used on a comforter?

Absolutely yes. Again, although comforters are not meant to be covered, duvet covers can be used on a comforter for ease of use especially in terms of cleaning. You can just add those duvet covers with the blankets, pillowcases, and shams all in one place in the laundry instead of dry-cleaning those big and fluffy comforters every now and then.

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