Hi, Did You Know There's a Difference Between Duvets and Comforters?

Alexis Bennett, Hannah Smothers, Sarah Weldon
·4 min read
Photo credit: John Francis
Photo credit: John Francis

Have you ever walked through your bedroom door and looked at your bed in...utter disappointment? Yeah. Is it because you have a sad, lumpy, deflated blanket topping what *should* be your happy place? Also yeah.

Who wants to take a running start and launch themselves onto a pile of blah? No one! So let's turn that gross feeling into one of happy coziness with a marshmallow bed worth plopping down on.

But, since the fluff that tops your bed is arguably more important than the mattress or sheets, we've gotta dive into the duvet vs comforter debate.

I know what you're thinking: Duvets and comforters look alike, their names are often used interchangeably (confusing!), and, um, they both do basically the exact same thing. But, but! each option has crucial differences—for better and for worse.

So get cozy, donate that lumpy blanket, and get ready to screenshot every sentence in this article. A lifetime of comfort awaits you, my dear.

What is a duvet?

Often called a comforter (yeah, I warned you), the big distinction is that a duvet is designed to be shoved inside a duvet cover. It's quilted and filled with something warm—down or down-alternative, usually—but it's plain and not really meant to be seen. You wouldn't want your bed to tackle the day naked.

Duvet pros

  • They're easy to care for. Because these don't really get dirty (they're tucked away inside your shmancy cover), you don't have to clean them as frequently. For real, I've been using the same down insert since I was ten. Pro tip: Buy one that you can just pop in the washer/dryer and avoid the dry cleaning bill.

  • You can mix it up whenever. A duvet is a smart option if you treat your bed like a mood ring that changes colors every few minutes. Covers can be super inexpensive and are easy to store. So stockpile a bunch, and you'll have an easy swap for your cold-weather and warm-weather moods.

  • A ton of cheap options exist. It's literally just a stuffed bag of fluff! You can usually find a duvet for pretty cheap (especially if you don't care if the insides are down or an alternative).

Duvet cons

  • You gotta buy another piece. A lot of sheet sets come with duvet covers, but not all do—meaning you may have to invest in yet another bedding piece if you go this route. Boo.

  • Changing. Covers. Is. The. Worst. I know there's the Burrito Method, and like a million other hacks on YouTube...but they require work.

  • They don't stay put. Some covers come with ties on the inside corners to keep your duvet in place, but not even the strongest ones are a match for the dreaded duvet drift. Within a week or two, you're gonna wake up with the bulk of your bedding lumped toward one side—but it's easily fixed with a hearty shake!

What is a comforter?

Similar to its cousin, the comforter is a thick, soft, quilted blanket with insulating inside and an Insta-ready outside. There's no shoving or finagling here, though! You can just plop them on your bed for a great two-in-one deal. TL;DR: They're bed toppers for the fashionably lazy.

Comforter pros

  • It's already pretty. No need to buy an additional cover to zhuzh it up, comforters come in tons of cute patterns, prints, and even textures.

  • They're often sold in sets. To make your bed dressing even easier, a lot of comforters are sold in sets with coordinating pillows or blankets. Kinda like a chic bed-in-a-box situation.

  • You only need to pull out your credit card once. As you can guess from our sentiments earlier, stuffing a duvet into its cover is a practice straight from Satan himself. This eliminates all of that mess.

Comforter cons

  • It's a big design commitment A duvet may be a cheaper and more practical option than that trendy comforter. You don't want to be sick of it after spending five minutes on Pinterest.

  • It will deflate over time. Like a duvet, the stuffing in your comforter will, eventually, start to wear down. When that happens, it'll need to replace it. Worst case scenario: Your pattern is sold out everywhere and now you don't have a matching set.

  • Your dry cleaning bills may go up. Like a duvet insert, some are machine washable, but many are dry-clean-only. Unlike a duvet insert, you can't just wash the cover in your machine. If you're known to toss all your shit on your bed when you come home or are generally a clean freak, you might be stuck with an expensive bill from the cleaners.

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