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Duvet Or Comforter? Here’s How To Pick The Right Blanket For Your Bed

Nov 28, 2023Nov 28, 2023

If you're in the market for a blanket for your bed, chances are you've encountered the terms comforters, duvets, or duvet inserts. Although these might appear quite similar at first glance, it's important to note that there are distinct differences between a comforter and a duvet (also known as a duvet insert). To make it more confusing, duvet and comforter are sometimes used interchangeably.

Learning the difference between a comforter and a duvet can help you make a better purchase.

However, it’s helpful to know the difference when shopping, otherwise you may buy one that doesn’t suit you. While neither option is better than the other, the best one for you will depend on your individual situation.

A duvet (or duvet insert) is designed to be used with a duvet cover. You’ll know a duvet when you see it because it has four loops in the corners of the blanket, possibly more along the edges, so that a duvet cover can be tied to the loops and secure the insert inside.

The primary advantage of a duvet is that a cover can be attached to help keep it clean. Most covers are often machine washable, making care easy. While a cover is not absolutely necessary, it helps cut down on washing the insert—or in some cases costly dry cleaning—since you can take the cover off, wash it and put it back on.

A comforter is a one-piece blanket, with fabric on the outside and an inner fill that’s either sewn directly to the fabric or filled in quilted squares. This helps keep the fill evenly distributed in the blanket, no matter how much you toss and turn. Depending on the amount of fill, comforters have a range of options for warmth levels, from very lightweight ones for summer to extra warm comforters for colder climates.

The fabric can be made from a range of fibers such as cotton, polyester, viscose and more. They are also often filled with down or some sort of down alternative, like polyester batting. You can often find them in various colors and patterns to suit different styles.

The primary difference between a duvet and comforter is that a duvet requires a cover so it’s two pieces, while a comforter is one-piece and has a fill built-in. Comforters do not have loops like duvets, although it should be noted, these are often used interchangeably, so you may see blankets labeled comforters have loops and duvet inserts that can be used as comforters, so it’s something to keep an eye on.

When choosing between a duvet or comforters, you’ll want to consider if you prefer to wash a duvet cover or an entire comforter. Duvet covers can often be washed at home. Depending on the comforter, it may require home washing, dry cleaning or a commercial laundry machine.

Be sure to check the care instructions when shopping for a duvet or comforter. For items that need to be dry cleaned, cleaning can get costly. Large comforters may also require a commercial washing machine which may mean a trip to the laundromat.

Whether you’re choosing a comforter or duvet cover, you’ll want to pay attention to the outer fabric since this influences how it feels, especially if it’s going to be touching your skin. Fabric options you typically see are cotton, polyester, and viscose.

Most comforters are filled with down or down alternatives. Down is lightweight, natural and provides excellent warmth. However, some may steer towards a down alternative if they are allergic to down and also because it’s less expensive. Some other less common fills you may find are wool, silk, viscose (which is often derived from bamboo) and kapok fiber (a natural fiber harvested from the tropical kapok tree).


Duvets can get quite pricey, so we appreciate this one from Linenspa that’s under $50 for a queen size. It’s one of the most highly rated and reviewed duvets on Amazon. It’s made for year round use with medium warmth and is machine washable for easy care.

Pottery Barn

Sweaty sleepers appreciate Pottery Barn’s Hydrocool duvet insert with fibers that are specially designed to pull moisture away from the body so the sweat evaporates quickly and keeps you dry. It has corner loops so a duvet cover can be attached and is available in lightweight or ultra plush warmth levels.

The Company Store

The Company Store’s Lacrosse Down Comforter gives you lots of options to tailor to your needs. Most comforters come in just two or three warmth levels, but this one comes in light, medium, extra and ultra warmth levels. You can also choose from 18 color choices in case you decide to skip the duvet cover, but it does have loops for a duvet cover.


Brooklinen’s down comforter checks all the boxes you would want in a down comforter. The outer material is made with cotton that feels soft and lightweight, fluffy down. The baffle box construction ensures the down stays in place. I’ve slept with this comforter and love the lightweight, airy feel that still keeps me warm.


This comforter is made with a sateen weave cotton for a smooth feel. Rather than down, it’s filled with a microfiber that’s made to mimic down so you’re not missing out on that puffy feel. It comes in all-season and lightweight warmth levels.

Slumber Cloud

For those that sleep hot, this Slumber Cloud comforter will help keep you cool. Both the outer fabric and inner fill are made with cooling materials that actively help regulate your body temperature. The fill is synthetic with a down-like feel, so you’ll get all of the puffiness without the allergies.

Yes, a duvet can be used as a comforter, though like a comforter it will require washing or dry cleaning more frequently since there’s no cover to protect it.

It depends on the hotel whether they choose to use a duvet or comforter, but speaking from experience, most use comforters, likely because duvet covers take longer to change. With comforters, hotels use a top sheet, or sandwich it in between two top sheets to protect it, which is easier to change.

It depends on the fabric and materials used for what’s best. Hot sleepers will want to look for three key features, no matter if it’s a duvet or comforter, breathability, lightweight and potentially cooling technologies. Keep in mind, the added layers of a duvet cover over the insert will add some warmth. However, a lightweight duvet and cooling cover will feel cooler than a thick, down comforter for example. You can also consider our list of the best cooling blankets.

What Is A Duvet? ProsThe cover can be switched: Easy to keep clean: Change fabric and warmth level depending on season: May help the duvet last longer: ConsMore hassle to change the cover: Duvet insert can shift inside cover: Separate purchases: What Is A Comforter? ProsThe inside fill doesn’t shift: Come in a wide range of colors and patterns: ConsRequires washing more frequently: May not be machine washable: What Is The Difference Between A Duvet And A Comforter? What Should You Consider When Choosing A Duvet Or Comforter? Washing CareExterior Or Cover FabricFill MaterialWhat Are Some Of The Best Duvets? What Are Some Of The Best Comforters? Can A Duvet Be Used As A Comforter?Do Hotels Use A Duvet Or Comforter? Is A Duvet Or Comforter Better For Hot Sleepers?