The Difference Between a Comforter and Duvet Cover

There is often confusion about the difference between a duvet and a comforter. Is there a choice between a duvet and a comforter or must you buy both? While duvets and comforters are both part of the bedding, their uses are slightly different.

A comforter is a blanket that is thick, usually with many layers and normally quilted to allow it to breathe and maintain a warm temperature throughout. The most common filling for regular comforters are synthetic fibers, which are sewn between solid or printed fabric sheets. They can be washed completely when dirty and reused.

Comforters are often sold as part of a set that can include shams, pillowcases, form fitting and straight sheets. Some sets even include bed skirts and accent pillows. Down comforters are filled with down, which can be quite expensive, and are usually sewn between simple white sheets. For this reason, they are used together with a duvet.

A duvet, which actually means comforter in French, serves more like a pillowcase for a down blanket or comforter. The duvet covers the comforter and uses buttons or zippers for closure. There is no need to wash the comforter when the duvet gets dirty, since the blanket underneath is protected. This is particularly useful for down comforters, which cannot be washed with as much ease as the regular, synthetic fiber comforters.

Additionally, duvets can provide a way to transform and redecorate a room. Changing duvet covers is easier and less expensive than investing in a whole new comforter set or in a new down comforter.


Photo courtesy of carolojr’s photostream

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