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Duvets and Comforters – What’s the Difference?


Folded white duvet cover on table

You’ll often hear different terms used interchangeably, and for the most part that’s okay. If you think of comforters and duvets as being the same thing, you’re not alone. However, these two items are quite distinct from one another, so let’s take a look at what makes them different.

What is a Duvet?

The word “duvet” is French for “down,” owing to its origins of using down feathers as an insulator. A duvet is separated into two parts – the removable cover and the insert. Modern duvet inserts can be made of most any insulator, but are most often filled with down, feather, wool or synthetic versions of these. This highlights one of the most convenient features of a duvet, the fact that you can remove and wash the cover without washing the insert. 

What is a Comforter?

Comforters differ from duvets in that they’re one piece. They usually consist of a filler that is distributed evenly throughout. Furthermore, comforters are often included in matching bedding sets, so they complete the look of your bed by design. Comforters also tend to be thinner than duvets.

Other Key Differences

One major difference between a duvet and a comforter is their size. While both are generally purchased based on mattress size, comforters are bigger. This means that a comforter will hang over the edge of the mattress, while a duvet often fits closer to the exact size of your mattress. 

Something else to consider is that duvets are usually fluffier than comforters, so a duvet adds a plusher look to your bed compared to a comforter’s flat and layered look. Also, when it comes to changing your style, duvets are convenient because you can simply change the cover. However, duvet inserts can bunch up inside the cover, whereas a comforter remains uniform. 

When it comes to cleaning, duvets make it easy because you can remove the cover and wash it at home. Meanwhile, many comforters are “dry clean only” due to the filler inside. You can also use a duvet cover over your comforter, giving you a similar cleaning benefit to a duvet.

Which One is Right for You?

Buy a duvet if you want a bed that sports a fluffy appearance and has a sleeping experience to match. It’s also a good choice if you like to change your style often without changing everything on your bed. Most duvet covers come with matching pillow shams to complete the look. The ease of a removable cover for washing is also worthy of note. If you’re into low maintenance, a duvet might be the answer.

Buy a comforter if you want a flat, layered look for your bed. There are also comforters in fluffier styles that lend a similar look to a duvet. These puffy comforters usually have box quilting so the filler can’t mingle and flatten. 

Duvet Selections

If you’re interested in a duvet but don’t already own an insert, you’ll want to start with an insert like our Down Décor Lanadown Organic Wool Duvet, which features a mix of lightweight wool and down for breathable, antibacterial softness encased in a cambric cotton shell. For a full goose down insert, our Sferra Buxton Goose Down Duvet is a slice of luxury. If the feel of down sounds wonderful but your allergies don’t agree, the SFERRA Arcadia Down Alternative Duvet is filled with down-like microfibers for a hypoallergenic alternative.

Once you have your insert chosen, City Mattress has a plethora of duvet covers from which to choose, giving you lots of great looks for your bed. Our Madison Park Sabrina Tufted Cotton Chenille 3-Piece Duvet Cover Set brings an elegant simplicity to your bed’s décor. For a more colorful selection, check out the Madison Park Biloxi Ombre Jacquard 6-Piece Duvet Cover Set or our Ann Gish Woven Cherry Blossom 3-Piece Duvet Cover Set. These are just a few of many beautiful selections available.

Comforter Selections

Starting with clean and simple design, the Beautyrest 500tc Damask Stripe Cotton All Season Hungarian Goose Down Comforter is a great introduction to City Mattress’ comforter selections. It includes corner loops to attach a duvet cover for added versatility. For a pop of color, check out our Madison Park Zennia Floral Print Seersucker Comforter And Throw Blanket Set, featuring seven pieces for a complete look. For a light, oceanic style, you might like the Harbor House Maya Bay Starfish Embroidered Cotton 4-Piece Comforter Set that soothes the spirit at a glance. Again, these are just a small selection of a much larger array of choices.

We’re Real Sleep Enthusiasts!

Whether you want the flexibility of a duvet or the traditional style of a comforter, City Mattress gives you tons of options. Our trained Sleep Experts can answer any questions and are always happy to discuss better sleep! We pride ourselves on offering excellent support and brands you can trust.