Duvet vs. Comforter

What you need to know...

There are a lot of different terms to describe bedding, and frankly it's all quite confusing and a little frustrating.  But after tons of research and product testing, we have all the answers! 

What is a Duvet?  A duvet is a plain white comforter traditionally filled with feather, down or wool and are intended to be used with a duvet cover.  Today Duvets can also be found in down alternative, cotton and polyester.

What is a Duvet Cover?  A duvet cover is like a giant pillow cases for your duvet or comforter, sewn on three sides, and has a snap, button, or zip closure at the bottom that opens up and put your duvet inside.  Duvet Covers are intended to keep your Duvet clean and prevent you from having to wash or dry clean it often which can be expensive.

What is the difference between a duvet and comforter?  A duvet is slightly smaller than a comforter, usually white or plain in color, and is usually stuffed with a material that needs to be dry cleaned or needs special care, and are intended to be used with a decorative duvet cover.  A comforter is decorated with a design or pattern right on the fabric and are almost always stuffed with washable filling like cotton or polyester.

How do I choose?  Bedding is a very personal choice, and how you sleep and live should play a very important role in what kind of bedding you choose.  Following are a few things to consider when choosing between a duvet & cover or comforter.

I have pets and or kids:  A duvet and duvet cover is a good choice for you.  Since duvet covers are removable and machine washable, they are much easier to keep clean.  With a comforter you might find yourself running to the dry cleaner all the time, or just dealing with a dirty-messy bed, but with a duvet cover you simply slip your cover off the duvet and wash it in the machine as often as you do your sheets or as often as you need to.  So you can have clean fresh bedding all the time!

I'm constantly hot in the summer and cold in the winter:  If this is the case, you can invest in two different duvet inserts.  A light fill for summer, and a heavy fill for winter.  Then you can simply switch them out as the weather changes so you're comfortable all year long.

I change my room decor all the time:  Then a duvet is the best choice, hands down. Invest in a good quality duvet insert and collect an unlimited number or duvet covers to switch out all the time, you could effectively have a one duvet cover for each season of the year!  

I am an active sleeper:  Even though most duvet covers have ties in the corners to hold your duvet in place, they can still slip and shift if you don't have loops on your duvet or you're an extra active sleeper.  If that's the case a comforter might be a better choice for you.

I need a low maintenance bed set:  Comforters are no muss no fuss, they are easier to make up the bed with and require less maintenance than a duvet/duvet cover.  If you make your bed with a toss and go kind of philosophy, a comforter looks neat and takes less time to make.  A duvet and cover set can take a little extra care to make look nice and may not be ideal for those who don't like to make the bed.

Cal King vs. Eastern King:  Most people who own California King Mattresses use Either a California King Comforter or Standard King Duvet.  A California King Duvet is not a standard item and is very difficult to find in stores.  

  • A California King mattress is 72"W X 84"L so a 104" X 88" cover would hang 16" on each side and 16" over the end when placed 12" from the top
  • A Standard [Eastern] King mattress is 76"W X 80"L so a 104" X 88" cover would hang 14" on each side and 14" over the end when placed 6" from the top
  • It is a common misconception the the Cal King is larger than a Standard King mattress, that's actually not true; a Cal King is only 6,048 square inches and a Standard King is slightly larger at 6,080 square inches. 
So if you are looking for more coverage on the sides of your Cal King mattress, the Standard King would work MUCH better than a Cal King.


I hope you find this information helpful, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to e-mail me any time.

Saralyn, Owner/Designer