Duvet vs. Comforter: What's the Difference and Which to Get

Comfortable bed with soft blanket and pillows indoors

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Nothing beats snuggling up in a cozy bed after a long day, and the covers you sleep on and under can make or break whether you get a sound night's sleep. You don't just have to consider pillows, and find the best bed linens; what goes on top is a big decision too.

You might assume duvets and comforters are the same. After all, at first glance, they look the same, and the terms are often used interchangeably or simultaneously, even by some major retailers. But, when you delve deeper, these bedding items are distinctively different. Whether a duvet or comforter is best depends on what factors are important to you to send you off to a peaceful slumber. To help you decide, learn more about what makes duvets and comforters unique and their pros and cons.

What is a Duvet?

A duvet is a soft, puffy bed cover made from a cotton or polyester shell. It's typically filled with insulating down, feathers, or synthetic fabrics of varying thickness and then stitched closed. To keep the duvet clean and to jazz up the design, you put it inside a removable, easy-to-clean duvet cover that closes with zips, buttons, or ties.

  • Easy-to-change look

  • Covers are easy to wash

  • Warm for winter

  • Plump, snuggly vibe

  • Higher cost

  • Challenging to change covers

  • Duvet drift

  • Often need professional cleaning

What is a Comforter?

Like a duvet, this quilted blanket often also has a synthetic fiber filling stitched to keep it from clumping. However, a comforter is a stand-alone bed topper over your bed sheets. It's typically less thick than a duvet and has no separate cover. Usually, a comforter overhangs the sides of the bed more than a duvet does.

  • Available in economical bedding sets

  • Covers more of the bed than a duvet

  • Easy to put on the bed

  • Ideal for draping and layering

  • Warm-weather-friendly

  • Less aesthetically flexible

  • Bulky

  • Might need additional blankets

  • Often needs professional cleaning

Should You Get a Duvet or Comforter?

When deciding whether to drape a duvet or comforter on your bed, you'll have to weigh their differences and your priorities. Consider the following to help you make a choice.


Because duvets are more fiber-filled, it creates that perfect plump, snuggly vibe that makes your cozy bedroom seem all the more inviting. However, they can be subject to "duvet drift". And, even if you can remedy it with a vigorous shake, it can spoil your slumber when the duvet clumps up in one corner of the cover.

Comforters lie flat on your bed and work well when layering your bedding for textural design and comfort. For example, you might want to combine it with a fleecy weighted blanket.


Even the best comforters are less pricey than high-quality duvets. But you might need additional blankets if the weather turns cold. Plus, if you damage or stain your comforter or want to change the design, you can't just replace the cover as you can with a duvet.

Duvets tend to be more pricey, especially if you opt for a down or feather filling. The more insulating a duvet is, the more costly it is.

Comforters are often part of economical bedding sets that include fitted sheets, flat-top sheets, and pillowcases. Duvet covers often also come as part of a bedding set, but you have to buy the actual duvet separately.


Changing up your bedding design is an easy and budget-friendly way to makeover your bedroom. Swapping out a duvet cover is less expensive and more environmentally friendly than opting for an entirely new comforter.


Washing a thin duvet cover is much easier than a heavy comforter. But. while covers might be quick and easy to clean and dry, the duvets aren't. Depending on its thickness and the filler material, you might be able to wash your duvet at home, but you'll probably need to make a trip to the laundromat.

You might still need to get your comforter professionally cleaned. But if you have a drum capacity of 5.0 cubic feet or larger, you can often freshen up a king-size comforter in your home washer.


Ditch the duvet if you hate wrestling with how to get the duvet cover on. Even if you find a time-saving hack, changing the duvet cover is more complex than simply spreading the comforter over your bed.

However, you might have to fit a top sheet alongside a comforter for hygiene reasons, so there's an extra bed-making hassle to consider with this option too.

Plus, if you want to switch out your comforter for design purposes at different times of the year, storing the alternative one takes up more space than a spare duvet cover.


Comforters are light covers that work well when summers are hot. But you'll often have to combine them with cozy blankets if things turn cold.

A mid-range duvet might work in all seasons, but if you opt for one with a lower thermal insulation quality for sticky summer nights, you'll likely have to swap this out for a snugger variety when the frosty weather arrives.

Sleeping Habits

If your partner is always stealing the sheets, a drapey comforter that covers more of the bed than a duvet might appeal. But, if you like to feel snug as a bug, stick with a fluffy duvet.

  • Which is better: a comforter or duvet?

    Both duvets and comforters have their benefits, and one isn't necessarily better than the other. If you hate changing duvet covers, then a comforter might appeal. But, for some, being able to change the duvet cover is attractive as it offers design flexibility and ease of cleaning. Decide what won't give you sleepless nights regarding price, appearance, comfort, and cleaning.

  • Can you use a duvet as a comforter?

    Using a duvet without a cover isn't ideal. It might mean you don't have to wrestle with getting it inserted, and it could be a cooler option, but it will get dirty more quickly (especially as most duvets are white), and it's not as easy to wash as the cover itself.

  • Do hotels use duvets or comforters?

    Hotels traditionally used comforters alongside bed linens and blankets. However, don't be surprised or put out if you see a duvet on your hotel bed. They are becoming more commonplace, especially in Europe and when the winter months arrive.