Duvet Versus Comforter: What’s the Difference?

Looking for a cozy, fluffy bed topper? Then you may be wondering what’s the difference between a duvet and a comforter? Is one better than the other? Both are top layers that add style and warmth to the bed, but a comforter is generally used and displayed as-is, while a duvet insert is used with a duvet cover. We’ll show you the differences between a duvet and a comforter and how to choose which option works best for you.

What Is a Duvet?

A duvet is a top layer of bedding constructed with an outer shell, usually white, filled with lofty down or down alternative fill. Stitching secures the top and bottom layers of the shell together, creating smaller chambers that keep the fill evenly distributed throughout the entire duvet. The fill material makes a duvet breathable and puffy; the type and amount of fill determines its warmth. Our duvets are available in a range of warmth levels, from “lightweight” to “ultra warmth.”

Duvets are sometimes called “duvet inserts” to differentiate them from the protective, decorative “duvet covers” they’re used with. The duvet cover fits over the insert like a pillowcase fits over a pillow—see our simple guide to putting a duvet cover on a duvet insert.

What Is a Comforter?

A comforter is also a top layer of bedding that’s filled with either lofty down or down alternative fill, which is stitched into smaller chambers to keep the fill distributed. Comforters at The Company Store are available in a range of warmth levels, from lightweight options for summer nights or year-round comfort to extra-warm comforters designed for the coldest winter nights. Or, add an extra layer of warmth when you use both: Top your comforter or duvet with a quilt or coverlet to chase away a seasonal chill.

Generally, comforters are available in both solid colors and patterns that range from bold floral prints to delicate stripes to classic plaid. Popular kids’ comforters feature bright and playful motifs like animals, vehicles, and space travel. Comforters are often available with coordinating sheets and pillowcases. Some people like the “finished” look of the visible topstitching.

Is a Duvet a Comforter?

While the pieces are very similar, simply taking the cover off doesn’t turn a duvet insert into a comforter. Duvets usually have a plain shell and can have a lower thread count, and comforter shells are available in weave options like silky sateen and crisp percale. However, our duvet inserts are made with the same premium materials and craftsmanship as our comforters.

You can always slip a duvet cover over a comforter if you want to refresh the look of the room or protect your comforter. A solid duvet cover is a great way to keep things neutral or bring a lot of a single color into a room; a print duvet cover can pull together colors from bed sheets, blankets, or other decor. One difference to note: At The Company Store, our duvet inserts and solid comforters feature corner loops that attach to ties inside our duvet covers, securing them in place. Fashion comforters don’t have those loops because they are not typically used with duvet covers. The comforter may stay in place without the ties and loops, but if you have trouble, you can discreetly sew in some corner loops.

Which Is Better: A Duvet or a Comforter?

If you’re deciding between buying a comforter or a duvet insert, you’ll want to consider your laundering needs and style preferences.

Comforters can be time-consuming to launder—even the machine-washable comforters available at The Company Store. While duvets are similar, the protective duvet covers are very simple to wash; you can toss them in the laundry weekly with your sheets. Some other things to consider:

comforter on chair
  • A comforter is used with bed sheets, including a flat sheet, which protect it from the bottom and keep it clean, making it popular with people who like to layer their bedding.
  • Because a comforter does not have a protective cover, you need to take care to keep the top side clean.
  • You can use a duvet insert and cover with layered bedding, but you can also use it alone, without a top sheet underneath—making it a perfect option for busy mornings or a kids’ room with a reluctant bed-maker.
  • Since it’s so easy to wash, a duvet cover and insert make an excellent choice for beds where pets or children are frequent visitors.

Fluffy duvets and cozy comforters are very similar bed toppers, so let your preferences about look and laundering guide your choice. Find out more about choosing bedding in our Bedding 101 guide, but “rest” assured...whether you choose a comforter or a duvet, you’ll love slipping in beneath the cloudlike layer and drifting off to sleep.