Duvets Vs Comforters – What Is The Difference And What Should You Buy?

We receive free products to review and participate in affiliate programs. See our disclosure page for more information.

Whether it’s shopping online or walking into the bedding section of a department store, it may feel like you should have brought your thesaurus and French to English dictionary along for the journey. Sitting next to the comforters you’ll find duvets and duvet covers in abundance.

What’s the difference and what is right for you? We’ve put together a handy guide to help answer that age-old question: comforter or duvet?

It can get confusing telling the difference because many brands and sellers use the terms “comforter” and “duvet” interchangeably. That being said, let’s take a look at the classic definitions and how you can visually tell them apart when things get tricky.

A comforter is, classically, a bedspread filled with either synthetic, down, or other natural materials. It will often feature a quilted or sewn-through pattern that helps maintain an even distribution of the filling.


“Duvet”, based on the Old French word for Down, is a loose flat bag filled with synthetic, down or other natural materials. You will rarely see a duvet with a sewn-through design, so the filling will move around freely. The duvet is placed in a duvet cover, similar to the way a pillow is placed in a pillowcase.

RELATED: Best Reviewed Comforters


If the brand or seller isn’t clear with the terms, you can check a few things. First, look at the company’s website. They will often define their verbiage in an FAQ section.

Second, you can consider how the items are being sold. For example, is it part of a “bed in a bag” or bedding set? This is, most likely, a classic comforter. If it’s sold with a duvet cover, but without sheets or pillowcases, you’re probably looking at a duvet.

All About Space/Shutterstock

Once you know the difference, what should you buy?  Well, there are a few things to consider.

Related: Mattress Protector VS. Mattress Pad: Which One Is Right For Me?

  • If you prefer a cohesive design in your bedroom, a comforter bed set might be your best bet. The matched sheets, pillowcases, and comforter are a quick, easy design choice.
  • If you often change the look of your bedroom, the duvet is a great choice. Duvet covers come in a variety of colors and designs. You can quickly switch out the look of your space by zipping your duvet into a new duvet cover.
  • Do you like a layered look and feel? Then, you should lean toward a comforter. Most comforters are designed to go on a top sheet and hang over the sides of the mattress.
  • If you prefer a simpler, cleaner design, a duvet might be best for you. Most duvets are made to fit exactly to the edges of the mattress. Many sleepers use a duvet and cover without a top sheet. This is known as sleeping “European Style” and more and more duvet fans are using this method.
  • Lastly, do you hate making your bed? Go duvet all the way. While the duvet filling can get twisted, it is much easier to lay out one large piece of bedding rather than a comforter, sheets, etc.

There are so many things to consider, but knowing the difference between duvets and comforters is the first step. So, leave your thesaurus at home and find the best fit for you.


Featured Image: WorldWide/Shutterstock

The following two tabs change content below.
Gravatar for Marten Carlson

Marten Carlson

Marten is a staff writer for Mattress Clarity News. He covers the mattress industry as well as sleep science news. He is specifically interested in the connection between sleep and overall health.Marten has written for media publications like Consequence of Sound and received a master’s degree in Film Studies from Emory University.He comes from Franklin, Indiana, and spends all the time he can writing, directing, and acting in films. He has directed genre short films and features. His newest film, Starlets, recently premiered at the River Town Film Festival in Clinton, NJ. He also stars in the upcoming thriller, Sour Bear. His next film, At The Hop, is a hot rod actioner with a horror twist.