Duvets vs. Coverlets: What's the Difference, and Which One Is Right for You?
As as a seasoned interior designer for many years and now sleep expert, some of the most frequent questions I get asked revolve around the many different kinds of top bedding. There is often confusion around the terminology describing the different types of bedding, and no wonder! It’s easy to get lost among duvets, coverlets, quilts, and blankets! There are also questions around which bedding style is best for a particular environment or situation. So today, we’re diving into the cozy world of bedding! I’ll explain the difference between duvets and coverlets in particular, so that you can be better informed as you choose your bedding and customize your bed to be the best fit for you in terms of both comfort and style.
A Quick Survey of Bed Cover Terminology
Before we start talking about duvets vs. coverlets, let’s define and describe some of the most popular bed cover categories in use today. (There are probably more than you realise!) When I say ‘bed cover’, I mean the layer or layers that go on top of your bed sheets. Here are the different bed cover types, along with some simple descriptions.
- Quilt: A quilt is a blanket that typically includes a woven top layer, some sort of batting, and a woven back. It is stitched together in a decorative pattern and sometimes pieced together from many smaller sections of fabric, which is what gives a quilt its traditional look. Many quilts can be both decorative and functional.
- Comforter: A comforter (which is also often referred to as a ‘down comforter’) is similar to a quilt, except that it is typically heavier and thicker. Comforters can be filled with any variety or amount of down or down alternative (depending on the loft you desire). It can also be used on its own or inside a duvet cover.
- Duvet insert: A special type of comforter that can (sometimes) be used by itself or covered with any variety of interchangeable, washable duvet covers. Think of a duvet insert as a large fabric ‘bag’, which is filled with some sort of down or synthetic material.
Our new Lux Down Alternative Duvet Insert / Comforter is the ultimate combination of both! Whether used as a standalone cozy blanket or paired with a Lux duvet cover for an added touch of softness and elegance, it provides comfort all year round, making your bed a true sanctuary of 5-star hotel opulence.
- Blanket: A blanket usually refers to any simple bed cover that isn’t filled, but is made of a thicker material which is typically a good insulator. Blankets can also be used as throws, to add color or texture to a bed or any other piece of furniture.
Now let’s take a closer look at duvets and coverlets and the unique benefits of each.
So what exactly is a duvet? A duvet insert is essentially a super plush quilt or comforter that usually consists of a filling enclosed within a fabric shell. This filling could be down feathers or a down alternative. Duvets are thicker and fluffier than traditional comforters, and they’re a great way to make your bed look and feel soft, cozy, and warm. The real magic of a duvet is its ability to keep you toasty warm on chilly nights, while also being breathable enough to prevent overheating during the warmer months.
Another unique feature of a duvet is the fact that it’s made to be able to fit inside a specially-designed protective sheet known as a duvet cover. Duvet covers come in a variety of attractive colors and fabrics that are made to be machine washable. This cover acts as a protective shield against spills, stains, and dust. You can keep your duvet insert cleaner for much longer by using a duvet cover. As long as you wash the cover frequently, your duvet insert itself should only need cleaning once every 2-3 months or so. You can also change up your bedding look as often as you like without replacing the entire duvet. It’s a good idea to keep several duvet covers on hand in different colors, patterns, and textures so that you have plenty of choice.
Advantages of duvets
- Easy cleaning
- Endless styling possibilities
One duvet disadvantage is that some people find that the filling can shift around inside the cover, causing an uneven distribution of warmth. A quick shake and fluff can usually remedy this situation, though!
A coverlet is a lighter type of blanket that’s usually either quilted or woven. It adds an extra touch of comfort and warmth to any bed. Traditionally, coverlets were designed as decorative layers to be placed over thicker bedspreads. They can also be used as main layers of bedding in their own right, especially during the warmer seasons. Coverlets are versatile pieces of bedding that work as folded decoration at the end of your bed, or as throws for your sofas or chairs. Because coverlets are so lightweight and cozy, you can also wrap up in one and take it with you from room to room, or to sit out by the fire.
Advantages of coverlets
- Elegant appearance
- Versatile and perfect for layering
- Snug fit
One downside of coverlets is that if you're the kind of person who feels cold even on relatively mild nights, a coverlet might not provide enough warmth to keep you toasty.
Duvets vs. Coverlets
Don’t be misled by the title of this section – duvets and coverlets aren’t an either/or situation! In fact, they do not have to be in competition with each other. Duvets and coverlets both serve useful functions in their own regard and can even be used in tandem for the ultimate dreamy bedding experience. Why settle for one when you can have it all? Embrace the beauty of both and create a bedding utopia that reflects your unique style and keeps you cozy all year round.
We have luxury bedding of all types at Jennifer Adams Home. Duvet covers and coverlets, along with many other incredibly soft bedding choices among our many luxurious sets and collections. Remember to select colors that reflect your individual style as you make your bedroom – and the rest of your home – into your own personal, peaceful oasis.
Whether you choose a duvet, a coverlet, or both, one thing's for sure – you'll be snuggling up in comfort and style, ready to dream the night away!