In the Bedroom

Duvets vs. Comforters

Admit it! Like me, you probably have not had a lot of experience with the term “duvet” until recently. I know I have not! When the term began to be used relative to bedding, I had to do a bit of research to find out exactly what a duvet was and what its purpose was. I can now state, with certainty, that I understand the differences between a duvet and a comforter, and, while some find the differences minimal, I do not.

The decision to purchase and use a duvet or a comforter is kind of important and depends upon one’s lifestyle and design taste. So, let’s take a look at the similarities and the differences, so that you can make a decision that fits you specific needs and desires.


  1. Both a duvet and a comforter serve the purpose of providing extra warmth for sleepers.
  2. Both a duvet and a comforter may be filled with a variety of materials – natural down, synthetic down, polyester fibers, etc. The goal is to provide a filling materials that will give extra warmth and comfort to the sleeper.
  3. Both duvets and comforters go on top of a bed and therefore may come in a variety of colors and designs to enhance the décor of a bedroom.


  1. A comforter is designed to be larger than the actual mattress size, and thus hang over the top of the bed, usually with a complementary bed skirt to “finish” the look.
  2. A duvet is a “topper” that conforms to the actual mattress size and will not hang over the sides, requiring some other type of “finishing” if necessary or desired.
  3. A comforter has a permanent cover – colors and a design that goes with the room décor.
  4. A duvet, on the other hand, has a removable cover that may be changed out as the décor of the room changes. This removable cover protects the inner material and can be laundered or dry-cleaned as necessary. Cleaning a comforter requires that the entire piece be washed or dry-cleaned, and this can become a bit problematic., as standard washing machines may not be able to accommodate it.

My Preference May be Different from Yours

Personally, I prefer duvets as toppers, as opposed to comforters. The reasons for my preference are as follows:

  1. The beds I have are nicely constructed of wood that I want to show. I do not want bed skirts (I hate that they collect so much dust and must be washed frequently); rather, I want the wood of the beds to show, and I want to be able to clean underneath the beds with ease. Working around bed skirts irritates me!
  2. I love the fact that I can change the duvet covers whenever I change the décor of a bedroom. I cannot do this with comforters – I have to buy new ones!
  3. Cleaning a duvet cover is easy; cleaning an entire comforter, not so much!

Only you know your level of tolerance for cleaning and maintenance of bedding; only you understand the design and décor effect you are attempting to achieve. Consider your options carefully and choose a duvet or a comforter based upon your tastes, not upon what anyone else recommends!

Douglas Belleville

Doug Belleville and his father Dave own and run STLBeds - a specialty sleep store located in Arnold, MO. The staff at STLBeds is highly educated about sleep, comfort and their special sleep products. STLBeds only carries high quality mattresses and bed-related products. You won't find the brand names here - click here to find out why!

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