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Comforters and duvets are common bedding items that maintain people’s body temperature when they sleep. While these two types of bedding have many similarities, their differences can make a person choose one over the other.

A quick look at the best duvets and comforters

This article discusses how duvets and comforters differ, what to look for when buying them, and why sleep quality is important for health. It also offers a list of comforters and duvets available to purchase online.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Duvets originated in Europe, with the term coming from a French word for down. They are soft blankets filled with down, feather, wool, or synthetic fibers.

Duvet inserts are plain and often white or off-white in color. Duvet covers, on the other hand, come in a variety of colors, styles, and materials.

Most duvet covers have corner ties to keep duvets in place. Individuals can use ties, zippers, or buttons to enclose the duvet insert into a cover.

The following are some advantages and disadvantages of duvets.

Pros

  • Duvets may be more suitable for colder climates than comforters.
  • People can purchase duvet covers to match their personal style.
  • Duvet covers are usually easier to clean and quicker to dry than comforters.

Cons

  • People will need to purchase duvet covers to protect the insert.
  • The duvet insert may take some time to dry after washing.
  • It can be time-consuming to place the duvet insert into covers.

Comforters are soft blankets that contain material including down or synthetic fiber. People often buy comforters as part of bed-in-a-bag sets or complete bedding sets that come with sheets and pillowcases. They come in various designs, colors, and patterns.

Comforters do not require covers. However, some comforters have loops that enable people to tie covers onto them.

The following are some advantages and disadvantages of comforters.

Pros

  • People do not need to purchase a cover for comforters.
  • Most comforters have a box construction that stops fill from clumping or moving.
  • Comforters may be more comfortable during hotter weather.

Cons

  • Comforters are usually only available in one weight, which may make them unsuitable for year-round use.
  • Most comforters are dry-clean only, which can make cleaning the products more costly and time-consuming.

While both duvets and comforters are bedding items that people sleep under, there are several differences:

  • Duvets need covers, and comforters do not. However, some people opt to put a comforter inside a duvet cover.
  • Companies sell duvet inserts and covers separately. By contrast, people can purchase comforters as part of a complete set.
  • Individuals may need to wash comforters more regularly than duvets as they do not always come with a cover.
  • Comforters have a sewn-through pattern that maintains their shape and gives them an even-fill distribution, whereas duvet inserts can bunch together inside the cover.
  • Comforters are typically larger and have more hangover on the mattress. Duvets are the same size as the mattress.
  • Duvets typically have more stuffing and offer more warmth than comforters, which lay flatter and are lighter.

Medical News Today chooses bedding that meet the following criteria where possible:

  • Certifications: Products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
  • Size: Products that are available in various sizes.
  • Materials and fill: Products made from different materials and fills to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles.
  • Budget: Products to suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Warranties and return policies: Products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.

Below is a list of duvets available to purchase online.

Best for down: Casper Down Duvet

  • List price: from $229
  • Sizes: twin/twin XL, full/queen and king/California king
  • Fill: down

Casper Down Duvet is filled with ethically sourced 600-fill power down covered by a 100% cotton shell, and it has sewn-through chambers.

Customers can choose from two weight types: lightweight and midweight. It is machine washable and available in several sizes.

Casper provides a 1-year limited warranty on this product, a 30-night free trial, and free shipping and returns.

Best for all seasons: Boll & Branch Down Alternative Duvet Insert

  • List price: from $308
  • Sizes: full/queen and king/California king
  • Fill: hypoallergenic down alternative

This duvet insert has a 100% organic cotton shell with a baffle box construction to stop the premium, hypoallergenic filling from moving around. This product also has an OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification.

It comes in lightweight, winterweight, and all-season weights, making it suitable for most people’s requirements. It is available in full/queen and king/California king sizes.

Boll & Branch offers a 30-night trial and free shipping and returns.

Several companies sell comforters online. Below is a list of products that people may wish to purchase.

Best for earth-friendly materials: The Buffy Cloud

  • List price: from $129
  • Sizes: twin/twin XL, full/queen and king/California king
  • Fill: recycled fiber

The Buffy Cloud comforter has a shell of OEKO-TEX-certified eucalyptus fabric with 100% recycled fiber filling and 300 single-ply thread count. The company states that each comforter contains around 50 recycled plastic bottles.

This product has loops in every corner, enabling people to place a cover on top. The company recommends machine-washing the comforter with cold water and leaving it hanging to dry.

Additionally, Buffy states that its comforter is earth-friendly, cruelty-free, and suitable for all weather.

The Buffy Cloud is available in twin/twin XL, full/queen and king/California king sizes. It has free shipping and returns, and the company offers a free trial.

Best for multiple weights: Brooklinen Down Alternative Comforter

  • Price: from $159
  • Sizes: twin/twin XL, full/queen and king/California king
  • Fill: recycled microfiber

This comforter has a 400-thread count, 100% cotton sateen shell. Its filling is shaved microfiber that mimics the texture of down.

Moreover, this product is hypoallergenic and has a baffle box construction to prevent the microfiber from bunching up in one place. Each corner has a loop to facilitate putting on a duvet cover.

The comforter is available in lightweight, all-season, and ultrawarm weights, making it suitable for most people’s requirements. It comes in twin/twin XL, full/queen and king/California king sizes.

The company recommends spot cleaning or dry-cleaning this comforter.

Brooklinen offers free return shipping for purchasers in the United States.

Best for goose down: L.L.Bean Permabaffle Box Goose Down Comforter

  • List price: from $419
  • Sizes: twin, full, queen and king
  • Fill: goose down

This comforter has a responsibly sourced 600-fill goose down and a 100% down-proof cotton cover with 280 thread count. It has a baffle box construction that prevents the down from moving around the comforter.

This product is hypoallergenic and machine washable and has corner loops to allow people to insert it into a cover.

The comforter is available in warm and warmer weights, which may make it suitable for people who feel cold while sleeping. It is available in twin, queen and king sizes.

L.L.Bean offers a 1-year warranty on its products.

The following table compares the duvets and comforters in this article.

TypeFillSizesStarting price
Casperduvetdown• twin/twin XL
• full/queen
• king/CA king
$229
Boll & Branchduvethypoallergenic down alternative• full/queen
• king/CA king
$308
Buffycomforterrecycled fiber• twin/twin XL
• full/queen
• king/CA king
$129
Brooklinencomforterrecycled microfiber• twin/twin XL
• full/queen
• king/CA king
$159
L.L.Beancomfortergoose down• twin
• full
• queen
• king
$419

Before purchasing a duvet or comforter, a person may wish to consider the following factors:

  • Fill material: Duvets and comforters may have natural or synthetic material fill. Natural fillings include down and feather, silk, and wool. People who have allergies may wish to consider synthetic materials, such as microfiber. Research found that most allergic reactions resulting from exposure to feathers are due to mite allergens. Synthetic material may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
  • Fill power: This measures the loft or space a material takes up. Higher fill power means greater insulation and height.
  • Shell or cover: Shells or covers with higher thread counts are more durable and comfortable. These are “down-proof,” preventing materials from leaking out the shell.
  • Fill weight and level: Beddings with heavier weight provide more warmth, while lightweight bedding may be more suitable for warm sleepers and people in hotter climates.
  • TOG rating: This measures the insulation and warmth the bedding provides. Covers with higher TOG ratings will keep people warmer.
  • Construction: Construction affects a bedding’s life span. Beddings with baffle box construction have a thin fabric between the top and bottom cover. This creates small, checkered compartments to evenly distribute fill. Sewn-through types have top and bottom covers that manufacturers sew together, creating pocket seals.
  • Cleaning: People may consider duvets or comforters that are machine washable for easier cleaning.
  • Style: Both duvet covers and comforters come in varying covers, styles, textures, and materials.
  • Certifications: People can look for product certifications, such as GREENGUARD Gold, United States Department of Agriculture Organic seal, and OEKO-TEX Standard 100. These certifications show that the product is eco-friendly and free from harmful substances.

Lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on overall health and well-being. Research found that college students with good sleep quality performed better academically than their peers who did not have a good night’s rest.

A study exploring short and long-term effects of sleep disruption found that lack of sleep led to several health problems, including:

Additionally, according to a 2017 study, a sleeping environment with a comfortable temperature is essential for maintaining sleep. Some people may find that lighter or heavier bedding suits them better.

Moreover, the authors of a 2016 study note that people prefer a warmer environment in sleep in contrast to when they are awake.

There have not been many studies on the effect of bedding, such as duvets and comforters, on sleep quality. However, the existing research suggests that goose down material significantly impacts overall sleep comfort level, leading to higher duration long-wave sleep.

Here we answer some common questions about these products.

Is a duvet or comforter better?

Duvets and comforters are both a form of bedding that people may use to cover themselves while sleeping.

Choosing one over the other is a matter of preference. However, comforters are usually more lightweight and may be more suitable for warmer climates or for those who sleep hot.

Why choose a duvet over a comforter?

Duvets are available in different weights that make them suitable for use year-round, including during colder weather.

Additionally, people can purchase duvet covers that match their personal style and preferences.

Duvets and comforters are common bedding items and have many similarities. However, a person may choose one over the other after considering their different features, such as weight, fill, and construction.

Sleep quality is important. If a person does not get enough quality sleep, they are at an increased risk of developing various health conditions, such as diabetes and cancer.