The Things You Never Knew About a Duvet Cover

Lucia Tonelli
Photo credit: Lauren Pressey; Homepolish

From ELLE Decor

What is a duvet cover? Is it different from a duvet? And how does that relate to a duvet set? With so many terms to decipher, they all begin to blend into a unmade bed of confusion.

Determining your personal wants and needs starts with understanding the different types of bedding, though distinguishing one type from the next can be tricky. If you’re already feeling confused, you’re not alone and we’re here to help. Duvet covers are among the most common bedding items, come in many forms, and serve a variety of purposes. Below is a fool-proof guide on everything you need to know about the mighty duvet cover.

WHAT IS A DUVET COVER?

Let's start with an analogy. A duvet cover is to a duvet as a pillowcase is to a pillow. A duvet cover is what slips over your duvet, serving as a protective layer and the most visible part of your bedding. People opt for duvet covers due to their popularity, though there are many factors to consider prior to making a purchase. Duvet covers are machine washable, generally inexpensive, comfortable, and easy to switch out if you get bored of one style.

Photo credit: Kristoffer Johnsson

WHAT GOES INSIDE OF A DUVET COVER?

A duvet is what goes inside of a duvet cover (makes sense, right?). The duvet, also known as an insert, is generally defined as a flat bag that is filled with either down, wool, feathers, or a synthetic alternative. Duvets cannot be used without a duvet cover, and, unlike the cover, require dry cleaning as opposed to machine wash

DUVET VS. COMFORTER

A common misconception about duvets and comforters is that they are synonymous. Unlike a duvet, a comforter can be used without any cover. Comforters typically are thick and fluffy (making them especially great in colder weather), covered in a durable fabric, and filled with down or synthetic fibers. Comforters come in many colors, patterns, and designs, as they are typically used without any cover over them.

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Facts About Duvets:

  • Should always go inside of a duvet cover
  • Great for people who like to switch up their bedding frequently
  • Requires dry cleaning with the exception of synthetic alternatives
  • Does not require a top sheet

Facts About Comforters:

  • Can be machine washed with the rest of your bedding
  • Do not require a duvet cover
  • Better for people who do not change their bedding style frequently
  • Usually larger than the actual bed size, hangs over the edges
  • Requires a top sheet

TYPES OF DUVET COVERS & HOW TO CHOOSE

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Cotton: Cotton is the most commonly used material for duvet covers, and is an easy-to-maintain fabric that is soft and comfortable. If you’re looking for a no-fuss, low-maintenance, fool-proof material, cotton is your best bet. Most bedding sites recommend a duvet cover with a thread count of 300+ to ensure that your duvet stays protected.

Silk: If you’re looking for a breathable and luxurious duvet cover, we recommend silk. Silk’s natural properties make it great for humid climates, and will keep you warm without feeling claustrophobic. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, silk is a go-to material because of its dust-repellent qualities.

Polyester & Cotton-Poly Blend: Polyester and Cotton-Poly blend duvet covers are best for people who want a resistant fabric that does not wrinkle or fade over time. Polyester is man-made, meaning that it is typically less expensive than natural alternatives. Unlike cotton or silk, polyester is less breathable, trapping moisture and heat in your sheets. If you are someone who favors a warmer sleep environment, polyester is a great option.

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