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What Is a Duvet Cover?

By Tanvir Chowdhury
Sateen Hemstitched White Sheet Set

Duvet. Duvet cover. Insert. Comforter. We’ve all heard these bedding terms, but what do they mean? With so many different bedding items to consider, it can be easy to get confused by the various options you have to choose from. So what exactly is a duvet cover, and why should you consider using one? In this article, we’ll demystify these terms and highlight some of the pros of having a duvet to help you find the bedding that best fits your needs and preferences

What Is a Duvet?

Duvet is a French word that refers to a quilt filled with down or feathers. Duvets originated in Europe and were originally stuffed with loose filling made from the warm inner layer of feathers from geese or ducks. This stuffing provided natural, breathable insulation, creating a kind of comfort that you’ll be hard pressed to find in other comforter and bedding types.

Today, duvets are made from down feathers and synthetic materials. They have two separate components: the insert and the cover. What is a duvet cover? It is a soft outer layer designed to protect and elongate the life of the insert, proving to be the key to optimal comfort when using a duvet.

When it comes to purchasing duvet inserts and covers, the two items are often sold separately, so you’ll want to keep this in mind as you consider your purchases. Sometimes you may find them sold together. Some companies even sell duvet sets, which typically include a duvet cover and matching pillow shams, making it a bit easier for you to find bedding items that go well together. 


Does a Duvet Need a Cover?

Technically, a duvet does not need a cover to function, but most people prefer one. Much as a pillowcase protects a pillow, a duvet cover is easier to wash and preserves the life of the insert. Duvet covers come in a range of styles and fabrics that look nicer and feel softer on our skin than the insert itself, which may be non washable and not very attractive. Duvet covers provide a certain level of simplicity in expressing your personal style while protecting the insert.


What’s the Difference?

People often want to compare the difference between a duvet and comforter. If duvets are fluffy quilts made to be used with a protective cover, comforters are closer to blankets in appearance and thickness. Comforters, like duvets, are meant to be used as bed toppers, and they also are filled with down and synthetic fibers. However, comforters are different because their layers are stitched together, which makes them thinner. They are often sold with matching bedding or even as a “bed in a bag” set. On the opposite end, many comforters are sold individually as stand-alone items, and most comforters are machine washable. Some consumers argue that comforters can be harder to clean, so they use a duvet cover with a comforter, in an effort to be more hygienic.


Benefits of a Duvet Cover

The many benefits of using a duvet cover include:


  • Versatility. Duvet covers come in a range of colors, materials and styles. They’re also easy to put on and take off, making it very simple to find exactly what you’re looking for and change your bedding style to accommodate changing seasons, weather and personal preferences.

  • Warmth. Duvets are often warmer than comforters, with more layers of insulation packed into the insert than a traditional comforter. If you use a comforter in a colder climate, you’ll likely need to put a top sheet or additional blankets on your bed in order to stay warm. 

  • Care. While it’s true that many comforters are machine-washable, some are not. Comforters are often quite bulky, proving to be difficult to wash and dry evenly, often requiring extra time to complete the task. Duvet covers can be washed easily at home.

  • Comfort. Most duvet covers are made from cotton, so they’re soft and pleasant to the touch. At Ela Lane, our duvet covers are made from high-quality, 100% organic cotton with a percale weave. They have a crisp, polished finish that’s also breathable and soft, checking all of the boxes in terms of comfort and luxury. 

How to Put on a Duvet Cover

Some people struggle knowing how to use a duvet comforter and the best way to put a duvet cover on their insert- it can be a challenging skill to master! We’ve found that the California Roll method is a simple and surefire method to easily put your duvet cover on. 


  1. Turn your duvet cover inside-out and lay it on top of your bed.

  2. Place the duvet insert on top of the cover and line up the corners as neatly as possible.

  3. Beginning from the closed end, tightly roll the insert and cover together like a burrito.

  4. Invert the duvet cover from the open end, flipping it right-side-out over the insert. 

  5. Secure the open end of the duvet cover with its zipper, buttons or ties.

  6. Unroll the bundle. 

  7. Shake out the cover and insert.

While this process is often easier with two people, if you find yourself facing the task alone, rest assured that it is definitely something that can be done solo

So as you consider which bedding type would work best for you, take some time to consider the benefits and advantages of investing in a duvet set. Between the versatility, ease of use, and various styles to choose from, using a duvet is a wonderful way to get the most out of your bedding for years to come.

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