What Is A Duvet Cover?

folded duvet cover
A folded white duvet lies on a table on a blurred background.

What Is a Duvet Cover?

Duvet covers, easy-to-care-for alternatives to the standard comforter, originated in Europe as a convenient way to make feather-filled duvets last longer. Even today, many people opt for duvet covers due to the wide range of designs, easy cleaning, and affordable cost.

What Are Duvet Covers For?

First, what is a duvet cover? It’s exactly what you think it is—a duvet cover serves as a protective envelope, typically closed by a zipper, that keeps the duvet blanket inside from getting dirty during sleep. It’s just like a pillow cover for a pillow case so that you don’t need to wash the entire pillow. Although they originated in Europe, this type of comforter cover is now popular in the United States.

What goes inside the duvet cover are duvet inserts, also referred to as simply a duvet or comforter. These can also be made of different materials such as down and down-alternative (synthetic). This bedding will normally be white or beige and difficult to wash, thus bringing in the need for a duvet cover that you can slip off and throw in the washing machine at any time. This saves you the trouble and expense of having to lug the entire bedding set to a dry cleaner.

Duvet sets come in different sizes depending on your bed size, just like comforters. You can purchase sets that fit beds anywhere from twin XL to California king. In addition to the two-piece sheet and duvet set, many of these products also come with a pillow sham. Shams are decorative pillowcases that can be used for extra pillows sitting atop your bed for aesthetic purposes.

You can purchase duvet covers made from all sorts of different fabrics. According to the Sleep Foundation, the most common materials include silk, cotton, and flannel.

folded duvet covers


Silk duvet covers are light, soft, and the perfect material for those who prefer to sleep under a cooling blanket after a hot day. Silk remains clean for a longer period of time than many other materials, but you may want to note that a silk bed sheet set will generally be more costly compared to its alternatives.


If you’re looking for breathable fabric, a cotton duvet cover may be the right pick. For those with sensitive skin, cotton and its variants, such as Egyptian cotton, don’t irritate or lead to any rashes that are common with other synthetic materials. Cotton is also environmentally friendly and affordable.

Cotton Duvet Covers We Like

Amazon product


While silk may be preferred by those wanting a cooling fabric, flannel is just the right material for those who want the opposite. Flannel keeps in body heat so you can sleep comfortably no matter how cold it may be, making it a sought-after pick for sleeping bags and duvet covers alike.

bed with a duvet cover

Flannel Duvet Covers We Like

Cotton-blend plus Polyester

Polyester or mixed duvet covers are the best options for those who want an affordable cover. This synthetic fiber doesn’t wrinkle, but it does tend to trap heat and moisture more than its alternatives, making it ideal for those who want a warm environment.

Duvet Covers vs. Comforters

The terms “duvet cover set” and “comforter” are often used interchangeably, although they aren’t the same thing. Duvets are two-piece sets that include the duvet cover and inner duvet, while a comforter is just the one thick blanket that already has a design and sits on top of your bed as its own bed covering.

What makes a duvet set more appealing in comparison to the one-piece comforter? Well, some people prefer to have the option to be able to switch out a new bed cover and try out different patterns as they choose. They also like that the duvet insert is more likely to stay protected and last longer since you don’t need to throw it in the wash every time you change your bedding. Comforters, on the other hand, do need to be washed (and the entire thing too). They can be difficult to get into the washer, especially if you have a large bed or a thick comforter. Still, at the end of the day, those who prefer a simpler one-piece removable cover may pick a comforter over a duvet.

bed with duvet cover

Advantages of a Duvet

In terms of comfort, duvets are typically fluffier and heavier, while comforters tend to be flatter because they go in the washing machine and need to give up comfort for washer durability. Also, they can get even flatter over time. Duvets are better quality as they are typically filled with higher quality material.

When it comes to variety, you can find duvet blankets in many different materials and weights. Comforters sacrifice quality for design because they arrive with patterns already on them while duvets are plain white and meant to be used with a cover. You can easily change your duvet cover as often as you wish to experiment with different patterns and colors, while you would need multiple comforter blankets to achieve the same variety.

Duvets are also longer-lasting. While they are more expensive than comforters, they last much longer as they don’t need to be washed (only the covers are washed as they protect the duvet insert from oils and dirt). The material inside is made of higher-quality feathers or down, making your blanket as soft as your pillow.

How to Use a Duvet Cover

There are two neat, hassle-free ways to get your duvet cover on. Here’s a walk-through of the different methods:

Traditional Method

First, lie your comforter/duvet flat on your bed.

Turn your duvet cover inside out. Hold the top two corners as you flip it and put it over the top corners of your blanket.

Place the cover over the other corners and straighten it out over your blanket, then zip or button up your cover.

folded duvet cover on the bed

California Roll or Burrito Method

Lay your inside-out duvet cover at the foot of your bed.

Align it with the corners of the comforter, placed on top of the duvet cover.

Now roll the duvet cover and comforter together along your bed and invert the cover opening.

Depending on your set, it will either zip up or use a button closure.

Some duvet covers use corner ties. In this case, you will need to attach the ties to the sheet inside and tie a knot or ribbon to keep it in place.

Duvets We Love


Available in an endless amount of patterns and colors, duvet covers are a top selection for comfort when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Simply place a duvet insert inside of the cover and zip or button it up to complete this two-piece duvet set as an alternative to a single comforter blanket. Then, when it’s time for a wash, you can remove the cover and throw it in a washing machine without needing to wash the duvet insert inside. Putting a duvet cover on doesn’t need to be difficult thanks to proven methods of getting the job done, including the California roll and traditional methods. If you have been on the lookout for a more convenient and comfortable bed linen, it may just be time to put that old comforter in the closet and give duvet covers a try.

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