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Duvet vs. Comforter vs. Blanket vs. Quilt vs. Coverlet (What are the Differences?)

Bed with white duvet

Sleep is seriously underrated. Cuddling up in a well-made bed may be the closest that some of us ever come to experiencing heaven. But you’ll never know what you’re missing if you don’t understand the difference between a Duvet vs. Comforter vs. Blanket vs. Quilt vs. Coverlet.

Go ahead and settle in. We’re going to discover the unique history and use for each of these bed coverings. Soon, you’ll know everything you need to raise your bedding to a divine status.

Related: Top Duvets | Summer Duvet Guide | Types of Blankets | Types of Bed Covers | What is Thread Count | Online Bedding Stores

Popularity comparison chart

Here’s a chart showing the relative popularity of each bed cover.

Chart comparing duvet, quilt, blanket, coverlet and comforter.

Do a Duvet 

Bed with duvet

The word duvet is French for “down”—as in goose down. Though this type of bed covering may have originated in China, the duvet was popular in Europe as far back as the 1700s. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s, when the Habitat shop opened in London, that the duvet finally made its way to America.

If you’re confused about the difference between a duvet and a comforter, it’s not surprising. People often use the terms interchangeably, although they are two different types of bedding with some similarities.


SORMAG 100% Washed Cotton Duvet Cover 3 Piece, Comforter Cover Queen Full Size, Solid Color and Ultra Soft with Zipper Closure, Corner Ties, Simple Bedding Style, White

Much like a comforter, a duvet is a bag filled with down, feathers, and/or synthetic fiber. Unlike a comforter, you can’t use a duvet as it is—it needs a duvet cover. In fact, you’re not supposed to use a duvet without a cover, because it’s like using a flat feather bed with box stitching that you can’t throw it in the wash. Because the duvet can’t be washed, it must be kept as pristine as possible, which is where the duvet cover comes into play.

Main Purpose

The purpose of a duvet is twofold. A duvet is a bed covering that keeps those in a bed warm and cozy. However, the real purpose of a duvet is to cut down on the amount of bed linens used on a bed.

The idea behind this is that the duvet acts as an insulator because of the material inside it. A stuffed duvet, combined with a separate duvet cover, is supposed to take the place of a flat sheet, blankets, and quilt. This type of bed covering is also perfect for use as the top layer of bed linen instead of a bedspread. As you can imagine, a duvet can be a real time-saver when making a bed in the morning.

Comfort, Warmth, and Design

XeGe Plush Shaggy Duvet Cover Luxury Ultra Soft Crystal Velvet Bedding Set 1PC(1 Faux Fur Duvet Cover),Zipper Closure (Queen, Dark Gray)

A duvet is an excellent choice when it comes to comfort and staying warm. But the best part about a duvet is the fact that since you can change its cover, you can have a different cover for each season. For example, you may want something such as this ultra-soft and warm Plush Shaggy Duvet Cover by XeGe for winter, and a simple 100 percent cotton cover for the summer months. One of the best things about a duvet is the ability to switch the cover used. So, duvet owners can change their bed’s style any time they want!


A duvet can last up to five years if cared for properly. The durability of a duvet comes from the fact that it is protected. Not to mention that this bed linen rests on top of you, so it doesn’t have to handle human weight. This means the duvet filler won’t get damaged as quickly as it would if it were under you. One thing to remember is that the best duvet is one with a baffle construction. Baffle construction allows the duvet insert and stuffing to stay securely in place.


The list of benefits to owning a duvet includes being able to change its cover, saving time on making the bed in the morning, and customizing the duvet as often as you’d like. If you love having flexibility, you’ll love owning a duvet.


The price for a duvet ranges between $30 and $130. Prices depend on the duvet’s thread count, the type of duvet insert used, and the size of the bed where the duvet will be used.


AmazonBasics Ultra-Soft Micromink Sherpa Comforter Bed Set

Now, you may have already noticed the similarities between a duvet and a comforter. What might surprise you is that the comforter’s history is more in line with that of the quilt. Before the industrial revolution, women made quilts by hand out of necessity. However, once manufacturing became widespread, quilts began being mass-produced. These machine-manufactured quilts soon turned into what we know today as comforters.

Comfort Level—It’s All in the Name

As its name suggests, the comforter is a comfy and cozy bed covering. A comforter is a thick, fluffy blanket that keeps you warm and toasty when it’s cold. On the other hand, you’re likely not going to want to use it in the summer when the weather warms again.

Unlike the duvet, a comforter doesn’t use a cover. You can wash a comforter just as you would wash bed sheets and blankets.

Full of Fluff 

Some of the fillers used in comforters include down, feathers, or fiber. These filling materials give the comforter the luxurious fullness that humans love to cuddle under when it’s cold outside. Though a comforter uses the same kind of stitching and filling as a duvet, it’s quite a bit thicker and is also stitched tighter than a duvet is.

Why Use a Comforter?

EASELAND All Season King Size Soft Quilted Down Alternative Comforter Hotel Collection Reversible Duvet Insert with Corner Tabs,Winter Warm Fluffy Hypoallergenic,Dark Grey,90 by 102 Inches

The primary use of a comforter is as a bedspread. A comforter’s stylish look and feel can make it an excellent choice to accent or inform your bedroom décor.

Design features

A comforter is composed of three layers, with a front, back, and the filling inside it. Quilting ensures that the filling stays evenly distributed, and also holds all the parts of the comforter neatly in place.

How Long Will It Hold Up?

Comforters are durable; they can be used for up to 15 years. The length of time that a comforter remains usable depends on how often it is used, its baffle, and especially how it is cared for. When washing a comforter, use a mild detergent and wash it as little as possible. To help accomplish washing it as few times as possible, try to keep children and pets off of a comforter if you can.


Comforters are easy to care for, stylish, and luxurious bed coverings. They are a beautiful addition to bedroom décor. Everyone should experience the pleasure of owning a comforter.

Related: Decorative King and Queen Bed Pillow Arrangements


Luxurious King/California King Size Siberian Goose Down Comforter, 1200 Thread Count 100% Egyptian Cotton 750FP, 50oz, 1200TC, White Solid

If you want a real comforter and not a duvet, make sure to avoid purchasing a “comforter alternative.” The wording used regarding the product is very important. A real goose down comforter (my personal favorite) can cost between $80 and $600.

Quilts Are Part of Our History

Patchwork Quilt

Related: Quilt Stands | Top Quilting Books | Quilting Websites and Blog

Long before people used duvets and comforters here in America, they slept under linen or burlap bags filled with straw. Quilts changed that habit, becoming the first “proper” bedding.

Women created patchwork quilts in the early nineteenth century by cutting fabric into squares, then sewing those squares together. After the squares were joined, the women attached cotton batting to them and added a back to create a three-layer quilt, similar to the structure of today’s comforters.

Quilts are part of history in other ways, as well. For example, in the past women used quilts to raise money to help end slavery. Not only that, but there are also rumors that rebels used quilts to signal stops on the underground railroad. In more recent history, the AIDS Memorial Quilt memorialized victims of the disease and served as a way to raise public awareness about it.

Main Purpose

Today, quilts are mostly decorative and usually use a motif. But, in their early days, quilts were all about function.

Comfort Level

Quilts aren’t typically as comfortable as a comforter; however, these bed coverings often have sentimental value. They also make great wraps for bundling up on the couch with a book or when watching TV. Quilts are also excellent for use as baby blankets because they’re warm, but not too fluffy.


The design of modern quilts hasn’t changed much since the dawn of the quilt. Nowadays, quilt makers still use scrap fabric for the front, cut into squares, cotton batting for filler, and a solid piece of fabric for the back of a quilt. The most significant difference between the quilts of the past and those of today is that initially, no one cared about beauty. Quilts were all about preserving warmth at night.

Design features

Cool looking quilt

Much like the AIDS Memorial quilt, other modern quilts usually have a motif. Geometric, floral, and nature-inspired themes are popular quilt designs.

Handmade Durability

Handmade quilts are moderately durable, and depending on the quality of their craftsmanship, can easily be used for years. Of course, care is everything: you don’t want to wash a quilt too frequently. You also never want to dry clean a quilt, because the chemicals used in dry cleaning could damage the quilt’s batting.

When washing a quilt, use a mild detergent and wash it in a front load washer. It’s important to use a front load washer because top loader washers have an agitator that could damage the stitching in the quilt. It’s best to line dry quilts; however, you can dry them on low heat until they are almost dry, then let them air dry the rest of the way.


Owning a beautiful handmade quilt is like owning a piece of comfortable art. Truthfully, many quilts are worth hanging on walls as decoration. And, if you’re lucky enough to get one as a gift from someone who made it just for you, quilts can have a lot of sentimental value.


If you want a handmade quilt and you don’t have a grandma, aunt, or cousin who is able to make you one, you can either learn how to make a quilt yourself, or head over to Etsy. There you can find gorgeous handmade quilts ranging from $130 to $1300.


Merino Wool Blanket

The first blankets were made from wool, because the material was not only warm but also fire resistant. As far as we know, a 14th-century weaver by the name of Thomas Blanquette coined the term blanket, likely using his own last name for inspiration.

Main Purpose

A blanket’s primary purpose is to add a layer of warmth and comfort to a bed. Blankets typically lie between the flat sheet and the bedspread.

Material Comfort

Depending on the material, blankets can be incredibly comfortable. A light cotton blanket is perfect for use during the summer, and it has the advantage of growing softer with every wash. Cashmere is a soft, lightweight, and luxurious type of wool. The only downside to using cashmere is the fact that it must be dry cleaned.

Then there are linen blankets, which work well at keeping you cool in the summer, and cable knit blankets, which provide beautiful texture. As you can see, there are plenty of choices when it comes to blankets. Blankets are probably the most versatile bedding available today.

Design features

Blankets come in a wide variety of colors, materials, and sizes. However, typical blankets are made from a large piece of fabric without fillers.

From brightly colored Mexican blankets to the Japanese patchworked boro and the Morrocan wedding blanket, which is decorated with sequins and tassels, blanket designs can function as clothing as well as blankets.

Today, another type of blanket has become widely used. If you’ve never heard of it before, let us introduce you to – the weighted blanket. This blanket’s 15-pound weight is supposed to help people who experience anxiety. Those who use weighted blankets say it’s like receiving a hug or sleeping in a cocoon.


Blankets can last for years. However, some blanket materials hold up better than others. Cotton has excellent durability, as does wool, or even a tightly woven Mexican blanket. On the other hand, though chenille is gorgeous, it tends to snag easily.


It’s good to keep a supply of blankets around a home. The benefits of blankets go beyond adding an extra layer of warmth on a bed; blankets are also useful for picnics, camping, or making any space more comfortable and cozy. Blankets are also excellent pieces to add to your décor, such as hanging over furniture pieces. Of course, there’s also always the more traditional use for blankets, as bedding for guests.

Old and/or damaged blankets can also be given to pets. Animals love to be cozy, too!


As you might imagine, when considering the wide variety of the materials that are used in making blankets, the price ranges are just as varied as the materials are. Also, a blanket’s price isn’t an indication of how long it will be usable. Usability has more to do with the material from which a blanket is made.

For a quality blanket, expect to pay anywhere from $40 to over $200.

Related: Summer Duvet Buying Guide


Madison Park MP13-2802 Dawn 6 Piece Cotton Percale Quilted Coverlet Set, Blue

Woven coverlets date back to the pre-Civil War era. To create them, women used a floor loom and made them by hand from wool or cotton. Coverlets were typically made using at least two colors, and they were also reversible.

Then, in the early 1800s, Joseph Marie Jacquard invented an attachment that made a unique pattern in the weave used to make coverlets. Unfortunately, this new attachment made the loom expensive. Consequently, these new-fangled looms were bought for use in factories, where men took over the creation of coverlets.

How Do You Use a Coverlet?

A coverlet’s main purpose is decoration. These bed coverings can dress up a modern bedroom in place of a traditional bedspread. Unlike a bedspread, which extends to the ground, a coverlet lies on top of a bed skirt.

A coverlet’s size makes it perfect for use with a platform bed, as coverlets are supposed to land directly in the spot where the bed frame and mattress meet. You can tuck in a coverlet for a sleek, contemporary look, or leave it out for a more casual feel. Additionally, a coverlet can also be folded and used in place of a blanket at the foot of a bed.

Comfort Level

EXQ Home Quilt Set Full/Queen Size Grey 3 Piece,Lightweight Microfiber Coverlet Modern Style Stitched Quilt Pattern Bedspread Set

Today’s coverlets may provide some warmth, but they’re also lightweight and smaller than other typical bedspreads. A coverlet is a versatile bedding that you can use all year long. If you live in a warm climate, a coverlet is an excellent choice for a bed topper.

Materials and Design features

You’ll find cotton, silk, velvet, and linen coverlets. The jacquard weave is also still popular.

The Benefit of Long-Lasting Elegance

A coverlet can last many years, considering that it doesn’t receive the same wear and tear as other bedding can. Coverlets are easy to care for and dry much more quickly than a comforter or quilt does.


Like the other bedding on this list, you can find coverlets in a variety of materials, and their price range varies just as much as there are materials that make coverlets. Ultimately, it’s worth spending a bit more to procure a quality coverlet that will last years. Coverlets are available in a price range from $40 to $200 and up.

Related: Types of Pillows | Types of Bed Sheets | Types of quilted throws