What is a "duvet cover"? Is it the same as a "duvet"?
A duvet, pronounced "du-vay" (duvet means "down" in old French) is a down comforter.
A duvet cover is the protective cover that slips over the down comforter (or duvet), like a pillow case on a pillow.
So, a duvet is a comforter, a duvet cover is a comforter cover.
Now that we've cleared that up, let's talk a bit about duvet covers (we discuss down comforters here):
Duvet covers are available in a wide variety of color and design choices, along with matching sheets, pillow cases, shams and bedskirts, presenting a world of possibility when the time comes to change the look of your bed and bedroom without having to purchase a new comforter. Aside from being a fashion statement, the duvet cover also helps to protect your comforter from stains and soiling.
Duvet covers are also available in a wide variety of fabric choices; cotton, linen, silk and more. A good quality lightweight cotton is hard to beat for comfort and ease of care.
Duvet covers come with either button or zipper closures. We like a good nylon zipper closure for convenience (Schlossberg duvet covers come with zippered closures), as it can be a bit tedious to fasten and unfasten 10 buttons (or so) each time you change the duvet cover for laundering. Having said that, we also use duvet covers that have button closures. The pain is short-lived. :)
Putting on the Ritz: Putting a duvet cover on your duvet is a straight forward task, like putting a sock on your foot; a really big sock on a really big foot! It can help to have 2 people, one person on each side of the duvet to pull the cover over the comforter, but it is certainly not necessary. Here are the steps:
1: Lay the comforter on the bed. Usually the end of the comforter that has the labels will go at the foot of the bed, although you may want to occasionally rotate this to alleviate wear caused by your arms, etc. squishing the part of the comforter that rests by your head and shoulders.
2: Place the duvet cover with the opening at the end of the comforter that is at the head of the bed. You want the duvet cover closure to end up at the foot of the bed when you are finished.
3: Roll up the duvet cover a bit, just like you would roll your sock up before putting it on your foot.
4: Place the two corners of the comforter into the corresponding corners of the duvet cover, at the head of the bed. Lean over a bit and help the middle of the comforter into the duvet cover.
5: Now that you've got the cover started, simply pull the cover down over the comforter, again, leaning over a bit and helping the middle part of the comforter into the cover. If there are two of you, you'll do this in tandem. If just one person, you will have to go from one side of the bed to the other. A couple of trips should do it!
6: Once you have the duvet cover all the way on, button the buttons or zip the zipper closed. Grab the comforter, with both hands through the duvet cover at the foot of the bed and give it a few good shakes so that the comforter fills the duvet cover properly. You may also want to do this from the side(s).
7: Viola! You're done.
To tie, or not to tie: Some duvets (like Plumeria Bay® duvets) come with little loops at each corner. If your duvet cover has "ties" (fabric laces) inside at each corner, you can tie the duvet cover to the duvet to help keep the duvet from shifting around inside the cover. Usually though, a duvet cover that is a bit smaller than your comforter will be all that is needed to prevent any catastrophic shifting. A quick shake in the morning (described above in step 6) will be all that is necessary to put everything in it's proper place. One exception to this rule would be a silk duvet cover with a silk comforter. Silk on silk is very slippery, so ties would definitely be a good solution to help prevent shifting here.
Many people find that they do not need to use a top sheet when using a duvet cover since the bottom layer of the duvet cover doubles as a top sheet. This eliminates a needless layer of weight between you and your duvet and a duvet cover is not as prone to tangling (for you restless sleepers), compared to a top-sheet.
A rose by any other name... No matter what you call your comforter: A duvet, continental quilt, eiderdown, doona, dyne, federbett or Mr. Fluffy, we think there's nothing quite like cuddling beneath a wonderful cloud of soft warm fluffy goodness, all protected, of course, by a duvet cover!
One of our favorite things: A cozy bed!