What is a "duvet"? Is there a difference between a duvet, a duvet cover and a down comforter?
A duvet, pronounced "due-vay" (it means "down" in old French) is the same thing as a down comforter. In it's simplest form, it is a cloth bag filled with down and feathers. The duvet, or down comforter (often referred to as a duvet insert by American interior designers), originated in rural Europe and was often filled with whatever kind of feathers, fowl or fair, that happened to be available. Eiderdown, even centuries ago, was highly desirable.
Many people in the United States say "duvet" when referring to a duvet cover. Most people in Europe and Canada refer to a down comforter as a duvet. We find in our conversations with our customers that it is a good idea to be very clear about what we are talking about!
A duvet cover is the protective cover that slips over the down comforter (or duvet), much like a pillow case on a pillow. Duvet covers are available in a wide variety of color and design choices, opening up a whole world of possibility when the time comes to change the look of your bedroom.
A duvet, with a duvet cover & and coordinating pillow cases and shams
Many people find that they no longer 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.
It is interesting to note that "Eiderdowns" or "eider down quilts" were also terms used to describe a down duvet, whether or not it was actually filled with eiderdown. This practice continues to this day, and it's not just Grandma referring to her precious "eiderdown". It is, unfortunately, fairly common for down products to be misrepresented by unscrupulous merchants, especially as high quality materials become more costly, and desirable.
A modern duvet, of quality, is much more than a rough cloth bag filled with the inedible portions of last nights supper! Luxurious soft down proof fabrics, highly processed, super clean, de-dusted and sanitized white goose down and state of the art baffled box construction result in a comforter that will stay fluffy and warm for many years to come.
No matter what you call them; comforter, duvet, continental quilt, eiderdowns, doona, dyne or federbett, we think there's nothing quite like cuddling beneath this wonderful cloud of soft warm fluffy goodness!
A Plumeria Bay® winter warmth down comforter, without a duvet cover
Related: What is a Featherbed?