What is a Duvet?
A duvet, pronounced "due-vay", is a comforter or bed covering that is filled with down (a really good insulator) to keep you warm and cozy while sleeping.
A duvet cover covers and protects the duvet, just like a pillow case, or sham, covers and protects a pillow.
The word "duvet", derived from Old French (we're told, we don't actually speak "old French"), means "down" and has been used to describe a down or feather filled comforter for many hundreds of years, beginning in Europe.
These days many people, especially here in the U.S., will refer to a duvet cover as a duvet, which can lead to some confusion. We hope this helps clarify things.
A Duvet is a Down Comforter
A Plumeria Bay® duvet, or down comforter
Duvet, Down Comforter, Blanket, Quilt, Doona, Federbett, Fluffy Goodness
Duvets have been keeping people warm for centuries, beginning in rural Europe, when most everyone slept on hay, or perhaps a featherbed if they were of some means.
Back then, duvets, pillows and featherbeds were often filled with whatever kind of feathers and down, fowl or fair, that happened to be available.
Nowadays a (quality) duvet is much more than a rough cloth bag filled with the inedible portions of last nights supper!
Luxuriously soft down proof fabrics, highly processed, super clean, de-dusted and sanitized white goose down and state of the art sealed baffled box construction result in a comforter that will stay fluffy, warm and odor free for many years to come and epitomize the best of what a quality duvet can offer today.
Duvets are available in a wide range of quality levels, and price points, from under $100 to many thousands of dollars. Our down comforter buying guide is a good place to learn more about what makes a good quality duvet and about Plumeria Bay® duvets in particular.
A Quilt, also often confused with a duvet, is basically a quilted blanket that is usually filled with cotton or a synthetic batting such as Primaloft®, and sewn through from top to bottom.
These quilts have also become the medium for some amazingly beautiful and elaborate creations that can take the artist months and even years to complete.
Featuring designs that range from traditional to impressionistic to abstract to realistic and everything in between, often with intricate stitching and a wide array of fabric choices; the quilt as art is something to behold.
These priceless creations will often be found displayed as wall hangings and will never even see a bed:
Quilts, at the local County Fair
A rose by any other name...
No matter what you call your comforter: A duvet, blanket, continental quilt, doona, dyne, federbett, duvet insert 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.
A Duvet Cover Is...
A Duvet Cover is the cover that slips over the duvet, much like a pillow case on a pillow.
Duvet covers and matching/coordinating bed linens are available in a wide variety of color and design options.
Why Use A Duvet Cover?
For some people the most important reason to use a duvet cover is that it helps to protect your down comforter from stains, fabric yellowing from body oils, and general wear and tear.
For others, it's all about the design. Duvet covers, along with matching and/or coordinating sheets, pillow cases, shams and bed skirts are available in a wide variety of fabric and design choices.
This presents practically unlimited possibilities when the time comes to change the look of your bed and bedroom without having to purchase a new down comforter.
What about using a colored down comforter instead of a duvet cover? For some people, for example college students with little extra time to change and launder a duvet cover, a colored down comforter makes perfect sense.
Duvet Cover Fabric Choices
Duvet covers are available in a wide variety of fabric choices; cotton, linen, silk and more. A good quality lightweight cotton duvet cover is hard to beat for comfort and ease of care.
Here's three choices in a wide variety of solid colors that we can wholeheartedly recommend: St. Geneve Capri Sateen, Sferra Celeste Percale, and the Schlossberg Noblesse Sateen.
For those that prefer organic cotton, the St. Geneve Nico Organic Cotton Percale is really quite nice.
And, for those seeking the very best of the best when it comes to lightweight & soft duvet covers; Sferra Giza 45 Percale.
Cotton Percale fabrics are generally lighter and cooler, compared to cotton Sateen fabrics. Sateen fabrics are warmer, with more "body" and "drape". Learn more about cotton Sateen and Percale fabrics.
Do You Need to Use a Top Sheet With a Duvet Cover?
Most people find that they no longer need to use a top sheet when using a duvet cover, since the duvet cover serves perfectly as a top sheet.
Others prefer using a top sheet in conjunction with the duvet cover. Either way is fine, it's just a matter of personal preference.
A little mystified by other bedding terms like pillow shams and bed skirts? Here's our guide to to all that stuff and what makes a well dressed bed.