Oy Vey, What's a Duvet?
A duvet, pronounced "due-vay" (rhymes with "today"), is a comforter 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 hundreds of years.
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
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.
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 you to care for your down comforter, protecting it 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, an inexpensive colored down comforter makes perfect sense.
Quilts, Coverlettes & Bed Spreads
Quilts, coverlettes & bedspreads are also sometimes confused with a duvet. These bed covers are basically a quilted blanket that are filled with cotton or a synthetic batting such as Primaloft®, and sewn through from top to bottom.
Some 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