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What is the difference between a quilt, a duvet, and a comforter?

What is the difference between a quilt, a duvet, and a comforter?

In Australia, we use many terms to describe what is, often, the same thing. So it’s no surprise when someone asks the difference between a duvet and a quilt.

They’re the same thing. 

But what is the difference between a duvet and a comforter? They’re different, right? 

Should I buy a quilt cover, a duvet cover? Are they even different? 

Below we outline the similarities and differences between the three to help you in your search for the perfect bedding covers.

What is a quilt cover?

The word quilt might remind you of a big old patchwork bed cover that grandma made over many years. You might be thinking of favorite colors and family heirlooms. 

But what is a quilt cover?


Basically, a quilt cover is a piece that goes over your duvet or quilt. It’s the protection, the style, and often the top piece of your bed set. Think of it as a giant pillowcase for your duvet.

A quilt cover most often comes as part of a set, with matching pillowcases. 

What is the difference between quilt cover or duvet cover?

The term ‘quilt cover’ is interchangeable with ‘duvet cover’. So, a quilt cover, duvet cover, are all names for the same thing. There is no difference between them.

All are able to have a duvet or quilt inserted and all will most often come as part of a set with matching pillowcases.

One tip for buying quilt covers: ensure the cover matches the size of your duvet so you have the perfect snug fit.

Is there even a difference between a comforter and a duvet?

A comforter can often look much like a duvet. It is usually a cover that is filled and, often, quilted to provide even distribution of the fill.

The difference between a comforter and a duvet is that the comforter is designed to be the final layer of a bed set. It’s ready to go straight onto your bed as a stand-alone piece, without the need for a cover.

If you’re looking for a quilted layer, that doesn’t need a cover, a comforter is your go-to.

If you want something with more versatility, a duvet is the way to go. They come in a variety of different weights and are filled with either feather, down, a microfibre blend, or a combination of fillings. You can find different duvets designed for varying levels of warmth.

With a duvet you can mix-and-match covers whenever you like, to change up the look of your bedroom.

The benefit of a well-kept duvet is you usually only need to wash the duvet covers throughout the year.

One tip: consider getting your duvet professionally dry-cleaned, to keep it in good shape, when you want to store it away for a season.

Okay, so then is a duvet better than a comforter?

Both duvets and comforters are available with a range of fills, from natural to synthetic fibers.

In the duvet vs comforter debate you should keep the following in mind:

What do you look for in your covers? Do you need more warmth on the bed or are you just looking for a lighter top layer? If you're looking for more heat then you have more options with a duvet.

If you need a light top layer for warmer nights, or just want to add a little texture to your bed, look for a comforter as a good option.

Can a duvet cover be used on a comforter?

You can use duvet covers on your comforter.

Before you go ahead and buy a duvet cover for your comforter make sure the measurements line up.

Duvets often cover less of the bed than comforters. Usually, a duvet will not come all the way down the sides of the bed, where a comforter will often do. This means that duvet covers may end up being a little smaller than the matching bed size of a comforter.

If you want to pair a duvet cover with your comforter you may need to size up.

A tip for pairing duvet covers with comforters: have the measurements handy when searching. This will ensure you find the best fit for your bed!

How do you use a duvet?

A duvet is designed to be the top layer of your bed.

Keep a duvet cover on your duvet at all times while you have it on your bed. Wash your duvet covers regularly for nice clean bedding and good night's sleep.

In summer months a light duvet allows you to go without a top sheet if you wish.

When the nights get a little cooler, duvets can be combined with a warmer top sheet and blankets.

Duvets are versatile and can be styled to fit your sleep needs in all seasons!