What is the Difference Between a Duvet and a Comforter?

What’s the difference between a duvet and a comforter? What is a quilt, and what’s this thing called a coverlet? Is that the same as a bedspread?

I overheard this at Bed Bath and Beyond one day: “Let’s get a duvet! Oh, wait, this package calls it a comforter. I know I want a duvet. Right? But this comforter is pretty, but I know my sister said I wanted a duvet.”

It makes no sense, right? You are looking at bedding and everything is called something different, yet they all look similar. This isn’t helping you make a decision at all!

Let me break it down for you.

What is a Duvet?

A duvet is typically white, and stuffed with poly-fiberfill or down. A duvet goes inside a duvet cover, like a pillow in a pillowcase. This means you can take the cover off, wash it and put it back on, store it, or change it out for another one. You are not tied to a particular design and color. In some countries, the duvet cover acts as a top sheet. The bed will have a bottom sheet, and then a duvet with a duvet cover on top of that. The cover can be washed like a set of sheets, and changed just as often. I promise not to report you to the authorities if you still use a top sheet with a duvet cover!

What is a Comforter?

A comforter is like a duvet, but with a permanent cover. A comforter has a decorative cover sewn to it, usually on the top and the bottom, making it reversible. If a duvet and duvet cover are like a pillow in a pillowcase, a comforter is like a decorative throw pillow. You cannot take the cover off, as it is all sewn together. You should use a comforter with a top sheet as a comforter should not be washed too frequently.

What is a Quilt?


A quilt is more lightweight compared to a duvet and comforter. It is generally two layers of decorative fabric with a thin layer of filling in between. Sometimes it is made from patches of different fabrics sewn together, sometimes not. The quilt often has decorative stitching sewn through, from the top to the bottom, holding the whole thing together. There are many different styles of quilts, so don’t think they are all patchwork style. A quilt is a good option if you find a duvet or a comforter is too heavy.

What is a Coverlet? A Bedspread?

A coverlet and bedspread are very similar. They are usually the lightest and thinnest bed coverings. Both are a single layer of fabric, sometimes with a decorative trim around the edges. A coverlet often covers the top mattress, not reaching to the floor, while a bedspread reaches the floor.

I hope this clears things up for you! What type of bed covering do you prefer? Tell me in the comments or on social media!