What Is a Duvet & How To Choose The Right Duvet Insert

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
August 17, 2023
min read
A duvet is a multi-layered fabric filled with stuffing made from natural or synthetic fibers. Duvet inserts go into a duvet cover for added warmth, comfort, and protection. Duvets are different from “blankets” or “comforters” because they are thick, have layers, and need a duvet cover.

With so many bedding options on the market, it's easy to get confused and difficult to know where to start. As sleep experts, we always recommend the duvet — a multi-layered textile filled with stuffing to keep you warm.

This pillow-like filling can consist of natural fibers like feathers, down, wool, or even synthetic alternatives, like microfibre or hollow fiber. 

The word “duvet” means “down” or “fluff” in the French language, but they are also called “quilts” in Britain, “continental quilts” in Australia, or “Razai” in some Asian countries. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about duvets and comforters, including their similarities and differences.

Key Takeaways

  1. Duvets use a duvet cover
  2. Duvets are thicker than a “blanket” or “comforter”
  3. Duvets provide warmth, comfort, and easy cleaning
  4. Duvets use organic or synthetic materials for stuffing

How Does a Duvet Work?

Using a duvet is easy: simply stuff your duvet insert inside your duvet cover and close it up, typically achieved with buttons or potentially a zipper. It might seem like extra work compared to a blanket or comforter, but this design has a purpose.

Duvets, or “duvet inserts,” provide warmth, comfort, and ease of use. Unlike blankets, duvet inserts use stuffing materials for added fluff and bulk that many sleepers find wildly cozier. A removable cover ensures the duvet stays clean, limits the need to wash the heavy duvet insert, and allows you to select an aesthetic cover of your choosing.

In summary, duvet covers provide additional warmth, personalized design choices, and easy duvet cleaning. A duvet cover is easier to clean than a duvet insert because it’s not filled with materials. In comparison, comforters, which are made from the same materials as a duvet insert, are not protected by a cover and require regular cleaning that oftentimes proves difficult. Duvet covers also provide options for color and appearance.

A comparison illustration shows the difference between a duvet and a duvet cover.

What Is a Duvet Cover?

A duvet cover is a protective layer for a duvet. It consists of two pieces of thin material sewn together with an opening at one end for inserting a duvet. They are easy to remove, store, and wash by machine.

Duvet inserts may move around inside a basic duvet cover. You can avoid this by holding a duvet in place with clips or ties. Purple’s PerfectStay™ Duvet Cover comes with soft velcro, which attaches easily to the Purple TempBalance™ Duvet and is less rigid than standard clips.

Duvet covers can be made from cotton, silk, bamboo fibers, flannel, or polyester. For a good night’s sleep, a breathable material is key. Our hypoallergenic PerfectStay™ Duvet Cover ensures optimal temperatures throughout the night by retaining heat when cool and releasing heat when warm.

Pros Cons
A duvet is soft and plush because of the stuffing inside.  Duvet inserts are prone to sliding around inside the duvet cover. 
It’s easy to keep a duvet insert clean because an easily removable cover protects it.  Duvet inserts require covers at an additional cost.
You can change your bedding style simply by replacing the cover. It can be a hassle to take most duvet covers off and put them on.

What Is a Duvet Insert?

A duvet insert is a stuffed textile that goes inside a duvet cover. Duvet inserts are sometimes called “down comforters” in America. 

Duvet inserts use down feathers, wool, cotton, or polyester stuffing. Keep in mind that stuffing materials will highly influence the price of your duvet. For example, down is generally the most expensive stuffing, but it can provide added comfort and breathability.

Purple’s TempBalance™ Duvet uses a hypoallergenic down alternative. You can sleep comfortably all year round with this temperature-regulating duvet. Our quilted design keeps the duvet filling in place, so the typical annoyance of duvet movement is not a concern.

A list of the most common duvet cover fabrics, from cotton to polyester, and fill materials, like down.

Duvet vs. Comforter

The main difference between duvets and comforters is that duvets use a cover and comforters don’t. Comforters use the same materials as a duvet, but duvets are thicker than comforters.

Retailers sometimes use “comforter” for “duvet” and vice-versa. 

While duvets may have more pieces than a comforter, their design can save you time as they are easier to clean due to their removable covers. 

With a duvet, you simply remove the cover and wash it, whereas comforters are full of materials, so washing them can be time-consuming.

Remember these key differences when shopping so you can understand which bedding type is best for you.

A comparison chart for duvets and comforters.

How To Choose The Right Duvet Insert

There are many options for duvet inserts, but it all comes down to finding the right insert for your needs. Your final choice needs to suit your particular sleeping style and preferences.

Use this guide to choose the right duvet insert for you. 

1. Material

Stuffing material is a crucial choice, especially if you want to use your duvet year-round. For example, hot sleepers might prefer a down alternative as this material is more temperature-regulating, while cold sleepers might prefer down.

The primary choices for duvet insert filling include:

  • Down alternative (usually a polyester material): comfy, durable, temperature-regulating, easy to wash
  • Down: fluffy, comfy, some are machine-washable
  • Down and feather blend: fluffy, comfy, some are machine-washable
  • Wool: breathable, soft, some are machine-washable
  • Polyester: less breathable, more durable, easy to wash

2. Size

To determine your duvet’s size, measure your bed. Your duvet insert should be larger than your bed’s dimensions. Manufacturers may use “queen size” to describe their duvet inserts, but it’s not always consistent between brands.

First, ensure your duvet insert is longer and wider than your mattress. Then, consider your mattress height and how you want to style your bed. A properly sized duvet should cover the sides of your mattress without touching the floor.

3. Warmth

You may have seen “fill weight” and “fill power” used to describe down or other types of filling. A fill power score indicates how fluffy a down filling is on a scale of 300-900, with 900 being the highest quality. A high number means high-quality insulation, with 600 and upwards typically denoting a high-quality option.

Fill weight tells you how heavy a down filling is, but it’s less reliable for measuring warmth. You can use fill weight to find your preferred density, but fill power is better for determining the quality of a duvet’s insulation.

A high-quality filling lets you enjoy a duvet year-round. Purple’s TempBalance™ Duvet uses a special temperature-regulating material for this purpose. Our down alternative provides all the comfort and convenience you need for a good night’s sleep.

4. Attachment Method

Duvet covers and inserts have a reputation for moving around, but this shouldn’t happen if you secure them. The best duvet inserts allow you to secure the duvet covers and inserts at each corner. 

The common options for securing duvets are:

  • Ties
  • Clips
  • Loops

Metal or plastic clips are easy enough to secure, but they can be bulky due to their material. Most duvets come with ties or loops, but this varies by brand.

Purple’s soft-touch Velcro is the best of both worlds. Soft-touch Velcro keeps your duvet insert from moving without the need for bulky clips or fussy ties.

5. Cost

Duvet inserts can cost anywhere from $50-$6,000, depending on the filling materials, fill weight, size, and brand. Pricier inserts use down, while cheaper ones usually have synthetic material, like polyester.

Purple’s duvet inserts range from $229 for a twin/twin XL size to $279 for a king/California king. Every insert uses our down alternative for superior comfort that won’t break the bank.


Is a Duvet a Blanket?

A duvet is not a blanket. Blankets are a single piece of fabric and contain no stuffing. Duvet inserts are multi-layered fabric that contains stuffing materials like down, feathers, wool, or synthetic fibers. Duvets are designed to be used with a duvet cover, while a blanket is a standalone item.

Are Duvets the Same as Comforters?

Duvets are not the same as comforters. A comforter has two layers of fabric and is stuffed with materials. Duvet inserts are similar, but they’re fluffier and can be used with a cover. Comforters are thinner and built for durability, so they don’t need a cover.

Is a Duvet a Comforter or a Cover?

A duvet, or duvet insert, is a stuffed bedding with a duvet cover. You can use them separately, but both pieces are meant to work together. The insert provides warmth and comfort, while the cover provides protection and easy cleaning.

While similar to a duvet, a “comforter” is a specific type of stuffed bedding that does not require a cover. Because comforters don’t use a cover, they are more durable than a duvet insert without a cover.

Is It Better To Sleep With a Duvet or a Blanket?

There is no correct option between a duvet or a blanket, but people generally use duvets in colder climates. The choice depends entirely on your personal preference and lifestyle. A duvet is thicker than a blanket, but that doesn’t mean it’s hotter.

A duvet stuffed with high-quality insulating materials breathes, maintaining optimal temperatures throughout the night. Our Purple TempBalance™ Duvet can help you achieve deep sleep year-round because it regulates heat. A synthetic blanket might be thin, but it will regulate heat poorly.

Can You Wash a Duvet?

Yes, you can wash a duvet. Simply read the tag on the duvet before washing it at home, as certain duvets need special care. Even if the tag says that your duvet is machine-washable, it’s best to wash it on a low setting with mild detergent and use a low-heat setting to dry it. 

What Is The Best Duvet Insert For Hot Sleepers?

The best duvet insert for hot sleepers is one filled with temperature-regulating stuffing. Down stuffed inserts with a high fill power and low fill weight can provide comfort without trapping too much heat.

Purple’s TempBalance™ Duvet is the perfect duvet insert for hot sleepers. Our easy-to-use Soft-touch Velcro makes cleaning your duvet cover a breeze, and our down alternative gives you all the warm, cozy benefits of down without pokey feathers.

Get your Purple TempBalance™ Duvet today to save 10% off your Purple PerfectStay™ Duvet Cover