What is a duvet? And How Does it Differ to a Comforter, Quilt or Coverlet?

Doona Cover

There are a lot of confusing bedding terms out there and you’ll need to know what each one is so you can get the perfect one for you! This quick guide can help you decode all the manchester lingo:


A duvet is a type of bedding that consists of a soft flat bag filled with down, feathers, wool, silk or a synthetic alternative. In the US, a duvet can sometimes be referred to as a comforter and in Australia, it can sometimes be known as a doona. A duvet is protected with a removable cover.

Being a single covering, duvets simplify the making of a bed and reduce the need for a combination of bed sheets, blankets and quilts. They originated in rural Europe and are traditionally made using down feathers from the eider duck. Down feathers keep you warm in the colder months, but can also be cool in summer.

The use of a duvet cover allows you to remove just the case when washing bedding and extends the life of your duvet. The duvet itself is generally plain in colour, but a cover allows you to alter the style and colour choice to suit your decor.

When it comes to costs, a duvet is usually your most expensive bedding option, but the savings made by the reduced amount of bedding can be beneficial in the long term.


A comforter is a thick, quilted, fluffy blanket that is generally filled with a synthetic fibre filler. Comforters are designed to keep you warm in a cool climate and the quilted stitching allows for even heat and weight distribution. The loft (thickness) of the filling will determine the amount of insulation.

While a duvet can be used as the sole cover for sleeping, a comforter is intended to sit on top of your sheets as an extra layer. Comforters are popular with those looking for extra warmth or for those wishing for a layered, textured look to their bedding.

Comforters are usually sold in bedding sets, making decorating your bed a simple process. Look for a comforter larger than the bed size to allow for side draping.


Traditionally, a quilt is composed of three layers of fibre - a woven cloth top, a layer of batting and a woven back. Layers are stitched together in decorative patterns, creating what can be a beautiful covering for your bed.

There are many characteristics to a quilt, but classic quilts are created using a variety of cloth. For this reason, they are a popular choice for family heirlooms, with different members of the family adding their own piece. Many quilts are given as wedding or graduation gifts.

These days, quilts are designed more for decorative purposes rather than bedding and can often be seen hanging on a wall.


A coverlet is a lightweight, non-reversible bedspread, traditionally used as a decorative layer. A coverlet is often used in hotel rooms, adding a touch of colour to otherwise neutral bedding. They can also be used as a throw for the sofa.

Previous article Messy vs Made: Should You Make Your Bed?

Latest Bedding and Bath Deals and Promotions

Deals and promotions delivered to your inbox every week across our entire range. We hate spam as much as you.