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Quilt, Comforter, or Duvet - What's the Difference?

Comfort is king when it comes to a good night's sleep, and sleep is important to overall well-being. With so many bedding options, however, it can be difficult to identify what is best for your sense of style and comfort. Bedspreads, including quilts, comforters, and duvets, provide different levels of softness and warmth – what's best for you depends on your individual preference. So what actually is the difference between these popular bedding options?

Quilts

Perhaps the most historically significant of all bedspreads, quilts were most common before the mass production of fabric. By stitching together scraps of fabric, quilters were able to create large patchwork designs. Although quilts today are commonly machine-made, they aren't unlike those from the past. Three layers – top, batting, and bottom – are stitched together with a decorative, embroidered design. Quilts are typically made of cotton or a cotton blend and inspire rustic, country, or coastal décor. Their light weight makes them ideal during the summer months, but you will likely need to add extra blankets underneath when the weather gets cold.

Comforters

Comforters are the most common bedspread used in the U.S. today. Machine production and unlimited fabric options have made them affordable and widely available in different styles, colors, and designs. Typically filled with polyester batting or down, comforters are thicker than quilts and provide more insulation. The top and bottom layers of fabric are stitched together to keep batting equally distributed. Comforters are ideal for individuals who prefer a lot of options. Whether you prefer cotton, blends, or synthetic materials, comforters come in every theme imaginable, from simple solids to floral and cabin-inspired prints. If you're on a budget, comforter sets include matching pillow shams to complete the look.

Duvets

Duvets are similar to comforters with a couple of important distinctions. First, duvets are meant to be used with duvet covers, and two, duvets are typically white and filled with down feathers or a synthetic alternative. A duvet slips into a duvet cover, so the cover can be removed and washed at any time. For this reason, some individuals chose to bypass a top sheet altogether. Duvets and duvet covers make it easy to achieve minimalist, modern style, especially if you choose linen in neutral colors. Swapping out your duvet cover is also more affordable than buying a new comforter if you prefer to mix up your look each season.

And Everything Else

While your bedspread is important, don't forget to invest in comfortable bed sheets, extra blankets, and throw pillows. Read our guides on How to Buy Bed Sheets and Bed Sheets: Understanding Thread Count for more information, plus shop exclusive styles of all things bedding at hayneedle.com.


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