Duver Covers, Comforters, Duvet Inserts: The Ultimate Guide

Bedding can be complicated, we know. There are so many terms: thread count, duvet cover, comforter, duvet, duvet insert, sham, sateen, percale, pima cotton, Egyptian cotton, tencel fabric. It can be a little overwhelming. But we are here to help! We live and breathe (and sleep!) bedding and it’s our goal to help you understand the basics so that you can make better bedding choices and get the best night’s rest you’ve ever had!

Today, we are going to tackle duvet insertscomforters, duvet covers, and shams. It’s easiest to think of them as a system of items that work together. But first, let’s look at each one on its own.

What is a comforter?

A comforter is like a big fluffy blanket and can stand alone on top of your bed. They are made with down or down alternative fills and come in a variety of different sizes. Since comforters are a bedroom staple they can be the inspiration for all of your bedding and bedroom accessories.

What is a duvet insert?

A duvet insert is simply a comforter that is non-decorative (usually white) and is meant to be inserted inside a duvet cover. Sometimes a duvet insert is referred to as just a duvet but they mean the same thing and are interchangeable.   

Is there any difference between a duvet insert and a comforter?

Just the outside fabric. They are essentially the same thing. You should always use a duvet cover with a duvet insert. Comforters can be used alone or with a duvet cover – just make sure the size of the comforter works with the size of the duvet cover.

Pro Tip #1: Want extra decorative flexibility? Buy a duvet cover along with a comforter and you get two looks for less money and you can instantly change the look of your bedroom!

Pro Tip #2: Look for comforters/duvet inserts with loops on the corners to be easily attached and detached with a duvet cover that comes with corner ties. This prevents your comforters/duvet inserts from shifting around inside the cover keeping you warm at night and your bed looking beautiful.

Now let’s talk about duvet covers.

Shop Our Comforters

What is a duvet cover?

A duvet cover acts like a pillowcase would to a pillow. It is the envelope of fabric that encapsulates your duvet insert or comforter. And acts as a barrier between you and your duvet insert/comforter, protecting your duvet insert/comforter.

Duvet Insert vs Comforter vs Duvet Cover

Why do I need a duvet cover?

1) Protection: A duvet cover will provide your duvet insert/comforter with a layer of protection against dirt, rips, stains and general wear and tear. It reduces the amount of times your duvet insert/comforter needs to be washed, extending the life of your comforter.

2) Convenience: A duvet cover is easy to remove and wash. Duvet inserts/comforters are bulky – some are not machine washable. Life is messy and things are going to get dirty – so it is much easier to wash a cover than it is to wash an insert/comforter.

3) Design: A duvet cover is an easy and economical way to redecorate your bedroom. Instead of buying a whole new comforter (which can be costly) – just purchase a new duvet cover that suits your needs and style at that moment.  Make it fun, make it whimsical, or hotel chic.

4) Comfort: The fabric of your duvet cover can help you transition through the seasons without having to change your comforter. Our duvet covers come in several variations of 100% cotton.  

  • Flannel will keep you extra warm and cozy in the winter due to its napped finish. 
  • Percale is typically used for warmer temperatures because it feels cool and crisp to the touch.
  • Sateen is considered all-season (a little warmer than percale, but not as warm as flannel) with a smooth and silky feel.

5) You hate the top sheet: If you are one of the 40% of Americans who sleep without a top sheet, a duvet cover is essential. Personal preference is key when picking out the right weave and finish to your duvet cover as it is the layer of fabric that will be next to your body as you sleep.

In summary, A duvet insert/comforter can be the most expensive part of your bedroom and a duvet cover will only help to protect your investment. It can add style to your bedroom while also protecting your duvet insert/comforter by providing a barrier between you and your insert – which makes for quick and easy cleanup when needed. 

Things to consider when shopping for a duvet cover

1) Comfort - Are you a hot or cold sleeper? 

If you are a cold sleeper, we would suggest you buy a sateen or flannel duvet cover. Sateen is a tighter weave which will feel warmer. Flannel is loosely woven which creates air pockets in-between fabric fibers that helps retain your own body heat making it a great insulator.

If you are a hot sleeper, we would suggest going for a percale duvet cover. Percale feels crisp and cool, which is better for the warmer months.

2) Bedroom Decor – what style are you looking for?

How do you want your room to feel? Do you have a bohemian style bedroom? Or is it more modern, urban, rustic vogue or minimalist? Whatever style you want your bedroom to be - we have a duvet cover that suits your needs. We have patterned and solid duvet covers in a variety of different colors, weaves, and thread counts. Our solid color duvet covers come in 35 different colors!

3) Measure your existing comforter - Confirm sizing to ensure proper fit

A queen size comforter from one retailer may have different measurements than other retailers. To ensure you get the proper duvet cover size for your existing comforter, be sure to measure your comforter first. 

But if you buy your comforter from ameridown – you know you will get a perfect fit as all of our duvet covers are made to perfectly fit our comforters. Inserts should fit snuggly into the cover with corner attachments to prevent shifting.

Our Duvet Cover Sizes 

Twin

70" x 90"

Full

90" x 96"

Queen

90" x 96"

King

108" x 96"

 

I see that some duvet covers come with shams. What is a sham?

A sham is a decorative pillow cover – similar to a pillowcase, but closed on all 4 sides. Our shams either have an envelope or tie closure at the back to prevent the pillow from falling out. We include shams in all of our duvet cover sets to help you complete the look of a well-made bed by coordinating the shams with the duvet cover. We also offer European sized shams (26” x 26”) that will add another layer of dimension, color or pattern to your bedding ensemble.

Why should I buy a sham?

You can purchase shams of different styles to elevate the look of your bedding by adding a pop of color or texture.  And they work with standard pillows – no need to buy new ones. 

Pro Tip: As you replace older sleeping pillows, repurpose them with new shams. Maybe give your guest bedroom a new look instead of tossing those pillows in the bin. Plus, can you have too many pillows? We think not!

Now the fun part. Choosing the duvet set that’s right for you! 

Duvet Cover

 

 

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