How to Buy a Duvet Insert That's the Right Size, Weight, and Style

Use our ultimate duvet buying guide to find the perfect fit.

A new duvet cover can completely transform the look of your bedroom, but what goes inside is just as important. A duvet insert is a thick, cushy blanket that sits inside a duvet cover. This functional bedding is vital to providing restful sleep—but with so many options for duvet inserts, it can be challenging to pick one that meets your needs.

Duvet inserts come in many different weights and materials, as well as a wide range of price points. To help you pick the best duvet insert, we've outlined all the things you need to consider before purchasing a duvet.

modern bedroom with lantern pendant
Werner Straube

But First: Comforters vs. Duvets

When comparing duvets and comforters, duvets outperform comforters in regards to design options. Comforters, however, can offer more convenience. Since duvets are neutral (mostly white) blankets that require a cover, they don't offer much in regards to style. And when you launder your sheets, you must also move your duvet insert in and out of its cover every time. This means unhooking each tie, button, or zipper and reattaching afterward. Meanwhile, comforters (a single bedding item) provide warmth and cushion without extra steps, so you can place one straight from the dryer onto your bed.

Since they require covers, a duvet insert never touches your skin. So, unlike comforters, which you must wash and handle as a whole (as their cover and padding are sewn together)—you only need to wash a duvet insert once every three to four months. Plus, duvet covers give you ultimate design freedom.

Additionally, since a duvet cover is roughly the same size as a fitted sheet, it takes up a fraction of the storage space of a traditional heavy comforter. And with countless patterns, colors, and materials to choose from, you can easily refresh your bedding, whether you need a seasonal update or style change. With duvets, swapping out a cotton spring-inspired design for a flannel plaid option during the holidays is simple.

How to Pick a Duvet Insert

Search for the Right Size

To find the best fit, ensure your duvet matches the size of your mattress and duvet cover. If you skip this step, you might end up with portions of your duvet cover slumping off your insert or bunching up inside if it's too big for the cover.

Here are general duvet insert sizing guidelines:

  • King duvets: 104 inches x 90-94 inches
  • Queen duvets: 88 inches x 90-94 inches
  • Twin duvets: 64 inches x 68-88 inches

Pick a Preferred Weight (Light, Medium, or Heavy)

Like comforters, duvet inserts can be designed to fit a sleeper's temperature preferences, often measured by weight. Thick, heavy inserts will be warmer, while light, thin inserts will be cooler. Medium-weight options are ideal for year-round use. Some brands make inserts for hot sleepers who need to stay cool like the Lightweight Comforter ($169, Slumber Cloud). Or shop for an extra-heavy comforter like the European Down Duvet Insert ($460, West Elm) if you live in a cold climate (or just prefer an extra dose of heat.

bright eclectic boho feminine bedroom abstract artwork
Helen Norman

Choose a Duvet Filling

For a soft feel, consider inserts made from silk fibers like this silk-filled thermoregulating all-season duvet ($269, Vesta Sleep). Duvet inserts made from white down and feather (goose and duck), like this Classic Down Duvet Insert ($183, Pottery Barn), tend to be most popular. But if you want something vegan-friendly or hypoallergenic, you can search for inserts made from a down alternative that still feels plush. Try searching for comforters made from microfiber or cotton clusters instead. For allergy sufferers or those with eczema, you can even buy hypoallergenic inserts filled with wool, such as this wool comforter ($126, Woolroom), which wicks moisture and regulates temperature.

Select a Design

The best duvet inserts are the ones that stay in place and do not slip inside a cover. A common pitfall with poorly designed duvet inserts is that they don't contain any ties or have a minimum of four. It's best to find duvets with more ties (especially along the sides and at corners). This prevents your duvet from shifting. Although you can always sew loops and ties into your duvet with ribbon or shoelaces (just make sure what you use is machine washable) or buy duvet clips, the most convenient option is to buy duvets that come pre-made with ties or tabs.

You'll also notice that a pinched pleated pattern is the most common type of duvet design. Overall, the thicker your duvet cover is, the plusher it will look.

Editor's Tip: If you're new to duvets or want to make sure you invest wisely, look for brands that offer a 30-,60- or 90- day sleep trial. This way, if your duvet insert does not work out for any reason, you can return it.

Look for the Right Shell

Stick to duvet inserts with white shells (the covering that holds the filling), especially if you have white bedsheets. If you pick a colored duvet insert, it might peek through a light-color duvet cover. Also, duvet inserts come in several shell materials, including silk, cotton, organic cotton, polyester, and linen. Keep in mind: the higher the thread count or more luxurious the material used, the higher the cost. But since you don't sleep directly on your duvet insert (without its cover), you might want to buy invest more in the duvet cover material rather than the insert.

blue white cottage bedroom landscape art
Jason Donnelly

Detail Your Budget

The price of a duvet insert can range anywhere from $25 to $5,000. To decide how much to spend, list your non-negotiable bedding elements, like being hypoallergenic or extra warm. Then, look for options that fall under a comfortable price range.

You don't need to buy a high-end duvet to reap its benefits, but its quality and features can up the price. As always, it's important to research each product, read reviews, and compare features between low-, mid-, and high-end duvet options. But know that the material you pick will define its cost. For example, if you go for organic cotton, silk, or a high thread count, expect to pay higher.

Ultimately, poorer-quality duvet inserts could potentially leak feathers more quickly than high-end versions. Still, no matter which option you pick, every down insert has the potential to leak down or feather filling. The best way to mitigate this is to search for a higher thread count or double-enforced duvet inserts (or stick to a non-goose or duck-feather filling). The higher thread count in a fabric's weave will also be more successful at keeping feathers inside.

Lastly, size increases cost too. King sizes are always more expensive than twin duvets.

Decide on a Maintenance Level

Cleaning and care instructions should play a role in which insert you pick. If you want something unfussy, prioritize a duvet you can wash at home (and not pay extra to bring to the dry cleaner). Always check the care instructions for your insert before buying. Some inserts require commercial-size machine washing while others are dry-clean only. The most convenient option will be based on your lifestyle and needs.

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