Best Duvets of 2020
A duvet is a cozy alternative to the traditional comforter. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best duvet to fit your lifetyle.
A Good Night's Sleep: How to Find the Softest, Fluffiest Duvets
Ubiquitous in Europe, duvets are growing in popularity in the U.S., warming more American beds each year. That's because, when used with a duvet cover, duvets are more versatile and easier to clean than the classic comforter.
The easy part is deciding to switch to a duvet. The hard part is picking the best duvet for you. Not all duvets are created equal—some are softer, some are hypoallergenic—and it can be tough selecting the perfect duvet for your bed.
At BestReviews, we are dedicated to cutting through the jargon and helping you make informed purchasing decisions. To create our fair and thorough reviews, we do in-depth research, test products in our labs, consult experts, and analyze data from existing customers. What we never do is accept free products or perks from manufacturers.
Ready to purchase a duvet? Check out BestReviews' top three picks above. Still struggling with all the duvet options? You've come to the right place. Prepare to get cozy.
Duvet vs. Comforter: What's the Difference?
Duvets and comforters are similar, but they're not the same thing. Let's look at the main differences between a duvet and a comforter.
- Duvets tend to be plain white, whereas comforters are often colored or patterned.
- Duvets are designed to be stuffed inside a duvet cover. Comforters are used without a cover.
- Duvets are roughly equal to the size of your bed. Comforters are larger and hang over the sides of the bed.
- While comforters can be tricky to launder at home, duvet covers are easy to throw in the machine.
What's Inside: Pros and Cons of Different Duvet Fillings
Traditionally, duvets were filled with feather and down, but today you can also find plenty of duvets filled with synthetic "down alternative," which is usually a fluffy, hollow-fiber polyester. Here we'll examine the pros, cons, and prices of the two different types of filling material for duvets.
- Down is very warm, while still being lightweight.
- As a rule, down tends to be more breathable than polyester, which is good if you often find yourself getting too hot at night.
- Down is a natural material, which some people prefer to synthetics.
- Some people with asthma and allergies find down aggravates respiratory problems.
- Many duvets use a mixture of true down and feathers, which are less warm and fluffy and have quills that can poke through the shell of the duvet, causing discomfort.
- Down-filled duvets are more expensive than their synthetic counterparts.
Basic down duvets start at around $60 but are likely to have a high feather content. Midrange down duvets cost roughly $100 to $200. The most expensive, pure-down duvets can cost as much as $800 to $1,500.
- Down alternative is hypoallergenic, therefore more suitable for allergy-sufferers.
- Most down-alternative duvets are extremely fluffy and lofty—although some may flatten down after a while, depending on the type and quality of the filling.
- If you're on a budget, down alternative is a much more affordable option.
- Down alternative is vegan-friendly.
- Down alternative duvets aren't as breathable as down duvets, so some people find them too warm at night.
- Most down alternative duvets use synthetics rather than natural materials.
Basic down-alternative duvets with polyester shells can cost as little as $15 to $20, with midrange options priced at around $40 to $60. The most expensive down-alternative duvets, with high-thread-count cotton shells, can cost as much as $200 to $300, though you can find excellent choices closer to the $80 to $100 mark.
Baffled by Baffle Box? A Look at Duvet Stitching
Duvet construction refers to the way a duvet is stitched. The stitching helps to keep the filling evenly distributed throughout the duvet, so it doesn't shift or clump. These are the main types of duvet construction.
- Panel: With panel construction, a duvet is stitched in vertical lines down its length. This is the most basic type of construction and the least effective, since the filling can still shift down the length of the duvet.
- Box: Box-stitch duvets are stitched horizontally and vertically, creating squares or "boxes."
- Baffle Box: Baffle-box construction is like box construction, except strips of material are sewn in as walls between the front and back of the duvet, allowing more room for filling.
- Gusset: Duvets with gusset construction are a step up from baffle-box duvets. Gusset duvets have a larger gusset all around the edge of the duvet. This makes for the thickest, loftiest duvets.
Fill Power and Other Features to Look for When Buying a Duvet
A duvet's fill power is a measure of the fluffiness of the filling—more specifically, how much space an ounce of it occupies. Duvets with a higher fill power tend to be warmer. A duvet with a fill power below 400 is suitable for summer use, a fill power of 400 to 600 is good for spring and fall, and a fill power of 600 to 800 is designed for winter use.
Fill weight is the overall weight of the filling in the duvet. A higher fill weight doesn't necessarily mean a warmer duvet, since different fillings have different properties. Synthetic filling, for example, is heavier than natural filling.
Most duvet shells are made of either cotton, polyester, or a cotton/poly blend. Cotton duvet shells tend to be softer, more durable, and more breathable than those made of polyester.
If your duvet's shell is cotton, it has a thread count. The thread count is the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch of material. With thread count, higher doesn't always mean better. A duvet with a very high thread count will feel quite stiff.
What to Do About That Duvet-Hogger: Tips and Tricks
- The corner tabs that some duvets have fit to corresponding ties inside duvet covers and help keep the duvet firmly in place inside the cover.
- If you have a limited budget, don't worry too much about the quality of your duvet's shell material. Instead, opt for a high-quality duvet cover.
- On the other hand, if you have more to spend, an Egyptian-cotton shell has long fibers that are strong and durable.
- If you share a bed with a duvet-hogger, consider getting a duvet one size larger than your bed.
Q. Do I need to use a duvet cover with my duvet?
A. You don't have to use a duvet cover with your duvet. However, duvet covers help keep the duvet itself clean and are easy to remove and throw in the washer. Duvet covers also come in a huge range of colors and patterns, so you can choose a few different covers that complement your decor and alternate between them.
Q. Are duvets easy to wash?
A. Unless you have a large washer, you probably won't be able to launder your duvet at home. However, if you use a duvet cover, you rarely have to wash the duvet itself. If you do need to launder your duvet, check the label for instructions, since some duvets are dry-clean-only.
Q. How should I store my duvet when I'm not using it?
A. If you live in a climate with hot summers, you probably won't use your duvet for at least a few months a year. Ideally, air out your duvet, then store it somewhere dry—preferably in a storage bag or box so it won't get dusty.