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We all know how important a good night’s sleep is. Not only is it part of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s impossible to get through a busy day at work or with the kids if you haven’t gotten some quality sleep.
A comfortable bed is crucial to that good sleep, and your bedding figures prominently in the equation. In particular, your duvet can be a game-changer. With the wrong duvet on your bed, you could end up feeling too warm on spring and summer nights or too cold in the wintertime. Choosing the right duvet can be tricky, though, because there are so many options on the market. Deciding between the various thread counts, fill types, and thicknesses can start to feel like mission impossible after a while.
At BestReviews, we conduct field and expert research that allows us to get to know the different product markets well. We’re thoroughly versed in duvets and ready to share our wisdom in this shopping guide. If you’re ready to buy a duvet, take a look at the matrix above for our top recommendations. For general info on what to look for in a duvet, continue reading our shopping guide.
A duvet is a type of blanket that consists of a material shell and a filling made of down or a synthetic alternative. Because of the blanket’s design, a duvet can provide effective insulation while still feeling relatively lightweight.
A duvet differs from a comforter in that it’s not covered in fashion fabric and typically contains more fill.
Duvets are usually white. They are designed to nestle inside a duvet cover in much the same way that a pillow nestles inside a pillowcase. The duvet cover secures around the perimeter of the duvet with a zipper or buttons.
A duvet cover is essentially a pillowcase for the duvet. You should wash the cover approximately once a week to ensure that your bedding is as clean as possible.
In addition to the lightweight warmth mentioned above, a duvet brings other benefits to your bed, including the following.
Because a duvet is placed inside a cover, it’s extremely easy to change its look. Duvet covers are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns; you can change the look of your bed based on the season, your décor, or your mood.
You don’t have to wash a duvet nearly as often as you wash a comforter. The reason: the duvet cover protects the internal duvet. Because of this, a duvet might last longer than a comforter.
With a duvet and duvet cover, you don’t need to use a top or flat sheet. The duvet is warm enough that the extra layer isn’t necessary.
Duvets aren’t as heavy as comforters, but they’re still extremely warm because they effectively trap body heat without the added bulk.
With a duvet and duvet cover, you don’t need to use a top or flat sheet. The duvet is warm enough that you don’t need an extra layer.
Duvets usually aren’t as long on the sides as comforters or other blankets, so you don’t have to worry it overhanging the edges and draping the floor.
If you place your duvet in storage, make sure that you air it out regularly to avoid musty smells. Take it out of its bag every six months to keep the duvet fresh.
Duvets are sold in sizes that correspond to mattress sizes. Choose from twin, full, queen, and king based on the size of your bed.
In most cases, a duvet is closer in size to the actual mattress than a comforter or other blanket, so there’s less overhang on the sides.
If you want a duvet that hangs over the edge, go up one size from your mattress.
It can be difficult to fit a duvet in a home washing machine. Commercial-size washers at a laundromat are usually a better option.
The shell material of a duvet doesn’t matter quite as much as it would for a comforter or other blanket because you’ll be covering the duvet. In most cases, though, the outer shell is made of cotton.
You should still pay attention to the duvet’s thread count, though. Thread count refers to the amount of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch in a piece of bedding. With sheets and comforters, higher thread counts mean that the bedding has a soft, luxurious feel. For duvets, a dense thread count helps contain the fill material and gives it a lightweight, airy feel.
For maximum comfort, choose a duvet with a thread count between 300 and 500.
To avoid allergens in your duvet, opt for a style that is advertised as “100% down”, “All down,” or “Pure down.” Those that aren’t clearly marked may contain as little as 30% down and nearly 70% features.
A duvet’s fill power refers how much space one ounce of its down occupies. The higher the fill power, the fluffier the duvet is and the higher-quality down it has.
Fill power is also a good indicator of how insulating and warm a duvet will be. That’s why certain fill powers are better for a specific season than others.
Fill power measures the fluffiness of a down-filled duvet. The higher a duvet’s fill power, the more insulating it is.
Down is the most common fill material for duvets. It’s made from the insulating layer beneath duck and goose feathers, so it provides lightweight warmth. Down also breathes very well, so you won’t get sweaty while you sleep.
When choosing a down-filled duvet, make sure it’s labeled as “100% down,” “Pure down,” or “All down.” Otherwise, it may be filled with mostly feathers, which don’t insulate as well as down.
If you have mild allergies but want a down duvet, look for down that’s been cleaned and sterilized. For severe allergies, however, a duvet filled with a synthetic down alternative (usually polyester) is usually the best option.
In addition to being hypoallergenic, down-alternative duvets tend to cost less than pure down duvets. However, they also tend to be heavier and not as breathable.
If you’re allergic to feathers, choose a duvet with a down-alternative fill. They often use polyester, cotton, or wool to ensure that they’re hypoallergenic.
Duvets should have stitching that helps keep the down from shifting and forming lumps. They’re typically available in several different constructions, including baffle box, channel, gusset, and quilt stitching.
Baffle box is usually featured in high-end duvets that provide a great deal of warmth. There are small fabric “boxes” stitched into the duvet that form a checkerboard pattern. The baffles help keep the down in place and allow for maximum insulation.
Channel duvets feature parallel seams that form stripes or channels down the bedding. This construction allows for some shifting of the duvet, so you can move it down to areas where you might need more insulation, such as your feet.
Gusseted duvets have walls created out of fabric along the sides, which creates a thicker look and more insulation. They often have baffle box stitching too, and can be more expensive than other styles because of their increased loft and warmth.
Duvets with quilt stitching have a similar checkerboard appearance to baffle-constructed duvets, but there are no fabric strips to reinforce the stitches. They are typically lower in price, and the design works best for duvets that have a lower fill power.
Use a dryer to dry your duvet. Line-drying it can cause mildew or mold to grow because it takes so long for it dry completely.
Duvets vary in price based on their size, material, thread count, and fill type, but you can typically expect to pay between $18 and $300 for one.
For a queen-size duvet with a fill power 400 or below, you’ll usually pay between $18 and $40.
For a queen-size duvet with a fill power between 400 and 600, you’ll usually pay between $50 and $100.
For a queen-size duvet with a fill power between 600 and 750, you’ll usually pay between $100 and $150.
For a queen-size duvet with a fill power over 800, you’ll usually pay between $150 and $300.
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At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.