Choosing the right duvet can be tricky. Here's some expert advice for finding the perfect one.

By Caroline Biggs
July 05, 2019
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Pippa Drummond

In a world filled with an endless assortment of comforters, blankets, and cushiony covers, it helps to know exactly what you're buying into before you go duvet shopping. "Aside from aesthetics, a duvet insert and a comforter are essentially the same thing," says Katie Elks, Head of Product Development at Brooklinen. "Available in different weights and fill options, they can be customized to suit your comfort levels and sleeping needs." But while comforters are often available in decorative prints and patterns, duvets are usually found in solid, neutral colors-hence the growing demand for duvet covers. "Since comforters and duvets are often difficult to wash given their bulky size, duvet covers can protect the comforter or duvet and make it easier to care for."

More importantly, duvet covers allow you to change the look and feel of your bedroom without committing to all new bedding. "If you are looking for a quick bedroom refresh, a duvet cover is an easy way to add color or pattern to your room," Elks says. Ready to run out and buy a brand-new duvet? We asked Elks for her advice on what to look for when shopping for duvet inserts and covers. Here's what she had to say.

Keep things natural.

When it comes to picking the right material for your duvet, Elks says it's best to stick with breathable, all-natural fabrics instead of stiff, synthetic ones. "Natural fibers, like linen and cotton, are more sustainable and get softer after each use and wash," she says.

Fill wisely.

As important as the fabric of your duvet and cover may be, Elks says to pay attention to the type of filling used, too. "Down filling, which is composed of the fluffy clusters that come from beneath the feathers of ducks and geese, has a naturally higher fill power," she explains. "It's both warmer and more breathable than down alternative, which is made from denser, synthetic materials."

Woven matters.

Believe it or not, the way your duvet fabric is woven can make a big difference in how comfortably you sleep. "For a comforter or duvet insert, look for a sateen cotton outer fabric because a sateen weave is denser and stops fill from escaping," Elks says. "A percale cotton weave or washed linen duvet cover is great for people who are hot sleepers as they are lightweight and cool, while a sateen cotton weave is a great option for someone who wants a little more warmth, a super smooth hand feel and prefers a subtle sheen to their bed linens."

Mind the thread count.

"When looking at thread count for cotton, make sure you're referencing a true thread count," Elks says. "Lots of manufacturers may use less expensive, multi-ply yarns that are low quality and not strong, but artificially inflate the thread count."

Details make a difference.

Sometimes, it's the littlest details that can make or break a good duvet cover. "Look for the little details like big buttons and inside corner ties that attach to your comforter or duvet at the corners," Elks says, "This helps when putting on a duvet cover and keeping your comforter or duvet in place."

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