What is a Duvet Cover?

What is a Duvet Cover?

When it comes to bedding, there is a lot of confusing terminology. People are (quite rightly) very particular about their bed, from pillow softness and mattress firmness  to what type of sheets they use. This results in there being A LOT of bedding choice and the confusion over language just complicates things even more.

One question we get asked a lot at Piglet in Bed is “what is a duvet cover?” Duvets and duvet covers are very commonly used in Europe, compared to the US where traditionally comforters have been favored until recently. We are here to shed some light on all the confusion and hopefully help you decide what is right for your bed! 

What is a comforter?

A comforter is a thick, quilted, cozy blanket that is used for warmth and to add layers onto your bed. Usually comforters are filled with a synthetic filling that can easily be washed. The idea is to place it over the top of a flat sheet, so that it adds warmth and brings a decorative appeal at the same time.  

What is a duvet?

A duvet is a fluffy, top-layer “blanket” (for want of a better word) that is encased in a non-removable shell and filled, traditionally, with down. There are many options when considering what you would like your duvet filled with. Options include synthetic fibers, feather down or wool, like these hypoallergenic, natural and breathable merino wool-filled duvets

Duvets come in all standard bed sizes and vary greatly in price, based on the fillings used, seasonality, warmth and breathability. 

A “duvet insert” is exactly the same thing as a duvet.

Merino wool duvet insert

What is a duvet cover?

Just like you encase your pillow with a pillow case, you would also insert your duvet into a duvet cover! Put simply, it is the outer casing that envelopes your duvet. You would change your duvet cover every time you launder the rest of your bedding. They generally close at one end with buttons, zips or snap fastenings. 

Linen duvet covers in blush pink, sage green (left) and oatmeal (right)

What is a duvet cover made from?

Duvet covers, for the most part, are made from cotton or linen. They would generally be purchased in combination with pillowcases and a sheet, as altogether they make up all the “cover” components of the bedding that are changed regularly. Available in a wide range of colors, patterns and styles, they add a great deal to your bedroom look.

The pros and cons of using a duvet cover instead of a comforter


  • It can be tricky switching out the duvet cover until you get the hang of it. 
  • Some duvets move around inside the covers (although if your duvet cover has handy inside ties, this won’t be a problem!)
  • It is an additional purchase up-front, as you need to buy a duvet and a cover initially. 
  • Despite not needing to wash your duvet that regularly (as it is protected by the cover), it can be more cumbersome to do so when needed, depending on the filling. 


  • Cleaning is much easier as you can switch out the duvet cover, which is very easy to wash. 
  • Making your bed is a much simpler and speedy process - one quick flick of the duvet and you are good to go!
  • Thanks to the wide offering in weight and fillings, you are guaranteed to end up with the duvet that is right for you.
  • Changing your duvet cover with every bedding change means you can change up the color palette of your bed regularly, if desired. 


Hero image above features Piglet in Bed's Cotton Percale Duvet Cover in Cafe au Lait.

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