Coverlet vs Duvet - A Detailed Comparison

A high-quality mattress and matching pillows can make your bed comfortable and inviting for hours on end. Aside from these bed components, there are other items you can add to your sleeping area to customize its overall feel and, at the same time, enhance its appearance to your liking.

Coverlet vs Duvet - A Detailed Comparison

Your bedding plays a key role in determining the level of comfort you will enjoy while in bed. The right bedding and accessories can enhance the warmth of your bed for a more comfortable sleep during cold nights or can keep things breezy and cool if overheating is a bigger concern. Duvets and coverlets are just some of the great additions you can add to your bed setup to give it a more customized feel. These coverings allow you to adjust your comfort level without drastic changes such as springing for a brand-new mattress. Duvets and coverlets also provide you with the chance to change or upgrade the look of your bed without too much effort.

What is a Duvet?

Coverlet vs Duvet - A Detailed Comparison

 A duvet is a fluffy bag that is filled with feathers, down, or down-alternative materials. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with a comforter because of the two bedding items’ similarities, but there are unique characteristics that differentiate these two. While a comforter can be used on its own, a duvet needs a duvet cover for protection and aesthetic purposes. The duvet itself comes in a plain white or off-white shade, hence the need for a separate duvet cover that will dictate the appearance of your bed setup.


Added Warmth

Duvets are placed on top of the sheets and can be your go-to bedding piece when you want additional warmth, especially during the cold weather season. The warmth that the duvet provides will be affected by the type of filling material used, with feathers and down usually providing the coziest level of warmth to keep you snuggled comfortably even during chilly nights. The additional bulk of the duvet can also contribute to a cozy feeling and be a comforting presence that may help you fall asleep faster or stay peacefully asleep  for the whole night.

Eliminates the Need for Other Beddings

A duvet is designed to provide a comforting layer with additional warmth that sits on top of the bed. With a duvet in place, the bed can have a comfortable and finished look without the need for separate blankets, quilts, or top sheets. The presence of the duvet can save you a lot of time and effort because you will not have to place separate layers one by one on the bed and worry about keeping them all clean! With the help of a duvet, the complete bed setup can be finished in no time at all!

Can Easily Change the Look of the Bed

Duvets come in plain structures and are meant to be used with covers. These covers come in a wide variety of colors and prints so you’ll be able to easily choose one that will match your style preference or even your mood at any given time. This will save you from making more drastic and expensive aesthetic changes like changing your bed frame or headboard.


The strength and durability of a duvet are significantly affected by the presence of the cover to keep the duvet insert protected from dirt and accidental spills. As the duvet itself does not need frequent washings (only the duvet cover needs to be regularly cleaned and washed), the material can stay intact for a long time. The position of the duvet on top of the sleeper’s body means that it is not exposed to the weight and movements of the person, so it will be easier to maintain the structural integrity of the duvet for years to come.


Difficult to Clean

The duvet insert is a bulky structure that is filled with feathers, down, or synthetic materials. While the duvet cover can easily be machine-washed, the duvet itself is usually cleaned only with professional dry cleaning. This is because the standard washing machines for residential use may not be big enough to accommodate the bulk of the duvet. The continuous agitation that is used by regular washers may also damage the components of the duvet, so it will be best to have it professionally dry cleaned to prevent problems.

What is a Coverlet?

Coverlet vs Duvet - A Detailed Comparison

A coverlet is designed to have a more lightweight structure compared to comforters and duvets. It is used as a bed’s top layer and is made to hang over the sides of the bed to entirely cover the box spring but without quite touching the floor, as it is shorter than a bedspread. Coverlets often have a quilted or woven pattern, although there may be some patterned options that address the coverlet’s role as a decorative layer.


Light Structure Ideal for Warm Settings

A coverlet is much thinner than other beddings such as comforters or duvets. It offers a lightweight presence that can provide just a little warmth without an uncomfortable stifling feeling. The coverlet is especially ideal for summer nights or areas with hot climates. The lightweight structure can easily be placed on top of other bedding and removed just as easily whenever you wish to do so.

Decorative Enhancement

The presence of the coverlet is mainly for decorative purposes, since its lightweight profile is not enough to provide the much-needed warmth that duvets and comforters can deliver. It is designed to add a splash of welcome color to the bed layout without the need to change all the sheets or even the duvet cover. The coverlet can also be used as a subtle accent piece that can be placed at the foot of the bed, leaving the rest of the sheets and duvet cover to be showcased on their own at the same time.

Easy to Care For

A coverlet is thin and does not weigh much so it is easy to put on the bed, remove, and place in the washer (depending on the material). Even if the fabric needs to be hand-washed, the task will be much easier compared to washing other beddings by hand since the coverlet is lightweight.


Does Not Provide Enough Warmth

A coverlet’s thin structure will not be able to provide enough warmth and bulk to ward off the cold, so it is ideal only for use as an accent piece or for warmer nights.

Coverlet vs Duvet - A Detailed Comparison

Coverlet vs Duvet - Comparison

Duvet Coverlet
Primary Use
Eliminates the need for separate covers/beddings
Thick and bulky
Thin and lightweight
Provides cozy warmth
Offers very minimal warmth
Aesthetic Enhancement
Lies on top of the bed
Can reach almost to the floor

Key Takeaways

  • Duvets and coverlets can be used to enhance the comfortability and appearance of the bed without the need to resort to drastic changes.
  • A duvet is a soft, flat bag filled with synthetic or non-synthetic materials. It has a plain structure that needs to be aesthetically enhanced and protected using a duvet cover.
  • The duvet eliminates the need for separate beddings such as blankets and a top sheet. It also provides additional warmth for a cozier sleep experience.
  • A coverlet has a thin, lightweight structure that is meant to be placed on top of other beddings, primarily for decorative purposes.


Q: Is a duvet the same as a comforter?

A: No, a duvet is different from a comforter. Both of these bedding options provide additional warmth, but the duvet needs a separate duvet cover while the comforter can be used on its own.

Q: Can the coverlet be used the same way as a duvet?

A: No. A coverlet has a thin and lightweight structure so it will not be able to provide additional warmth in the way a duvet or comforter can.

Q: What is the role of a coverlet on a bed?

A: A coverlet’s main purpose is to provide a decorative enhancement to the bed since it is not thick or warm enough to provide a cozier bed setup.

Q: How can you keep the duvet clean?

A: The easiest way to maintain the cleanliness of the duvet is to keep it protected with a duvet cover. The cover can easily be removed and washed as frequently as needed, leaving the duvet insert intact, clean, and protected for a longer time.


Duvets and coverlets are bed coverings that have different roles but have the same power to conveniently change the appearance and comfort level of your bed. Knowing the difference between the two options can help you maximize the benefits that each product can deliver to your overall bed setup.


Johns Hopkins Medicine –

Diva Portal SciMed Central –

Harvard Health Publishing –

American Psychological Association –

Digital Commons Kennesaw State University –

American Academy of Sleep Medicine –

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