What is a duvet cover? – Ultimate Guide to find the best one

spectacular duvet cover

Did you find your ideal duvet? Do you need to know what is a duvet cover, and need a perfect one for your duvet? This guide is made for you to make the best decision. 

If you are still uncertain about different bedding namings, check out our guide about duvets, comforters, and quilts to understand the complete picture.

What is a duvet cover?

So, what is a duvet cover? A duvet is just an unquilted white insert that is difficult or even unable to wash, so you will need a duvet cover to protect it. A duvet cover is like a pillowcase for a pillow. You can slip your duvet into it and remove it with one move when you need to wash. With duvet covers, you can easily and quickly change the look of your bedroom. Without significant investment, you can modify the design or the colors from season to season.

It is ok to use a duvet cover with your comforter as well. However, a comforter doesn’t require one essentially; it is a possible way to protect it. Measure your comforter carefully before the purchase. Comforters usually are larger than duvets, be sure that you put the right size in your cart.

What is the difference between a duvet and a comforter?

There is one key characteristic that tells if it is a duvet or a comforter. Duvet is an insert that requires an additional cover, while a comforter is ready to use right after you pull it out of the box.

How to pick the right duvet cover?

In most cases buying a new duvet cover is an impulsive decision. You fell in love with the cover’s color or pattern, and you have to get it and can’t wait to see it in your bedroom. But some factors are good to get to know before the purchase, and it is wise to evaluate your loved item and your specific needs against them. Size, material, and construction can be crucial once you start to use your dream duvet cover.


The most important characteristic of a duvet cover is its size. If you already have your duvet, you need to know its size or measure it before buying the new cover. It is good to know that the duvet cover’s size is perfect once it fits snugly to the duvet and doesn’t leave much space for the duvet to move or slip. 

If you didn’t have your duvet yet and are in a dilemma about which size would be the best, the following table can help you find the most appropriate size. The ideal size usually depends on your bed’s dimensions (If you are during a complete bedroom decorating, maybe find some useful material about finding the best bed).

Standard duvet sizes

Standard duvet sizes for most common beds will help you to find the duvet cover you need. Covers must usually be a bit bigger than the duvet to provide enough space for the insert. Usually, they are 1-2 inches bigger than the duvet.

Name of the bedBed size (inches)Best duvet size (inches)
Twin XL39×8068×90
Full54×7578×86 – 86×86
California King72×84104×92

If it is a full set or not

Not just your duvet, but your pillows also will need some cover. Typically duvet covers come in sets containing the duvet cover itself and one or two pillow shams with matching patterns and colors. Twin sets containing one pillow sham while other sets for bigger beds containing two of them. Be sure before buying the cover that you will get shams as well; otherwise, you have to find some additional pillowcases that match the color of the duvet cover. Check the size of the pillow covers as well if they will fit your bed pillows. 


Duvet covers are made of many materials: cotton, polyester, and several types of blends. Before going into the materials’ details, we can generally say that you make the right decision if you select a cover made of a breathable fabric that will prevent sweating and overheating while you are sleeping.

If you are unsure which fabric will be the best, think about your favorite dress. Do you like its touch on your skin? Try to find something similar to a duvet cover.

Thread count

Thread Count is a mystic word that I’m sure you heard before. What is it, and why is it important? A material’s thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch. For example, the fabric has a thread count of 200, which means there are 100 threads lengthwise and 100 threads widthwise. Thread count indicates the softness and durability of cloth but means nothing if it is made whit short, low-quality thread. Preferably you should choose a duvet cover with a 300-400 thread count with long threads.

Thread count also affects the price; high-quality products will have a bigger thread count and cost more. You have to find the perfect balance between your quality needs and your budget.


Time to go into the details and look at the most prevalent fabrics used to make a duvet cover. 

Tencel or lyocell – These are fabrics made of regenerated tree cellulose and reached great popularity in recent years. It could happen because they are exceptionally environmentally friendly because of sustainably grown trees. Tencel is naturally breathable and can absorb 50% more moisture than cotton. A very similar fabric is made from bamboo.

Cotton – It is still the most popular fabric to make bedding, but 100% cotton cloths are quite heavy and hard to iron. Cotton blends can be easier to wash and care for, but softness and durability depend on the mix. Combed cotton is a strong material that provides a softer feeling than pure cotton. Also, the available Combed cotton jersey is a knitted material and is more expensive than the others because of manufacturing cost. 


Egyptian cotton is considered the very best material for bedding because of its incomparable thread quality. The threads of it are longer, smoother, and stronger than others on the market. Because of the high popularity, Egyptian cotton is grown not just in Egypt anymore. Favorably the quality is strictly regulated.

Sateen – It is cotton-based and looks like silk because of its shine, but much cheaper to produce. It is soft and strong, but its feeling is not for everyone.

Polyester – It is a human-made, not natural fabric. To get the best features and keep costs low, often combined with cotton. Usually, polyester and polyester blend covers are easy to care for.


When we talk about construction, don’t think of anything complicated. What is a duvet cover? It is two simple rectangular-shaped cloth sewn together at all four sides. After the sewing, one of the shorter sides is cut lengthwise to let some space for the insert to be put inside. At this point, there can be differences in how this opening can be closed. Zippers and buttons are the most common solutions. They can be hidden to provide a more aesthetic design.

The more expensive covers have ties in each corner where you can fix your duvet to prevent slipping inside the cover.


In most cases, you already found your dream duvet cover. Most probably, you fell in love with it before evaluating anything else about it. If you would like to do it professionally first, you have to define your needs: size, material, construction, and looking for the perfect design just after it.

A duvet cover is one of the largest design elements in a bedroom, so be sure it matches your taste and lifestyle. Duvet covers are available in endless variations, tons of colors, patterns, and prints waiting to choose among them.


The price of duvet covers and duvet cover sets are moving in a high range. Price varies from the very cheap polyester ones through fast fashion shop items until high-end end designer ones. Price depends on the fabric, the size, the manufacturer’s fame, the used materials, the country of origin, and the design.

It depends on your budget and needs which one you will choose. Use all the knowledge you read before buying the one that will be the best for you.

How to use a duvet cover?

If you never had a duvet cover before, you might have questions about using it. Now you know what a duvet cover is, but putting it on a duvet can be tricky for the first time, and cleaning methods depend on its material.


If you change it daily, weekly, or monthly, the frequency of washing depends on your preferences. But how it needs to be cleaned depends on the fabric you choose. It is best to check the care tag before washing; that way, you can’t make a mistake. You should always choose a cover that’s cleaning fits your lifestyle.

Checking the care tag is essential, but find here some general rules of the most prevalent fabrics:

FabricWashingWater temperatureDrying
CottonMachine washHot/coldTumble dry low
LinenMachine/hand washLukewarm/coldTumble dry low/line dry
PolyesterMachine washWarm/coolTumble dry low
SilkNormally dry clean only.

Putting on the duvet

Putting on a duvet cover is not as complicated as it seems at first sight. You can follow the steps below and will be an expert in no time.

Step 1 – Lay your duvet flat on the top of your mattress. Turn your duvet cover inside out.

duvet on a dresser

Step 2 – Put your hands inside and find the two top corners. Now you are holding one corner in each hand.

Step 3 – While holding the duvet cover, reach down and grab the top two corners of the duvet too.

Step 4 –  Hold the top two corners tightly and flip the duvet cover out over the duvet. Give it a shake till the duvet cover falls to cover most of the insert.

Step 5 – Pull the duvet cover entirely down. Stuff the bottom two corners of the duvet inside and align the bottom corners as well. Give it a shake again, zip it, ready!

There are other methods to put your insert to the cover, find your favorite, and enjoy all the benefits of a duvet.

To summarize

I hope next time you fell in love with a duvet cover on a page of a magazine or at a webshop or the department store, you will have all the knowledge to evaluate if it is the best choice for you. Remember, the duvet cover market is huge, so you will always find the perfect cover for your needs. Don’t regret the time you spend searching for the best one; splendid nights will be your reward for it.

Once you found the perfect one or perfect ones share a picture, let us know how you made your final decision.

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