Duvets and Duvet Covers
A duvet is a soft, padded bed covering that is usually filled with down (the soft, fluffy under layer of feathers of a duck or goose). A duvet is similar to a comforter, however where a comforter can be filled with different types of filling, duvets are almost exclusively filled with down or feathers. Duvets also have a lighter, softer feeling than comforters and provide more warmth (their trademark).
Duvets made of 100% white goose-down provide the softest feel and highest loft and they are considered the best quality duvets. Next in quality are duck-down duvets. Duck-down duvets also provide a soft feel, and high loft, but tend to be heavier than goose-down duvets. Lastly, there are down-feather blends; the percentage of down vs. feather is indicated by how the duvet is labeled. Down-feather duvet blends have more down, while feather-down duvet blends consist of more feathers. Some brands even list the actual percentage ratio, for example, down-feather: 80/20. In addition to the down used the weight and fill of the duvet impacts the overall softness and warmth: higher weights and fill amounts provide a slightly heavier, but warmer, puffier and softer duvet.
Duvets can also be filled with synthetic down, which eliminates the allergies associated with down or feathers. However natural fill duvets (using true down) are lighter and much warmer than synthetic equivalents.
Duvets are constructed using methods similar to comforters. The most common is the baffle box. The duvet is stitched into boxes which keeps the down in place and provides optimal loft and warmth. There is also the baffle channel in which the down is arranged and stitched into vertical, or less commonly, horizontal columns or channels; this style also keeps the down in place and prevents it from shifting or clumping. The duvet should be finished in high-thread count 100% cotton, which allows the down to breathe and provides ideal insulation levels.
As duvets are almost always white a duvet cover is usually used. A duvet cover slips over the duvet, protecting the duvet from dirt, dust and natural oils. Duvet covers come in a variety of colors, patterns and fabrics to complement your existing bedding and bedroom decor.