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What Are Duvet Inserts, and How Do They Compare to Down Comforters?

When you’re looking for a warm cover to snuggle down into during those cold, winter months, you may come across both duvet inserts and down comforters. Many people are confused because they don’t understand the differences between the two. What are duvet inserts? How do they differ from down comforters?

We’ll help you get to the bottom of these often-asked questions.

What Are Duvet Inserts?

Unlike comforters, you can tuck away and hide a duvet insert inside of a duvet cover. But it’s just as warm and snuggly as any comforter.

Duvet inserts typically come in neutral colors—such as white or cream—because the duvet covers they fit inside of display all of the style.

The inserts are filled with various materials such as polyester, cotton, goose down, hypoallergenic down alternative, or wool.

What Are Duvet Covers?

If you purchase a duvet insert, chances are you will need a duvet cover. A duvet cover is a decorative cover that encases the duvet insert.

It can be made of any type of fabric and typically uses a zipper or buttons to ensure that the insert stays tucked inside.

When you purchase new sheets, you will often have the choice of also buying a coordinating duvet cover.

Duvet vs. Comforter—Comforter vs. Duvet: Let’s Clear This Up

Because duvet inserts and comforters are so alike, there is a great debate about duvet vs. comforter.

But there are some differences you should know about that will help you choose the right bed linens for your needs.

Plain Jane versus splash

Both a duvet insert and a comforter are meant to keep you warm at night, but one—the comforter—also has an aesthetic appeal.

You can purchase comforters in many fabrics, colors, and patterns, but you will typically only find duvet inserts in neutral colors.

Fluffy versus flat

Down comforters are known for their luxurious fluffiness but duvet inserts, although they can also be filled with down, are flatter.

They are purposefully made this way because they are meant to fit inside of a duvet cover, and it’s easier to insert them without all of the bulk.

Overhang or mot

When you lay a comforter on top of your bed, you want the ends of it to fall over the sides of the bed to complete the look. But a duvet insert will not extend much over the sides of your bed.

Again, the insert is meant to fit inside the duvet cover, and keeping the size smaller will help you more easily get it inside of the cover.

Decorate more or less

When you invest in a comforter, you probably intend to keep it on your bed for some time. After all, good quality comforters can be an investment.

But when you purchase a duvet insert, you can feel free to change the duvet cover as often as you like because it is a fraction of the cost of comforters.

That means you can change out your duvet cover whenever the mood strikes you!

How to Choose a Duvet Insert

When looking for duvet inserts, you will find a variety of options. The insert you buy will determine how comfortable it is for your lifestyle.

Here are some of the options you will find:

What’s in it?

Duvet inserts are filled with all types of materials. For instance, for a luxurious (and warm!) duvet, choose one filled with down feathers or wool.

If you have allergies, a duvet filled with hypoallergenic, micro-fiber clusters is likely the best choice.

The weight of things

Duvet inserts come in different weights, and you should choose yours according to the climate or your body temperature.

For instance, if you’re a cold sleeper or live in a climate with colder temperatures, choose a heavy duvet insert.

On the other hand, if you live in a warm climate or don’t like a lot of heavy covers on you at night, choose a lightweight duvet insert.

You will also find medium-weight duvet covers, and they are a great compromise for many people.

When shopping for a duvet insert, you will come across the term fill power. This is the measurement of the amount of space occupied by one ounce of filling.

A higher fill power results in a fluffier and warmer insert, while a lower fill power is more lightweight.

Understanding fill power

Here is a quick guide to fill powers that will help you select the right duvet insert.

400 or less

Duvet inserts with 400 or less fill power are great for those who sleep hot or intend to use it during the warmer months.

They are lightweight and feature a low loft.

400 to 600

This is an ideal fill power for cool nights, but not necessarily cold nights.

Although inserts with this fill power will keep you warm in many climates, if the temperatures turn very cold, it probably won’t keep you warm enough.

600 to 800

This fill power is great for those who sleep cold. It is ideal for all seasons, has a higher loft, and is heavy enough to keep away the chill.

800 and more

If you sleep cold or live in a cold climate, this insert will keep the cold at bay. With the highest loft and durable construction, it is ideal for those chilly nights.

Don’t forget—duvet inserts aren’t expensive, so you can buy one for every season and you will always have just the right amount of comforter on your bed!

What’s it covered in?

In addition to knowing what’s inside of your duvet insert, it’s also important to think about the material that surrounds the fill.

You will find duvet inserts wrapped in a few different types of fabric:

Cotton

If you want a duvet inset that is durable and affordable, cotton may be your answer. It is machine washable and known for its durability.

But to ensure that it lasts a long time, buy one that has at least a 300 thread count.

Polyester

People with allergies often turn to duvet insets with a polyester shell.

But although it feels great and provides hypoallergenic properties, it is also known for trapping heat and moisture when in a hot environment.

On the plus side, it is also machine washable.

Cotton-polyester blend

If you don’t have to worry about allergies, a cotton-polyester blend might be right for you.

It is breathable and durable, and this blend makes it less likely that your duvet insert will shrink, wrinkle, or develop piles or static.

What is the stitching?

The last construction aspect of an insert to pay attention to is what kind of stitching the manufacturer uses to put it together. The type of stitching can make a huge difference in how well it will work for you.

You will find these options when looking for your ideal duvet insert.

Baffle-box

If you want an insert with a high loft, look for one that features baffle-box stitching.

To achieve this, manufacturers use an extra piece of fabric to connect the top and bottom of the insert. This extra room allows for a higher loft.

Box stitch/sewn-through

If keeping the fill evenly distributed is important to you, this type of stitching will do the trick.

The downside is that duvet inserts with this type of stitching won’t hold the loft as well.

Channel

Duvet inserts manufactured with this type of stitching feature long channels that run down the length of the insert. The fill is inside those channels.

Unless the insert is filled with a high quality down, the fill may slide down to one end of the insert, providing you uneven warmth.

Gusset

When manufacturers use this stitching, they connect the top and bottom of the insert by sewing a seam around the edges of the insert.

Because there are no stitches on the interior of the inset, these types of duvets have a high loft.

How to Place the Duvet Insert Inside of the Duvet Cover

If you’ve never used a duvet insert before, it’s a great idea to learn how to place the insert inside your duvet cover before you start.

After all, you have two large linens and you have to make them fit into one piece!

Here is a step-by-step guide that will make the process a snap.

  • One: Take the duvet cover out of the packaging and turn it inside out. Then place it at the foot of your bed with the opening facing the bed.
  • Two: Place the duvet insert on top of the duvet cover.
  • Three: Standing at the end farthest from your bed, roll the two pieces up together towards the bed.
  • Four: Now that you have a neat roll, turn the cover so that it fits around the sides of the roll.
  • Five: Using the zipper or buttons, close the duvet cover.
  • Six: Unroll the cover and insert it on the top of your bed. You did it!

What Size Duvet Insert Should I Buy?

When looking for a duvet insert, you will need to know the size of your duvet cover. After all, the insert has to fit inside the cover, so the measurements must be similar.

Try to use an insert that is the same size, or at the most, 1 to 2 inches larger than the cover.

Also, remember that both the duvet cover and the duvet insert will likely shrink when washed. That means if you wash the cover, you should also wash the insert so the sizes remain similar.

Where to Buy Duvet Inserts

Are you wondering where can you buy duvet inserts? Luckily, you won’t have to search far and wide for the insert you’re looking for.

You can find them in department stores, big box stores, online shops, or your neighborhood home store.

Our Top 3 Duvet Inserts

Before you go shopping, we’ve put together a list of our favorite duvet inserts. The list includes all types of fills and weights, so you should be able to find just what you’re looking for!

1. Brooklinen Down Comforter

If you’re looking for luxury and warmth, the Brooklinen down comforter is the perfect duvet insert for you. The manufacturer says that sleeping with this insert is akin to sleeping in the clouds.

It features baffle-box construction that will keep all the down feathers evenly distributed.

The insert also comes with corner loops so that you can attach the corners to your duvet cover and never have to worry about it slipping down or bunching up inside the cover.

The cotton sateen shell has a 400-thread count and includes antimicrobials on the finish. It features a 600 fill power and is all-seasons rated.

2. Buffy Breeze

If you get hot when you sleep, the Buffy Breeze duvet inset will help you stay nice and cool.

The manufacturer made the shell with recycled BPA-free plastic water bottles that transform into a soft and luxurious fiber.

The shell consists of lyocell, which has eucalyptus at its base (and compares to rayon in feel). The shell is a 300 single-ply thread count.

Harvested from the pulp of a eucalyptus tree, the shell takes much less water to produce than cotton.

3. Pacific Coast

If you’re looking for an uber-luxurious all goose down comforter to use inside a duvet cover, the Pacific Coast comforter offers one you should look at.

It features a silky-soft 680 thread count and over-the-top level of goose down filling. The cover is 100 percent cotton and it has a baffle box construction.

The comforter comes with diagonal corner loops so you can easily attach it to your duvet cover and not worry about it slipping.

What Are Duvet Inserts? Now You Know

After you learn about the benefits of duvet inserts and covers, it’s only natural to ask, “Where can I find duvet inserts?” We hope you find just what you’re looking for on our list of suggestions.

And if you’re reading this and have found the perfect duvet cover, we’d love to hear about it!

Just leave the information in the comments below. Perhaps your suggestion will help someone else find their ideal duvet insert!