Duvet covers and comforter questions

Jodi_SoCalMarch 22, 2008

I recently purchased the Pottery Barn Hat Pin bedding set with duvet cover, shams and sheets as recommended here in another post.

We have always had a regular comforter or bedspread so I know next to nothing about how duvet covers work.

Can you put any kind of comforter inside it or are there ones specially designed for duvet covers?

Do you put your blanket inside the cover along with a comforter?

And how come it's called a duvet cover when it's filled with a comforter? Are actual duvets sold here in the states?

Right now we our old comforter inside it and it bunches up and when smoothed out, looks flat making the cover look all saggy and wrinkled.

Last question... is there an easy way to put the comforter inside the cover? It does have ties in the corner but I don't see how to easily secure a comforter in the far corners without crawling inside or practically turning the cover inside out.


Here is a link that might be useful: Other post. Pictures of my bedroom set and old comforter

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"duvet" is french for a quilt usually with a washable cover. Most think of using the down comforters that you buy in plain white is what's to be used in a duvet cover, but if it fits I see no reason to use a duvet over any quilt, comforter, or blanket. When our daughter bought her's she wondered how often she'd need the down comforter she bought it for since she was moving to California. I told her when it got to warm she could us it alone to dress her bed.
It's easiest to have a helper when slipping your comforter or blanket inside the cover. Turn the cover almost inside out. Enough so you can tuck the corners of the comforter into the corners of the cover (pin using large quilt pins if you have to) pull the cover over the comforter while setting it rightside out. Once that's done, tie it and lay it on your bed.
As for your question about putting both comforter and blanket inside the cover, I suppose you could, but I'd want it separate incase you were too warm and wanted to use just the blanket. That wouldn't be possible if you had inside the cover.
I hope this helped.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 9:34PM
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Blankets are usually larger than comforters, so tucking them inside might make for a lumpy-looking top.

For large, thick down comforters, I turn the duvet cover inside out and set the comforter down on top of it, tying the top two corners to the cover. Then I flip the whole package over and reach between the two layers of the right sides of the cover and turn it back right-side out again. The down comforter is automatically encased inside as it should be. You can tie down the bottom corners, too, if you like, but I rarely bother.

If the seems complicated, try a practice run using a pillow case (turned inside out, of course) and a folded bath towel to simulate the comforter. It will make perfect sense on a smaller scale. There are other more complicated insertion methods that also work involving folding the comforter in thirds, but the inside out, upside down method is the easiest to explain.

One the comforter is encased I give it a might fluff/flap from at least the bottom edge to settle everything down gracefully within.

A bed topped with a down comforter/duvet will always look poof-ier than a smooth bedspread. If you want the smooth look you can have a simple bedspread underneath and store th comforter, folded in thirds, across the foot of the bed. If you do this and have animals fold the top third inside the pile so you don't have to sleep with animal-bedding portion next to your face.

I take all my comforters out of their covers for airing outside most days of the week, so I do a lot of cover installation.



    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 10:08PM
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A duvet is a cover for a comforter. Intended to protect the comforter I think, which are often down filled and not that easy to regularly clean. They were originally intended to be used as top sheets and comforter, and in my opinion, that's the most luxurious way to use them. However, I hate them. There is no easy way to get a huge comforter into them and fluffed. It's like wrestling an alligator! Give me an old fashioned bedspread that covers the bed and pillows and you don't have to throw your half over onto your DH half a dozen times during the night because you're suddenly cooking like an old boiler.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 11:38PM
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Duvet is the french word for 'down'. The duvet is what goes inside the duvet cover. Think of the duvet as the down comforter, but plain, no decorative fabrics or anything - just the plain fabric.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 3:08AM
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My son uses a duvet for his down blanket in winter and reg. blanket in the summer. He told me that europeans use them instead of top sheets, as well as square pillows rather than our rectangular ones. The one he bought is simple, but very sturdy material. Is washed along with his lone bottom sheet and pillow cases every week.

I don't get it completely, but he really likes the idea. May be that he can just throw it over the bed without all the arranging of blankets, sheets, comforter, etc. He worked in Antarctica for 6 years and their living quarters were limited. The duvet may also be past habit of snuggling into a nest rather than the organized bed.

Here is a link that might be useful: duvet history

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 9:27AM
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Thanks for all the info so far.

I was poking around Overstock.com and saw reference to "oversized" and "overfilled" down comforters. I like the idea of overfilled as right now the old comforter we have inside the duvet cover is way too flat. But I'm going to have to take some measurements on whether the oversized will fit. Are there any rules when it comes to sizing, other than obviously having to buy a queen size for my queen bed?

Molly, thank for you for the instructions on how to get the comforter into the duvet cover.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 11:02AM
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I have a queed bed as well and bought a king comforter and duvet. Usually when you buy the same size as your bed there is not much to go over the sides. You may want to measure your mattress and decide on how much over hang you want, then go from there. If you figure with 2 people in the bed, you may want a little over hang so you are both covered!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 11:51AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM


I fold my down comforter into quarters, slip it into the duvet and then unfold it. Then, while gripping the top corners I shake it out and it fills the cover. HTH

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 12:07PM
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Hi. New member here (long time lurker!) and I too recently purchased a Pottery Barn duvet cover and I just wanted to let you know that their sizing (at least for the queen size) is not a "standard" size. I say this b/c it is larger than my existing down comforter and I have yet to find a store (Macys, LNT, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, etc.)that carries the 88" x 92" size that would fill out the new duvet cover. I did find one on Overstock, but I hesitate to order b/c I would like to feel the weight of it in person. At any rate, don't know if this is a marketing ploy by Pottery Barn to get you to buy their down comforter which has the same measurements, but I just thought I'd pass this info. along so that you make sure to measure your cover before you purchase a down comforter. Also, for what it's worth, I live in South Florida and use a lightweight down comforter all year round and don't find it too hot even in the summer months. They come in varying weights of the down fill.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 1:02PM
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Thanks for your input the4dsfromlhp. I suspected as much. The PB duvet cover I bought is too short from head to foot and a bit too long on the sides. Grrr.

My husband and I like a heavy feel to our bedding even though we live in Southern CA where it was 90 degrees this weekend. We typically use a main comforter, secondary comforter and a Vellux blanket plus sheets. Taking the secondary comforter off in summer. So we really need to find a down comforter that has a bit of weight to it. Plus I want one that is pretty fluffy, like the overfilled ones I saw on Overstock.

'Nother question...Which were is the the open end supposed to go? Since the opening on mine shows a bit, I want it at the head of my bed but the Hat Pin pattern would then be upside down.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 1:17PM
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Here in S. Calif. we don't have a need for a comforter except a couple weeks during the winter but I do love the look of a thick comforter instead of a bedspread.

We have cats, and a dog, and a parrot and grandchildren.
All have free rein in the house.

All love hanging out on the king, free-float waterbed.

King comforter doesn't fit in our washer so I'd have to trek to the laundro-mat once a month (or more often if there was an oops on the comforter) to use the larger washer.

I bought a duvet cover. A cheapy. Hoping I wouldn't have to wash the comforter as often. It worked. Duvet fits perfectly in our washer.

Figured out in one day why the duvet was so cheap.
My comforter bunched up inside making the bed look rumpled all the time.

I turned the duvet cover inside out.
In the corners I added a little square of sticky-back Velcro.
Put a square of sticky-back Velcro on coordinating corners of the comforter.
Turned duvet right side out, shoved comforter in and haven't had any bunching since.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 2:13PM
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I bought these little clips to hold my comforter in place inside the duvet cover. Think I got them at LnT.

Yes, I just did a search. They are called comforter clips and they were 5.99 for a set of 4.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 4:13PM
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I have my button enclosures at the top of the bed. It wouldn't make a difference in my case b/c I have the "Cassandra Stripe" pattern, but my last duvet cover had decorative buttons on the outside front of the cover about 1/4 of the way from the top, so I guess that's why I went with them at the top this time. Not sure if there is a "right" way. How does the PB website show the Hat Pin pattern - going up or down?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 6:00PM
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I checked the PB site last week to check the pattern. If you put the comforter the same way as PB, the opening and buttons are at the foot of the bed. Doesn't make sense to me.

FYI: the buttons are on the inside under a flap so they can't been seen but the opening cac.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 6:20PM
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Jodie, I live in So. CA also and we use our duvet and cover year round! The down comforter we have is just the right weight so that it is not too hot in the summer. We also have a matlasse(sp?) coverlet which I fold and put at the end of the bed. In the summer if it is too hot to use the comforter(not too often, as the evening can be cool after a hot day) we use the coverlet and have the fluffy comforter folded at the end of the bed. Our kids are always saying that our bed is sooo comfy. It works for us, and looks great! It would be much too hot to use a blanket inside, along with the down comforter and I think it would wear out the cover quickly being filled so full. How I put the down comforter in the cover is....1. take a corner of the comforter and crumple the cover back so the down comforter is very exposed but square in the corner of the cover 2.Do the same for the other side. (On ours there are two slits to grip the comforter in place and 3.then I shake it until the cover is over the comforter to the opposite end 4. button up the closures or ties.. whatever you have.I like the clip idea to keep it in place.. I'm going to check that out. Enjoy your new set!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:23PM
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"It would be much too hot to use a blanket inside, along with the down comforter and I think it would wear out the cover quickly being filled so full." ?

Ruthie, I'm curious, what did you mean by "would wear out the cover quickly."?


    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:52AM
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Jodie, it might be too much with the blanket and down comforter inside the duvet.... kind of like an overstuffed envelope and the closures could tear. We had our first duvet cover when first married and the buttons tore off because the blanket (it wasn't down) was larger than the cover so I had it folded at one end inside. I guess it put too much stress on the cover at that end because it was too heavy.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:04PM
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Actually, the duvet is really the down or down-alternative insert that goes inside of the 'comforter or duver cover'. In the industry, the terms have mutated so the cover is usually called a duvet. (In Australia, the duvet is called a 'doona'!!)

I still can't decide if the botton enclosure is design to down at the foot of the bed or up at the head of the bed. Some duvet covers have little fabric to hide the duvet inside, and often the duvet pokes through the buttons a bit, which doesn't look too good. A few older duvet covers have a cool extra fabric fold to tuck the duvet inside at the buttoned end.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 9:24PM
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I am from england and a duvet to me means the fluffy down filled blanket an the cover what goes over it. As other ppl have said u can get different weights of these duvets an it wouldn't matter how fluffy the duvet is as long as it's the same measurements, the cover shouldn't rip as long as it's a duvet you are putting in it. The fastenings usually go at the bottom of the bed basically for cosmetic reasons and also I have found when fastenings have been at the top I tend to somehow end up with my arms inside the cover! I also don't like feeling the fastenings when I am trying to get comfortable. Not sure if that helps but that's how we do it here.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:55PM
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