Quilt vs. Comforter: Which Is Better for You?

You may not have considered it, but the question of quilt vs. comforter can make a difference in a great night’s sleep. Roughly one in ten American adults report experiencing insomnia that has become chronic. While there are a plethora of factors causing these issues surrounding sleep, “discomfort” is listed as one of the causes of insomnia, and a “positive sleep environment” is part of healthy sleeping habits. Many of us may not think that our beds and bedding are important to our overall health, but clearly, they are.

A lavender Vilano down alternative comforter from Southshore Fine Linens.

Quilt vs. comforter

The bed is the focal point of the bedroom, where you spend roughly a third of your life — how the aesthetic of your bedroom makes you feel and how you feel tucked into your bedding to fall asleep at night matters. The type of bedding you have should be stylish and bring the room together. But it is also vital that it is relaxing and lives up to your idea of comfort.

So, let’s get down to it. Are you a “quilt person” or a “comforter person?” Does the decision of comforter vs. quilt vary by season where you live? What is the difference between a quilt and a comforter, anyway? Keep reading to learn the intimate details of each and which one may be best for you, your specific needs, and your style.

For supreme luxury, shop for comforters at Southshore Fine Linens. 

What is a comforter? 

A comforter is made of two pieces of fabric filled with a fluffy material to provide insulation. The comforter is then stitched together, using a patterned stitch to hold the insulation in place. From a style perspective, comforters offer a sense of luxury and can be used to display your unique style, if desired, as they often come in different patterns and colors.

Comforters can be made from various materials, which allows for flexibility in price, breathability, warmth, and feel of the fabric. The outside of the comforter (sometimes called the “shell”) can be made from materials such as cotton, silk, wool, eucalyptus, bamboo, or microfiber. The filling of a comforter can be made from materials such as down (duck or goose feathers), down alternative (a polyester imitation of down), eucalyptus, cotton, or wool.

The different materials comforters are made from also provide options for varying degrees of warmth and moisture-wicking technology. For example, a down alternative comforter made with a soft microfiber shell will provide comfort and warmth year-round. 

Pros of comforters:

  • The warmth is great for cold sleepers and those living in a colder environment
  • Can give a sense of luxury to a room
  • Comes in many patterns and colors to fit anyone’s ideal look
  • Soft and lightweight
  • Tends to be affordable
  • When made of the right materials, can be used year-round with an additional middle blanket for winter

Cons of comforters:

  • Can be difficult to wash, as some are too bulky and large to fit in a standard washer (may require a trip to the laundromat)
  • Depending on the material, it may be prone to stains
  • May be difficult to get a natural or “layered” look 

What is a quilt?

Quilts are made by encompassing batting (an insulating piece of fabric) between the top and bottom layers of fabric. The quilts' layers of fabric are usually made from cotton, and the batting can be made from cotton, wool, or down. The varying materials used as batting provide diversity regarding your preferred level of warmth and price point. Generally, the best deals will come from getting quilts in sets, such as this oversized quilt set from Southshore Fine Linens.

Quilts may also be able to provide a similar feel to a weighted blanket since they tend to be heavier than other types of bedding. According to Dr. Adam Perlman in an interview with the Mayo Clinic, this is likely one of the best benefits of a good quality quilt, as weighted blankets have shown in modest clinical studies to provide relief from stress, anxiety, and even pain. All of these factors contributed to a better night’s sleep for the people in the study. 

Types of quilts

There are three common types of quilts:

  • Seamless quilt: In this type of quilt, the encompassing pieces of fabric are one solid piece. When quilting the piecing to the batting, varying stitching patterns may be used for specific looks. However, this type of quilt tends to be simple, clean, and made with a single color.
  • Pieced quilt: Sometimes referred to as a “patchwork quilt,” these quilts are made by stitching together various smaller pieces of fabric into a specific design for the outer layer(s) of the quilt. These types of quilts tend to be pricier as they are often handmade. Being handmade also tends to mean they are more delicate and may require specific care when cleaning.
  • Applique quilt: This type of quilt incorporates aspects of the seamless quilt and the pieced quilt by stitching smaller pieces of fabric (generally for a design) to a larger solid piece of fabric. The stitching generally follows the design pieces.

Additionally, a reversible quilt uses different colors or patterns for the top and bottom layers so that you can have two looks with one quilt. This way you have two different colors or patterns to choose from for a clean and firm look, or you can fold the top of the quilt over to provide a layered look. 

Pros of quilts:

  • Often lightweight and breathable (good for hot sleepers)
  • Easy to clean (handmade or heirloom ones may be more delicate and require special care)
  • Heaviness may induce calming qualities akin to a weighted blanket
  • Generally quite durable (handmade or heirloom ones may be more delicate)
  • Can provide a quaint and old-fashioned feel or a simple natural feel
  • Provides a flat, non-bulky look that can be added to existing bedding to achieve a layered look

Cons of quilts:

  • Heaviness can make it more strenuous to maneuver
  • May not be warm enough in the winter for some
  • Does not provide the “fluffy bedding” aspect some desire 


Is a duvet a comforter?  

A duvet and a comforter are very similar types of bedding, but they are not the same thing. A duvet and a comforter both contain a fill for warmth and can both be made of the same variety of fabrics. A duvet, however, includes a cover to allow for changing the design and making it easier to clean. Duvets also tend to be even warmer than comforters as they have those extra two layers of fabric.

 For easy-to-change duvet covers, shop at Southshore Fine Linens. 

Is a quilt a blanket?

No. A blanket is generally limited to a single piece of fabric, whereas a quilt is three or more separate blankets and/or pieces of fabric stitched together to form a tight bed covering. 

Is a quilt cooler than a comforter?

In the majority of cases, a quilt is cooler than a comforter. Because comforters incorporate a filler that provides insulation, they do tend to hold heat in and be considerably warmer (especially when made with the right materials). 

A quilt, on the other hand, is more breathable. Quilts used as bed toppers tend to provide the ideal temperature for hot sleepers. Keep in mind that thicker quilts with batting made of wool or down may be quite warm. This is something to consider for those desiring to keep the same bed topper year-round, as they may still be warmer than desired for hot sleepers in the summer months. 

Will a full comforter fit a twin bed?

Assuming the comforter you are purchasing is in a standard size, yes. A typical twin-size bed is 38 inches wide and 75 inches long. However, be aware that there will be a considerable amount of overhang. If this is the look you’re going for, going a size up from the size of your mattress can be a great option. Just be sure to check the comforters’ individual specs before purchasing. 

Is a comforter better than a quilt? 

When it comes to quilt and comforter differences, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. It all depends on the person’s sleep needs. For example, if you sleep in a colder home and enjoy light and fluffy blankets, then a comforter may be the best bet for you. But if you’re the type of person who runs hot while they sleep and enjoys the relaxing sensations of a weighted blanket, a quilt is likely the better option. Aesthetically speaking, the choice will depend on whether you want a chic and cozy feel (comforter) or a natural, laid-back, and layered look (quilt). 

Luxury bedding at Southshore Fine Linens

A rose dust Chevron oversized quilt set from Southshore Fine Linens.

The best bedding often greatly depends on your environment and individual preferences. When deciding on the right bedding for you, take all your personal preferences into account. Be sure to get real with yourself when it comes to your ideal temperature, style, and bedding feel, the amount of weight from the bed coverings you wish to feel, and your ability to keep the bedding maintained when it comes to cleaning. Whatever you decide, Southshore Fine Linens will have great options for the quilt vs. comforter choice to help make your dream bedroom come to life.

Shop today for affordable luxury bedding at Southshore Fine Linens!