What’s the Difference Between a Quilt and a Duvet Cover?

If you've ever found yourself standing in the bedding section of a store, confused about the difference between a quilt and a duvet cover, you're not alone.

With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to understand what sets these two types of bedding apart.

oversized quilt from southshore

At Southshore Fine Linens, we're here to help you unravel this mystery.

In this informative guide, we'll dive into the cozy world of quilts and duvet covers, helping you understand their differences and how each can complement your bedroom decor.

What’s the difference between a quilt and a duvet cover?

The main difference between a quilt and a duvet cover lies in their structure and use.


Quilts are a traditional type of blanket consisting of three layers:

  • A top layer of woven fabric
  • A middle layer of batting
  • A bottom layer of woven fabric

The top layer often features pieces of fabric sewn into a specific design. The middle layer, or “batting,” provides thickness and warmth and can be made from materials like cotton, polyester, or wool.

The bottom layer is usually a single piece of fabric. These layers are stitched together in a process called “quilting,” which can be done by hand or machine. The stitching holds the layers together and contributes to the quilt’s design.


A duvet cover is a removable layer that encases a duvet insert, similar to a pillowcase for a pillow. It's typically made from cotton, linen, or polyester and protects the duvet insert from dirt and spills.

The cover has a closure system — like buttons, a zipper, or decorative ties — for easy removal and washing. The duvet insert, filled with down or synthetic material, provides warmth.

The duvet cover and insert combo offers a convenient and stylish bedding solution.

The difference between quilt and duvet blankets

Quilts and duvet covers serve similar purposes as bedding items, but there are several key differences between them in terms of construction, usage, and care.

  • Construction: Quilts are made of three layers — a top layer of woven fabric, a middle layer of batting, and a bottom layer of woven fabric. Duvet covers, on the other hand, are single-layered protective covers designed to encase a fluffy duvet insert.
  • Usage: Quilts are typically used as standalone bed covers, providing both warmth and decoration. Duvet covers are used to protect duvet inserts and can be easily switched out to change the look of your bedding.
  • Care: Quilts, depending on their materials and construction, may require delicate washing or professional cleaning. Duvet covers are designed to be removed and washed regularly, keeping the duvet insert clean.
  • Warmth: While quilts provide a moderate level of warmth suitable for various seasons, the warmth of a duvet can be adjusted by choosing different types of duvet inserts, making them versatile for both summer and winter use

Quilt or duvet: Which is better?

Let's weigh out the benefits of both types of bedding to help you make an informed decision.

Benefits of going with a duvet

  • It offers more warmth: Duvets are generally fluffier and warmer than quilts due to their higher volume of filling. For those who prefer a cozy feel, you can add extra blankets underneath for additional warmth. Consider using lighter-weight duvets or the duvet cover as your bedding during summer.
  • It provides added weight: Some find the extra weight of a duvet comforting, aiding in reducing anxiety and promoting better sleep, much like swaddling helps babies fall asleep.
  • It allows for easy style changes: Duvet covers, designed to protect duvets from dirt, also offer an easy way to refresh your room's appearance. They come in various colors and patterns that can be quickly swapped out when you desire a change. 

Benefits of going with a quilt

  • It grants extra versatility: Quilts are made for both decorative and functional purposes. Beyond being used on beds, they can also serve as throws, wall hangings, or picnic blankets.
  • It offers more breathability: Since duvets have a higher volume of filling than quilts, they may retain more heat, making them feel heavy. Quilts, on the other hand, are typically thinner and more breathable.
  • It eliminates shifting: Duvet inserts can sometimes shift inside their cover, creating uneven coverage or bunching in one corner. Since quilts are stitched together, they offer consistent warmth throughout the night.
  • Interesting visuals and patterns: Quilts, with their intricate stitching and patchwork designs, can add a unique and captivating element to your bedroom decor

Shop now for our high-quality duvet covers.

Is a quilt a blanket?

Yes, a quilt is a type of blanket. But it's more than just an ordinary blanket. Quilts offer an extra layer of warmth and comfort, making them ideal for colder months or for people who prefer a cozier bed. They also add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your bedroom decor.

Is a duvet a blanket?

A duvet is also a blanket, and it’s sometimes referred to as a comforter. But unlike other types of blankets, duvets are designed to be used with a cover. This design feature allows for easy washing without needing to wash the entire duvet insert.

Is a duvet warmer than a quilt?

Yes, a duvet is typically warmer than a quilt. Quilts are made with lighter-weight materials, making them less warm than duvets. Duvets are filled with down, feathers, or synthetic fibers, which provide more warmth.

They are usually thicker and provide more insulation, ideal for colder seasons or those who prefer a warmer bed.

How often should I wash my duvet or quilt?

The frequency of washing a duvet or quilt can depend on several factors, such as the type of filling, usage, and personal preferences. However, washing your duvet or quilt every 2-3 months is generally recommended.

If you’re using a duvet cover, this can be washed more frequently, about once every two weeks. Make sure to check the care labels on your duvet or quilt before washing.

Special considerations for storing quilts and duvet covers

Proper storage is crucial to maintain the quality of quilts and duvet covers. Here are some essential tips for effective storage:

  • Clean before storing: Wash your bedding before storing to prevent stains and odors
  • Right environment: Store in a cool, dry place away from humidity to avoid mildew
  • Breathable containers: Use cotton or canvas containers for storage. Plastic bags can trap moisture, so include silica gel packets if used.
  • Avoid sunlight: Keep them away from direct sunlight to prevent fading
  • Proper folding: Gently fold or roll quilts to avoid sharp creases that can damage the fabric

By adhering to these storage guidelines, your quilts and duvet covers will remain in excellent condition, ensuring their longevity and aesthetic appeal.

We offer beautiful quilt sets for your bedroom.

Making the decision: Quilt or duvet?

When comparing a duvet cover vs. a quilt or deciding between a quilt or duvet, it’s essential to consider your personal preferences and needs.

And remember, these two types of bedding can even go together. You can add a duvet with quilt layers for added warmth.

No matter which bedding option you choose, your quilts and duvets should be of the highest quality. Make sure to invest in good-quality materials and construction to ensure a comfortable and long-lasting bedding experience.

Find luxury bedding at Southshore Fine Linens

A black duvet cover set from Southshore Fine Linens.

Whether you choose quilt vs. duvet, Southshore Fine Linens has an array of high-quality options to suit your needs.

Explore our duvet covers and quilt sets today to find your perfect match. Remember, a great day starts the night before with great bedding!