Why You Need a Duvet Cover
First, a cover protects the duvet. A duvet or comforter is often more difficult to wash because of its size and the nature of the fill material. A cover, on the other hand, can be easily removed and washed. The cover also keeps dirt, skin, or allergens from accumulating in the duvet.
Second, a cover lets you manage the feel of your comforter. You can select a duvet cover with the type of composition that you want and that feels most comfortable to you. This is less important if you use a top sheet, but it’s still nice to dictate the terms of how your duvet will feel.
Third, using a cover permits you to find a color or design that best suits your bedroom. Most duvets are just plain white and can show stains easily. Many duvet covers are available in numerous colors or patterns that can help give your bed a standout appearance.
There are quite a few options to choose from when deciding on the material for a duvet cover.
- Cotton – This is the most popular material for duvet covers given its softness. There is a huge range in terms of the quality of cotton and how well it is woven to form a duvet cover. While cotton can have moisture retention issues, it is still usually breathable enough for most sleepers, especially if it is well-made. Generally look for long-staple cotton (such as Egyptian cotton) that has a better track record of durability and will have a better feel.
- Linen – The flax plant is the source of the thick fibers that are used to make linen. The nature of these fibers is such that linen has a more coarse feel but holds up well over time and retains a lot of breathability. Given its thickness, it has a weightier feel that can work in all seasons, but customers should know that it will not feel smooth or silky at all. It also has a tendency to wrinkle easily.
- Flannel – Flannel is made by brushing fabric (such as cotton) to give it more loft. When you touch flannel, it tends to feel fuzzy and this gives it an element of thickness and warmth. Many people find flannel to be too hot in the summer but perfect in winter.
- Bamboo Rayon – This semi-synthetic material is made from the fibers of bamboo. It is known for smoothness and breathability and also for its durability. It may be blended with other materials such as cotton or polyester for additional softness.
- Polyester – This synthetic material is produced to take on many different styles, but in duvet covers and bedding it is commonly made to be sleek, stretchy, and highly breathable. Microfiber is a popular duvet cover material made from polyester.
- Blends – Fabric materials are blended for two reasons: to reduce cost by combining a more costly material with a less expensive one, and to balance the pitfalls of one material with the benefits of another. For example, linen-cotton blends are a popular choice due to being less expensive and more comfortable than pure linen.
- Organic Materials – Almost all natural fibers are available in organic form. Organic bedding is popular on account of its environmental friendliness and perceived purity. If buying organic is important to you, look for certified organic natural fibers like cotton and linen.
The weave refers to how a fabric is woven together to make a textile. Different weaves feel, breathe, and wear differently, so it’s important to choose the right one for you.
- Percale – This weave is a straightforward one in which one vertical yarn is wrapped over one horizontal one. The end result is a crisper and cooler cotton feel but one that is not quite as smooth or soft as sateen. It may also be called plain weave.
- Sateen – In this weaving method, the vertical to horizontal yarns are not one-to-one. The result of this weaving pattern is a smoother-feeling and sleeker-looking surface.
- Twill – Twill uses a diagonal pattern that gives a more robust and slightly rougher feel to the cotton. Sometimes the material will be washed or treated to make it softer while maintaining the texture of twill.
- Satin – An intricate weave usually made out of silk, satin is a classic choice for its cool, slippery feel and beautiful appearance. However, it is also one of the least durable weaves.
- Jersey – Knitted rather than woven, jersey has the ultra-comfortable feel of a well-worn t-shirt. Though they can be thin and prone to pilling, their all-season comfort makes jersey duvet covers a favorite.
Closures and Inner Fasteners
A duvet cover will have an opening on one side that allows you to place the duvet inside. Once the duvet is inside, you can seal or close the cover. There are different methods for closures including buttons, clasps, and zippers. None is inherently better than another, but some customers may have a preference for the look, usability, or convenience of one of these types of closures.
One issue that can arise with a duvet cover is the movement of the duvet within the cover. For example, it may become bunched up or overloaded to one side of the cover, requiring the whole blanket to be fluffed.
To avoid this issue, most duvet covers are constructed with ties or other fasteners to attach the duvet to the interior of the cover. Most customers prefer a cover with some type of fastener to help keep the duvet balanced inside the cover.
Sizing, Color and Design
Although most duvets and duvet covers follow the standard American sizes of queen and king, there is no standard for what these sizes mean in terms of real dimensions. When buying a new duvet cover, it’s important to make sure it will fit the insert well with no excess fabric.
Another factor to take into account is how you want your duvet (and cover) to fit your bed. Some people prefer only a small amount of overhang, while others want an oversized comforter which will overhang their mattress all the way to the floor. What you prefer is a personal decision, but always remember to choose based on feel rather than looks. An oversized duvet may look incredibly cozy, but its appeal lessens if it restricts your movement once you’re in bed.
Duvet covers come in a wide variety of designs, from single colors to patterns. Look for a cover that will fit in well with the layout and color scheme of your bedroom including the walls, furniture, and other bedding. It’s easy to switch duvet covers if you get tired of how it looks, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
Pricing and Return Policy
Duvet covers vary quite widely in price. This is mostly due to the material used (for example, linen is more expensive than cotton) and the quality of the material and manufacturing process. Other factors in the price include brand name, whether the cover is organic or fair-trade certified, and extra design features like ruffles or edging.
Of course, it’s possible to find good deals on high-quality duvet covers by lesser-known brands, or through sales. Waiting to find a good duvet cover at a good price is a better idea than choosing a less comfortable, less well-made version. You’ll save money in the long run, and your sleep health is more than worth it.
Some duvet covers are sold with a return policy that allows you to try out the cover in your bedroom for a period of time (usually 30-60 nights) with the option to send it back for a refund if you don’t like it. Make sure to look at the details of the return policy if you are for any reason unsure about the cover you’re purchasing.
Duvet Cover Care
Duvet covers make taking care of your duvet more manageable, but they require some care of their own to stay in excellent condition for their whole lifespan.
Washing instructions will vary depending on what materials your duvet cover is made from. Cotton and polyester require very little maintenance, while satin and linen should be washed more carefully. Your duvet cover should have a tag (usually on the inside) detailing its wash instructions. Avoid using fabric softeners, as this will leave residue on your cover, weakening the fibers and attracting dirt.
All bedding benefits from air-drying, but most duvet covers can also be put into a dryer if you don’t have time or room for a clothesline. If this is important to you, make sure to double-check if the cover is dryer-safe before purchasing.