On average, we spend about one-third of our lives in bed. This statistic is a favorite of mattress companies looking to sling products and should convince you to invest in high-quality bedding. As you do so, though, you might find yourself asking, “What is a duvet cover, and do I need one?”
What Is a Duvet Cover?
The answer to this question is deceptively simple:
A duvet cover is a fabric cover for a duvet.
Okay, we know that probably doesn’t help answer your question! So let’s start by explaining what a duvet actually is.
Duvets are soft, quilted blankets filled with some type of insulation such as down, feathers, or a synthetic filler. Typically, a duvet is the topmost layer of a bedding set. But one of the most significant qualities of a duvet is that it cannot be easily washed.
So how do you keep your duvet clean and free of stains if you can’t really wash it? You cover it with a duvet cover!
Although your duvet might not be washable, duvet covers can be easily removed and thrown into your home washing machine and dryer. This helps keep your duvet clean and protected throughout its entire lifespan.
Choosing the Right Duvet Cover for Your Bedroom
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While some companies sell duvets and duvet covers as a set, one of the great things about a duvet cover is that it is interchangeable.Since duvets are fairly expensive, as far as bedding goes, you probably won’t invest in more than one or two different styles. However, the world is your metaphorical oyster when it comes to choosing a duvet cover.
The most important part of buying a duvet cover (or, really, any bedding at all) is knowing the size of your bed.
In the case of a duvet cover, though, we recommend checking the size of your duvet instead of just your mattress. Some people use a different size of blanket than their bed calls for, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you don’t know or don’t remember the size of your duvet, you can easily measure it to find out.
To determine the size of your duvet, measure the width and length when the blanket is laid out entirely flat. You will want to purchase a duvet cover that matches these measurements exactly or is slightly smaller (up to two inches). However, you don’t want a duvet cover that is any bigger than your current duvet.
Some people care very little about their bedding’s fabric content. Others, though, have very specific preferences and won’t settle for anything less.
What is a duvet cover commonly made from? In most cases, you’ll see duvet covers made of cotton, silk, or a range of synthetic materials.
Cotton is affordable, easy-to-maintain, and fairly soft. When shopping for a duvet cover, you’ll probably see cotton more than any other material.
Silk is typically more expensive than cotton, especially if it is high-quality silk. However, it does offer a unique softness and cool touch that you won’t find with other fabrics. Keep in mind, though, that silk is not vegan.
Synthetic materials include polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other textiles. These fabrics are often cheaper than natural fibers. But if you want a synthetic duvet cover that is truly high-quality, you will still need to shell out for a premium product.
Most people know that bedding and thread count go hand-in-hand. But do you actually know what this number means or if it even matters?
Thread count refers to the number of individual, woven threads within a single square inch of a sheet, blanket, or another bedding item. The higher the thread count, the softer and more durable the product.
You will want to look for a duvet cover that has at least a 300 thread count. This means that the cover is tightly woven enough to keep out dust and fibers and otherwise keep the inner duvet clean.
So, what is a duvet cover good for aside from protecting your expensive duvet within?
Above all else, duvet covers are a great way to add style to your bedroom decor. And, better yet, you can change your duvet cover as often as you like!
That’s right, you can even have a different duvet cover for each day of the week, if you so please. Though, in our opinion, that might be a bit of overkill.
Although you aren’t beholden to a single duvet cover like you are many other aspects of your bedroom decor, you should still choose your duvet covers carefully.
First, take a look around your bedroom. If your interior decor is pretty neutral, you can likely get away with a wide range of styles! If you have a dedicated theme, though, you’ll want to coordinate your bedding with this theme,
Regardless of your overall bedroom style, we suggest matching your duvet cover to the rest of your bedding. Oftentimes, you can find bedding sets that include everything you need (including the duvet cover). Sometimes, though, you will need to get a bit creative mixing and matching colors and patterns.
Caring for Your Duvet Cover
Now that you know the answer to “What is a duvet cover?” and have maybe even bought one of your own, how do you take care of this new bedding?
Fortunately, cleaning your duvet cover is almost as simple as caring for your bed sheets!
How do you clean a duvet cover?
For most duvet covers, all you need to do is remove the duvet inside and place the cover in your home washing machine. For the best results, follow the washing instructions provided by the duvet cover’s manufacturer.
A standard duvet cover (meaning one that doesn’t include a special fabric or embellishments) can withstand quite a bit of regular machine washing, drying, and ironing.
If you want to ensure you duvet cover lasts as long as possible, though, be gentle during regular cleaning.
How often should you wash your duvet cover?
Ideally, we suggest washing your duvet cover as often as you wash your sheets. This will ensure that your duvet within stays clean, and can also prevent skin irritation and breakouts from built-up oils and dirt on your bedding.As we said, the main benefit of using a duvet cover is that it keeps your duvet clean. Since duvets are large and difficult to clean without doing damage, duvet covers are crucial to keeping a clean, sanitary bed.But don’t slack on washing your duvet cover just because your duvet doesn’t need cleaning!
What Is a Duvet Cover? Q&A
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Here are some other popular questions related to “What is a duvet cover?”:
How do you store unused duvet covers?
Without the duvet inside, a duvet cover will take up little more than a flat sheet or thin blanket.
If you keep multiple duvet covers on hand, we suggest storing them, folded, in a dry and cool closet or cupboard. Exposure to moisture can lead to mildew and other damage, which you definitely don’t want in your bed!
What is the difference between a duvet and a comforter?
Many people use the terms “duvet” and “comforter” interchangeably. However, these aren’t technically the same thing.
There are many differences between duvets and comforters, including that comforters are typically quite a bit thicker. But the most important difference is that comforters don’t require covers.
Instead, comforters are covered in a durable outer fabric that can withstand more wear and tear and regular washing.
That’s right, you can wash your comforter in your home washing machine (or, if your machine isn’t large enough, in a commercial machine).
So why even invest in a duvet and cover in the first place?
Some people just prefer the weight and feel of a duvet over a comforter. But the biggest benefit of a duvet is that you can swap out covers as you please, which you cannot do with a comforter.
What is the best way to insert a duvet into a duvet cover?
There are several methods for quickly and conveniently inserting a duvet into its cover. However, we prefer the tried-and-true traditional method:
This method involves laying your duvet out flat on your bed or another surface. Turn your duvet cover inside-out and grasp the now inside top corners (technically the “right” side of the cover). With the corners in hand, grab the corners of the duvet and flip the duvet cover down over the duvet.
Most high-quality duvet covers will include short ties or buttons in the inner corners. These ties or buttons allow you to secure your duvet inside the cover, preventing annoying bunching and slipping.
If your duvet cover does not have any of these securing features, you can also retrofit your cover. All you need is a sewing machine or a little hand sewing know-how.
Match Your Bedding to Your Mood
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Even after learning the answer to “What is a duvet cover?” not everyone will want or need a duvet cover for their bedding set. However, it is an excellent way to add some flexibility and style to your everyday bedroom decor.
Clean bedding is essential to keeping dust, dirt, and dead skin cells out of your bed. But, if the presence of this grime doesn’t convince you to wash your sheets, dirty bedding is a breeding ground for dust mites.
Nobody wants tiny mites crawling around their bed at night. Even worse, though, is that many people are allergic to these creatures.
Even though comforters can technically be machine washed, most people don’t have the right size machine to do so.
With a duvet and duvet cover, though, keeping your bedding clean is a breeze! Instead of hauling a heavy and oversized comforter to-and-from your laundry room or the laundromat, you can throw your duvet cover in with your regular bed sheets.
Do you have a secret trick for inserting a duvet into its cover? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image via Pixabay