The 9 Best Duvet Inserts of 2024, Based on Testing

The 9 Best Duvet Inserts of 2024, Based on Testing


Your bed is your daily retreat to rest, reset, and rejuvenate. A quality duvet insert plays a key role in how cozy and comfortable it feels. Fluffy and thick like a blanket, duvet inserts are neutral bedding basics that are meant to be used with a cover. When selecting a duvet insert, focus on practical considerations, such as fill and shell material, warmth, construction, and care instructions. 

Duvet inserts can be filled with down or down alternative materials, such as microfiber, polyester, cotton, or rayon, that replicate the feel of down. The shell fabric is most commonly cotton or polyester. Top it with a duvet cover to protect your duvet insert from dirt and body oils, and switch out the cover seasonally or as your tastes or trends change. If you take proper care of a duvet insert, it will last for years.

“I always want my beds to feel like a luxury hotel bed, and a duvet will help you achieve that,” says Jessica Mintz, principal designer, and owner of Jessica Mintz Interiors, an interior design firm based in Los Angeles. “It’s also going to give the bed a more full look. You can layer it with a waffle bed blanket or quilted bed blanket—I like to fold it down so a third of the bed is covered by a fluffy folded-over duvet.”

To find the best duvet inserts, we rounded up 62 of the top comforters and inserts and put them through a series of rigorous tests in our home testing lab. For additional insights on what to look for when selecting a duvet insert, we also talked with Jessica Mintz; Lauren Sullivan, interior designer and founder of Well x Design in Nashville, Tennessee; and Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for The Better Sleep Council.


What We Tested

  • Quality: We looked at the quality of the stitching, loft, and the softness of the fabric.
  • Comfort: When lying under the duvet insert, we evaluated its warmth, how noisy it was when we shifted, and the weight and ease of movement underneath.
  • Fill: We shook the duvet insert multiple times in different directions to see if the fill shifted. We also examined the insert for bare spots and any feathers poking through.
  • Duvet Cover Compatibility: We tested how easy the insert is to place inside a duvet cover and how well it filled out the cover.
  • Washing and Drying: If the duvet insert was washable, we put it through a wash cycle and then dried it according to the care label. We recorded how many dryer cycles it took to dry, any needed fluffing after drying, and any impact washing and drying had on the insert, such as shrinking, loose threads, and a lower fill loft.

Key Terms to Know

  • Fill Power: Down is rated by fill power, a volume measurement that compares the size and quality of the fill clusters. The higher the number, which can range from about 300 to 900, the better the quality—meaning a warm product that still feels lightweight. 
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification reviews the entire supply chain to verify a textile is organic.
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100: This certification ensures that the manufacturer produced the duvet insert without treating it with any substances deemed harmful by OEKO-TEX.
  • Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS): This label means that the down used in the duvet insert comes from a certified parent farm, where the eggs for down-producing birds are sourced, that meets several animal welfare standards. The down is traceable from farm to factory.
  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS): The RDS certification is very similar to the Global TDS certification, but the animal welfare requirements start a bit later in the supply chain at the hatchling stage.

Amazon Buffy Breeze Comforter

Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Texture

    5/5

  • Durability

    5/5

  • Breathability

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

The Buffy Breeze Comforter earns the best duvet insert overall title for its all-roundedness. At a 300-thread count, the eco-friendly Tencel lyocell shell lays smoothly against your skin. It’s not too thick but not too thin. When we laid underneath, we found that its warmth embraced us instantly without being stifling.

The seam’s thick stitchings work in tandem with the Tencel lyocell microfiber filling to give the insert a pillowy feel. Designed with large wavy, abstract pockets, the fill manages to remain in place, even when we tossed and turned in bed and shook the duvet insert 10 times along both sides. The bedding was quiet and not restrictive, allowing us to maneuver easily underneath the covers.

We were able to secure the duvet insert easily onto a cover with its four corner loops, and it’s easy to remove for washing, too. Since it isn’t the loftiest duvet insert, there may be a little material from the duvet cover left unfilled. 

Keep in mind that this duvet insert must be spot cleaned or taken to the dry cleaners if it gets dirty. That’s not enough to diminish this duvet insert’s pros, however. We found it to be well-worth its price-tag and a quality item that should last you season after season.

Product Details: Shell material: Tencel eucalyptus lyocell | Fill material: Tencel eucalyptus lyocell fiber | Care: Spot clean or dry clean | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/California king

Amazon Bedsure All-Season Quilted Down Alternative Comforter

Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    4.5/5

  • Texture

    4.8/5

  • Durability

    5/5

  • Breathability

    4.8/5

  • Value

    5/5

With its 300 GSM polyester fill, the Bedsure Duvet Insert comes in at a lower price point than duvet inserts with down or cotton fills. This low-loft duvet insert makes it a good choice for hot sleepers and those who prefer lightweight bedding, and because it’s on the thinner side, we found we could get it dry in just one dryer cycle after washing.

Despite its price, it has a smooth, breathable microfiber shell that feels ultra luxurious. During testing, the baffle-box construction kept the fill evenly spread within its stitched quilted square, even after we tossed and turned under it and ran it through the wash. You can throw this duvet insert in the washing machine for a cold, gentle wash cycle, and since it’s a down-alternative pick, you won’t get any feathers poking through.

Eight loops along the edge of the duvet insert allow it to be secured on the corners as well as the sides to a duvet cover to prevent shifting. (Most duvet inserts in our test just had loops in the corners.)

When cozied up under this duvet insert, it takes a few minutes for any warmth to kick in, and even then, we found it cooling in various spots. So, this would be the best duvet insert all-year round for those who tend to sweat underneath the covers. It’s also a great summer season choice if you’re one to run cold.

Product Details: Shell material: Microfiber | Fill material: 300 GSM polyester fill | Care: Machine washable | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, oversized king

Boll & Branch Down Duvet Insert

Boll & Branch


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    4/5

  • Texture

    4/5

  • Durability

    3/5

  • Breathability

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

Why You Should Get It

  • Available in three weights to accommodate a range of sleepers, this duvet insert features long-staple 100% organic cotton material and baffle-box construction to keep the RDS-certified down evenly distributed and fluffy with use.

Keep in Mind

  • This is more expensive than other comparable options, not available in a twin size, and is super fluffy, so it may take a few dryer cycles to dry completely.

If you take comfort in knowing your bedding is free of harmful chemicals, the Boll & Branch is the best duvet insert to splurge on. The 100% organic cotton shell meets Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, which means it was tested and found to be free of over 100 harmful substances that are dangerous to humans and the environment. The down filling is ethically sourced and triple-washed, exceeding the U.S. government standard.

While this insert has four corner loops, our tester observed that it slid around a bit within our duvet cover. The shell fabric also made a little noise when moving it around the bed and didn’t feel as soft as other options tested, but it cleaned up well with a wet cloth and a stain pen. It’s also machine washable. 

“I thought this one was a bit expensive; however, there were some things about it that made it about worth the value,” one tester said. “I think the quality of sewing was really nice, and the fabric felt durable.”

It is important to note that while the full/queen size is listed as 92 x 96 inches on the company site, we found it to be 91 x 85 inches. 

Product Details: Shell Material: Organic cotton | Fill: RDS-certified down | Care: Machine washable, cold water, gentle cycle | Sizes: Full/queen and king/California king

Alwyn Home All Season Goose Down Comforter

Wayfair


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Texture

    5/5

  • Durability

    4.8/5

  • Breathability

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Keep in Mind

  • The duvet insert is edged in gold satin piping, so it may not be the best choice for those who’d like to use it without a duvet cover for a clean, minimal look.

During testing, we found that the Alwyn Home All-Season Goose Down Comforter piled around us with its 600-fill power goose down, providing a cozy, all-season option. We found that its medium weight, paired with a moisture-wicking cotton shell, is the perfect in-between of soft and structured. 

The responsibly sourced down feathers are secured in quilted squares using a baffle-box construction that kept the feathers from poking us during testing. We did notice that some feathers did shift within the square pockets when we shook the duvet insert, however, so you may need to spend time making sure the distribution is even after washing. 

Even with the natural shifting of feathers, we found no restrictiveness while moving underneath the covers, so your sleep won’t be disrupted. We also noted that this duvet insert was easy to secure to a duvet cover with its corner loops and lay flat across the bed.

It’s worth noting that while the gold statin piping along the edges of this duvet insert adds a touch of glamor, minimalists looking for a plain white choice to use without a duvet cover may want to pass this option by. 

Product Details: Shell material: 100% cotton | Fill material: 600-fill power goose down | Care: Dry clean only | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king

Brooklinen Down Alternative Comforter

Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    4.9/5

  • Texture

    5/5

  • Durability

    5/5

  • Breathability

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why You Should Get It

  • It’s available in three different weights to suit your preference: lightweight, all-season, and ultra-warm.

The Brooklinen Down Alternative Comforter is the best duvet insert for shoppers looking for a down-alternative option, and you can choose from three different weights: lightweight, all-season, and ultra-warm. Instead of duck feathers falling downwards, we noticed the microfiber filling remained in one even, pillowy bunch when we shook the baffle box-style bedding. The baffle boxes are sewn completely shut to further keep the filling in place.

We found the cotton sateen shell as well as the seams soft to the touch, and it had the lightweight, fluffy quality of a traditional down comforter, though we did sometimes feel fabric to fabric when we pinched into it The duvet insert filled out our cover nicely, and it was easy to get it into place and attach the cover to its four corner loops.

Product Details: Shell Material: Cotton sateen | Fill Material: Recycled PET microfiber fill | Care: Spot clean recommended or dry clean if needed | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/California king

Target Casaluna Premium Down Comforter

Target


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    4.7/5

  • Texture

    4.8/5

  • Durability

    4.8/5

  • Breathability

    4.5/5

  • Value

    5/5

We recommend the Casaluna Premium Down Comforter as the best duvet insert for those who sleep cold or who are looking for a cozy comforter for blustery cold nights. This heavy-duty, oversized bedding has a 600-fill power duck down that made us feel like we were in a luxury hotel when we wrapped it around us.

We found the weight to be well-distributed throughout the plush pockets of fill. Its sewn-through construction keeps the duck down in place, yet its fluffy nature allows it to curve into your body as you nod off. In fact, this duvet is so poofy that our handprint remained visible for several seconds after pushing down into the bedding. 

The heavy quality of this duvet did make us feel a bit like we were under a weighted blanket, and it can be a little restricting as you’re trying to move around. We also observed it was slightly noisy when moving under it without a duvet cover on.

We couldn’t feel any protruding feathers or see any threatening to come loose within its shell during testing. We ran it through the washer and dryer, and though it took two dryer cycles to dry, the fill was uniformly distributed with minimal shift in feathers. 

Overall, this duvet insert exerts gentle pressure as it drapes around you, but maintains a sturdiness that’ll keep it in your bedding rotation for quite a while.

Product Details: Shell Material: Cotton | Fill Material: 75% white duck down, 25% white duck feather | Care: Machine wash, tumble dry | Sizes: Twin, full/queen, king

Amazon Egyptian Bedding Luxurious Queen Size Goose Down Feather Comforter

Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    4.7/5

  • Texture

    5/5

  • Durability

    4/5

  • Breathability

    4.5/5

  • Value

    5/5

It can be bulky and costly to have three to four inserts stashed away for every season. During testing, we found that the Egyptian Bedding Goose Down Feather Comforter delivers enough warmth to avoid cold feet in winter but is lightweight enough that it won’t cause overheating in summer either. Its shell is made out of 100% Egyptian cotton that we found buttery soft against our skin. 

The duvet insert has eight corner and side tabs that make it easy to secure onto a cover. It uses double-needle stitching to keep the down and feathers inside the baffle boxes, and we didn’t observe any poking or loss of feathers during testing. While the duvet insert made very little noise when we changed positions while lying under it, we did notice that the fill easily shifted, although it evened out in each pocket as we moved around. We also noted a very faint acrid scent. 

At a price point below the average of duvet inserts we tested, it’s the best duvet insert to serve you through each season.

Product Details: Shell Material: Egyptian cotton | Fill Material: 80% down fiber, 20% waterfowl feather fiber | Care: Not listed | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king, palatial king

White Noise All Season Cotton Down Alternative Comforter

Wayfair


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Texture

    4.5/5

  • Durability

    5/5

  • Breathability

    4/5

  • Value

    5/5

The best duvet insert for those who love classic cotton, the White Noise All-Season Cotton Comforter ticks all our boxes. Both its shell and fill are made out of 100% cotton. 

We recommend this duvet insert for sleepers who tend to run cold or who are looking for bedding for the winter season. While we didn’t find it suffocating, we did feel close to overheating underneath during testing. The fill has a medium thickness.

This duvet insert is machine washable, so you won’t have to spend any extra cash at the dry cleaners. We did need to run it through the dryer four times and fluff in between to take it back to its original shape after washing. While there were no tears in the post-wash test, we did find some loose threads, although they weren’t very noticeable, especially from afar. After running it through the washer and dryer, the fill didn’t get clumpy, and the fabric remained smooth.

Product Details: Shell Material: Cotton | Fill Material: Cotton | Care: Machine wash, tumble dry | Sizes: Twin, full/queen, king

Ettitude Bedding Comforter

Ettitude


Our Ratings

  • Quality

    4.3/5

  • Texture

    4.8/5

  • Durability

    5/5

  • Breathability

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

The Ettitude Bamboo Comforter is a thin, breathable duvet insert for those looking for a plant-based material. It uses a 100% sustainably sourced bamboo lyocell fiber shell, which has a silky-smooth feel with a cooling effect.

During testing, we found the low-loft design balanced out our body temperature to keep us comfortable. But because it’s not as lofty as other duvet inserts, it did take us a little more handiwork to fully lay out the duvet insert within a cover.

We also found that it shifted around slightly when we moved and that our duvet cover was a little underfilled due to this insert’s thinner design. However, even though we manipulated the duvet insert in different ways during testing, the fill remained completely even, creating a uniform feel and look.

Product Details: Shell Material: Bamboo lyocell | Fill Material: Bamboo lyocell | Care: Dry clean | Sizes: Twin, full/queen, king/California king

The Bottom Line

After five days of testing, the Buffy Breeze Comforter is our overall choice for the best duvet insert. We found it had the perfect balance of cozy and breathability. The fill maintained an even spread, even when we tossed and turned, and the duvet insert was quiet, with no crinkly sound disturbing our sleep. It’s a duvet insert that feels like a warm hug with a firm construction that’ll last you a long time.

Our Testing Process

To find the best duvet inserts, we put 28 duvet inserts and comforters through a series of rigorous tests in our testing lab in Des Moines, Iowa. We inspected the duvet inserts and comforters for visible defects and fill distribution, weighed and measured the bedding, and handled the inserts to experience their texture, scent, and sound.

To evaluate warming properties, we laid under the duvet inserts and comforters for five minutes to compare comfort, loft, airflow, and breathability. Then, we tossed and turned to observe how noisy the duvet insert is and how easy it is to maneuver underneath it. 

Next, we shook the duvet inserts 10 times from both the top and the sides and then laid them back on the bed to observe if the fill shifted at all. We also inserted the duvet inserts into a duvet cover to assess how well they fit and whether the insert’s filling shifted or clumped with movement or folding.

If duvet inserts were machine washable, we laundered and dried them according to the care instructions on the tag to see whether they’d shrink or become damaged or clumpy.

Finally, we assigned an individual score to each duvet insert and created a list of the best duvet inserts based on the overall performance in our tests, with consideration for shell material, fill, size options, and care instructions.

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson


What to Know About Duvet Inserts Before Shopping

Personal preference, including how cold or warm you like to sleep and how heavy you like your bedding to feel, is a big factor in finding the best duvet insert for you.

“The No. 1 thing I tell everybody is, ‘Don’t just have your opinion unless you sleep alone,’” says Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for The Better Sleep Council. “If you sleep with a partner, always shop with them for these types of things.”

To get a better feel for how characteristics may affect your sleep and comfort, consider these factors when shopping for duvet inserts.

Fill Material

Look first at the fill material. Soft and lofty down, made from the fluffy layer of feathers from a goose or duck’s undercoat, provides excellent insulation and breathability and feels lightweight. Found even in duvet inserts for hot sleepers, down is rated by fill power, which is a volume measurement that compares the size and quality of the fill clusters. The higher the number, which can range from about 300 to 900, the better the quality—meaning a warm insert that still feels lightweight. 

“I try to look for something that’s primarily down fiber rather than just feathers because if it’s just feathers, it’s going to have like a crunchy feel because of the quill of a feather,” says Jessica Mintz, principal designer, and owner of Jessica Mintz Interiors, an interior design firm based in Los Angeles. “So you want to look for something that is majority down-filled but could have some feathers in it as long as it’s not the majority.”

Look for down duvet inserts with sustainable down certifications, including the Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS) and the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), to be sure the down comes from a “responsible source that respects animal welfare and can be transparently traced,” according to NSF, an organization that certifies to both standards. 

Down alternative duvet inserts can be filled with either natural or synthetic materials, such as polyester microfiber, rayon, cotton, or polyester, that replicate the feel of down, usually with a lower price tag. Some fill is even made from recycled materials, such as water bottles. The Brooklinen Down Alternative Comforter, for example, is made from 100% cotton sateen shell and recycled PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) microfiber fill, but still provides that soft and lightweight effect of a feather-filled down duvet insert.

Down alternative is a better option if you have allergies, because they are hypoallergenic, or if you prefer to use products that aren’t made from animals. While they are usually easier to care for than down, non-down inserts aren’t always as long-lasting. Warmer down-alternative duvet inserts also tend to be heavier than comparable down inserts.

“I recommend down alternative for kids,” Mintz says. “If your kid spills, or they’re still in those potty-training years, the duvet insert can just go straight to the wash if it’s down alternative.”

Stitching

Whether a duvet insert is made of down or a down alternative, look at how it’s stitched.

“The second thing I look for is a box pattern,” Mintz says. “If it’s got a box pattern, then it’s going to have an even distribution of fill. If it’s just panels, that’s when you tend to see the fill settle down at one end or the other, and you’re constantly having to shake it out to make it more evenly distributed again.”

The Bedsure Down Alternative Comforter, for instance, has a box-stitch construction that fills the center of the insert; stitching around the perimeter helps the insert further hold its shape. It’s stitched with one larger ring of fabric and filling, and this allows the fill to remain intact even when you’re tossing and turning.

Weight

Down and down-alternative inserts are also offered in various light, medium, or heavy weights, depending on your climate, personal comfort, and season. In climates with all four seasons, some people own two duvet inserts—a lighter one for the warmer months and a heavier one for the cold winter months. 

We tested the Casaluna Premium Down Comforter and found that its heavy-duty nature is well-suited for cold winter months or for individuals with a preference to remain toasty through the night. The Alwyn Home All Season Goose Down Comforter, on the other hand, is a good in-between choice. We found that it’s not too thick but not too thin and therefore a more appropriate year-round choice.

Shell Material

The shell material is a duvet insert’s outer fabric. Cotton and polyester are the most common materials. Cotton is breathable and comfortable—look for a sateen finish for a very soft and luxurious drape, such as the Brooklinen Down Alternative Comforter or the Casaluna Premium Down Comforter.

Polyester is often more affordable and durable, like the Bedsure Duvet Insert which is made out of 300 GSM polyester. For a sustainable option, eucalyptus-derived Tencel lyocell—the shell material of our best overall pick, the Buffy Breeze Comforter—is breathable and wicks moisture well.

Some duvet inserts also carry certifications. Linens that are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified are made of 70% organic fibers. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certifies that products are tested free of over 100 harmful substances that are dangerous to humans and the environment.

“I like cotton because it won’t get too hot,” Mintz says. “I also look at [the] thread count of the shell, because if that’s soft, it’s going to make the whole thing feel soft.”

Care Instructions

If you always use a duvet cover with your insert, you do not need to wash your duvet insert very often because the cover will prevent dirt, oils, and sweat from your skin from soiling the insert. Using a top sheet also adds another layer of protection to keep your duvet insert cleaner and prolong its life span.

Before washing or drying a duvet insert, consult your duvet insert’s care tag for recommended laundering instructions. Some down and down-alternative duvet inserts may be washed and dried; others may require dry cleaning, such as the Ettitude Bamboo Comforter, to maintain the quality of the organic bamboo filling for as long as possible.

If your duvet insert becomes soiled, pretreat the stain right away with a product containing enzymes if it’s dried blood or chocolate, or a prewash stain remover for most other types of stains, and launder as soon as possible. If the duvet insert is dry-cleaned only, be sure to point out the stain when you drop it off so it can be treated appropriately.

For machine-washable down and down-alternative inserts, use a gentle- or delicate-cycle setting, a minimal amount of detergent or down-specific wash, and cold or lukewarm water. Duvet inserts need to be able to move around freely in the washer machine to be thoroughly cleaned, and most standard-size home machines aren’t large enough to accommodate full, queen, and king sizes. For best results, visit a local laundromat to use a large-capacity, front-loading washing machine.

It’s important to dry a duvet insert thoroughly before returning it to its duvet insert to avoid the formation of mildew. While testing the duvet inserts that were machine washable, we found that many of them required more than one dry cycle for it to return back to shape. The White Noise All-Season Cotton Comforter is a primary example of this, as it needed to be dried four times and fluffed in between to bring it to its original form during testing.

Run the dryer on a low-temperature setting for several cycles as needed. Between cycles, remove the duvet insert from the dryer, and reposition it so damp spots aren’t bunched up. Use several wool dryer balls to help speed up the process and to keep the duvet insert feeling fluffy.

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson


Other Duvet Inserts We Tested

Pottery Barn Hydrocool Moisture Wicking Down Alternative Duvet Insert

The Pottery Barn Hydrocool Moisture Wicking Down Alternative Duvet Insert is double-stitched, with sewn-through quilted boxes that maintain a consistent filling. It has a polyester fill that lays flat against the bed, and the fill didn’t shift when we shook the duvet insert. Ultimately though, it just doesn’t quite match its price point. For a duvet insert, we expect a well-constructed and high-quality piece. We found a missing seam near its tags where there should be a double-stitch to keep any filling from coming through. For that price, there’s simply better options for thin duvet inserts suited for the summer season.

The Company Store Company Conscious Down Alternative Comforter

The Company Store Conscious Down Alternative Comforter has a sewn-through box construction, with a polyester and Tencel Lyocell fill and a soft cotton and Tencel Lyocell shell. Where it falls short, though, is in its shell. It’s lightweight to the point where it seems low quality. There was a 1.5-inch gap at the seam where it should’ve been sewn shut, and we found some fill strands sticking out. It also took time and effort to dry after washing, and there were a few loose threads on the stitching. It’s simply not the best duvet insert out there at this price point.

West Elm HydroCool Cooling Down Alternative Duvet Insert

The West Elm HydroCool Cooling Down Alternative Duvet Insert is a plush, fluffy piece filled with polyester that we found more warming than others. It was easy to insert into a duvet cover. The 100% brushed organic cotton cover is more on the stiff side but not to a fault. However, its design may not be for everybody. Each sewn pocket is filled like mounds, where there was more filling in the center and less toward the edges. We could pinch into areas that were bare of any fill, particularly on the sides of each pocket. This also means that it can appear lumpy under a duvet cover, especially if the cover is on the thinner side. In the post-wash test, we found several pockets hadn’t held their fluff.

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson


Your Questions, Answered

What is the best duvet insert filling?

The best duvet insert filling for you depends on a few factors. Choose down if you prefer something fluffy and lightweight, like you’re sleeping in a cloud. During testing, we found high-quality, down-filled duvet inserts tend to be more lofty than down-alternative ones. If you’re not a fan of the feathers shifting around from time to time and you prefer something less poofy, a down alternative could be a better fit. The down alternative duvet inserts we tested included both thin and thickly filled options, and they gave just as much insulation as a down-filled comforter would, without the risk of feathers poking through.

What’s the difference between a duvet insert and a comforter?

Duvet inserts and comforters are both fluffy blankets filled with down or synthetic fibers that layer on top of your sheet set to add warmth. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are some key differences. Comforters are standalone products without any additional covers needed. You can find them in a variety of colors and decorative prints.

A duvet insert is usually white or neutral in color and is meant to be paired with a duvet cover that can be easily switched out and washed frequently. Think of it like a pillowcase for your bedding. Duvet inserts often have loops that attach to the duvet cover ties so the insert stays in place. 

“I like to look for a duvet insert that has loops, at least on the corners, but maybe on the centers of the sides as well,” Mintz says.” When I look for a duvet cover, I always look for one that has ties, because then the insert can be tethered to the cover so that it’s not getting lumpy in an area.”

A duvet cover prevents you from having to wash the insert as often and extends the life of your insert, but it requires an extra step of getting the insert into the cover. The “burrito method” makes this chore so much easier.

How often should you replace a duvet insert?

A duvet insert’s lifespan largely depends on its quality and fill material, and how much it’s used. Some companies say an investment in a high-quality down insert can last up to 25 years if cared for properly. 

In general, down tends to last longer than down alternatives. If your duvet insert lives on a guest bed that’s not slept in often, you might never need to replace it. If it receives more wear—especially if people or pets lie on top of it—you may wish to replace it more frequently. However, even with heavy use, a quality duvet insert should last many years, so long as you always use a duvet cover and launder it according to the care instructions.

“As long as you’re handling it properly, it’s not something you’re going to have to replace very often … maybe about as often as your mattress or longer,” Mintz says.

How often should you replace your mattress? The Better Sleep Council recommends about every seven years. That’s often when many people choose to replace foundational mattress accessories, such as mattress protectors and duvet inserts, Rogers says. 

In the meantime, keep an eye out for signs of wear, such as tears, snags, or stains that won’t come out. If a down insert looks thin in spots when you hold it up to a light source—the down has degraded and won’t be as warm as it used to be.

Should a duvet insert be the same size as a duvet cover?

In general, choose a duvet cover that correlates in size with your duvet insert. However, it’s a good practice to pay attention to the actual dimensions listed for both before purchasing. What constitutes a twin, full, queen, king, or California king size may vary by manufacturer by as many as several inches for both inserts and covers. An insert’s fullness also makes a difference.

“If it’s a lightweight, thinner insert, you may want to size up for your cover,” says Lauren Sullivan, interior designer and founder of Well x Design in Nashville. “I’ve found if they leave a lot of room in the duvet cover, they can look a bit lackluster.”

Mintz likes this hack for a fuller look. “If you wanted a really fluffy look, you can even put two inserts in a cover,” she says. 

For a more tailored look, choose a duvet cover that corresponds with your mattress size. For a more relaxed and luxurious look with plenty of covers to spare, size up. “I usually buy a queen-size insert and cover for a full bed, because I like having a little extra,” Mintz says.

Who We Are

This article was written by Maria V. Charbonneaux, a freelance writer who has written about home, DIY, lifestyle, and crafts topics for Better Homes & Gardens publications for over 15 years. For this story, she spent several hours researching important features to look for when shopping for the best duvet inserts and talked to home design experts like Jessica Mintz, principal designer and owner of Jessica Mintz Interiors in Los Angeles, and Lauren Sullivan, interior designer and founder of Well x Design in Nashville, Tennessee. She also spoke with Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for The Better Sleep Council. Multiple members of the Better Homes & Gardens staff participated during lab testing in Des Moines, Iowa.

This article was updated by Sarah Jamil, a freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens and an apprentice on Dotdash Meredith’s Research + Testing team. For this story, Sarah was able to get hands on with these duvet inserts in our Des Moines lab. She is a sleeper who runs cold, so she prefers thick and heavy duvet inserts that’ll stop any cool air from touching her skin.



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