How to Choose Duvet Covers & Sets

The quality of your duvet cover has a big impact on the quality and comfort of your sleep. Not only do covers protect your duvet from collecting dust, mites, and debris, they also add an extra layer of warmth on your bed, and offer a versatile, flexible way to style your bedroom or guest room.

To help you choose the right duvet cover & set for your bedroom, we have created a comprehensive guide with expert tips on selecting the right material, thread count and style of duvet cover so you can enjoy a better night's rest.

What Different Styles of Duvet Covers & Sets Are Available?

  • Single Piece

A single piece consists solely of a duvet cover, which gives you the advantage of being able to mix and match your bed linens to suit your style. This is ideal for Scandi, boho, or eclectic style bedrooms that benefit from using mismatched textures, patterns, and colors to create a dynamic bedscape.

  • Reversible

Reversible duvet covers offer 2 styles for the price of 1 and allow you to change the look of your bedroom in seconds. Often, reversible covers feature a print on one side and a solid color in a complementary shade on the opposite side. You can also find duvet covers with different textural features, which can add visual interest to your bedroom.

  • Duvet Set

A duvet set includes the duvet cover and matching pillowcases. Using a duvet set can give your bed a more tailored look that is well-suited to modern and contemporary homes.

  • Bed-in-a-Bag

A bed-in-a-bag consists of all the items needed to create a well-styled bedscape, including a duvet cover, pillowcases, shams, and flat and fitted sheets. Some bed-in-a-bag sets also include the duvet insert, a dust ruffle, and accent pillows

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Which Duvet Closure Should I Choose?

  • Envelope

Envelope-style duvet covers feature an internal pocket at the open end of the cover that securely holds the duvet inside. They are typically shorter than other styles of cover as they need to fit the duvet snuggly.

Poorly fitted envelope-style covers are prone to opening as you move during the night, which can cause the duvet to come out of the cover. You can remedy this by choosing a cover that closely matches the dimensions of your duvet and ironing the internal pockets flat before making the bed.

  • Zippered 

Zippered covers feature a zipper at the open end that encloses the duvet inside the cover. Often, the cover features a short flap that folds over to hide the zipper for a cleaner look.

The drawback to zippered covers is that they can occasionally catch and tear your duvet, but you can minimize any damage by closing zippers slowly.

  • Button

Button closures come in both internal and external styles. External buttons are typically larger and more elaborate, functioning as both a closure and a style accent for the cover. Internal buttons are hidden inside an interior fold in the cover and are usually small and plain. They are not visible, creating a sleeker appearance.

What is the Best Material for a Duvet Cover?

The material you choose for your duvet cover impacts the comfort and style of the piece. When selecting a duvet cover material, consider the climate, your preferred sleep temperature, and your skin sensitivity. You should also consider lifestyle factors, including ease-of-maintenance and the durability of the fabric. Some of the most popular types of fabric used for duvet covers & sets include:

  • Cotton

Cotton is one of the most common materials used for duvet covers & sets due to its softness, durability, and breathability.This highly versatile fabric is easily dyed to create a vast range of colors to match your style and color palette. It is also low maintenance making it suitable for people who like to change their duvet cover regularly.

When shopping for cotton duvet covers & sets, look for fabrics made from long-staple cotton varieties such as Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton. Long-staple cotton types produce a soft, silky fabric that has better durability than shorter cotton fibers and resists fraying and tearing.

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  • Flannel

For added coziness during the colder months, choose a duvet cover & set made from flannel or brushed cotton. Brushing the cotton fibers creates delicate pilling that not only feels softer than standard cotton but also holds warmth more efficiently, making flannel duvet covers ideal for winter.

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  • Bamboo

For an eco-friendly option for your bedroom, bamboo duvet covers are a perfect choice. The bamboo fibers are sustainably grown and processed to be incredibly soft, lightweight, and breathable, making the fabric an excellent choice for warm summer weather.

However, they require gentle washing and ironing as the material wrinkles easily. Like linen, the wrinkled texture of bamboo duvet cover fabric gives your bedroom a laid-back casual appearance.

  • Polycotton

Polycotton is a cotton-polyester blend that combines the hardwearing qualities of synthetic polyester with the softness of cotton. It is one of the most affordable types of fabric for duvet covers, but it is prone to pilling and is not as breathable as many other types of fabric and can trap heat and moisture.

  • Linen

Linen fabric is woven from natural flax fiber and has antimicrobial properties making it a suitable hypoallergenic material. The weave of linen makes it highly breathable and suitable for warm sleepers.

While it can feel slightly rough, to begin with, linen softens gradually with each wash, but it tends to wrinkle easily, giving your bedroom a more casual appearance.

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  • Microfiber

Microfiber polyester is an inexpensive and highly durable alternative to cotton. It is made up of superfine thread that is densely woven to give a soft and smooth fabric. This special technology makes the fabric fade and wrinkle resistant, which ensures that your bedroom always appears well-styled.

However, the synthetic material may not be the right choice for people with sensitive skin as the tightly woven fibers are not as breathable as cotton, making it difficult to regulate body temperature.

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Which Thread Count is Best?

Thread count refers to the number of strands of yarn that can fit into a square inch of fabric. Most textile experts agree that anything between 200-800 threads offers a soft and comfortable sleeping experience with 800 threads feeling softer than 200 threads.

Anything over 800 threads will not feel noticeably softer, and super-high thread-count covers over 1,000 threads tend to decrease in quality. This is because, to fit the increased amount of threads per square inch, weavers must use multi-ply yarn, which is coarser than single-ply thread.

Is a Percale or Sateen Weave Duvet Cover Better?

While thread count does play an essential role in the softness, warmth, and comfort of your bedding, the key to choosing a duvet cover & set is to select the right weave. Two common weaves offer different levels of comfort: percale and sateen.

Percale covers have an equal amount of warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads that alternate evenly in the weave. This creates a crisp, taut cover that is ideal for people who naturally feel warm when sleeping, or for cooler weather. Percale also results in a matte finish, which gives your bedroom a clean, modern look.

Sateen weave covers fit more vertical threads per square inch of fabric by weaving a single warp thread across 4 weft threads. This style of the weave creates a softer and smoother feeling cover that offers more warmth. Sateen weave produces a fabric with a slightly glossy appearance to add visual depth to your room and give your space a feeling of elegance and luxury.

How Do I Choose the Right Size Duvet Cover & Set?

Choosing the right sized duvet cover & set is more than just matching the dimensions to your duvet filler. A cover that is too big for the duvet can cause the filler to shift and bunch during the night resulting in uneven coverage and tangling. However, a cover that is too small gives the bed a lumpy appearance. There are 6 standard duvet sizes:

  • Twin - 68" x 86"
  • Twin XL - 68" x 90"
  • Full/ double - up to 86" x 86"
  • Queen - 90" x 90"
  • King - 104" - 92"
  • California King - 104" x 92"

The right size cover depends on whether you prefer a snugger fit for a plusher looking duvet or a standard fit for a smoother bedscape. Most designers suggest purchasing a duvet cover that is around 2" shorter than your duvet filler on all sides to create a fuller appearance. However, if you find that your duvet bunches to one side or looks lumpy, a cover that fits the exact dimensions of your duvet can give you a cleaner look.

Quick Tips

  • Depending on whether you need to update your bedscape, or need a protective cover for your duvet, you can choose between a single piece duvet cover, a matching duvet and pillow set, and a bed-in-a-bag.
  • The closure of the duvet cover ensures that the filler stays secure throughout the night. Some types of closure, such as external buttons can add a subtle style detail to your room.
  • The fabric you choose for your duvet cover has a significant impact on your sleep comfort. Natural fabrics such as linen, bamboo, and cotton offer better breathability and temperature control. Synthetic fabrics, such as microfiber and polycotton, have better durability.
  • A thread count between 200-800 thread per square inch gives you a soft, comfortable cover.
  • In addition to looking at thread count, you also need to choose the best weave. Percale weave gives you a crisper fabric with a matte finish, while sateen weave is softer with a silky, slightly glossy finish.
  • To find the best size duvet cover, select one that is up to 2" shorter on each side than the dimensions of your filler to give your duvet a fuller appearance.

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