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A Tale of Duvets, Comforters, and One Unforgettable Vacation

Let me tell you a tale of one lady’s journey to conquer the wild world of bedding and comfort. A tale that finally answers the age-old question, “what’s the difference between a duvet and a comforter?” A tale we never thought we could share…Until now.

You’ve had this week circled on your calendar for months. The days have felt longer than you ever thought possible, but it’s finally here: April has arrived, and with it, your trip down to the condo in Florida. With a grin so wide that it almost stretches past your ears, you’re finally ready to shake off the frost and take a dive into the Atlantic. Nothing will stop you from lounging on the beach as the ocean swallows the last embers of that rich Florida sun…

Sun Setting Over Water

Wait a second. Suddenly, you remember. You didn’t pack your duvet. You didn’t pack that fluffy ticket that lets you drift off into paradise every single night. Trembling and afraid, you throw your hands into the air. How can you possibly go on vacation without your duvet? You know that the air conditioning makes it pretty much impossible to be comfy without one, and what is a vacation without comfort? The entire trip is ruined!

Red Robot Holding Broken White Heart

“I guess I can just pick one up while I’m there”, you think to yourself. Phew! Crisis averted. The vacay is still a-okay. “How hard could it be to pick up a cheap duvet in the States?” you wonder.

And that’s when the true horror begins.

You arrive in Florida. The drive seemed to last seven years, but maybe that’s because you spent every other minute glancing at the clock out of anticipation. Regardless, now you’re here, and the traffic jams and awful drivers are just a distant memory. Your kingdom awaits. But first – new duvet.

You drive to the nearest store without much of a plan. This is buying a duvet, after all, not rocket science. You locate the bedding section, search for a “duvet” annnnnd…Hmm. You find what could almost pass as a very large pillow case. “This is just the duvet cover”, you ponder. “Where’s the rest of the duvet?” You’re concerned, but confident. The bedding section is vast. You’ll find your coveted duvet.

And then, as if light beamed down from the sky like a beacon of hope, you see it – the perfect duvet, laying there across the room on display. You gallop to its side and smush it in your arms. It’s just as you suspected: love at first squeeze. While there’s no price that could come between you and your love, you still decide to be financially responsible and check the price first.

“Luxury White Goose Down Comforter - $271.99”

You read it again. And again. You blink repeatedly, thinking maybe that’ll change what’s in front of your eyes. “A Goose Down Comforter? I just wanted a duvet, and now you’re telling me that this fluffy marshmellow is actually a comforter? What’s the difference? Do people go to duvet college to figure all of this out? IS BUYING A DUVET ACTUALLY ROCKET SCIENCE?” Your mind races a mile a minute. Cold sweat drips from your brow. You’re confused and afraid of the unknown. Who can save you now!?

“Never fear, the duvet hero is here!”

Boy in Cape with Fist Raised

Triumphant and majestic, the mighty duvet hero flies to you in your greatest time of need. Armed with all the duvet knowledge you could ever need, he begins to unravel the mystery before you.

“You see, ma’am, this is a common area of confusion. In the United States, most people refer to “duvets” as “comforters” or “quilts”. It is quite the conundrum. The origin of the duvet is a little muddled, but many believe that the first duvet sold was in England, back in the 1600s by a man named “Paul Rycaut”. He believed in using a duck down or goose down fill, and to ensure the fill remained consistent throughout his product, he used box construction.” The duvet hero gripped onto the duvet (or was it a comforter?) in front of me.

“This, here, is slightly different. The term “comforter” is usually associated with a synthetic product that may or may not use box construction.  For some reason, even when you find a down filled duvet in the United States, it’s still referred to as a “comforter”. Why do the Americans use this term interchangeably? We may never know. But what I can tell you is that you’re better off asking for a comforter in the States, and a duvet in Canada. Oh, and don’t even think about asking for a duvet when shopping in the south…They’ll think you’re talking about a duvet cover. Try and figure that one out.” Leaping into the air, the duvet hero was airborne once more.

“I am afraid that’s all the time I have today. Millions of people still aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, so I must rescue them from the throws of discomfort. Stay sleepy!” And with a huff, he was gone. I stood idle for a moment, trying to wrap my head around what had just happened. I looked back at the comforter, and at the “duvets” that were just duvet covers, and only one thought ran through my mind:

“I can’t wait to go back to Canada.”


Best website for being honest and informative about their product- I love my duvet/comforter-best buy for my money.

May Neisler

This is so well written and full of puns, yet informative! Love it, thanks

T. Alam

I’m glad to finally learn that there really is no difference between a duvet and a comforter. My grandmother always used the term duvet, but I didn’t know Canadians did as well. Good to know!

Sharon S.

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