What to Use Inside a Duvet Cover

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couple in duvet cover

A duvet cover is a practical bedding piece that functions like a pillowcase, with insert options ranging from comforters designed for this specific purpose to nothing at all. Use a duvet cover to extend the life of a worn-out blanket, quilt, or comforter, or keep things fresh and lofty by choosing a brand new insert that perfectly suits your preferences. Explore our guide and find the best option for how to fill a duvet cover to satisfy your sleeping style and the season.

Fill Your Cover With a Duvet Insert or Comforter

white duvet cover

Our favorite approach to filling a duvet cover is to use it as intended: as a decorative and protective item that functions as one element of an overall bedding ensemble. A duvet insert and comforter are effectively identical bedding pieces—soft, often cotton shells filled with lofty down or down alternative—that are ideal for use within a duvet cover. Our inserts and solid comforters feature practical corner loops that coordinate with ties on the cover to hold them in place. Choose a duvet insert in a weight that suits your sleeping preferences and the climate in which you live, and follow these tips for finding the right product:

  • For the best fit, coordinate the size of your duvet insert with the size of your cover—a Twin comforter with a Twin cover, a King duvet insert with a King duvet cover—or opt for an oversized insert for an extra-lofty look.
  • Consider the color of your duvet cover when choosing a comforter or insert: most duvet inserts are plain white, so they’re versatile enough to be used with covers in even the lightest hues, but bold color or pattern comforters may need to be paired with darker duvet covers in order to not show through.
  • If you and your partner prefer different sleeping temperatures, a dual duvet insert features different weights on either half for customized comfort for each of you.

Can You Use a Quilt or Blanket Inside a Duvet Cover?

duvet cover on bed

Yes, you can use a quilt or blanket as a lighter alternative to a standard duvet insert, but you may encounter slipping or bunching: because quilts or blankets are not intended for this use, they don’t come with the convenient corner loops that hold them in place. Still, a duvet cover with corner ties is easy to attach for a slip-free fit. Simply wrap the cover’s ties around the corner of your chosen blanket or quilt and knot tightly to hold it in place before using your preferred method to finish putting on the duvet cover. For best results, choose a blanket or quilt in the same size as your duvet cover.

Layer an Empty Duvet Cover for Decoration or Comfort

While we recommend pairing your duvet cover with a down or down alternative insert for optimal comfort, you can also use the bedding piece alone. An empty duvet cover folded at the foot of the bed is a fitting finishing touch for a layered look. Consider a textured fabric like linen or flannel to add dimension to your bedding design, or opt for a bold pattern to bring balance to solid pieces or subdued prints underneath. Or, use a crisp cotton percale duvet cover by itself as an ultra-light top layer in warm weather (just add an insert to transition the piece from summer to winter).

layer empty duvet cover

When it comes to what goes in a duvet cover, the choice is yours—an insert or comforter in just the right weight, an heirloom blanket or quilt with sentimental value, or even nothing at all. Consider your sleeping preferences and the season to choose the right option for you, then pair your insert with the perfect cover to create a look you love. For more bedding ideas and advice, explore our Inspiration Guide.