Comforters in different colors

What Is a Comforter?: Everything You Need to Know

A roaring success since their introduction in the 20th century, comforters are used by 58.3% of Americans today. Inaccurately called duvets in some countries, they were discovered to be in use in Sweden around the mid 20th century and were sold soon after in Britain and the rest of the world.  

One of the warmest top covers available, comforters can often be confused with other bedding essentials or accessories. In this guide, we take you through what they are made of, the different sizes available, and the difference between a comforter and a duvet. 

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What is a Comforter? 

A comforter is two pieces of fabric sewn together to form a pouch that is stuffed with soft filling like wool, cotton, silk, or polyester. It is a quilted blanket and is fluffier than a duvet. Duvets are traditionally filled with down or down alternatives, whereas comforters come with different filling options, which we will explore below. 

You can notice the difference between most blankets by the number of layers. A comforter, with at least three layers, is heavier than a blanket which is generally a single layer of fabric. This makes them warmer than blankets but also a tough one to carry on trips or picnics. 

A white comforter on a bed with pillows

Comforter Size Chart 

You can find comforters for almost all bed sizes including king, queen, full, or twin. However, sizes are not standardized and it’s cause for concern.

Unlike mattress sizes that are standardized, comforters can differ greatly in size from one manufacturer to another. This can add to the overall confusion and lead to unwanted and frustrating trips to the store, online or offline. 

This size chart below shows you a range of comforter sizes you can get for each bed size. 

SizeWidth (inches)Length (inches)
Crib28 to 36 48 to 52
Twin66 to 6886 to 88
Twin Xl6890
Full81 to 8486 to 88
Queen86 to 8896 to 100
King102 86 to 88
California King107 to 11096 to 98
A Comforter and pillows on a bed in master bedroom with a beautiful interior

Comforter Fillers 

The filling of a comforter is usually made of cotton, wool, polyester, down, or a down alternative. The fillers act as an insulating material, their primary purpose being to keep you warm. They are usually quilted to keep the stuffing evenly distributed and the stitch prevents the filling from clumping together. 

A cotton-filling comforter is the ultimate lightweight option for summers and warmer weather. Cotton is soft, breathable, highly absorbent, and hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t irritate the skin. It’s a perfect all-around option, fluffy but not as much as wool, down, or synthetic counterparts, and is 100% vegan.

Cotton Filling of a Comforter

A down-filling comforter is among the higher-end of your possible options. Down is fluffier and lighter than wool but provides similar warmth. Down filling is a natural product derived from white goose feathers; it cannot be machine washed and must instead be dry cleaned making it expensive to maintain.

Filling of a Down Comforter

A wool filling comforter offers unmatched warmth and has the added benefit of being naturally moisture-wicking. Derived from sheep, wool is thicker and heavier than other fillers and is a great choice for cold climates or for those who prefer maximum insulation. 

A silk-filling comforter boasts of luxury and opulence. Mulberry silk keeps you warm, is highly breathable, and has antibacterial properties, which makes it a top-tier choice for a top cover.

Pros and Cons of a Comforter 

Pros

  • Plenty of patterns and style options 
  • You don’t have to wash them as often as blankets
  • One of the warmest options available as a top cover

Cons 

  • Some aren’t machine washable
  • They usually flatten over time
  • Some have to be dry-cleaned, especially down-filled 

How Do You Choose the Right Comforter for you?

Here are some factors you should consider:

Stuffing Material and Local Weather

Lighter fillings like cotton or silk are ideal for summers, while heavier fillings like wool or down comforters work better for winters. You should consider the weather in your city and the average temperature before you choose the material you would like to buy. 

The fill power, thickness, weight, and stuffing material altogether determine the warmth of the comforter. The higher the fill power, the greater the insulation. If you live in a particularly cold region, you may choose comforters with high fill powers. 

Thread Count 

The number of threads per square inch determines the thread count of the blanket. The higher the thread count, the softer the fabric. An ideal thread count is between 300-500. Check the label or the product description to find out the thread count of the product you are looking at.

Size 

You can measure your bed to know the exact size you need. A comforter should measure 12 to 15 inches longer than your bed size. Remember that the sizes vary and to look at the label before making the final choice. 

A woman hand setting up the comforter on a bed

What is the difference between a Duvet and a Comforter?

A comforter is a single piece of bedding whereas a duvet has a cover inside which it is slid. Duvets are easier to clean because you only wash the duvet cover instead of the whole set. The cover also protects the duvet for greater product longevity. 

Duvets often have clean and simple designs while a comforter can be more vibrant. A key difference that would make people choose duvets would be the fact that duvets do not hang from the side of the beds due to the specific size of the cover. 

Summing It Up 

Even though comforters and duvets are often confused with each other, they are slightly different and these differences can affect how well you sleep at night. Both are great options for cold weather and can be found in multiple sizes and fillings. 

FAQs

Are down comforters and duvet the same?

A down comforter is made from a single piece of bedding with a down (goose feather) filling, but a duvet is made up of a blanket and a removable sleeve. They may look alike but they aren’t the same. 

What is a comforter set?

It is decorative and comes with coordinating pieces like decorative pillows, bedsheets, bed skirt and matching curtains. Buying a set makes it easy to style your room.

What is the difference between comforter vs blanket?

A comforter is quilted, made up of two outer layers of fabric and pockets of evenly distributed insulating fillings, while a blanket is made up of a single layer. A blanket’s use can be more versatile, such as using it outdoors.

What is better; a duvet or a comforter?

It depends on what you’re looking for. Both provide warmth and are ideal for the bedroom. However, It is much easier to clean and maintain a duvet. While duvets come with ducks and geese down filling they also be found with an alternative fill or a synthetic fill.

Why is it called a down comforter?

These types are filled with down feathers that come from beneath the goose or bird feathers. A down option can also be found with synthetic materials that mimic down 

What is a good thread count for a comforter?

The ideal thread count is between 300 – 500 threads.

What size is a twin comforter?

They can range from 66 to 68 inches in width and 86 to 88 inches in length.

What size is a queen comforter?

Down comforter queens can range from 86 to 88 inches in width and 96 to 100 inches in length.

What size is a full comforter?

It can range from 81 to 84 inches in width and 86 to 88 inches in length.