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I need Duvet 101.

IdaClaire
10 years ago

First of all, thanks to those who answered my question about whether or not a duvet would work on a twin daybed. I'm actively seeking just the right one, and haven't come across it yet.

More pressing is the need for new bedding for our master (king-sized) bed. With cats, it just doesn't make sense to buy another comforter that has to be dry-cleaned. (Just last night I discovered yet another dried, horked-up furball stuck to the comforter. That's disgusting, I know. I'm thinking that it makes sense to invest in a duvet and cover, so that we could just remove the cover and throw it in the wash on a regular basis.

So ... what should I know when shopping for a duvet insert and cover? Are certain brands better than others? I've been drawn to Pottery Barn, Ralph Lauren and the like (perusing new items on eBay.) Anything in particular to bear in mind while searching?

Comments (27)

  • movinginva
    10 years ago

    I own several duvets, and the ones I like the best are the ones with the little ties on the inside corners that help keep the comforter in place. I guess if you are handy with a sewing machine you can always sew in some ties. Without the ties, the comforter can sometimes clump in one section of the duvet, and in the past I have stood there desperately trying to shake it back in place - very frustrating. I can only imagine it would be even more frustrating with a king sized comforter - mine is a queen. For me, having the comforter stay in place inside the duvet eliminates a ton of aggravation. Duvet ties are just one of those little things that make life a bit simpler.

  • lukkiirish
    10 years ago

    I bought a Pottery Barn duvet last summer for our master bed and it is the best duvet we've ever had. The material is a nice quality cotton that's soft to the touch, the sizing fit our comforter perfect, it washes well no fading so far or shrinkage and the workmanship in the stitching is strong and straight. We paid 99.00 for ours and I feel like it was a bargain when comparing it to other bedding we've had. It's definitely one of my favorite things.

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  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks! I would not have known to look for duvets with ties, so thank you, movinginva, for mentioning that! I can just picture my DH frustratedly trying to shake the insert back into place, and it's not a pretty picture - so I do think the ties are a must. (I don't even own a sewing machine, so will look for one that's ready-made that way.)

    Lukkiirish, the PB duvets really do look to be of higher than average quality. Even in the eBay listings I'm seeing, I can tell that PB uses very nice fabrics. I've put together a list of possibilities, and DH has surprised me by saying he likes a couple of PB florals! :-)

  • denali2007
    10 years ago

    About the only thing I like from Pottery Barn is there Duvet covers.Mine is an organic one and tends to get a lot of wrinkles. I think they are fairly reasonable compared to others.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    10 years ago

    I have a PB duvet w/ties and it is still a pain to keep everything lined up. Why make it so hard on yourself?
    Putting it on and off isn't super easy.
    I would get a quilt instead.

  • sprout26
    10 years ago

    Is there an IKEA near you? they have reasonably priced duvets there. One thing I found, when I was single I had a down duvet. Nice and toasty. TOO toasty for two people to share, we had to get a lighter-weight duvet made out of synthetic material. Also, if you feel at all handy, you can sew your own cover from two top sheets stitched together. I like how easy it is to change covers and can have different looks without as much investment. Have fun choosing.

    Lisa

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Bumblebeez, DH doesn't seem to want a quilt. (I know, I know - a DH with an opinion? Wha'??? ;-)) Too, a king quilt doesn't fit easily into our washer/dryer (we've attempted this with a king quilt we have and it hasn't worked well) and because of the cats we really do need something that we can clean with minimal fuss.

    As for style, please tell me which of the choices below you think would go best in my bedroom. I don't have a picture of the bed - but it's up against one of the paneled walls (still don't have a headboard)), so the wall itself acts as a makeshift headboard for now. These photos should give you a sense of the overall style of my room though. It's warm and cozy and I want to keep the overall country/cabin feel it has now. It's an attic conversion, so has lots of little nooks and crannies. Window treatments are as you see in the second pic - ivory panels combined with a little lace.



    In the last pic, you can see a bit of our current comforter.

    I'm leaning strongly towards this PV duvet:

    It also comes in red, but we've had red for several years now, and I'm thinking the blue background in the other might be nice for a change.

    Here's the third that we're considering. It lacks the "cute factor" of the floral and may be a bit washed-out looking.
    {{!gwi}}

  • dawnp
    10 years ago

    The blue one is pretty and while the red one is nice, it would be nice for you to have a change.

    I also think the blue will work well in your room.

    You're right, the striped one lacks the cute factor. Besides, it's more of the red.

  • amysrq
    10 years ago

    "horked-up"

    Why does that make me miss Mari? :-)

  • tinam61
    10 years ago

    I love duvets and don't have a problem with them at all. We don't use one to cover with but I love a duvet folded at the bottom of the bed with my matalesse coverlets. I have used an Eddie Bauer blue floral very similar to the one you have shown in my guest bedroom. I love coverlets also - have gotten away from comforters.

    tina

    oh yes - the ties and there are also clips you can buy to hold the "insides" in place.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks, Dawnp! I am **this close** to going ahead and ordering the blue one.

    Now here's where I show my *cough, sputter* true genius: The duvet cover is 108 x 92. Would an insert that is 102 x 90 work, or would the loft of the insert make closing the duvet difficult on the end where there's only 2" to spare? How does one know these things? ;-)

  • amysrq
    10 years ago

    Okay, now you want some actual advice?

    I am a duvet junkie. (There, I said it!) I like to collect them, it seems. And the thing that irks me is that everyone's idea of what size they should be differs. I have a down duvet (the guts) that is 86 x 86 and an RH cover that is 88 x 92 or some such size. So, I have little limp ends. I could alter the thing, make it smaller and have it right (in my copious amounts of free time) but I haven;t done that yet.

    Pottery Barn's duvet covers are 88 x 92. Garnet Hill has lovely covers and they all seem to run 86 x 86. The Company Store's duvets are 92 x 98. What I am trying to say is that there is no standard size unless you stay brand-loyal, guts and cover.

    I also want to point out that unless you catch the horks in time, things soak through to the duvet itself and then the whole darn thing goes into the wash. (Ask me how I know....) So, it may or may not be a solution. But it sure beats dry cleaning!

  • Olychick
    10 years ago

    I've had lots of duvet covers...the one I loved most when I got it was a beautiful, washable cotton Ralph Lauren. The background was mostly black with a large flower print - the fabric was a roughish weave - kind of like a heavy linen. But after a few washings, it looked faded and tired, even washing in cold, etc. Plus cat hair really stuck to it. My favorite to date is a more polished cotton (sateen, but not shiny) fine weave print that I got from Garnet Hill. The cat hair doesn't stick to it and after dozens of washings it looks like new. Mine is older, so not this color, but is this line. I really love it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Garnet Hill Duvet cover

  • trailrunner
    10 years ago

    I'm sorry but when I looked at the pics of your attic conversion I completely lost my train of thought. What in the world do you care what the duvet looks like when you have the MOST charming master bedroom I have EVER seen. I remember when you were doing the chair thing and the footstool thing...I do not remember seeing it all completed. WOW...actually wow...it is one of the most perfect spaces i have ever seen. You wanna trade ? c

  • leahcate
    10 years ago

    I love that cozy knotty pine room too;>)
    Okay a bad thought: If your washer and dryer are not up to the size of a king sized down comforter,( I always thought the name duvet referred to the cover?)you may want to re-think this. I wash/dry ours in large capacity machines, which works well, but maybe not if my machines were smaller. Never done it, but think cleaners are $$$? What is on the king bed now, that you are able to launder at home...a light weight spread with blanket at bottom? I wanted to suggest getting a plain down comforter and laying a pretty PB,or other, king coverlet over it. The coverlets are of a thicker material than a duvet cover, usually. Also, obviously, lots easier to put on and take off. But that still leaves the down comforter to be occasionally laundered or dry cleaned. Coverlets don't usually come with shams, either, if you care about that.

  • gillianma
    10 years ago

    I love your bedroom and I vote for the red flowered duvet cover. FWIW. I like plain ivory bedding and duvet covers myself, but I love that cover.:)

    I have to wonder why I haven't seen *tog* mentioned yet. Is this just a UK measurement? It means the insulation value of the duvet. Depending on where you live and the season(s) you want to use the duvet -- you may want to look into this. Duvets come in several different *togs.*

    I have a very lightweight duvet for the spring/fall that attaches (with snaps) to a heavier weight one for the depths of winter. They are designed to go together and both fit into my duvet covers. I've never had much of a problem with the duvet shifting inside the cover with or without ties. Just grab two corners and shake vigorously as you make the bed.

    This may be a very European thing, but I use my duvet and (always 100% cotton) duvet cover without a top sheet. This is the usual practice in Europe. Honestly! It allows the duvet to settle around you, keeps you warm in winter, and makes the bed a snap to make. Just shake the duvet and smooth. Add a throw if you must be decorative.

    I wash the duvet covers as frequently as I do the sheets and pillowcases. I also wash the duvet itself about once a month. I have one in the guest bedroom that is 18 years old and still going strong after frequent washing. I think I bought it at Macy's but I wonder whether they have that quality today!

  • joyce_6333
    10 years ago

    I routinely use two duvet covers. One for every day that I got on Overstock for $30, and the really nice one that goes with the coordinated bedding for the bed. The cheap one gets washed frequently, and the good one I only use during special occasions. And then I actually just use it more like a bedspread and lay it over the other one. Yeah, I know, sounds lazy. But it works for me.

  • Bethpen
    10 years ago

    I love the blue one AJ!

    I used to work at PB and love the duvets. One thing I always thought was sneaky was they use two duvets inside the cover in the store.

    Beth p

  • forhgtv
    10 years ago

    Just to emphasize what Olychick said, a cover that has a tight smooth weave will be shed pet hair better than one with a looser or rougher weave. I have several duvet covers from Ralph Lauren and Pottery Barn. In general, I find the smooth ones from Lauren hold up the best to washing. None of the ones I've purchased have had ties in the corner, but neither does the duvet insert I have.

  • jlt37869
    10 years ago

    auntjen - in general, for a good, snug fit the opening of the cover should be the same as (or slightly smaller than) the duvet. Factor in the style of the cover (flange?) and the type/quality of material of the cover as well as the fill level of the duvet. I use a measuring tape because you can't always trust the product label and you definitely can't go by full, queen, king labels. For example, I have a king duvet (from one manufacturer) in a queen cover (by another) and the fit is perfect. I never bother with the ties and I've never had a duvet shift. If it doesn't fit, return it (or alter it). Nice room!!!

    joyce_6333 - no, you don't sound lazy. However, I am curious about those "special occasions" that would bring out the good duvet. ;)

  • Oakley
    10 years ago

    I can't help you with the Duvet question, but "hee hee hee" on you finding a furball. I only have two cats, and I hate crawling into bed to find a "greeting" for me, then having to put clean linen on before I can go to sleep!

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thank you all so much for the "education" and for your kind words about my room! Half of the attic was converted in 1948 for the teenage boy who lived in the house at the time, and it hasn't changed much at all since young Charlie made it his. His sister, now in her late 60s or early 70s, recently told me a story about being sequestered in the little nook area where I now have my desk when she had the mumps. She would lie there in the bed and the neighbor girls would gather outside below the window and chat with her to keep her from feeling lonely. (I love the old stories from the folks who lived in my house "way back when!")

    I really have learned a lot about duvets since starting this thread! I'm going to research "tog" as mentioned and see what that's all about. When I was in England last month, I slept under a lovely white duvet - without a top sheet, as mentioned above - and it was perfectly comfortable. At first it felt a bit unusual not having the top sheet, because that's what I'm used to at home, but I quickly adapted and really loved how easy it was to make the bed without it!

    Leahcate, you asked what is presently on the bed that we have laundered at home, and that would be the quilt that we've recently replaced with a blanket. It was really a mistake for us to even attempt to put that big ol' thick quilt in the machine though. I am interested to see how a duvet cover will fit in there. I'm sure it will make for a very full load as well. :-/

    I believe the duvet cover I'm considering (the blue one) is sort of a polished cotton, which as olychick mentions, would probably work well for helping keep cat fur "stickiness" to a minimum. I found a corduroy patchwork duvet on eBay that I really liked, but nixed that idea when I envisioned hair stuck to all the little fabric squares.

    And Oakley - are you snickering at me? ;-) Is it TMI if I also tell you that the dried hork was discovered just as a romantic overture was getting underway? Nothing spoils a mood quite like an animal excretion on the cover next to you ...

  • luckygal
    10 years ago

    Duvet 101 according to me! ;-D

    The *duvet* (or continental quilt) is the "guts" or the quilt-like thing that fits in the *duvet cover* which is the pillowcase-like thing that the duvet fits into. Covers can close with zippers or snaps altho I think some in Europe closed with flaps or ties. I've had the ones with snaps altho zippers may be easier.

    The duvet and cover should be the same size so the duvet fits and won't shift so best to buy same brand. I've never used clips or ties inside the duvet cover to hold the duvet in place - the duvets and covers I bought in Europe didn't have them and neither did the ones I bought here in Canada and I've never had a problem with shifting.

    I discovered duvets over 30 years ago when we lived in Europe and we used them as the Europeans do without a top sheet. Europeans shake (fluff) their duvets out the window then hang them on the windowsills to air while the covers are being washed.

    If using a duvet on a king-size bed I'd recommend buying a light weight duvet. When we had a king bed I bought a winter weight duvet and it was very heavy to shake. Of course it was a synthetic one as I'm allergic to down and the down ones may be lighter. Just something to keep in mind - test 'shake' it in the store.

    With cats I'd go with washable blankets and a washable spread rather than a duvet as the cover will not protect the quilt against wet furballs and duvets need to be washed in oversize machines for best results.

  • mjsee
    10 years ago

    I've made the bedrooms off-limits to the kitties...SOMEONE keeps peeing on the beds. You think a yakked-up fur-ball is unpleasant to find when one is ready for bed...(and no, no one has a uti. Both have been to the vet. No physical issues. Vet says it's "behavioral." I think they are just old and cranky.)

    Back to the problem at hand--I have trouble washing my queen-sized synthetic duvet in my machine, but not my queen-sized company store (or was it Land's End?)duvet. The feathers seem to squash better. I have a Bosch Nexxt 500 series machine. I doubt I could get a king in there. (Covers are NO problem.) Back in the day, when I had my little Bosch Axxis I had to take my duvet to the laundromat and use a commercial machine if one of the kids horked or had an accident on it.

    I've purchased duvets at Land's End (25+ years ago) and The Company Store (more recently)--and like the quality of both. TCS lets one choose warmth weight, which is nice. Plus--all their duvets are machine washable. I like the quality of their covers as well.

    I think I'd go with blankets and a quilt as well...or ban the cats from the bedroom.

    Good luck!

  • pamghatten
    10 years ago

    auntjen ... I just love seeing pics of your house.

    I also have a king-sized bed and 4 cats ... they are all shedding right now since it's spring and I'm hearing that awful sound in the middle of the night, more than I'd like to!

    But someone mentioned that the duvet cover isn't good enough protection against a wet hair ball ... it will soak right through to the actual duvet. They are correct.

    I've had issues washing and drying my king-sized quilts, but have finally figured it out. In my new front-loader, I use the "Bulky" setting, and when I dry them I use the half/heat setting and take them out and fluff them up before I put them back in for another cycle. That's what works for me.

  • Oakley
    10 years ago

    You'll LOVE not having a top sheet to fight with during the night!

    I finally took our top sheets off about 10 years ago and never went back to using them. Of course I won't use a blanket/quilt that has to be dry cleaned either.

    When my MIL passed away in January, I took this simple looking coverlet she had in the closet. It has some sort of batting inside, and the outside material is like a very soft sheet, with vertical stitching going down the blanket about every two inches. It's queen size and I could even put two of them in my normal sized washing machine if I had an extra one.

    Have you looked for "light weight coverlets/blankets?" Now that it's getting warm the "new" coverlet feels so good against my skin at night. Keeps me nice and cool.

  • joyce_6333
    9 years ago

    I know this is kind of an old thread, but wanted to share this great duvet cover I got on overstock.com.

    I doesn't wrinkle, fabric is smooth and a nice weight, and I love the pattern and sheen. It's just perfect. I got it in white, and paid $75.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Overstock duvet cover