What is a duvet?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by kevin.rivers, May 27, 2006.

  1. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    Dec 4, 2005
    #1
    Hello everyone.

    I am moving into a studio apartment and I got a futon mattress similar to the styles they have in Japan. So that I can fold it up to save space during the day.

    I am trying to find something relatively warm but not too thick as I am a warm sleeper. I am having trouble deciding. Mainly because what I can't seem to figure out what the heck a duvet is!

    When I went to a linen store, they had duvets and they seemed very thin. I was limited in checking it out because i didnt want to pull it all the way out of the packaging.

    When looking at them online at Target and Amazon they look much thicker.

    From the definition at wikipedia.org it tells me it came from Europe and is used to simplify making the bed, because all you would have is the fitted mattress sheet and the duvet. Perfect!

    So if someone could tell me if it is thick, maybe similar to a quilt I am probably going to pick one up.

    One thing i noticed is that here in the U.S. duvets are cover that go over comforters to protect them. Anyone have any insight?
     
  2. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #2
    As Tyler Durden said in Fight Club, a duvet is a blanket. Sometimes they're thick, like a comforter, and other times they're just thin like a regular old blanket. Usually a duvet lies on top of the sheet and/or other blanket that's on top of you... so usually a duvet isn't in direct contact with you (except for maybe your neck and arms) when you're sleeping.

    All I use on my bed (juicy details!) is a fitted flat sheet, a king-size sheet, and a comforter (it said "comforter" on the package). No other blankets... I find this setup to be quite warm any time of the year.
     
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    #3
    As opposed to the usual comforters/bedspreads that are one piece (two pieces of material with some padding in between and everything all stitched together), duvets have a separate cover.

    Duvets are most often down comforters...very warm, but can be pricey. The duvet cover goes over the duvet and usually buttons closed on the bottom sized. The cover is easily removed for washing...you don't want to throw your down comforter in the wash. We use ours with a top sheet under it.
     
  4. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    Dec 4, 2005
    #4
    The thing is, my futon mattress rolls up so I can get it out of the way during the day so i can have more space.

    I would like something thin that can also roll up with it, but can be warm enough.

    It seems a quilt may be the way to go.
     
  5. Blurb macrumors member

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    May 7, 2004
    #5
    A duvet is just another name for a comforter of any thickness. You can also buy comforter covers or duvet covers, which are basically sheets sewn together on 3 sides and one side buttons close after putting the duvet or comforter in it.

    The European angle mentioned in your first post has to do with the European habit of not using a top or flat sheet under the comforter/duvet, but just a fitted sheet on the mattress then just spread flat the comforter/duvet on top of the bed. This is the idea of simplifying making the bed.

    You can put a blanket or quilt or thin or thick comforter in any of these covers: the choice is the purchaser's. The cover usage allows you to change the colors or appearance of your comforter/duvet and to toss the cover in the wash as needed. I switched all of our beds to this method a few years ago to simplify the bedmaking process (no top/flat sheet to straighten), and we all love it.
     
  6. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #6
    What are sold as futons in the West are not really the sort of light and easily rolled up futons found in Japan. The ones available here are filled with masses of very heavy cotton padding which is not only dangerously inflammable but soaks up every bit of moisture that evaporates from your body. Thereby becoming permanenntly damp and mouldy. You need to lug them out into the sun to dry regularly and even that won't help much.

    A better solution might be what we have been using for the last 20 years and that is a Thermarest inflatable mattress. Available from camping stores that sell lightweight camping equipment. These are not the bulbous ribbed mattresses that you may remember from your childhood but they are in fact very thin with a flat surface. The ones we use are 1 inch thin and 20 inches wide. You can join two together with special straps.

    For home use I cover ours with a light quilt for ultimate comfort. You can just pick it up and stand it behind a door or whatever, after you get up.

    They are so fracking comfortable, you can sleep with one of these directly on gravel or concrete (or snow) and be perfectly insulated. In fact even with the super lightweight ones you can put a some small rocks or metalic objects under it and you won't feel it.

    They make ones that are extra wide which might be good for the home if you don't intend to use them for lightweight backpacking.

    A Duvet (or Doona as they call them in Australia) Is a cover used instead of a blanket. Traditionally filled with down but also now filled with artificial fibres.
     
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    I've been using a real futon in the U.S.A. for about 10 years. I only use it with a mattress pad and a sheet attached to it. Most western bedding is just unusable, but you might be able to use a memory foam mattress pad, if you need extra support.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    Futons are so comfortable. Better than mattresses, IMO.

    Don't know about the moisture-absorbing qualities that Dogbone was talking about, though. Maybe it's true, but it's so darned comfy. :)
     
  9. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    #9
    DogBone, I have a real japanese futon. So it does indeed roll up. I don't have the American style futon.
     
  10. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #10
    I wish I could get one of those over here (Australia), but sadly I cannot. I'll bet with a Thermarest underneath it, it would be perfect. Or are they comfortable as they are?
     
  11. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #11
    Anyway, back to the Duvet topic. A good duvet will be filled with at least 90% down. You will not get one that is suitable all year. You will need a thin one and a heavy one. Not dissimilar to good quality down sleeping bags.

    The Duvet's themselves should have a rating system. Also the advantage of down is that it can be stuffed into a sack rather than folded. In fact that is the best way to pack them. Although use a loose sack for long term storage.
     
  12. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #12
    Get a vellux blanket. They'll keep you warm and are night and lightweight.
     
  13. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    #13
    I am having a tough time finding duvets that are described by you and other places. Only these thin things that are basically a slighty thickier version of a sheet.
     
  14. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    #14
    It wasn't cheap let me tell you. I would try to get a kake futon which is a japanese comforter, but I dont have another 300 to drop. :mad:
     
  15. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #15
    Maybe you should order one from the UK, when I was there I bought one at John Lewis They have this strange rating system there called a "Tog" rating. The one I bought contained a pair of thin and heavy ones that could be used individually or together giving a total of 3. Their own branded down filled ones are fantastic, I'm sure they'd do international shipping or maybe they can advise you if anyone in the States stocks their products.
     
  16. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    #16
    Wow, this tog system is amazing! I wonder if they have something like this here in the states... I haven't found anything though. From what I have seen from the John Lewis site in comparison to what I have seen in the stores here. What I have been looking at are not duvets, but duvet covers.
     
  17. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #17
    I have this lovely tog 15 duvet. very warm and snug. was very thick at first but it's been flattened now over the past year or so.

    To me, or at least the impression I get in England, is that a duvet is a thick blanket. More than just a single sheet of whatever, this is a thick blanket stored inside a container sheet, with buttons at either end.
    And it's very, very snug :)
     
  18. true777 macrumors 6502a

    true777

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    #18
    Having lived in both Europe (25 yrs) and the US (12 yrs) I think I understand where the confusion lies:

    As many have correctly pointed out, a duvet is merely a down comforter -- specifically one that does not have an ornamental/printed fabric cover (a duvet only has a tan color cotton cover), and is thus meant to be always used with a duvet cover around it.

    A duvet cover - as has been pointed out -, is a fabric "sleeve" for your duvet.
    The duvet goes all the way inside. The duvet cover should NOT be used with a flat sheet under it, and should be washed/changed as often as you would wash a flat sheet/your pillowcase/your fitted sheet. So you should have at least 2 duvet covers to change.

    The problem in the US that you have been experiencing is that on 90% of duvet cover packages, it wrongly says "duvet", rather than "duvet cover".

    So the flat thing you have seen inside a "duvet" labelled package was most likely a DUVET COVER, packed inside an incorrectly labelled pouch.

    Actual duvets come in various thicknesses (from light for summer to thick for winter), but will always be stuffed like a comforter. They will never have pretty ornamental fabric on the outside, but will have white or light tan woven fabric.

    The best place to go for information on all this would be a place like a large Macy's store, where they have an excellent linen dept.

    The "easy" thing is garbage, btw, since you will have to change your comforter cover as often as you would your flat sheet, so it would be *more* work, not less. The "European" thing refers to the fact that Europeans simply don't find it hygienic to have any part of your bedding exposed that you don't wash every week. That is, we wouldn't have the top side of our comforters/quilts sitting without a cover, since we don't wash the comforter itself every week. So we use duvet covers that cover our comforters all the way around.
     
  19. knackroller macrumors regular

    knackroller

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    #19
    Just open the package to check before you buy - make sure you buy a duvet COVER plus the duvet if you need. The term is used interchangeably with 'comforter'
     
  20. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #20
    I've used a sheet under a down duvet, but then I've always been a bit of an anarchist.

    btw how did "comforter" get into the conversation. It sounds like a security blanket.
     
  21. kevin.rivers thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    #21
    Yes this is the realization I came to last night. Everything in the stores I have seen, even linen stores like Bed Bath and Beyond or Linen's and Things, they are all labled duvet, when they are in fact covers. This is where my confusion sprouted from. I wanted a duvet and was taken back when I kept seeing "duvets" that didn't fit my idea of what one was.

    I think I have it sorted out now. I don't think America knows what a Duvet is yet, I hopped on eBay to see what was there and they are all listed in comforter. There is no duvet section. I realize duvet is the french word for comforter but they are very very different from each other.

    At least I know there are lots of duvet covers :D
     
  22. gallagb macrumors 6502

    gallagb

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    #22
    a duvet cover: should be 'filled' w/ a comforter
    generally used to be decorative or something

    as for your bed
    be sure to go 'touch' whatever you buy
    (before u buy it)
    and make sure it is something you want in your bed

    i've had both a duvet cover (w/ a comforter in it) & a thick comforter
    niether are perfect- but both are/were good @ times

    try try before you buy buy
     
  23. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #23
    I stumbled on this few week old thread while looking for something quite different...

    Anyhow, IKEA has some fairly inexpensive european style duvets of varied materials and thicknesses, on their web site however they categorize them as quilts in the US. The main difference between Euro duvets and US comforters is the fact that duvets require a cover, while for a comforter it's somewhat optional.

    B
     

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