Duvet covers can be tricky to change, but using one is essential for extending the life of your comforter (or duvet). And swapping the cover can easily transform your bedding—a heavier fabric will boost a duvet’s warmth, and a luxe cover will instantly elevate its style. We spent a combined 96 hours researching duvet covers and testing 16 to find six well-made, comfortable options for a range of climates and tastes.
Fabrics we trust
- Natural fibers
We recommend cotton and linen duvet covers. All of our picks are Oeko-Tex–certified against harmful substances.
- The same as our sheets
Our picks use the same fabrics as the sheets we recommend in other guides, including cotton sheets, prints, flannel, and linen.
- Longstanding picks
We know these fibers last. We’ve long-term tested all of these fabrics—as sheets or as duvet covers—for three to six years.
- Changing seasons
We recommend cotton percale and linen if you’re hot. We recommend cotton sateen and flannel if you’re cold.
Our picks include our favorite linen, hard-wearing percale, luxe percale, modern prints, smooth sateen, and warm flannel. All of them are Oeko-Tex–certified to be free of harmful substances, and all are made of either cotton or linen.
- Why you should trust us
- Duvet vs. comforter
- Consider fabrics before choosing a duvet cover
- The warmest, coziest cover: L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Comforter Cover
- A hard-wearing percale cover: L.L.Bean 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Comforter Cover
- A light but luxe percale cover: Riley Percale Duvet Cover
- A crisp cover in modern prints: Brooklinen Classic Duvet Cover
- Colorful, silky sateen: Cuddledown 400 Thread Count Sateen Duvet Cover
- A luxurious linen cover: Cultiver Linen Duvet Cover
- How we picked and tested
- How to get the right fit
- The competition
Why you should trust us
As part of our research for this guide in 2016, we interviewed Shannon Maher, an assistant professor in the Home Products Development department at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and former product designer for The Company Store. She helped us with our testing strategy and gave us useful information on bedding fibers and construction. We then looked closely at customer reviews on various department store and home bedding sites.
As the bedding writer at Wirecutter, I’ve written many guides about textiles over the past seven years, including our guides to blankets, flannel sheets, cotton sheets, and robes. I’m a quilter and quilt designer with about 15 years of experience making, washing, and using blankets, cotton fabrics, and other bedding.
Duvet vs. comforter
If you’re looking to cover your down or down-alternative comforter, you may be confused by the term “duvet cover.” Technically, a comforter is a covering that’s sewn shut, usually comes in a pattern or color, and doesn’t require a cover—think bed-in-a-bag bed toppers. A duvet is plain, usually white, and often filled with down. It’s inserted into a duvet cover (which can be easily washed) to keep it clean. But “comforter” and “duvet” are generally used interchangeably in the US, according to FIT’s Shannon Maher. Regardless of what you call your down or alt-down blanket, you should encase it in a duvet cover.
Consider fabrics before choosing a duvet cover
Many of the duvet covers we recommend are made from cotton sateen or percale sheeting fabrics. It’s worth considering which type you like before deciding on a cover (or sheets, for that matter). As we explain in our guide to cotton sheets, sateen fabric has a silky/slinky quality that will appeal to people who love supersoft textures. Percale is crisper, cooler, and has a slightly rougher texture. One is not better than the other, it’s more about your personal preference.
While most people are familiar with the feel of percale and sateen sheets (even if they don’t know them by name), linen is a less common bedding fabric. The coarser texture can be polarizing—some people adore it, others find it too scratchy. If you don’t mind texture or wrinkles (linen will never stay smooth unless you iron it), you may like linen; it’s one of the most breathable fabrics we’ve tested, and great for both summer and winter use. Flannel, on the other hand, is what you’ll want for frigid winter nights. If you tend to overheat, though, this fabric may be too warm.
The warmest, coziest cover: L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Comforter Cover
L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Comforter Cover
The warmest duvet cover
Long-staple cotton flannel makes this soft cover the warmest we’ve tested—and much cozier than similar covers made from percale and linen. It’s also one of the least expensive covers we considered.
Best for: Staying toasty
Why it’s great: On super-cold nights, L.L.Bean’s Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Comforter Cover will boost the warmth of your bedding and, unlike sliding between icy percale sheets, the fleecy fabric will warm up your toes quicker than any other cover we tried. Made from long-staple Portuguese cotton flannel, the Ultrasoft is one of the softest and warmest covers on this list, and it’s Oeko-Tex–certified. It’s made from the same material as our favorite flannel sheets, which were a clear winner for their plushness, coziness, and reasonable price. The cover was the favorite of my dog, Hamilton, who looked crushed when it was time to swap it out during testing.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The corner ties—which are supposed to hold the duvet in place—are the weakest of any we tested. They began to rip loose from the cover with just a little shaking and tugging. The flannel itself is so good that we think it’s worth adding a few extra stitches yourself or getting some duvet clips—padded fasteners that secure the corners of your duvet and cover together. Because of the way the ties are sewn in, the corners on this cover aren’t perfectly square and crisp. But since this is a fluffy winter duvet, we didn’t mind the rounded corners. We also found the colors and prints a little dull—we wish they were more modern.
Long-term test notes: We’ve been long-term testing the Ultrasoft Comfort flannel sheets—made of the same fabric as this duvet cover—since 2016. The flannel has consistently retained its softness through many washes, outperforming almost every other flannel we’ve ever tested against it. There is mild pilling over time, but nothing that can’t be fixed with a fabric shaver. We also noticed minimal discoloration and just a few wrinkles.
Sizes: twin, full, queen, king
Colors: eight solids and six prints
A hard-wearing percale cover: L.L.Bean 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Comforter Cover
L.L.Bean 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Comforter Cover
A sturdy cotton cover
This is the cover we’d invest in if kids or pets shared the bed. It is made from our favorite percale sheeting, and we know the fabric will weather years of abuse and frequent washings, possibly lasting longer than other covers on this list.
Best for: Surviving family life
Why it’s great: If you have small kids or pets in the house, we recommend the L.L.Bean 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale Comforter Cover. This cover is made with the same fabric as our top-pick percale sheets; it’s Oeko-Tex–certified, and we’ve been testing and recommending it since 2014. We still stand by this fabric for its quality and construction. We’ve tried two of these covers, and the fabric, seams, and button closures survived our shake tests, my dog’s playful chewing and dirty feet, and lots of abuse from my kiddo (including spilled chocolate milk). The covers still look great after frequent washings. We doubt that some of the more delicate covers we’ve tried would hold up as well.
Percale isn’t as soft as sateen (like our pick from Cuddledown), and the L.L.Bean cover is denser and feels crisper than the other percales we recommend here, but we’ve still found that it’s cool to sleep under. It barely wrinkles out of the dryer (only the Cuddledown and the Restoration Hardware percale wrinkled less), and whatever rumples it had smoothed out easily on the bed.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The ties were the weakest of any we tested—one tore free of the cover during our shake tests. Although L.L.Bean does offer eight colors and two varied prints, we wish they were more modern. Still, in 2018 we tested the sunny yellow and loved how it brightened the room, so it’s possible to find a color to love here.
Long-term test notes: L.L.Bean’s percale is still the best-wearing percale I’ve ever tried. I’ve been long-term testing a set of the coordinating sheets since 2017. And after all these years, they still feel better, launder better, and look better than most other percales. The color is bright, the wrinkling is minimal (which is unusual for percale), and there are no real signs of thinning on the fabric or fraying at the edges. They still feel smooth and crisp, and they’re a household favorite.
Sizes: twin, full, queen, king
Colors: eight solid colors and two prints
A light but luxe percale cover: Riley Percale Duvet Cover
Riley Percale Duvet Cover
The airiest percale
This cotton percale cover is crisp and sturdy. And it comes in more than a dozen modern, solid colors, which match some of Riley’s other bedding, if you want to coordinate. It’s lightweight and won’t add much bulk to your comforter.
Best for: Modern hotel vibes
Why it’s great: We recommend three percale duvet covers in this guide, and Riley’s Percale Duvet Cover is the most luxurious. The coordinating percale sheets have been an upgrade pick in our cotton sheets guide since 2019, and the fabric is thin but sturdy, crisp but still soft, and light as air. It’s also Oeko-Tex–certified, like most of our picks. In spring 2022 we tested the Riley duvet cover, and it is just as smooth out of the package as the sheets. After a wash and a few weeks of sleep tests, this cover only improved. The wrinkles smoothed out over time. And each morning when I made the bed, I noticed that this duvet was lighter to hoist up over the sheets than the Brooklinen cover I typically use in spring. I also tested this cover on a new comforter I’m testing for our comforters guide, and that comforter shed loads of feathers inside the Riley cover (it will not be a pick). I had no idea it was shedding until I removed the cover to wash it. The Riley is woven densely enough that it kept every scrap of feathery comforter fluff tucked inside.
The Riley's 13 color choices are our favorite modern, solid options. Like most of our other picks, they have corresponding sheets in the same fabric. But we love that this cover also coordinates with many of the color options for Riley’s Textured Coverlet, a summer-weight pick in our guide to bed blankets. This gives you the option for a perfectly matched, perfectly monochromatic bed any of year (there are also matching shams).
Flaws but not dealbreakers: It wrinkles, which is just an unfortunate truth with most percale fabrics. In the warmer months of the year, we think it adds a laid-back feel to the bed. But if you prefer a smoother look, you might like a sateen cover, like the Cuddledown, instead.
Sizes: twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/California king
Colors: 13 solid colors
A crisp cover in modern prints: Brooklinen Classic Duvet Cover
Brooklinen Classic Duvet Cover
Stylish geometric prints
This soft and comfortable percale cover comes in the most stylish and interesting prints we’ve seen. It’s one of the least expensive covers we tried, but it feels like nice, hotel bedding.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $125.
Best for: Adding personality with prints
Why it’s great: Brooklinen is one of the few bedding brands we’ve tested that offer duvet covers in prints, and they’re the most modern prints we’ve seen. The options for the Brooklinen Classic Duvet Cover change every few months, but there are usually about a dozen choices that are sophisticated (no cute animals or fruit here) yet still fun. We’ve tested three different Brooklinen prints (plus a solid white cover from our original 2016 testing), and we’ve liked them all better than the homey prints offered by L.L.Bean (the only other company on our list that offers prints for duvet covers).
The Classic Duvet Cover is made of the same smooth, long-staple percale fabric as Brooklinen’s Classic Sheets—which we recommend in our guide to summer sheets and our guide to printed sheets—and both are Oeko-Tex–certified. As with sheets you’d find in a nice hotel, the fabric feels pleasantly cool and crisp. It’s a perfect mid-weight cover that’s lighter and softer than the durable L.L.Bean 280-Thread-Count Pima Cotton Percale (but a little stiffer than the Riley percale cover).
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This one looks a little more rumpled out of the wash than the L.L.Bean percale, but the wrinkles are minimal overall. Also, the cover we tested in 2016 was made with long-staple Egyptian cotton, but now Brooklinen’s site simply says “long-staple cotton.” It’s hard to feel the differences between a new cover and one that’s been washed and used for several years, so we’ll have to long-term test the new one to see if it’s as durable.
Long-term test notes: We’ve been long-term testing our original white cover since 2016 (it was the original top pick in this guide), and we’ve had other staffers long-term test newer covers for one to two years. I’m still impressed with the original cover’s overall construction—it’s nearly six years old and still looks clean, bright white, with no major signs of wear and tear (there’s some mild pilling after all these years). It’s still one of the softest, most comfortable, and sturdiest duvet covers I’ve tested, and it’s been on my bed every spring and summer since we first tried it. One of our former staffers who long-term tested a printed cover for a couple of years said, “The material still feels really soft and nice against the skin.”
Sizes: twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/California king
Colorful, silky sateen: Cuddledown 400 Thread Count Sateen Duvet Cover
Cuddledown 400 Thread Count Solid Sateen Duvet Cover
A luxurious cover in saturated colors
Made from the same fabric as one of our favorite sateen sheet sets, this cover is much softer than those made from linen or percale. It barely wrinkles, and it comes in more solid colors than any other cover we tried.
You save $37 (25%)
Best for: A colorful, warm, elegant bed
Why it’s great: The sumptuous Cuddledown 400 Thread Count Sateen Duvet Cover easily creates a luxe-looking bed—its slinky, subtle sheen looks more elegant than far pricier fabrics, and it’s one of the softest covers on this list. The Cuddledown is made with the same fabric as our upgrade sateen sheets pick—the satin weave is smoother and silkier than percale, and it wrinkles less than any other cover on this list. And the fabric is Oeko-Tex–certified. We’ve been testing the sateen sheets for years, and the fabric doesn’t disappoint. Cuddledown’s fabric even held its own against $1,000 luxury Italian sateen sheets we tested.
We tested this cover in 2016 and then tested a new one in 2018, and the construction was noticeably better. The old ties frayed and tangled, but they’re now made of a different material, which seems much more likely to withstand wear. They’re very securely sewn, and they survived our shake tests—unlike the ties (which tore) on both the percale and flannel L.L.Bean covers we tested.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Because sateen packs more threads into its weave than percale, it’s also heavier. This is one of the weightiest covers on our list, which some sleepers prefer. But if you have a fluffy, light duvet (like our upgrade pick from Feathered Friends), this cover may weigh it down. Be aware that the color choices on the website aren’t photographed; they’re Photoshopped, so they look flat and lifeless, and they’re much more vibrant in person. We’re also looking into some recent concerns from readers about long shipping delays and poor responses from customer service.
Long-term test notes: After being used for nearly four years, our original 2018 test cover is still in excellent shape. There are no holes or signs of threadbare areas within the fabric, and the color is still saturated enough to look smart on the bed. Over time I’ve noticed that the comforter does travel inside this silky cover (usually toward my husband’s side of the bed, leaving me cold). But it’s roomy to begin with. So going down a size (say, using a queen-size cover for a king-size comforter) might help the comforter fill it out more. This duvet is also very warm; it’s become my go-to cover for winter.
Sizes: twin, full, queen, king, queen oversized, king oversized
Colors: 26 solids
A luxurious linen cover: Cultiver Linen Duvet Cover
Cultiver Linen Duvet Cover
A cover for the linen lover
Linen’s coarse texture adds an artfully rumpled look to a bed, and this breathable cover’s linen is the softest we’ve tested, especially for the price.
Best for: Rustic texture and breathability
Why it’s great: If you love the breathable feel, coarse texture, and casual look of linen (it wrinkles much more than cotton), you’ll love Cultiver’s Linen Duvet Cover. It’s made with some of the best linen we’ve tested—it’s supersoft and smooth, and it doesn’t seem to have the durability issues of other linen bedding we’ve tried. The cover is moderately priced for such high-quality fabric, and it comes in more than a dozen colors and prints. Linen is popular with several of our staff because it’s cool against the skin if you tend to overheat, and this cover is breathable but warm. The fabric is also Oeko-Tex–certified.
The stitching on the Cultiver cover is neat and strong, and even though this is one of our heavier cover picks (it weighs more than 5 pounds), the corner ties stayed secure during our shake tests. The light-gray cover we tried washed well, with no signs of pilling, thinning, or construction breakdowns. It wrinkled a bit less out of the dryer than many of the percale covers we dismissed (a feat for an infamously wrinkly fabric). Even with some wrinkles and rumples, it still looked cool on the bed.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Not all of the solids are made of the linen weave we tested and recommend for linen sheets. The indigo, indigo stripe, ash, and pinstripe duvet covers and sheets are all woven to feel more like a chambray (similar to denim, but lighter). And they are rougher, stiffer, and a bit heavier. The natural color, which is mentioned on the company’s website, is undyed and also has more texture. We recommend only the softer linen in the remaining colors. However, we’ve tested enough linen to know how hard it is to find good linen bedding that lasts (one of our editors has used Cultiver’s linen sheets since 2017 with no problems yet). So we think the colors in the original weave still deserve our recommendation. Because this cover is an investment, you can (and should) order color swatches if you’re not completely sure about the color and texture. This cover also isn’t available in a twin size.
Long-term test notes: One of our deputy editors used our original 2018 test cover for about two years before a bleaching mishap sent it into storage. The linen fabric held up through several washes with minimal signs of age or damage, but the buttons did not. “A few of them have fallen off,” she said, “and the edges of the buttons are really rough.” They didn’t damage the fabric, though.
Sizes: queen, king
Colors: 15 solids and 3 stripe prints
How we picked and tested
We drew on our research, interviews with bedding experts, and years of experience testing sheets (most of our duvet cover picks are made with the same fabric as sheets we recommend) to come up with these criteria for a duvet cover:
Softness: We wanted covers that were soft enough to use without a top sheet, directly against the skin—most (but not all) of our picks met this criteria. A duvet cover should keep its softness after being washed and dried. We know from our years of testing that companies often add finishes to home textiles to give them shelf appeal, and once those are washed away you get a true sense of the fabric’s feel, so a cover should feel as soft or softer out of the dryer as it does out of the package.
Natural fibers: Natural fibers are more breathable and best for regulating temperature, so we looked specifically at covers made from high-quality cottons and linens. They do wrinkle and shrink more than synthetics, but they can also be washed on hotter temperatures (cotton can withstand more heat than linen), which is the best way to get them clean. If you tend to stain your bedding, choose white, the easiest color to wash on hot with bleach or OxiClean.
Solid construction: The best duvet covers have strong seams that don’t fray, they shrink minimally in the wash, and they have securely attached buttons, zippers, or snaps at the closure.
Inner ties: Not every cover we recommend has inner ties to secure the cover to a duvet, but most of them do—it’s a definite bonus for keeping the duvet from bunching up inside the cover. You can use duvet clips to keep them secure without ties (I’ve used this style many times over the years), but they can break easily, so invest in a few sets for backup.
A variety of colors and prints: A duvet cover is the first thing you see on a made bed so it’s often the focal point of a bedroom. We focused on covers with plenty of color options, and some with prints, to fit a variety of tastes and room styles.
Range of sizes: We looked for covers available in all bed sizes. Not every cover we recommend comes in every size, but there is enough variety here to find something that will fit.
Reliable brands: We pay attention to companies’ responsiveness, website navigation, inventory, return policies, and the quality of the bedding itself so that we’re confident that you will have the same experience we did. From our years of testing bedding we know the brands that are the most consistent—from their fabrics to their quality control to their customer service. No cover is perfect, and we’ve noted the flaws we found in our picks (and if they’re worth overlooking).
Since 2016, we’ve researched 38 covers and tested 16, all on a king-size bed. We measured them straight out of the bag, then again after a wash to account for any initial shrinkage. We compared all of the fabrics for smoothness, softness, pilling, and weight.
We washed and dried all of the covers without any fabric softeners, and with all of their closures fastened. We also left them in the dryer for a while after the cycle was finished. In everyday life, we’re not always right there to pull laundry out immediately, and we wanted to see how wrinkled and rumpled these covers would get. We also folded every cover after washing to see if the seams stayed straight and even—twisted seams and uneven sides can look messy on a made bed. Then we put each cover on a test duvet (comforter) and laid it on the bed to see how it looked, and crawled under each to see how they felt as we moved around and (often) fell asleep.
How to get the right fit
The bedding industry doesn’t follow standardized sizes—the dimensions of a king-size comforter and king-size duvet cover will usually vary by a few inches from brand to brand. In 2016 I tested each duvet cover with a Macy’s Hotel Collection Primaloft comforter that measured 96 inches by 101 inches, and in 2018 we used our former budget pick, the Pacific Coast European Down, which measured 98 inches by 108 inches (both are now discontinued). All of the king-size duvet covers I’ve tried fit these king-size duvets, and filled them out well when I made the bed. However, as an active sleeper, I sometimes noticed the duvet pulling away from the sides inside its cover, even when using corner ties. A larger, fluffier duvet helped curb a lot of this movement in our 2018 testing. It’s not a perfect solution, but if you tend to get tangled in your duvet cover with no duvet in sight, try looking for a cover that’s slightly smaller than your comforter, so there’s less chance it will shift inside.
The Authenticity 50 A50 Duvet Cover was a previous pick, but as of December 2021, it has been mostly unavailable for over a year. If the stock issues get resolved, we’ll add it back in as a pick. If you find it in stock, we still think it’s a great duvet cover. Weighing just under 2 pounds, it’s the lightest percale cover we tried (compared with 3 pounds for both the Brooklinen and Restoration Hardware covers, two other lightweight options), but it’s still comfortable and warm to sleep under. We also appreciate that everything on this cover, from the buttons to the corner ties, is made in the United States.
The Snowe Percale Duvet Cover is made from the same high-quality fabric as our former upgrade percale sheets pick, but we noticed some major problems with quality control. The cover we tested had unsightly, visible remnants of white paper sewn into the back of the decorative hemstitching, which we think is leftover stabilizing paper that wasn’t properly removed during production. It didn’t wash out, and picking it all out with tweezers would’ve taken hours.
IKEA’s Dvala cover was our old budget pick, the best of a not-great group of low-priced covers. In 2018, we brought in a new one that made us reconsider our recommendation. The percale cotton felt thick and hot, and it wrinkled more than any other cover we tested, to the point that the creases prevented it from laying flat. As of 2022 it’s also available only in white.
We hoped the Target Matelasse Medallion would be a good cover with more texture and visual appeal, and it looks lovely, but the cover feels heavy and unruly. It’s a full matelassé coverlet (which is a heavy thing) with a thin piece of sheeting on the back. Out of the package it was clear that the stitching wasn’t going to hold up—the buttonholes were already fraying. It also took about three hours to dry, more than any other cover we tested.
The Hemstitch 400 Thread Count Solid Cotton Duvet Cover is available from Overstock, and it's a moderately priced cover we tested. It’s a cotton sateen, which gives it a beautiful sheen. But it feels closer to a flannel than a silky sateen. It doesn’t have ties to secure it to a duvet, and it wrinkled significantly. The big stiff creases did not shake out and needed ironing. It wrinkled even more after sleeping under it, and we thought it made for an untidy bed. And after washing and drying, the seams on the cover were twisted, making it difficult to fold evenly.
Three of our former picks—Restoration Hardware’s Ultrafine Lightweight Cotton Duvet Cover, IKEA’s Puderviva duvet cover, and Casper’s Cool Supima cover—have been discontinued. You may still be able to find some colors and sizes of IKEA’s Puderviva Duvet online or at your local IKEA.
This article was edited by Daniela Gorny and Christine Ryan.
Erin Griffith, Bedding Startups Declare War on Thread Counts, Fortune, June 8, 2015
Shannon Maher, assistant professor, Home Products Development department at FIT, email interview, April 18, 2016
DuvetandPillow, The Duvet Buyer’s Guide, YouTube, June 9, 2010
About your guide
Jackie Reeve is a senior staff writer covering bedding, organization, and home goods at Wirecutter since 2015. Previously she was a school librarian, and she’s been a quilter for about 15 years. Her quilt patterns and her other written work have appeared in various publications. She moderates Wirecutter’s staff book club and makes her bed every morning.
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