The 6 Best Duvet Inserts in the year 2023, Based on Testing
Climb into bed with the Apsmile Full/Queen Goose Feathers Down Comforter Duvet
Our Top Picks
The Bottom Line
Our Testing Process
What To Know About Them
Other Duvet Inserts We Tested
Your Questions, Answered
- Who We Are
In This Content
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Your bed is your daily retreat to rest, reset, and rejuvenate. A quality duvet insert plays a key role in how cozy and comfortable it feels. Fluffy and thick like a blanket, duvet inserts are white or neutral bedding basics that are meant to be used with a cover. While comforters are similar, they do not require a cover. When selecting a duvet insert, focus on practical considerations, such as fill material, shell material, warmth, construction, and care instructions.
Duvet inserts can be filled with down made of soft and fluffy feathers from the undercoat of a duck or goose or down alternative materials, such as microfiber, polyester, cotton, or rayon, that replicate the feel of down. The shell fabric is most commonly cotton or polyester. There is a wide range of duvet covers to protect your duvet insert from dirt and body oils. If you take proper care of a duvet insert, it will last for years. You can switch out the duvet cover seasonally or as your tastes or trends change.
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“I always want my beds to feel like a luxury hotel bed, and a duvet will help you achieve that,” says Jessica Mintz, principal designer, and owner of Jessica Mintz Interiors, an interior design firm based in Los Angeles. “It’s also going to give the bed a more full look. You can layer it with a waffle bed blanket or quilted bed blanket—I like to fold it down so a third of the bed is covered by a fluffy folded-over duvet.”
To find the best duvet inserts, we rounded up 34 inserts and comforters and put them through a series of rigorous tests in our home testing lab to evaluate their warmth, comfort, and ease of use, also taking into account shell material, fill, size options, and care instructions. For additional insights on what to look for when selecting a duvet insert, we also talked with Jessica Mintz; Lauren Sullivan, interior designer and founder of Well X Design in Nashville, Tennessee; and Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for the Better Sleep Council.
After testing, we chose the Apsmile Full/Queen Size Goose Feathers Down Comforter Duvet Insert as our overall best duvet insert because of its high quality and breathability at an affordable price point.
Here are the best duvet inserts, backed by testing.
Why You Should Get It: Its baffle-box construction means the down fill won’t shift or clump to create cool spots, while the 750 fill power makes it warm without feeling heavy.
Keep in Mind: The mixture of down and feathers in this dry clean-only duvet insert may not feel as soft as down-only options. It also arrives in vacuum-sealed packaging, so you’ll need to spread it out for a few days or dry it on low heat for 10 minutes to fluff it up.
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This insert was our overall choice for the best duvet insert, because our testers found it possessed a super-soft texture and excellent breathability at a reasonable value. Its high fill power and long-staple Egyptian cotton blend shell are features you usually find at higher price points. The 400 thread count fabric, which the manufacturer recommends to only spot or dry clean, also has a tight weave that won’t let feathers or fluff escape. Double-stitched piped edges offer durability, and eight corner tabs help keep a duvet cover in place.
“This duvet insert was really soft, smooth, and extra fluffy—it felt like a cool blanket and was easy to breathe in,” one tester said. “It made a little noise while moving around, but it was very comfortable.”
It’s also available in a wide range of sizes, including oversized king and oversized queen options, which aren’t common for many inserts. We found that the queen duvet insert measured a couple of inches smaller than the listed 90 x 90 inches, so you may want to size up if you like a drapey look.
We tested the medium-weight all-season duvet insert recommended for average temperatures. We found that its surface temperature remained cool and steady compared to other options, so it’s a desirable option for those who tend to sleep warm. The insert is also available in a lightweight style for warmer seasons and a winter weight for colder climates.
Price at time of publish: $165
Shell Material: Egyptian cotton-polyester blend | Fill: Down and feathers | Care: Dry clean recommended | Sizes: Twin, queen, oversized queen, king, California king, king, oversized king, super king
Why You Should Get It: This duvet insert is available in eight colors, so it can also be used as a standalone comforter. Its sewn-through box construction keeps the fill in place and offers a decorative detail while tabs at the corners and sides secure the duvet cover.
Keep in Mind: It’s completely made from synthetic materials, and the edges aren’t piped or reinforced. Plus, at 88 x 88 inches for the queen, it is several inches smaller than comparable queen-size duvet inserts.
The Bedsure Duvet Insert Comforter is a versatile option at a very affordable price point, making it our choice for the best duvet insert for shoppers on a budget. According to our testers, this machine-washable polyester down alternative duvet insert delivered high marks for breathability, durability, and value.
In testing, we found that its surface temperature held steady at about 69°F, making it one of the cooler options in our roundup. If you easily get hot while sleeping, this insert will keep you comfortable.
The duvet insert comes equipped with subtle corner and side loops, so it would work well with a cover that has ties, but you don’t have to have one. We thought the light gray color, in particular, was an attractive neutral that could feel at home in a lot of bedroom styles. We also found that coffee stains came out easily from the microfiber shell with just a wet towel.
Combined with its low price point, range of sizes, easy-care instructions, and the option to use without a cover, this duvet insert is an affordable, low-maintenance choice for a kid’s room, vacation rental property, or dorm, or any room on a budget.
Price at time of publish: From $39
Shell Material: Microfiber | Fill: Polyester | Care: Machine washable, gentle cycle | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Why You Should Get It: Available in three weights to accommodate a range of sleepers, this duvet insert features long-staple 100% organic cotton material and baffle-box construction to keep the RDS-certified down evenly distributed and fluffy with use.
Keep in Mind: This is more expensive than other comparable options, not available in a twin size, and is super fluffy, so it may take a few dryer cycles to dry completely.
If you take comfort in knowing your bedding is free of harmful chemicals, the Boll & Branch is the best duvet insert to splurge on. The 100% organic cotton shell meets Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, which means it was tested and found to be free of over 100 harmful substances that are dangerous to humans and the environment. The down filling is ethically sourced and triple-washed, exceeding the U.S. government standard.
While this insert has four corner loops, our tester observed that it slid around a bit within our duvet cover. The shell fabric also made a little noise when moving it around the bed and didn’t feel as soft as other options tested, but it cleaned up well with a wet cloth and a stain pen. It’s also machine washable.
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“I thought this one was a bit expensive; however, there were some things about it that made it about worth the value,” one tester said. “I think the quality of sewing was really nice, and the fabric felt durable.”
It is important to note that while the full/queen size is listed as 92 x 96 inches on the company site, we found it to be 91 x 85 inches.
Price at time of publish: $458 for midweight full/queen duvet insert
Shell Material: Organic cotton | Fill: RDS-certified down | Care: Machine washable, cold water, gentle cycle | Sizes: Full/queen and king/California king
Why You Should Get It: The 100% cotton cover has a soft and silky texture and discreet tags that take the guesswork out of identifying the head and foot of the bed. It also comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Keep in Mind: This insert is slightly oversized compared to similar products because it’s designed to work best with Casper’s duvet covers and sheets. It did shrink a few inches after washing, though.
Made with RDS-certified duck down, the Casper Down Duvet has a fill power of 600 cubic inches. Just as down clusters help naturally insulate ducks, this duvet helps regulate your body’s natural temperature. We found that the surface temperature under the insert rose about 10°F after five minutes to 80°F, making it the warmest option in our round of testing.
“It’s a very pretty material but is obviously just an insert, so you won’t see it a lot [if you use it with a cover]. It’s very thin but feels sturdy,” one tester said. “It is also very breathable—I did not feel hot at all after being under it for five minutes. However, when I added the duvet cover, it got pretty warm, so I think it can depend on the cover.”
We tested a full/queen-size insert, which measured 95 x 98 inches, and observed that it looked a little flat initially but fluffed up with movement. While the duvet insert is machine washable in cold water on a gentle cycle, our tester noted that a coffee stain on the cotton shell did not come out with a cloth and water or a stain remover pen.
Price at time of publish: From $299
Shell Material: Cotton | Fill: RDS-certified duck down | Care: Machine washable, cold water, gentle cycle | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/California king
Why You Should Get It: Covered by a five-year warranty, the hypoallergenic microfiber fill makes it a sensible choice for allergy sufferers, and the double-stitched piped seams and baffle-box design offer long-lasting construction.
Keep in Mind: Our tester found that coffee did not clean up well from this comforter, so you’ll want to have your morning cup outside of bed.
Parachute’s down alternative duvet insert checks a lot of boxes. The superfine hypoallergenic microfiber fiber fill mimicked the fluffiness and insulating properties of down in our tests. There are corner loops for a duvet cover. It’s also available in two weights, depending on your sleep preference or climate—the all-season full/queen insert is 45 ounces, while the lightweight version is 32 ounces. All options are machine-washable in cold water on a delicate cycle or dry-cleanable.
The soft-finish sateen cambric cotton shell is breathable and mimics the feel of silk; however, some may find its subtle sheen a little heavy. Our testers noted that this insert felt soft, light, and fluffy, but the fabric quality wasn’t as luxurious as others. At 90 x 94 inches, the full/queen size was a little smaller than other inserts at similar price points, too.
Price at time of publish: From $309
Shell Material: Cambric cotton | Fill: Hypoallergenic microfiber | Care: Machine washable, cold water, delicate cycle, or dry clean | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/California king
Why You Should Get It: It is constructed of RSD-certified European white duck down with 700 fill power and 330 thread count cotton sateen outer shell.
Keep in Mind: It is on the pricier side for down comforters, is only available in one weight, and is not available in twin size.
With 80% down cluster fill and cotton sateen shell, the machine washable Morrow Quilted Down Duvet Insert earned Best Lightweight honors because our testers noted it was very breathable and “feels like a cloud.” It maintained a consistent surface temperature of about 70°F, even after five minutes, which indicates that it will maintain a consistently comfortable temperature that won’t feel too hot in warmer climates or for hot sleepers.
“The cover is made from a buttery-soft cloth and had a nice feel to it,” one tester said. “It might need to be fluffed after lying on it. You can hear it crinkle a little bit [when it moves] but not too much, and the fill is very evenly spread.”
The duvet edges are double-stitched with piping. Corner loops keep the machine duvet cover in place, and a baffle-box construction keeps the fill in place.
This insert only comes in two sizes, with the full/queen measuring 88 x 92 inches.
Price at time of publish: $375 for full/queen
Shell material: Cotton sateen | Fill: RSD-certified down | Care: Machine washable, cold water | Sizes: Full/queen, king/California king
The Bottom Line
The Apsmile Full/Queen Size Goose Feathers Down Comforter Duvet Insert is our overall best duvet insert, because its combination of down and feather fill and 400 thread count Egyptian cotton blend cover offers a very comfortable experience at a reasonable price point. We also liked that it’s available in three weights and more sizes than any other duvet insert we tested.
Our Testing Process
To find the best duvet inserts, we brought together a team of home experts to evaluate 34 down and down-alternative duvet inserts and comforters through a series of rigorous tests in our testing lab in Des Moines, Iowa. Our testers inspected the duvet inserts and comforters for visible defects and fill distribution, weighed and measured them, and handled them to experience their texture, scent, and sound.
To evaluate warming properties, the testers took initial surface temperature readings from underneath the duvet insert using an infrared thermometer and again after five minutes. Our testers lay under the duvet inserts and comforters for five minutes to compare comfort, loft, airflow, and breathability, and they lay on top of them for two minutes to observe compression. They put each duvet insert in a duvet cover to assess how well it fit and whether the insert’s filling shifted or clumped with movement or folding. They also folded and moved the duvet inserts on and off a bed—both with and without a cover—to rate how easy it was to maneuver them.
The testers attempted to spot-clean coffee from each cover’s shell. If duvet inserts were machine washable, they laundered and dried them according to the care instructions on the tag to see whether they’d shrink or become damaged or clumpy.
Finally, they assigned an individual score to each duvet insert and created a list of the best duvet inserts based on the overall performance in our tests, with consideration for shell material, fill, size options, and care instructions.
What to Know About Duvet Inserts Before Shopping
Personal preference, including how cold or warm you like to sleep and how heavy you like your bedding to feel, is a big factor in finding the best duvet insert for you.
“The No. 1 thing I tell everybody is, ‘Don’t just have your opinion unless you sleep alone,’” says Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for The Better Sleep Council. “If you sleep with a partner, always shop with them for these types of things.”
To get a better feel for how characteristics may affect your sleep and comfort, consider these factors when shopping for duvet inserts.
Look first at the fill material. Soft and lofty down made from the fluffy layer of feathers from a goose or duck’s undercoat provides excellent insulation and breathability and feels lightweight. Down is rated by fill power, which is a volume measurement that compares the size and quality of the fill clusters. The higher the number, which can range from about 300 to 900, the better the quality—meaning a warm insert that still feels lightweight.
“I try to look for something that’s primarily down fiber rather than just feathers because if it’s just feathers, it’s going to have like a crunchy feel because of the quill of a feather,” says Jessica Mintz, principal designer, and owner of Jessica Mintz Interiors, an interior design firm based in Los Angeles. “So you want to look for something that is majority down-filled but could have some feathers in it as long as it’s not the majority.”
Look for down duvet inserts with sustainable down certifications, including the Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS) and the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), to be sure the down comes from a “responsible source that respects animal welfare and can be transparently traced,” according to NSF, an organization that certifies to both standards.
Down alternative duvet inserts can be filled with either natural or synthetic materials, such as polyester microfiber, rayon, cotton, or polyester, that replicate the feel of down, usually with a lower price tag. Some fill is even made from recycled materials, such as water bottles. They are a better option if you have allergies, because they are hypoallergenic, or if you prefer to use products that aren’t made from animals. While they are usually easier to care for than down, they aren’t always as long-lasting. Warmer down-alternative duvet inserts also tend to be heavier than comparable down inserts.
“‘I recommend down alternative for kids,” Mintz says. “If your kid spills, or they’re still in those potty-training years, the duvet insert can just go straight to the wash if it’s down alternative.”
Whether it is a down or down alternative, look at how it’s stitched.
“The second thing I look for is a box pattern,” Mintz says. “If it’s got a box pattern, then it’s going to have an even distribution of fill. If it’s just panels, that’s when you tend to see the fill settle down at one end or the other, and you’re constantly having to shake it out to make it more evenly distributed again.”
Down and down-alternative inserts are also offered in various light, medium, or heavy weights, depending on your climate, personal comfort, and season. In climates with all four seasons, some people own two duvet inserts—a lighter one for the warmer months and a heavier one for the cold winter months.
The shell material is a duvet insert’s outer fabric. Cotton and polyester are the most common materials. Cotton is breathable and comfortable—look for a sateen finish for a very soft and luxurious drape. Polyester is often more affordable and durable. For a sustainable option, eucalyptus-derived Tencel lyocell is breathable and wicks moisture well.
Some duvet inserts also carry certifications. Linens that are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified are made of 70% organic fibers. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certifies that products are tested free of over 100 harmful substances that are dangerous to humans and the environment.
“I like cotton because it won’t get too hot,” Mintz says. “I also look at [the] thread count of the shell, because if that’s soft, it’s going to make the whole thing feel soft.”
If you always use a duvet cover with your insert, you do not need to wash your duvet insert very often, because the cover will prevent dirt, oils, and sweat from your skin from soiling the insert. Boll & Branch recommends washing its down duvets once every season. Using a top sheet also adds another layer of protection to keep your duvet insert cleaner and prolong its life span.
Before washing or drying a duvet insert, consult your duvet insert’s care tag for recommended laundering instructions. Some down and down-alternative duvet inserts may be washed and dried; others may require dry cleaning.
For machine-washable down and down-alternative inserts, use a gentle- or delicate-cycle setting, a minimal amount of detergent or down-specific wash, and cold or lukewarm water. Duvet inserts need to be able to move around freely in the washer machine to be thoroughly cleaned, and most standard-size home machines aren’t large enough to accommodate full, queen, and king sizes. For best results, visit a local laundromat to use a large-capacity front-loading washing machine.
If your duvet insert becomes soiled, pretreat the stain right away with a product containing enzymes if it’s dried blood or chocolate, or a prewash stain remover for most other types of stains, and launder as soon as possible. If the duvet insert is dry-cleaned only, be sure to point out the stain when you drop it off so it can be treated appropriately.
It’s important to dry a duvet insert thoroughly before returning it to its duvet insert to avoid the formation of mildew. Run the dryer on a low-temperature setting for several cycles as needed. Between cycles, remove the duvet insert from the dryer, and reposition it so damp spots aren’t bunched up. Use several wool dryer balls to help speed up the process and to keep the duvet insert feeling fluffy.
Other Duvet Inserts We Tested
Techtic Comforter Duvet Insert Queen Size at Amazon
While the Techtic Comforter Duvet Insert Queen Size was very inexpensive at $23 (at the time of publish) for a queen-size insert, we found that you get what you pay for with this down-alternative option. In person, the polyester shell did not feel high-quality, and it developed a hole and a couple of loose threads after washing, although it was easy to remove stains. Overall, the insert felt thin, and the fill was dense and compressed rather than light and fluffy.
Parachute Down Duvet Insert
We admit we had high hopes for this option given the cost, but we found the fill of the Parachute Down Duvet Insert was inconsistent throughout. Some areas were very compressed, and no amount of shaking seemed to help distribute and fluff it properly. It also was very warm, increasing about 9°F to reach 79°F in five minutes, which some might find uncomfortable. Our tester couldn’t make it the full five minutes, although she was wearing street clothes and preferred cooling options. At $439 (at the time of publish) for a full/queen size in the all-season weight, this duvet insert also lacked duvet loops, although we can see them pictured online.
The Citizenry Signature Down Alternative Duvet Insert
When we first inspected The Citizenry Signature Down-Alternative Duvet Insert ($165 at time of publish), it seemed like a solid duvet insert. The fill was consistent and even. It felt breathable. While it seemed a little denser than others, the shell possessed a soft and smooth texture. However, we were concerned about its longevity. After washing and drying it per the manufacturer’s instructions, we observed that it had loose strings, snagged areas, and a water stain. The length also increased by six inches after washing and drying, which seems to indicate that the fabric had stretched or that the fill had lost its fluffiness.
Your Questions, Answered
What’s the difference between a duvet insert and a comforter?
Duvet inserts and comforters are both fluffy blankets filled with down or synthetic fibers that layer on top of your sheet set to add warmth. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are some key differences. Comforters are standalone products without any additional covers needed. You can find them in a variety of colors and decorative prints.
A duvet insert is usually white or neutral in color and is meant to be paired with a duvet cover that can be easily switched out and washed frequently. Think of it like a pillowcase for your bedding. Duvet inserts often have loops that attach to the duvet cover ties so the insert stays in place.
“I like to look for a duvet insert that has loops, at least on the corners, but maybe on the centers of the sides as well,” Mintz says.” When I look for a duvet cover, I always look for one that has ties, because then the insert can be tethered to the cover so that it’s not getting lumpy in an area.”
A duvet cover prevents you from having to wash the insert as often and extends the life of your insert, but it requires an extra step of getting the insert into the cover. The “burrito method” makes this chore so much easier.
How often should you replace a duvet insert?
A duvet insert’s lifespan largely depends on its quality and fill material, and how much it’s used. Some companies say an investment in a high-quality down insert can last up to 25 years if cared for properly.
In general, down tends to last longer than down alternatives. If your duvet insert lives on a guest bed that’s not slept in often, you might never need to replace it. If it receives more wear—especially if people or pets lie on top of it—you may wish to replace it more frequently. However, even with heavy use, a quality duvet insert should last many years, so long as you always use a duvet cover and launder it according to the care instructions.
“As long as you’re handling it properly, it’s not something you’re going to have to replace very often … maybe about as often as your mattress or longer,” Mintz says.
How often should you replace your mattress? The Better Sleep Council recommends about every seven years. That’s often when many people choose to replace foundational mattress accessories, such as mattress protectors and duvet inserts, Rogers says.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for signs of wear, such as tears, snags, or stains that won’t come out. If a down insert looks thin in spots when you hold it up to a light source—the down has degraded and won’t be as warm as it used to be.
Should a duvet insert be the same size as a duvet cover?
In general, choose a duvet cover that correlates in size with your duvet insert. However, it’s a good practice to pay attention to the actual dimensions listed for both before purchasing. What constitutes a twin, full, queen, king, or California king size may vary by manufacturer by as many as several inches for both inserts and covers. An insert’s fullness also makes a difference.
“If it’s a lightweight, thinner insert, you may want to size up for your cover,” says Lauren Sullivan, interior designer and founder of Well X Design in Nashville. “I’ve found if they leave a lot of room in the duvet cover, they can look a bit lackluster.”
Mintz likes this hack for a fuller look. “If you wanted a really fluffy look, you can even put two inserts in a cover,” she says.
For a more tailored look, choose a duvet cover that corresponds with your mattress size. For a more relaxed and luxurious look with plenty of covers to spare, size up. “I usually buy a queen-size insert and cover for a full bed, because I like having a little extra,” Mintz says.
What is the best filling for a duvet insert?
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Which is better microfiber or hollow Fibre?
Is down or feather better for duvet?
What size duvet insert should I buy?
Can I wash my duvet insert?
What can I do with old duvets?
Should I wash a duvet insert before using?
How do I stop my duvet from going flat?
Why do hotels use sheets instead of duvet covers?
Who We Are
This article was written by Maria V. Charbonneaux, a freelance writer who has written about home, DIY, lifestyle, and crafts topics for Better Homes & Gardens publications for over 15 years. For this story, she spent several hours researching important features to look for when shopping for the best duvet inserts and talked to home design experts like Jessica Mintz, principal designer and owner of Jessica Mintz Interiors in Los Angeles, and Lauren Sullivan, interior designer and founder of Well X Design in Nashville, Tennessee. She also spoke with Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for The Better Sleep Council. Multiple members of the Better Homes & Gardens staff participated during lab testing in Des Moines, Iowa.
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