A comforter is a fundamental part of getting a great night of rest. The problem is that there may be some confusion over what one exactly is—especially when we mention duvets as well.

So, in simple terms: a comforter is a quilted, thick blanket with some sort of warming fill. The general purpose is to provide warmth and to add extra comfort to the bed. A duvet is very similar, but in essence, it’s a plush quilt without a cover. In the UK, indeed, asking for a comforter would be met with a blank expression—asking for a duvet would not!

With that confusion addressed, it’s important to mention that comforters don’t just add heat and comfort to a bed. In fact, some are designed to add breathability, others are ideal for allergy sufferers, and some are warm but may feel light. There’s a vast selection to choose from in the world of comforters.

Luckily, our guide will include what to consider when buying a comforter, an overview of the materials you can find in them, and our top picks for the best comforters out there.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Our Top Picks: Summary

Best Overall: Buffy
Buffy

A down-alternative comforter that’s packed with fibers encased in a breathable eucalyptus cover.

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Why we Picked It

Buffy’s “Cloud” comforter is our favorite overall pick. It’s a down-alternative comforter that’s packed with fibers encased in a breathable eucalyptus cover.

What we like the most about the Cloud is that it was designed to provide great comfort while being good for the environment too. Tor example, the shell (cover), is filled with layers of fiber made from recycled PET plastic bottles. This area is a big focus of the brand, and it means the Cloud is one of the most planet-friendly comforters currently out there.

You’ll experience a fluffy and cloud-like feel provided through a recycled fill. It feels like you’re slipping “into a tub of whipped cream.” The comforter should also be resistant to mold, mildew, and dust mites. We can’t complain about any of that!

The Cloud comes with free shipping, free returns, and a free sleep trial so you can decide if it’s the one for you.

Keep in Mind

It’s a bit more pricey than some down-alternative comforters out there, so if you’re on a budget, just be aware.

In a Nutshell

  • Eco-friendly
  • Breathable, light and fluffy
  • Silky eucalyptus shell
Best Value: Utopia
Utopia

A plush comforter that provides a relaxing sleep experience thanks to its soft and fluffy fiber-filled inside.

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Why we Picked It

The Utopia Bedding down-alternative comforter comes out on top when it comes to pure value.

It’s a plush comforter that provides a relaxing sleep experience thanks to its soft and fluffy fiber-filled inside. It features an incredibly soft microfiber shell with fiberfill down alternative that delights with a cozy and comfy feel. That’s not to mention the box stitching that prevents the fill from shifting around. In other words, it won’t need as much fluffing!

The Utopia Bedding comforter is similar to a duvet in the way in which it fits inside a cover, which can then be removed and washed as needed. This fact allows you to change the look and style of a room with ease.

It’s a breathable comforter that offers excellent value for money and is ideal for a guest room or even a child’s bedroom.

Keep in Mind

For value, it’s tough to beat Utopia Bedding’s comforter. Just keep in mind that it might not feel quite as luxurious as others out there.

In a Nutshell

  • Siliconized fiberfill
  • Box stitching
  • Machine washable
Best Luxury: Egyptian Bedding Down Comforter
Egyptian Bedding Down Comforter

The luxe comforter comes with a 30-day guarantee so you can try it out for yourself before leaping in.

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Why we Picked It

Egyptian Bedding’s goose down comforter may mean that getting up in the morning is even tougher. With its 750 plus fill power, this a heavy quilt that is perfect for enduring the icy touch of winter.

The comforter offers 100 percent down from Siberian geese, and its fill power ensures a toasty sleep. In addition, the baffle-box stitching results in better loft (thickness), which only adds to the warmth and comfort.

The shell itself is made from high-end Egyptian cotton that offers a thread count of 600. The higher the thread count, generally, the better the durability and softness. Egyptian cotton delivers in spades here.

The luxe comforter comes with a 30-day guarantee so you can try it out for yourself before leaping in. Something tells us you won’t regret it, though.

Keep in Mind

Customers have mentioned that the comforter makes a crinkly sound when you toss and turn on it, so it might not be ideal for light sleepers.

In a Nutshell

  • 750 plus fill power
  • Perfect for winter
  • 30-day guarantee
Best Down: Parachute Down Duvet
Parachute Down Duvet

It’s going to feel lofty and exceptionally warm, making it an excellent choice for the winter months where heat is in demand.

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Why we Picked It

Parachute’s down duvet insert is our top pick for the best down comforter.

Inside, it features a Canadian goose down with a 750 fill power. In other words, it’s going to feel lofty and exceptionally warm, making it an excellent choice for the winter months where heat is in demand.

We really like the fact you can purchase the comforter in two different thicknesses; one is a lightweight choice, while the other provides an “all-season” comfort. Everyone likes having options!

The shell is made from super soft 100 percent sateen cotton sewn in baffle box stitching—this keeps it evenly distributed and maintains its shape over time.

It comes with a 60-night sleep trial, a 5-year warranty, and you can dry clean or machine wash it, too.

Keep in Mind

It’s hard to fault Parachute’s down duvet insert, but be aware there are cheaper options out there if you’re on a tight budget.

In a Nutshell

  • 750 fill power
  • 5-year warranty
  • 100% sateen cotton shell
Best Down Alternative: Tuft and Needle Down Insert
Tuft and Needle Down Insert

Provides a lofty and soft experience just like real down does.

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Why we Picked It

Our best down-alternative comforter is Tuft & Needle’s.

The down-alternative comforter, containing polyester microfibers, provides a lofty and soft experience just like real down does. That said, it comes with the bonus of being hypoallergenic and is quite a bit cheaper, too.

The insert comes in two different weights, light and medium, so that you can customize your sleeping experience.

There’s a sewn-through construction for light and baffle-box construction for medium weight. The lighter option is ideal for hot sleepers, while the construction of the medium weight prevents the fill from sticking together. The brand says it purposefully oversized the duvet too—why should you have to fight all night for comfort? We agree!

A 100% Cambric cotton cover encases the down-alternative insert, resulting in better temperature regulations.

We’re pleased to say that Tuft & Needle offers a 100-night sleep trial, free returns, and a three-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

It may not be a top choice for the coldest of winter nights, so keep that in mind—particularly if you’re in a colder climate.

In a Nutshell

  • 100-night trial
  • Two different weights
  • 100% Cambric cotton shell

How We Chose the Best Comforters

When there is so much choice available online, it can be tough to know where to start. The same is true for comforters; there are numerous types, each with different materials and styles.

Having more options is a good thing if you don’t feel overwhelmed by choice. The reality is, sometimes you need a quick answer that breaks everything down, making it simple and easy to understand. That’s why we’re here.

When considering our top bedding picks, we look at multiple crucial areas. Below, we’ve defined what we look for in a comforter and what would make it a worthy addition to our top picks.

Material

There are a variety of different materials that feature in comforters. Primarily, we look for those that don’t sacrifice quality and performance where it matters most. The material will provide the necessary qualities advertised and should stand the test of time. Each material should be responsibly sourced and ideally good for the planet, too. We also look at the fill power, thread count, and stitching of the comforter.

Durability

You don’t want to frequently replace a comforter that isn’t up to the job. We look for quilts that provide warmth and comfort over a long period. The average comforter lasts for around 15 years or more. We don’t pick comforters from a brand that has cut corners—which results in it wearing out more quickly.

Warmth

While temperature is subjective—one person’s warmth might not be another’s—we primarily look at whether a comforter provides the warmth (or cooling) it claims. In other words, if a brand states that their comforter is specially designed to keep you warm or cool, we look to see that it does just that, without question.

Price

Value for money is, of course, a key concern of ours. When we look at the price of a comforter, we’re looking for those that provide everything they should for the price that’s listed. For instance, more expensive comforters ($250-$400) should provide a luxurious experience that justifies the higher price.

Customer Satisfaction

We look at how satisfied customers are generally, and certainly over time. If numerous customers are dissatisfied with their comforter, rest assured, it won’t make our top picks. Of course, we ensure we get a broad consensus from multiple consumers before deciding.

Comforter Materials

There’s a wide variety of materials available when it comes to comforters. Each of these materials provides a different feel and sleep experience, so it’s important to know what the material in a comforter offers before investing.

Below we’ve listed each of the materials you can find in a comforter, including fill materials (what’s inside) and shell/cover materials. We’ve also mentioned some of the key pros and cons of each of them.

Comforter Cover Materials

  • Cotton: Cotton is a natural material known for its softness. It’s moderately breathable and cool, which means it’s a good choice for the summer, and any other hot days—it will feel light, too. It’s one of the more common materials found in the covers of comforters and is hypoallergenic, so it shouldn’t irritate the skin.
  • Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fiber and is usually less expensive than cotton. It’s important to note that not all polyester is the same, though; the quality and attributes change based on how the material is produced. Polyester should feel stronger and more flexible than cotton, but this comes at the cost of not being as breathable. Generally, you will feel hotter with a polyester cover, which is why it’s often combined with cotton.
  • Wool: A wool cover for your comforter can help to regulate your body temperature. It resists smells and bacteria that might get attached to the cover, and it’s soft and warm to the touch. Keep in mind a wool cover will cost more.
  • Silk: Covers/shells made from silk will feel soft and sleek. They are breathable and should also feel cool to the touch. That said, it’s probably not the best option for a cover in the winter. Silk is also quite expensive and can be challenging to wash—considering you’ll have to clean it regularly, that’s worth keeping in mind.

Comforter Fill Materials

  • Down: Down (a layer of feathers found in underside plumage of birds) can be broken into several variants. Goose and duck down are most common. Goose down will feel luxurious and can provide serious warmth. Unfortunately, some people are allergic to it. Duck down, on the other hand, is smaller and less fluffy than goose down. It’s still significantly warm and is lightweight, too. Generally, it’s more affordable than goose down, but similarly, it can cause allergies.
  • Down Alternative (polyester): Down alternative comes from polyester microfibers, but offers the same softness and loft (thickness) as real down. Key advantages of this include that it won’t cause allergic reactions, and it’s much cheaper than authentic down. While it mimics it well, it might not provide the same warmth and lightweight feel.
  • Cotton: Similar to what it provides as a cover material, cotton fill is breathable and cool. It’s a low-cost option, but it’s weaker insulating capabilities might not provide the warmth you require for colder nights.
  • Wool: Wool has many benefits, the first being that it naturally regulates body temperature. It insulates when you’re cold, and it wicks away moisture when you’re hot. The best of both worlds! It’s also great at resisting smells and bacteria. It’s worth mentioning that wool fill doesn’t have the same loft as other materials and may feel heavier.
  • Silk: Silk as a fill is exceptionally light and soft. It doesn’t provide the same warmth as other materials, so it’s better for summer months.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Comforter

Apart from material type, there are other points to consider when choosing a comforter. From the return policy to the thread count, we’ve covered everything you need to know below.

Fill Power: When we talk about fill power in a comforter, we’re talking exclusively about down and down alternative comforters. In a nutshell, fill power is how much volume one ounce of down has. The higher the fill power, the warmer the comforter. In general terms, you should look for a fill power of 600-800. If you live somewhere cold, it tends to be that the higher the fill power, the better!

Thread Count: Thread count (sometimes displayed as TC) is the density of cotton yarns in a fabric. A higher thread count typically results in better durability and softness. Take note that not all manufacturers count yarns in the same way—some may be counted twice, making the thread count seem higher than it is. You should look for a thread count of between 300-500 for a comforter.

Stitching: The stitching of the comforter can affect its overall quality. There are quite a few stitching styles, too, but the key ones are sewn-through and baffle box. With sewn-through, the top and bottom of the comforter are sewn together to secure the fill in place. As a result of this, there is little room for the fill to move, meaning the comforter requires less fluffing—it doesn’t maintain its loft as well, though.

With baffle box stitching, another piece of fabric is used to connect the top and bottom of the comforter. The pros of this are that it retains loft, or thickness, more efficiently. It will mean that more fluffing is required, though, as there is more space for the fill to move around.

Return Policy: In terms of a return policy, most comforters will come with a sleep trial that lets you decide if you want to keep it. You should, ideally, be given 30 days to try your comforter out on a risk-free basis. It’s worth mentioning that a warranty can protect you against faulty materials.

Duvet Covers: As we’ve explained, comforters and duvets are basically the same thing, although there is often confusion here. Duvets are designed to go in a cover, while comforters already have a built-in cover. That said, you can change the look of either a comforter or a duvet with a cover—it’s a quick and straightforward solution.

Washing Your Comforter

You love your soft and warm comforter, but unfortunately, it’s getting a bit grimy and looking a bit lackluster. So, how exactly do you wash it?

Well, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the washing and care of your comforter, especially if you want to increase its longevity. There may be specific guidance or tips, so always read the instructions carefully.

For example, while some comforters can quite happily go in the washing machine, others can’t due to their unique design. Some may even be too big for home washing machines altogether. Down alternative covers, for instance, are machine washable, but due to their bulky nature, it may be best to wash them in a laundromat.

Spot cleaning—cleaning your comforter by hand and without a machine—is an excellent method to increase the longevity of your comforter. However, some customers may prefer the speed and ease of machine washing.

It’s fair to say, then, that the ease of cleaning may be a make or break decision for some shoppers. If you are concerned about the cleaning process, always consider that well before you purchase your comforter. That way, you can enjoy your plush new quilt without the fuss.

Related Resources

If you’d like to know more about all things bedding, then you can find our comprehensive and independent guides below.

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Jamie Giggs