The Fascinating History Of The Duvet

by: Ruby Russell, founder/CEO befitted bedding

So, what is the purpose of the duvet, and where did they come from?

Duvets reduce the complexity of making a bed. Duvets make it far easier to make than hospital corners using the top sheet. The duvet is a commonsense replacement for blankets, bedspreads, and the top sheet. Duvet is the French word for “down”. It is like a big bag made of various fabrics to form a large pouch. It goes on the very top of the bed and gives the sleeper warm comfort without a blanket, bedspread, or top bed sheet. It has become an essential bedding item within the United Kingdom and is the most popular bed covering in all of Europe.

So, where did they come from?

An honest answer is no one knows where the duvet came from. An archaeological dig suggests the Chinese were the first to invent duvets around 5,000 years ago. However, this has been difficult to confirm. Sources also say duvets originated in rural Europe using the feathers of ducks or geese as a filler. To be honest, the origination of the duvet is as complicated as it is to stuff one. There is no clear answer on who invented the duvet.

In 1749 Thomas Nugent, an English gentleman, saw the use of the duvets while touring Europe. The British were using eiderdown to create duvets which are the soft underlay feathers from the Eider duck. The Eider duck is a precious natural resource of Iceland and is known for its effectiveness as a thermal insulator.

Sir Terence Conrad began to import duvets from Sweden to the UK., and immediately, the concept caught on and was then marketed as the ‘10 second bed’. The ‘Continental Quilt’ as it was named in Britain really started to catch on in the 1970s because of its comfort and convenience.

The modern-day duvet comes in all shapes and sizes. Like a sleeping bag, it can be filled with down or feathers of various quality and cost as well as silk, wool, cotton, or artificial fibers such as polyester batting. There are many fillings and thicknesses to choose from, depending on your preference.

Benefits Of The Duvet

Duvets can be made warmer than blankets without becoming heavy. The care of a duvet is a tedious process and should only be washed when necessary, once or twice a year. The process can take several hours with several rinses aftercare instructions. Warm wash gentle 40º cool tumble dry, no bleach and do, not iron.

Comforter vs. duvet vs. duvet cover

The difference between a duvet and a comforter is one piece of bedding, while a duvet requires two separate pieces, an insert, and a cover. A comforter is usually quilted with the filling evenly distributed. It is technically designed to be used without a cover but with a top sheet instead., while a duvet has an insert that works as a filler. Duvet covers are often less expensive than comforters.

The duvet cover is essential for the duvet if you want it to last. Once you strip a duvet cover from the duvet (down or synthetic blanket insert), you can easily launder it. You can also put a comforter inside a duvet cover to keep it clean, and it is more cost-effective to replace and care for than a duvet or comforter. It is also less expensive to change the look of your bedroom by swapping out duvet covers. When it comes to the exterior of the duvet cover, the views are mixed. Cotton, bamboo, or linen are the best fabrics for duvets, but some prefer and recommend microfiber or silk. Bamboo is ranked number one in breathability for duvet covers and comforters.


If you thought the ‘hospital corner’ was complicated, you are not saved when it comes to the duvet cover. Over the years, there have been several patents on duvet covers with several things in common, how you insert the duvet and closures, ties, buttons, or snaps. There are side, middle, top, and bottom openings. The stuffing of a duvet cover is a tedious, daunting process; It has been given names like the burrito or sausage roll, where the instructions show you how to roll a duvet and insert it inside out to make it.

There are many videos with 23 million-plus viewers on how to make/stuff a duvet cover. If you thought it was complicated making a “hospital corner” on the bedsheet, get ready for the duvet cover. Rachel Ray did several shows on the hard-to-due process, which has been given several names, the burrito roll, sausage roll, California roll, and the roll. All are the reasons I stopped using a duvet cover until I invented my own.

Like the top bed sheet, there has been no significant change to the duvet cover from its beginning until now.

Necessity is the mother of invention. When my 85-year-old partner injured his back, he would toss and turn to mess the bed up. I hated making the bed and felt shame leaving it to him, and I didn’t mess it up. I knew there had to be an easier way.

That’s what drove me to invent a top sheet that would stay-put Stayput Bedding™.

That turned out so cool and stayed put that I tackled another bedding item I hated, the duvet cover. Befitted Bedding™ is a patent-pending duvet cover that is simple to make. Our duvet cover and top sheet are also guaranteed to stay put. My desire was to make bedding simple and effortless, so you spend more time in bed and less time making it.


  • Unzip cover

  • Lay comforter

  • Zip-up cover

  • Tuck cover

  • Done

The history of Duvets is rich and fascinating. For such an important part of the bed set, it’s surprising to discover that so little is known about its origins. It’s also surprising that there has been no significant improvement in bed linens since the invention of the fitted sheet 62 years ago. I was blown away when I discovered the inventor of the fitted bed sheet was an African American woman, Bertha Berman. Filled with pride, I began to think of other ways I could make bed-making simple and effortless.

It’s time we bring bedding into the 21st century. With new innovative 21st century designs, you don’t make the bed; the bed makes you.

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