A comforter (in American English), also known as a doona in Australian English or a continental quilt (or simply quilt) or duvet in British English, is a type of bedding consisting of natural or synthetic insulative material encased in a fabric shell/covering, used to keep bed occupants warm. Like quilts, comforters are generally laid over a top bed sheet (and sometimes also blankets). Duvets are another form of quilt, traditionally filled with feathers though often made of synthetic fibres.
A comforter is sometimes covered for protection and prolonged use. Comforter covers are similar in principle to pillowcases, usually closed with zippers or buttons.
In the United Kingdom the term comforter is not generally used. It is instead called a quilt, duvet or an eiderdown. A duvet differs in that it is thicker and usually used without blankets or extra sheets.
Sometimes a comforter is sold as a "bed in a bag". This term usually denotes an entire set of bedding, including either a comforter or duvet with its cover.
The terminology comforter comes from the word comfort. Comforters are usually used in the winter season when it is very cold. Due to the large thickness of a comforter, a person would feel warm and comfortable.
Comforter sizes correspond with bed sizes: twin, full, queen, king, and cal-king. Comforter sizes run slightly larger than actual bed sizes to allow for draping over the sides of the bed. Typical sizes in the United States for comforters are:
- Twin = 64" (162.56 cm) width x 87" (220.98 cm) length
- Queen / Full = 87" (220.98 cm) width x 87" (220.98 cm) length
- King = 101" (256.54 cm) width x 90" (228.6 cm) length.
Filling - Comforters are filled with layers of material such as polyester batting, down feathers, wool, or silk. Comforters can also be made out of fur, usually with a backing of satin or silk. The loft of the filling determines the weight as well as the level of insulation. The comforter is stitched or quilted to secure the filling and keep it evenly distributed.
Shell/Covering - The outer shells of comforters are typically constructed using cotton, silk, or polyester fabrics or blends, of varying thread counts. Comforter shells vary in design and color, often designed to coordinate with other bedding.
- "Bedding Sets - Finding What's Right for You" Homeapparel.com. June 2007.