We Solved An Everyday Annoyance: 12 Duvet Covers + Inserts That *Actually* Fit Each Other (Yes, Not Many Do)

We Solved An Everyday Annoyance: 12 Duvet Covers + Inserts That *Actually* Fit Each Other (Yes, Not Many Do)

Blue moons. Total solar eclipses. White truffles. Antimatter. Duvet inserts that fit perfectly inside a duvet cover. What do these things all have in common? They are some of the rarest things to experience or find on planet Earth.

In all seriousness (wait, I *was* serious), the perfect insert + cover combo has evaded me almost my entire adult life for reasons too vast to document here. My most recent reason? Buying a duvet cover I like and then just buying an insert in the “same size” by name only and not checking the dimensions more closely of both. Friends, there are few things as frustrating as tugging on your comforter only to be met with a thin, floppy, wrinkled cover/sheet thing with no interior mass BECAUSE YOUR INSERT IS TOO SMALL.

And yes, it’s tied on all four corners (and even in the centers with makeshift ties I hand-sewed into my duvet cover). I spend roughly 12% of my days shaking out and readjusting duvet covers, and I’m sick of it. “Why don’t we just have a solid comforter like normal people?” my husband loves to annoy me by asking. “Because everyone knows design-y people committed a blood pact somewhere down the line to only use duvet covers and inserts, and if I try to break it, we’ll be doomed to poorly hung curtains and flat pillows forevermore,” I reply back.

As simple as it sounds to say “Just check dimensions and you’re golden,” that’s the kind of thing that clearly needs to be taught in schools or at least handed down from parent to child before setting foot into the real world. Because FORGIVE ME FOR TRUSTING LABELS. Friends, a duvet cover labeled Queen is not guaranteed to fit a duvet insert labeled Queen. Not even by the same brand. Nine times out of ten, in fact, it won’t be the same size. Off by many inches. What kind of cruel unregulated joke is being played on all of us?

Here are the dimensions of the duvet insert I bought from Quince and a duvet cover I bought from Bed Threads:

Four inches might not sound like a lot, but somehow it ends up being like 14 inches. I swear.

And this isn’t even as egregious as some of the other measurements I saw out there during my search. Some king duvet covers were sized up to 114 inches in width, at the same store that sold king inserts of widths a foot less than that. Can we not call a bedding international summit so we can all get on the same page? I understand that people have preferences for things not looking too big or actually wanting something oversized but surely we could come up with labels for that, too? Perhaps I need to be resolved to the fact that bedding sizes are like female clothing sizes. A medium is not a medium is not a medium across three brands. “Short” and “regular” lengths are different everywhere you go. WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?

I’m not the only one downtrodden by this bedding plight either. Caitlin heard I was working on this piece and had to share her similar plight with me (with pictures for receipts). Here’s what she said: “I don’t understand how it happens! My cover always starts out fitting (and obviously I use the ties) but after a few nights, it’s just flopping around in there. There’s like 8 inches of just sheet past the comforter.”

I realize I’m being quite dramatic here, but for real, if bedding companies won’t help us, then we need to help ourselves. Or rather, I need to help all of you readers. So I half-jokingly pitched the idea to Jess and Em of playing bedding matchmaker by finding covers and inserts that actually fit together, and well, here I am today following through.

It wasn’t easy. Often, it felt like working through a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that was unknowingly 500 pieces from one puzzle and 499 pieces from another…with one missing piece for good measure. But I did it. I found 12 pairings across three mattress sizes (twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/California king) and four style preferences (neutral, a little pattern, solid color, full pattern), and now I’m ready to run for Design World President. Is that a thing? Vote for Arlyn.

But first, some things to consider that no one taught me and I had to learn the hard way. Over and over again.

6 Rules For Finding Duver Inserts That Fit Properly In A Duvet Cover

Rule #1: Always check dimensions. Then recheck them. You want your duvet insert to be no less than 2 inches smaller in either width or length, but ideally the same size or even a few inches larger (I think 2-3 inches longer on each size is good for a slightly fluffier look; anything larger and you’ll start getting some bad bunching). And remember that different websites and stores call their sizes different things from each other. If you need a 90″ x 90″, that might be a full/queen in one place, but a standard queen in another, and even maybe an oversized double. There is no standardization on this. (Please sign my petition here for that world bedding summit I mentioned above.)

Rule #2: Non-American sizes may be different than American brands, so don’t assume a queen size from a European or Australian brand is the same as a US queen size. (Also: See rule #1)

Rule #3: Any duvet cover that is meant to fit two sizes (full/queen, king/California king) is never going to be quite right and the corresponding insert is going to have its interpretation of what size it should be to fit both mattress sizes. You can sometimes find singular sizes (like just full, or just queen, or just twin XL) but it’s not always easy to find the other piece of the bedding puzzle in the matching dimensions. (Also: See rule #1)

Rule #4: You can always sew your duvet covet to make it smaller, or go to a dry cleaner to do it for you (know how much length or width you want to take off of it). This should run you around $20 or less, depending on the city you live in. 

Rule #5: Don’t assume that because you’re buying a duvet from a company that an insert from that same company is the right size. (Also: See rule #1)

Rule #6: If you have a queen mattress, you can always buy a king insert for a queen cover to get a very full, fluffy look. Just be sure you’re dimensions aren’t super far off. (Also: See rule #1)

Alright, now that the rules are out of the way, let’s take a look at the combos I found. Oh and keep in mind that if I linked a down comforter, often that same brand will have a down alternative option, as well (not true across the board but fairly common).

If You Prefer Neutrals:

Cream, white, flax, grey, natural…for all of those out there who have a liking for simple, soothing bedding schemes, this one is for you.

Twin/Twin XL

Linen Twin Duvet Cover Set in Light Grey | Exclusive Hypoallergenic Medium Twin Duvet Insert

Ladies and the three gents reading, don’t sleep (ha) on H&M for things like bedding, curtains, and the like. This set (it includes shams, too) comes in a handful of covers, but for all the neutral lovers out there, this light grey is lovely. And my general rule of thumb is to always invest in the duvet insert because a good one will last you way longer than your taste for neutrals. This one from Crate & Barrel is hypoallergenic.


Casaluna Heavyweight Linen Blend Duvet Cover & Pillow Sham Set in Natural | Down Alternative Duvet Insert Midweight

We’re big fans here at EHD of the Casaluna line at Target, and I’ve used this heavyweight linen duvet cover in a multitude of colors for many a photo shoot in my past creative director job and it always looks great. Plus, the price is hard to beat for the quality. And if you are on the hunt for top-notch yet fairly priced bedding basics, be sure to check out Boll & Branch.

King/California King

Percale Duvet Cover in Cream | Wayfair Sleep All Season Down Alternative Comforter

True story: I can’t stand the feeling of linen bedding on my skin. No matter how much I wash it, it’ll always feel a bit scratchy and make me feel hot (even though it’s supposed to do the opposite). I am, however, a huge fan of percale, which feels cool and crisp on my body, especially on these hot summer nights where the A/C can’t seem to keep up. Here, I paired it with a well-reviewed down alternative comforter from Wayfair for under $75.

If You Like A Solid Color:

Maybe you don’t want all the visual noise of a pattern, but a neutral feels too boring in your space. You know what you need? A solid color (bonus points if it has some contrast piping along the edges).

Twin/Twin XL

Piped Classic Percale Duvet Cover in Blue Mist | Down Alternative Comforter All Season

I absolutely love the look of this percale duvet cover from Brooklinen. One side is white, one side is a misty blue, and all around is a dark thin piping. It comes in four other colors if light blue isn’t for you. As for the insert, the award for most convenient bedding company goes to Brooklinen, who actually has inserts sized to properly fit their covers. This one is constantly voted one of the top comforters by tons of sites, btw.


Dreamy Gauze Cotton Duvet Cover in Celadon Melange | Goose Down Alternative Comforter Duvet Insert

Not into the feel of linen but want more texture than flat percale or cotton? Gauze might be up your alley. The soft celadon color of this one from West Elm could work for so many color schemes and styles. Oh, and the insert I found on Target’s site has an almost 5-star review, and has not just corner ties but center ties, too (eight total to keep that sucker in place!). (Remember, your comforter probably won’t also have eight tights or loops, so you may need to get crafty with a needle and thread.)

King/California King

Eucalyptus Duvet Cover in Earth | Buffy Cloud Comforter

Another brand that has gifted us with sizing things the same across the board? Buffy. Hallelujah. I love the look of the eucalyptus duvet cover, plus it comes in a ton of really great colors and even some subtle patterns. Their Cloud comforter is top-rated (but if you’re still not ready to commit, they offer a 7-night free trial to see if you like it for yourself).

If You Want A Little Something But Not Too Much:

This is the category I most align with currently. I’ve lived the neutral duvet cover life for a long time (and before that, it was full-on pattern), but now I’m in a middle ground. A subtle pinstripe or check goes a long way to satisfy my itch for pattern on my bedding without being something I might tire of quickly.

Twin/Twin XL

Modern Comfy Tee Pink Stripe Organic Cotton Jersey Duvet Cover | Buffy Cloud Comforter

A blush stripe in a soft cotton jersey is wonderful for adding interest to a kid’s room (or you know, an adult’s room) without risking clashing with all the toys, artwork, or wallpaper that might already exist in the space. That same Buffy Cloud comforter from earlier is sized just a touch larger for a super fluffy look.


Honey Gingham Linen Duvet Cover | Down Duvet Insert All Season

If my bed wasn’t already this same color velvet, I might be tempted to get this for myself in a king size. Piglet in Bed is such a fun brand with great duvets, Pajamas, and other lounge-worthy things. This one comes in a ton of other colors and patterns, too. And for anyone who likes the feel and warmth of down but is concerned with the practice of acquiring down, this comforter from Avocado has down that is ethically sourced and Responsible Down Standard certified.

King/California King

Rust Stripe 100% French Flax Linen Duvet Cover | Down Alternative Comforter All Season

This is the duvet cover I currently own (as does Jess, who bought it without realizing we had the same one, ha). Honestly, it’s really great visually, but this colorway is now on final sale and being discontinued so hurry if you love it. And, unlike what I have at home, a duvet insert that will actually fit. Knowing how big and floppy my duvet cover is, I opted for something a few inches wider and longer, too.

If You Crave Pattern:

Anyone who knows me knows I love pattern. I might currently be in my “subtle color and pattern” bedding phase, but much of my life has been lived with a comforter with plenty of visual interest. Here are a few I found I’m loving.

Twin/Twin XL

RHODE Jawahar Duvet Cover | Luxe Goose Down Comforter All Season

Nearly every single piece from the RHODE collab at West Elm is a home run for me, including this pretty duvet cover. It would be great in any mattress size and for any age group. And this duvet insert from Quince is the one I have (but obviously sized in a twin) and it’s great. It has some weight but isn’t heavy, keeps you warm in the winter but not overly hot in the summer. It’s a little crunchy sounding but I’ve gotten used to it, tbh.


Blooming Field Duvet Cover | Kasentex Double-Sided 3-Piece Comforter Set All Season

Schoolhouse has a knack for creating patterns in their bedding and blankets that are so well loved. I’ve seen this duvet cover pattern in action many times and for good reason. The pattern is eclectic yet modern, the color is just right, and the scale is impactful without being too large. It’s a winner. Pair it with a very affordable fluffy comforter sized just right.

King/California King

Sorrel Toile Duvet Cover | Down Alternative Comforter All Season

A good toile will never go out of style. And the soft, powdery blue of this one from Pottery Barn makes it feel almost like a neutral (I said *almost*, okay?). I’ve had great success with duvet covers from the brand in the past. They’re super soft, sturdy, and well sewn so you don’t risk ripping holes in them any time soon. And because I feel like it craves an overstuffed look, I picked that same Snowe comforter from earlier a few inches larger on each side.

I DID IT. Honestly, I wanted to keep going. Uncover every style and size iteration I could, but I had to stop somewhere. I’d have any of these above in my own home, so I hope you love them and find something here that works for you if you are also struggling with bedding battles.

Before I go, I did want to share these two brands I’ve been hearing some good things about: Doze (which has a snap system for their duvet inserts to stay firmly in place as well as a zipper that opens up three sides to make taking the cover on and off a breeze) and Pippen House, which might be the most exciting of them all. Their system zips together the insert and the cover for a perfect, no-budge fit. THIS IS THE FUTURE! They only offer a few colors so far, and it’s pricey, but it’s something to consider if you like white bedding.

And that’s the end, folks. Hopefully, working on this post will put me one step closer to winning the war against ill-fitting duvet covers and inserts…and you, as well.

Until next time…

Opening image credit: Design by Arlyn Hernandez | Styling by Emily Edith Bowser | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp  | From: 3 Years In The Making Then An Unexpected Move: Arlyn’s Bedroom Reveal Is A Lesson In The Beauty Of “Unfinished” Design

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