How to Put On a Duvet Cover With Ease

Putting on a duvet cover doesn't need to be a test of endurance. You just need the right method.

By Andrea Pisani Babich

Apr 20th, 2022

By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Advisor may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

Wouldn’t it be grand if your duvet acted like a pillow and you could simply slip on the cover like a pillowcase? Wrap the cover around one end, then let gravity do the rest. A few shakes and the whole thing would be done.

Well, sadly, your duvet is not semi-rigid like your pillow and is substantially bigger – much, much bigger in the case of a king-size – making the task a little bit harder than fitting a pillowcase on your pillow. But, like all seemingly daunting tasks – like folding fitted sheets, for instance – knowing how to do it is half the battle.

What’s that? You have a comforter, but you’re not sure what a duvet is. Don’t worry. The instructions work for comforters too, since a duvet is, for all intents and purposes, just a comforter inside a duvet cover.

But first, a few words about the words “duvet” and “comforter.”

Duvet vs. comforter

You say comforter, I say duvet; are we talking about the same thing? Although most Americans use the terms interchangeably, there is a difference between a comforter and a duvet. Both are constructed of two layers of fabric filled with down, silk, wool, cotton, or synthetic fillings.

A comforter is generally used on top of a flat cover sheet and maybe even a blanket, while a traditional, European duvet is used inside a duvet cover as the only covering for sleepers. That means no cover sheet and no blanket.

This European style of bedding makes a duvet cover an essential part of your bed linens and your weekly laundering of them. And even if you opt to lay your duvet on top of a cover sheet, you’ll want to wash its cover frequently since it is the first line of defense for your bed linens against dirt, dust and fur babies. This means you need to know how to put the duvet cover back on your duvet easily.

The traditional way to cover your duvet

Take a look at our how-to video for covering your duvet the traditional way here, or read our step-by-step instructions below. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way to becoming a bed-making professional!

Pro tip: This method works best for twin- or queen-size duvets whose openings are on the short side.

Step-by-step instructions to fold a duvet cover

  1. Lay your duvet on the bed.
  2. Turn your duvet cover inside out and reach inside to the two corners furthest from the opening.
  3. Holding the two inside corners, match them to the corresponding corners on your duvet. (If your duvet opens at the bottom, you should be matching the cover’s corners to the two top corners of the duvet. If the opening is on the side, they will be the corners of the long side furthest from you.)
  4. If your cover has ties, secure the corners to the corners of the duvet.
  5. With your hands in the corners of the inside-out cover, grab the corresponding corners of the duvet and lift them up and through the opening so the right side of the cover is now exposed.
  6. Continue to raise the duvet high and give it a few shakes so that the cover unfurls over the rest of the duvet. The cover should now be right side out and encasing most, if not all, of the duvet.
  7. Lay the covered duvet on your bed and use the buttons or toggles to close the opening. Give it a few final shakes to straighten everything. Now it’s ready to lay on your bed!

When the Cake Roll Method works better

Sometimes the traditional way to put a cover on a duvet is a lot harder than it ought to be.

  • For duvet covers that open on the long side or king-size covers, you might need the wingspan and strength of an NBA player to lift and shake out the duvet while holding on to two opposing corners. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have one of those in my house, so this method doesn’t work for me.
  • If you don’t have long arms or don’t have full use of them, putting a cover on even the smallest duvet the traditional way can be challenging.
  • The last thing allergy sufferers want is to shake multiple bed linens multiple times in their bedroom. Every bit of dust from the duvet and cover as well as the dust (and pet hair?) in your room will be airborne. Sounds like an allergy horror show.

If you plan on washing your duvet cover once a week along with your other bed linens, you need a method that won’t discourage you from keeping it clean. Everyone, no matter your size or ability, can execute the Cake Roll Method for covering your duvet.


Step-by-step instructions

  1. Lay the duvet cover on the bed inside out. If your cover opens on the short end, leave the opening at the top of the bed. If it opens on the side, leave it on the side furthest from you.
  2. Lay your duvet on top of the cover and match the all the corner. Make sure the duvet is oriented the same way as the cover so that the long sides of duvet are on top of the long sides of cover, and the top and bottom of the comforter at matched to the short sides.
  3. If there are ties, tie the corners of the duvet to the closed end of the duvet cover.
  4. Roll up the duvet and cover combination like a cake roll all the way to the open end of the cover.
  5. Reach inside the opening at one edge and grab the end of the comforter/cover combo. Pull the cover around the end so the right side of the cover shows. Continue stuffing the roll inside the cover along the entire roll.
  6. Now simply unroll the duvet/cover combo to expose the cover’s right side with the duvet neatly tucked inside.
  7. Tie the corners at the open end together, and zip or button closed the cover opening. Make sure the closure is at the foot of the bed unless it is designed to be on the side edge.
  8. Give it a brisk shake to smooth everything out. There. You’re done with no heavy lifting.

Do you really need a cover on your comforter?

There are several reasons to put a cover on your comforter beyond being able to legitimately call it a duvet.

  • Protect your duvet. A high-quality duvet can be a big investment that you’ll want to protect. A cover keeps dirt, dust, and stains from ruining your duvet.
  • Easy to clean. A duvet cover is much easier to wash than a duvet. Some duvets need to be dry cleaned and many are too big for standard home washing machines.
  • Keep it simple. Using a cover on your duvet allows you to forgo the flat cover sheet and blanket and simply use the duvet to keep you warm.
  • Simplify making your bed. No need for hospital corners to tuck in the cover sheet and blanket if you use just a duvet for warmth. When you get out of bed in the morning, just straighten out the fitted bottom sheet, pull up the duvet, prop up the pillows, and you’re done.
  • Empower your down. Get the most benefit from your down-filled comforter by opting for the European bedding style. Fewer layers between your body and the down enable the down to do its job most effectively.
  • Adorn with ease. Since your bed is the focal point of your bedroom, it should look breathtaking. A duvet cover makes your bed pop and when you want a new look – maybe for a new season – simply switch out the duvet cover. There – instant refresh.

Still struggling with that duvet cover? Let us know your issue in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you tackle it.