Quilt vs Comforter: Which One Should You Pick?


The world of bedding is vast.

Visit any bed & bath store and you’ll come across aisle after aisle of different types of bedding. While some are easy to figure out – think specific-function items like sheets and mattress toppers – others, like quilts and comforters, are more confusing. What’s the difference and why choose one over the other?

Although quilts and comforters are both bed covers, they’re used in slightly different ways and the terms aren’t interchangeable.

This guide will help you understand the difference to make an informed purchase.

What’s the Difference Between a Quilt and a Comforter? 

Quilts and comforters may look the same but they’re not. Here’s a detailed comparison.


A traditional quilt has three layers. The top layer is made with different pieces of fabric stitched together into complex patterns. Inside, the battling is a thin layer of either wool or down. The bottom is usually made with from a solid fabric.

It’s generally embroidered throughout in a decorative design to make pockets that trap heat. The word ‘quilt’ comes from quilting, an artistic endeavor as well as a style of manufacturing. Quilts used to be made by hand, but today inexpensive ones are made with sewing machines.

Comforters are a thick bedding topper filled with down or a synthetic substitute between two pieces of identical fabric. Unlike quilts, the stitches in a comforter are not ornately patterned. They feature either a sewn-through or baffle box construction. The former is when the stitching goes all the way through both sides of the comforter; the latter is when there are extra pieces of fabric between the top and bottom layers.




Quilts are a flatter type of bedding that lies flush against your bed. By contrast, comforters are generally fluffier. Their extra fluff and loft help provide more insulation than a thin quilt. As far as their aesthetic appeal is concerned, quilts are ideal for homes decorated in a country, rustic or coastal style because of their colourful, unique appearance. Comforters work well with contemporary decor because of their sophisticated appearance.


Quilts are usually made from cotton or cotton blends. That’s why these lightweight bed covers are ideal for use in summer or in winter on top of blankets. On the other hand, comforters are perfect for winter.

Ideal for

Quilts aren’t for everyone but work under the following conditions.

  • If you give off a lot of heat when you sleep and want something light for a bit of insulation, buy a quilt. They’re lighter-weight and thinner than duvets and comforters.
  • A quilt is your best bet if you want to give your bed a rustic touch.
  • If you’re not a fan of fluffy, plush comforters, give your bed a sleeker look with a quilt.
  • Love to sleep under layers of bedding? Combine quilts to get the coziness you’re after.

Choose a comforter under the following conditions.

  • If the winters where you live are cold and long, go for comforters to keep you warm.
  • Like sleeping in a cozy, cloud-like bed? Comforters are for you.
  • Comforters give your bed a luxurious, comfortable look.


Things to Consider

Both comforters and quilts have their drawbacks.

Things to consider about quilts:

  • Because they have several layers, they’re delicate so need to be dry cleaned.
  • They don’t offer much insulation so multiple quilts are needed when the temperature drops.
  • They’re folksy and traditional so not suitable for a contemporary setting.

Things to consider about comforters:

  • They’re sometimes larger than a bed and hang over the sides.
  • They need covers to avoid stains or wear and tear.
  • Some are filled with polyester that can off-gas and trigger allergic reactions. In such cases, organic bedding is your best choice.

Now you know the difference between comforters and quilts. Which is best for you? Evaluate each one’s features to make a wise purchase.