Quilt vs Comforter: What is the Difference?

Author: Manchester Collection  Date Posted:18 November 2022 

Are you looking for a quilt or a comforter? Not sure what the difference is? We can help! They are both types of bedding, but they have different functions.

Bedding equipment is necessary for a comfortable sleep at night. We’d do anything to stop tossing and turning and wake up refreshed and rested. Sometimes, finding the right product that fits your needs can be challenging, especially if you are unsure about the difference between similar types of bedding.

In this blog about quilts and comforters, you will learn about all the differences and similarities between them, so it will be easier to decide what is a better fit for your bedroom. Although both serve the same purpose, people use them in different ways. Let’s learn more about each of them and decide which is better for hot summer nights.


What is a quilt?

White quilt on a bed - Manchester Collection

A quilt is a type of bedding used as a bedspread. It is made by stitching together three layers of fabric. The top layer of a quilt is what makes it stand out. With a classic one, the top layer consists of various pieces of fabric sewn together and sometimes has a complex design. However, since modern quilts are made by machines and not by hand, they have a less complicated grid.

The batting is filled with wool, polyester or down, and the bottom layer is a single fabric piece different from the top layer but also woven. Manufacturers join these layers with a process called quilting. The inner layer is thinner, so the quilt isn’t puffy. However, wool can add warmth, while polyester and cotton are better for keeping the quilt cool.

Nowadays, people stitch quilts with the machine, and patterns range from clean and solid to more colourful designs. It is usually not as bulky as the comforter, but it’s more lightweight and thin.


What is a comforter?

A comforter consists of an inner layer which is a thick material, and a front and back cover. This bed topper has three layers that manufacturers stitch through in a grid formation because the filling material needs to be distributed evenly. The inner materials are thick and puffy. Manufacturers fill some comforters with down, cotton, or wool, and others with polyester.

Anyone who likes puffy toppers without too many layers will like a comforter. The top and bottom are made from a single fabric, usually a print or a solid colour. They are stitched together with a sew-through stitch, and the stitch goes through all three layers. This method is called box stitching, and it’s a popular technique used for making comforters.

Box stitching creates a grid, so each square is filled with down feathers or clusters. Panel stitches are vertical, and they form uniform rows. The filling can vary, so the duck or geese down is very luxurious and fluffy, while cotton and wool are warm but are not as soft as down.


What’s the difference between a quilt and a comforter?

Modern quilt with cover and pillows from Manchester Collection

First, we must address the similarities between a quilt and a comforter. Both bedding types can have cotton in the top and bottom layers, and they can have a fill like polyester or down. Also, both quilt and comforter feature a similar design.

However, there are a couple of differences between these two. Comforters are loftier, while quilts are flatter and not as cloud-like and fluffy. Because of that fluffiness, comforters are heavier and warmer. 

Their styles are different as well. Modern quilts have simple designs, while the standard ones are much more vivid and colourful. A quilt has a patchwork of various colours, fabrics and images, and a comforter is usually one colour and one fabric.

The use of a comforter and a quilt is different as well. A comforter is used only on the bed, for sleeping or napping. On the other hand, while a quilt is also used when sleeping, you can use it as a couch throw or even a tablecloth.

As for the aesthetic appeal, comforters are ideal for contemporary homes because they look sophisticated. Quilts are best for country rustic or coastal home decor because they are unique and colourful.


What is better for summer, quilts or comforters?

The inner layer of a quilt is usually made from cotton. Because of the cotton layering, quilts are lightweight and ideal for summer or on top of blankets in winter. A quilt is better for hot sleepers because it is much thinner than a comforter.

You can use a quilt if you live in a warm climate. It will keep you comfortable because it is more breathable, and if you like layers, a quilt over a blanket will prevent you from being too warm at night.

On the other hand, a comforter is best for cold sleepers or people who live in a cool climate. It will provide more cosiness and make you feel like sleeping in a cloud. A comforter is better for those who don’t enjoy layers because a single topper can give you enough warmth. 

Some comforters are great for summer, and those have a breathable, lightweight shell and filling. These comforters are made of cotton, Tencel, or microfiber. They won't trap heat and make you sweat, ensuring you stay comfortable and cool at night.

While some comforters are lighter, there are winter-weight quilts that have a heavier top layer and a warmer fill similar to wool. Heavier quilts are comparable to comforters when it comes to warmth.


Choose the topper that meets your needs

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn about each of these bed toppers and the differences between them. If you are a hot sleeper, a quilt is a better option, and if you like fluffiness, choose a comforter.

As you weigh your bedding options, you should consider the advantages of both comforters and quilts. Both types of bedding offer something unique, so make a decision based on your specific needs and preferences. With a little consideration, it will be easy to choose the option that's right for you.

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