Comparing Quilts, Coverlets and Duvets

Comparing Quilts, Coverlets and Duvets

The difference between Australia’s most popular bedspreads

A balanced sleeping environment is a comfortable sleeping environment. Warmth, weight, feeling, fabric; all these things contribute to creating a nest for you to dream deeply.

So with a seemingly endless array of bedding options available, how do you choose the right combination of bed sheets and bedspread?

The first step is knowing the differences between coverlets, duvets, quilts and comforters. Once you find the bedspread that suits your sleeping style, the rest is simple.

Coverlet vs quilt vs duvet: Which is best?

Bedding is a personal choice. Some people prefer the cosy weight of a duvet swaddling them, while others like a lighter coverlet over a top sheet. Let’s compare three of Australia’s most popular bedspread styles so that you can make a more informed choice about your bedding.

Duvet (or doona)

Although most Australians call it a “doona”, the padded bedspread we know and love is technically a duvet. Doona is an eponym like Esky or Kleenex: the trademarked brand stuck as the noun. That’s why you often hear “duvet” instead of “doona” in foreign movies and TV shows.

Your grandmother might also call it a “continental quilt”, a name popular in the 70s and 80s.

Duvets are usually padded with down, microfibre or polyester, in different weights depending on the warmth you prefer. Unlike other bedspreads, you might have a summer and winter duvet or an all-season option.

Also unique to doonas is the outer cover, normally sold as a set with pillowcases. You can choose to style your duvet cover to your sheets or contrast the colours to mix things up.

And just like sheet sets, the duvet cover material matters. 100% natural bamboo duvet covers allow your body to breathe, complementing your duvet filling to regulate your core temperature in all weather.


Younger Australians might associate quilts with their parents or grandparents’ generation. Quilts can be synonymous with cottage charm and old-world comfort. However, modern quilting is an exciting art form inspired by abstract styles and contemporary European design.

You can identify a quilt by its decorative top layer, inner batting (insulation) and bottom fabric layer, all stitched together with an artful pattern.

Quilts are used as bedding, although they are better suited to decorative throws, couch blankets or cold-weather top layers.

Coverlets and throws

Although coverlets and throws are defined differently, we bundled them together because both serve a similar purpose.

Coverlets are lightweight bedspreads, either quilted or woven, with a top and bottom side. Throws are thin, inexpensive blankets, usually woven, great for snuggling up on the couch.

Both coverlets and throws add colour and texture to a bedding ensemble. While they won’t keep you warm in winter, they look nice tucked at the end of your bed or tossed artfully over the arm of your sofa.

Pairing bedspreads and bed sheets

Making a conscious bedding purchase creates a cohesive, balanced bedroom aesthetic. The choice is yours, whether you want to complement or contrast, use a top sheet or sleep under a duvet, add a decorative throw or do without.

Just remember to make comfort a priority. Pairing OLARA bamboo bed sheets and duvet covers achieves the ultimate balance, no matter how you style them. With five naturally-dyed neutral hues to choose from, you can pick your preference to achieve the right mood every night of the year.

Explore the OLARA range of bamboo duvet sets and bamboo sheets.

Back to blog