Doona vs Quilt: What's the Difference?

Quilt cover

Quilt, comforter, duvet cover, doona cover, blanket, bedspread, bed covering, continental quilt...the list goes on when it comes to terms used to describe bed covers.

But what are the differences between them, if any at all?

Here, we break it all down to determine once and for all.

Table of contents

  • Is a quilt the same as a doona?
  • Which is warmer, a duvet or quilt?
  • What about all the other bed covers though?
  • Conclusion

Is a quilt the same as a doona?

Two people under bed covering

Let's cut straight to the chase - quilts can be referred to as the same thing as doonas and duvets, a soft flat bag filled either with down, feathers, cotton, a synthetic alternative or a combination of different materials.

Referring to quilts in this nature stems from the modern British English term for quilt, which essentially means an unquilted doona or duvet.

But the term quilt also means something different. Let us break it down for you.


Quilt covers

According to Wikipedia, a quilt is a "multi-layered textile, traditionally composed of two or more layers of fabric or fiber."

Quilts of this nature are most commonly made up of three layers - a woven cloth top, a layer of wadding, and a woven back. Traditionally, putting the three together is a technique known as quilting.

Or, once it's finished, quilted!

Throughout history quilts have held different meanings and served different purposes.

They could be given as a gift to mark a significant life event such as a wedding, graduation, new job or promotion, and the birth of a child.

Quilts can also be used as tablecloths, floor covers, or for decorative purposes such as a wall hanging.

But, with all that in mind, their primary function is in the bedroom.

Placed on a bed, they keep us warm during colder nights and comfort us from the outside world.

You should also wash a quilt from time to time.

It begs the question though, why is there so many names for the same thing?

Well, it essentially comes down to where you're from.

As we've just outlined, the Poms like to call them quilts, while Aussies call them doonas for the same reason we call lawnmowers Victas and clothes lines Hills Hoists, a doona is a trademarked brand name owned by bedding manufacturer The Tontine Group.

And it's the same scenario for the term duvet.


Down feathers

Hailing from northern Europe, or more specifically France, according to Wikipedia the term duvet translates to 'down' in French.

The term is commonly used across Europe and the United States of America.

Yep, you heard it, just like the parachute, cinemas, baguettes and the word entrepreneur, we can thank the French for giving the world the sumptuous term duvet!

Which is warmer, a duvet or quilt?

Feather quilts and wool quilts

The answer to this question will depend on what kind of quilt you're referring to.

If you're referring to a quilt you use to sleep with in your bed than it's probably going to be just as warm as a duvet.

On the flip, if you're referring to a quilt that is used as a couch blanket, tablecloth or wall hanging, there is a good chance it won't be as warm as a duvet.

How warm a duvet is will depend on it's GSM score.

Read our what does GSM mean for quilts piece if you're unfamiliar with term.

What about all the other bed covers though?


Let's do a quick-fire round of explanations. On your marks, get set, go!


Just another term to describe duvets and most commonly used in the US.


Not the same as duvets, a blanket is a loose term used to describe a soft fabric designed to provide warmth.


Usually a decorative lightweight blanket or quilted cover designed to jazz up your bedding game.

Continental quilt

Sorry for this but again, just another term used to describe those soft flat bags filled with other materials, or more commonly known in Australia as...doonas!


Down quilt

The next time someone tries to tell you doonas, duvets and quilts are different, you can refer them here for some light-hearted learning.

Oh and one last thing. With the change of season almost upon us it's a great time to get your doona a new quilt cover to keep your bedding game fresh!