What Is The Difference Between Doonas, Quilts And Duvets?

What Is The Difference Between Doonas, Quilts And Duvets?

Posted by Michelle on Dec 01, 2020

Bed Doonas

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Buying bedding can be tricky sometimes. With so many sizes and names and choices it makes it quite hard to determine if what you are buying is actually what you want. Then when you get home and lay your new bedding out and find out that it isn't actually what you thought it was, it's just so inconvenient.

Understanding the terms used in the bedding industry will greatly help you buy the perfect item for your needs, and allow you to buy the best product for your needs.

While people can and will say a lot about what you should buy, we think that it is best to give you all the information so you can make an informed decision yourself and make sure you get the best bedding for you. Our friendly support team is always here to help, but let's take a look at some of the differences between quilts and doonas.

What is the difference between quilts, doonas and duvets?

To put it simply, they are all different words for the same product. Quilts, doonas and duvets are all inserts that go inside a cover, which is also known as a quilt cover, doona cover or duvet cover. In saying that, there are slight differences in the context behind each of those words, so let's take a look at that.

What Is A Quilt?

Quilt is arguably the most popular name for this insert, but in other cultures around the world, quilt refers to bedspreads / coverlets, and the insert is known as a comforter.

What Is A Doona?

Doona is a commonly used term in Australia for a quilted insert that sits in a doona cover and is the top layer of your bedding. Typically filled with feathers or other manufactured materials, it is also trademarked property of The Tontine Group, responsible for many of the quilts Australians enjoy.

What Is A Duvet?

A Duvet is defined as another term for a quilted insert, similar to a doona or quilt. The term Duvet is primarily used in Europe and the United States and can be referred to as a comforter.

In Australia, they are all words that mean the same thing, but be careful when you travel overseas as if you ask for a quilt, you may get something very different to what you were expecting!

So when you go to buy an insert for your cover, just remember that they all mean the same thing in Australia, but there are some other things you should be looking out for when trying to find the perfect quilt / doona for you.

What types of doonas are there?

There are many different variants of quilts / doonas out there, but there are three real things you need to consider when buying the perfect quilt / doona for your bed.




Let's dive into and explore each of those considerations.

What fills are available for doonas and what is the best fill?

There are quite a few different fills available for quilts / doonas and each one will have a different impact on you and your bed as you go to sleep.


Cotton is arguably the coolest fill out there, as it is very lightweight, allowing for air to pass through and not be trapped, which in turn will keep you cooler than other materials. Cotton is a great choice for Summer or for people who have a warmer body temperature and do not need extra help staying warm.

Feather and Down

Feather and Down is one of the more popular choices among Australians, and you probably have had a feather and down doona at one stage of your life. Feather and down quilts can range anywhere from summer to winter grading. One thing to pay attention to is the percentage of feathers. The higher the percentage of feathers, the cooler it will be, whereas the higher the percentage of down, the warmer it will be.


Microfibre is oftentimes one of the most budget-conscious options and can be on the warmer side of things. Filled with pure microfibre, these quilts are breathable, but not quite as much as cotton is, resulting in a bit more heat being trapped which keeps you nice and warm.


Polyester is also one of the more budget-friendly options and is typically a good all year round fill to have in your quilt. The famous Tontine brand and their simply living doona range are filled with polyester.


Wool is typically the warmest and coziest quilts you can buy. Heavy and snuggly, these quilts are perfect for those cold winter nights where you just need all the layers!

While the fill material does have an impact on the overall feel of the doona, the weight (amount of filling inside the doona) is just as important, if not more important. Let's have a look deeper into the varying weights of quilts and what they mean for you.

How do I choose the right weight doona for me?

Choosing the right weight doesn't have to be complicated, and once you learn what to look out for, it's so easy to pick the right doona for you. To find out the weight of the quilt you are looking at buying, it will typically have a GSM number. GSM stands for grams per square metre and is the primary way customers can understand what weight a specific quilt weighs.

The more GSM your chosen duvet has, the more it will trap air, as it will be heavier and will take the heat longer to escape. Likewise, the lower GSM your duvet has, the cooler it will be, as there will be less fill for the hot air to escape through.

Considering the weight of a doona only really has an effect on you when seasons change. You will want a warmer doona in winter, and a cooler doona in summer. Here is what GSM we recommend for those seasons.

Summer Quilt

150 - 350 GSM

Lightweight quilts

Winter Quilt

450+ GSM

Heavy quilts

All Seasons Quilt

200 - 400 GSM

Light to medium weight quilts

You can also find dual weight quilts which have detachable sections which can either increase or decrease the weight of the quilt, making it the ultimate all year round doona choice.

What size doonas are there available for my bed size?

The third and final thing to consider when buying a quilt is the size. Ensuring you have the correct doona for your mattress and quilt cover is essential. Having one that is too small is quite inconvenient as you will always be fighting with either your partner or yourself to get enough warmth, and having one that is too large can be quite cumbersome and potentially cause a trip hazard as it will lay on the ground as well as your bed.

There are some things you should consider before reading on. In order for you to get the picture perfect look and have an amazing looking bedroom, we recommend upsizing your quilt. What this does is allow for the doona to overflow a little bit off the side of your bed, but not to the point where you can start tripping over it.

Many people also upsize their doona so they don't have to fight with their partner so much about who gets the better half each night. Simple solutions are the best!

Below is a handy quilt size chart for Australian mattress sizes for you to reference when choosing the right doona for your needs:

Doona Sizing Chart

And there we have it. If you want any help in choosing the best quilt / doona for you or if you want any more information about our full range of quilts and doonas, we have a team of experts ready to help you! You can contact us via email or give us a call! You can get our contact details.