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Getting a duvet into a duvet cover without losing one's mind
October 25, 2009 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Duvet/comforter users! I know there are plenty of you out there, and I would like to join your happy (and warm) ranks, but I have one question: is there ANY way to get a duvet/comforter INTO a duvet/comforter cover that does not result in (a) an asymmetrical lumpy bunchy MESS, and (b) GIBBERING INSANITY??

I have spent the last twenty minutes or so crawling around inside my new duvet cover, blindly groping for corners of my new duvet and attempting to shove them into corners of the cover, crawling out again and shaking the whole thing, viewing the lumpy bunchy mess, crawling back in and resuming the blind groping, etc. etc.

There has GOT to be an easier, more efficient way to do this, or else everyone in duvet-loving Europe has VASTLY more patience and/or coordination than I do. Help??
posted by Kat Allison to Home & Garden (25 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Reach in, shove a corner into the bottom left. While still gripping that corner in place shove the corresponding corner into the bottom right. Grip the bottom right in the same hand as your other corner. Now stuff the whole works into the sack. Once the guts are all shoved inside, take the two corners you control in two hands and shake the holy hell out of it.

Alternately, do like I do: use two people.
posted by majick at 7:41 PM on October 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Here is the trick my friend taught me..... take the duvet cover and turn it inside out, and then put your hands on the inside until you are grabbing the far corners. Whilst still holding the inside out duvet up on your arms reach for the duvet's corners, and then do a throwing motion with your arms so that the duvet cover is thrown over the duvet. It goes from inside out and magically appears the right way and unfolds over the duvet (sort of like a condom unfolding). Then you just have to pull the opposite corners down and you are done! Takes about a minute and it is perfect every time.
posted by avex at 7:41 PM on October 25, 2009 [16 favorites]


My comforter has little loops on it and the cover has ties on the inside...does yours? If not, could you sew them in?
posted by radioamy at 7:42 PM on October 25, 2009


Here is a video illustrating the above. This trick has saved me hours not to mention my sanity!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zniJBQGfYiI
posted by avex at 7:43 PM on October 25, 2009


God, apparently I have so many distinct thoughts about this that I must number them. I apologize in advance:

1) Does your duvet have loops in the corners (as though you might be able to hang it up by any corner or something?) If so, you can get duvet covers -- I mean, most of them, really -- with little strings in the corners of the inside. Once you get a corner of the comforter to a corner of the cover, tie the strings to the loop. Then the corners are anchored together.

2) The above is the only way I know to get a comforter to behave without a second person in the room. Changing the comforter cover is a two person job for me, but I have not always had a partner, so see 1).

3) The book Home Comforts has a complex diagrammed method for completing this process on your own, but it blows my mind; it somehow involves folding the comforter into thirds, horizontally, AND the cover into thirds, then placing the comforter into the folded cover, and shaking up and down like a ... crazy comforter shaker. The only thing it might have over your current method is that it works, if it works. I have never been desparate enough to try it, because of 1) the magical loop-and-string thing.

Did you say gibbering insanity? I do not think this post will convince you that I have avoided it with all my Heloisesque hints but at least maybe you can mix it up a little.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:44 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's kind of like putting on pantyhose, but in reverse - you have to get the top corners properly situated before you let go of either corner, or it will be mess. It really is easiest with two people - one person holds the left corner of the duvet and aligns it with the left corner of the duvet, while the other person does the same with the right corner. Then hold and shake.
posted by muddgirl at 7:44 PM on October 25, 2009


Avex does it the right way. You can also get little padded clips that attach to the corners holding the duvet to the cover. I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond, but you can probably find them elsewhere.
posted by AtomicBee at 7:45 PM on October 25, 2009


I have these clips (like this): you turn your duvet cover inside out, unbuttoned, on the floor. Put the duvet on top of the cover, then clip down the corners. Then turn it right-side out - I found the easiest way is to reach down into the bottom corners first, grab those and lift up, letting the duvet cover fall down. (If you have an extra hand, have them hold onto the middle part of the bottom so it doesn't sag as you lift up.)
I've been using a duvet for the last ten years, and as long as I have those clips, it's all good. If you just want to get the damn thing on the bed, you can use clips like these. Kinda pokey, but if they're big enough, they'll work.
posted by queseyo at 7:48 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


The gist of the method is listed above in various methods- the trick is: you must match the top corners of the duvet/doona to the top corners of the cover. Shake it down, match the other corners, button/seal the cover, and you're done. Make the bed as normal.

Oh yeah, keep the doona unbunched and untwisted when executing the above methods. Both work, it comes down to personal preference.

Don't worry, we all wrestle with it the first time. Some of us have just had that privileged a while ago in child hood, that's all.
posted by titanium_geek at 7:48 PM on October 25, 2009


Avex is correct -- that is the fastest, easiest way to do it. And it gives you an excuse, when doing laundry, to never hassle about turning your duvet cover(s) right side out. Just leave them inside out in the linen closet so they are ready to go when you need them.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:51 PM on October 25, 2009


Here is the standard and simple European method for doing this. It's very easy and is done by one person:

Turn the duvet cover inside out. You have four corners:

A B
C D

Reach into the opening between C and D, bunch the duvet up your arms and grab corners A and B. With those in your hand, grab two corners of the duvet. Pull the duvet back through the duvet cover, turning the cover inside right as you go.

You should eventually have corners A and B in your hands, at your body, and the whole thing inside right. Give a firm shake once or twice and it should all be straightend out.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:57 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I struggled with this the first few times I did it as well. I found a nice tutorial online that was helpful for me. I used binder clips and then removed them once the cover was on (yes, by crawling in there) since the method the tutorial uses sort of relies on the clips. I did not want to use duvet clips and keep them in my blanket, which seemed uncomfortable. The person who wrote the tutorial swears by them - she claims that they are a "bedroom essential" but my duvet has stayed put within the cover without them.

I have since stuffed the duvet cover without using binder clips using this method with no problem, but it was nice to use them the first few times especially since I was so frustrated and I didn't want to try something that wouldn't work. But the steps in the tutorial can be done without binder or duvet clips as well - just keep a good grip on those corners when you snap the cover in step eight.
posted by k8lin at 7:57 PM on October 25, 2009


We have used the clips and liked them very much, since they keep the comforter in place during use as well as during the getting-the-cover-on procedure.
posted by not that girl at 8:06 PM on October 25, 2009


Reach in, shove a corner into the bottom left. While still gripping that corner in place shove the corresponding corner into the bottom right. Grip the bottom right in the same hand as your other corner. Now stuff the whole works into the sack. Once the guts are all shoved inside, take the two corners you control in two hands and shake the holy hell out of it.

This. Works every time.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:12 PM on October 25, 2009


Huh..I didn't know there was a way of doing it WITHOUT using the clips.
Still, use the clips. They'll be problematic 1-2 nights out of a year, but they're totally worth it.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:13 PM on October 25, 2009


Wow, thanks everyone! I will probably seek out and try the clips to start with (because I am a huge believer in the power of gizmos purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond and the like to reorganize one's life for the better) -- but at some point when I've gained a degree of confidence and recovered from the psychic scars (and static-electricity zats) of flailing around enmeshed in recalcitrant bedding, I will try the various grip-and-shake-out approaches. (Hell, I was able to master Japanese t-shirt folding, this should be feasible, eh?)
posted by Kat Allison at 8:17 PM on October 25, 2009


keep the duvet in the right position inside the cover using safety pins...
posted by dawdle at 8:19 PM on October 25, 2009


I use large safety pins. Pin the two corners, then the shake like holy hell method.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:20 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Avex is totally right. You should see an older German woman do this. It's like magic!
posted by Pennyblack at 8:33 PM on October 25, 2009


Seconding the large safety pins. I bought a package of diaper pins specifically for the purpose.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:31 PM on October 25, 2009


You're forgetting something, the inner will slide down (or up or sideways) over time so you need to fasten it in there properly. Waking up after a couple of days with a lump of bedding around your knees and just a flap of empty cover up by your face is demoralising and cold, you want to avoid this.

Pins will cause hard lumps, clips sound fiddly and lumpy and will come off, much better to buy some bias binding (thin, cheap fabric tape) and sew pieces on each corner and (preferably) also in the middle of the long sides. Fast, cheap, won't get lost, lasts for years and years and years (going on 14 in my duvet cover). You can do fancy loops or whatever but straight bits of tie work fine, just tack them on, one bit on the inner and one on the cover for each position (they don't have to line up perfectly) then to use them tie the corresponding pairs together in a single-loop bow that comes undone with one pull.

To put all it together you lay down the cover inside out, set the inner on top, tie each pair of ties together then just flip the cover right way in. The duvet inner will go with it and lay down nice and flat. No mess, no fuss. If you get it wrong you may end up inside the cover too, but that's kind of fun.
posted by shelleycat at 10:01 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


avex: "Here is the trick my friend taught me..... take the duvet cover and turn it inside out, and then put your hands on the inside until you are grabbing the far corners. Whilst still holding the inside out duvet up on your arms reach for the duvet's corners, and then do a throwing motion with your arms so that the duvet cover is thrown over the duvet. It goes from inside out and magically appears the right way and unfolds over the duvet (sort of like a condom unfolding). Then you just have to pull the opposite corners down and you are done! Takes about a minute and it is perfect every time."

This is the method my mother and grandmother taught me for both my pillow cases and duvet cover when the had "the talk" with me prior to going off to college.

"The talk", in addition to bedding tips included how long to boil an egg to make it hard boiled, a reminder on proper table manners, to address adults as Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. and how to write a proper thank you note. Of course the also insisted I pick a date up at her door, bring her flowers if it was a more formal occasion and to respect her right to change her mind or make seemingly irrational requests. You should have seen my grandmother struggle to explain without implying anything negative about a date's morals that I should buy them breakfast in the morning. It was a surrealistic meeting of old fashioned values and my mother and grandmother trying to understand modern (80's) dating protocol. I will never forget my mother getting frustrated in trying to explain and finally blurting out, "What your grandmother is trying to say is, Don't be a dick and don't be an asshole like your father."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:32 PM on October 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm sure that the inside-out method is more hygenic, but my method has never failed me and since I'm a clean person who is only encountering the *inside* of the duvet, I'm sticking by it. (I somehow get the inside-out method wrong, every time.)

Spread out the duvet cover so that it's pretty flat. Grab the far corners of the duvet. Stick the duvet in the cover - this will involve sticking pretty much your whole self in there - and put the corners of the duvet into the corners of the cover. Crawl out most of the way and do the same at the bottom. Now that the corners are all matched up, it will only take one big shake to smooth out the now be-covered duvet.

(This method for those of you who, like me, are too inherently uncoordinated to master the inside-out method.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:31 AM on October 26, 2009


Grapefruitmoon, that sounds like what I was attempting to do last night, so I am forced to conclude that if you made it work, you are far more coordinated than I :) Which leaves me fearing that if I try the inside-out method I will probably, I dunno, dislocate my shoulder or something, but I will give it a shot at some point this winter.

(And JohnnyGunn, god bless your mother and grandmother. Speaking as an academic advisor, I only wish I had the $$ to spend to hire them to come here and give "The talk" to all our students . . . )
posted by Kat Allison at 2:32 PM on October 26, 2009


Once you've tied or otherwise attached the duvet inner to the inside-out cover then turning it in the right way is just as easy as turning an empty cover. The inner effectively becomes part of one side of the cover, you can pretend it's not even there (easier for a thin summer duvet than a thick winter one, but the principle is sound). So if you can turn an empty cover (or pillow case, or anything else that shape) round the right way then you can do the method that I and others have described. Plus there's no messing around with putting things in corners or shaking stuff around because it's already tied into place.
posted by shelleycat at 3:09 PM on October 26, 2009


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