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Is it a comforter or is it a duvet? In some English-speaking countries, a comforter is called a duvet. Sometimes, however, duvet refers to the shell covering a down comforter. The word is of French origin, so pronunciation depends on where you live. Generally, duvet is pronounced "dove-ay" (“ay” as in bay). In the United States, duvets and comforters may or may not be interchangeable, depending on the region.