Putting together a beautiful bed ensemble can be overwhelming - and expensive! But, a few choice purchases and/or thoughtful uses of pieces you already own can easily result in a gorgeously dressed bed. Of course, just getting through the definitions of all the options is the first hurdle: bedspread, coverlet, quilt, duvet, comforter, blanket - what do they all mean, what do you use with what and how? Let's find out!
Bedspread - A bedspread normally falls to the ground and is pre-filled with stuffing and normally quilted.
Coverlet - A coverlet is a lightweight, non-reversible bedspread that is usually either quilted or woven. Classically designed as a decorative layer to go over bedding and is often filled with a thin layer of batting making them appropriate for use as a stand-alone bed covering. They can also be used as throws on a bed or sofa.
Duvet and Cover - A duvet is essentially a soft flat bag filled with down, feathers or a synthetic alternative. It is recommended that duvets are inserted into a removable cover, much like a pillow and pillow case. Duvets and duvet covers are designed to be used along (with no sheets) because the insert can be removed and the outer "bag" can be laundered, but many people, including most of my clients, use them with sheets anyway.
Comforter - Thick and quilted, a comforter differs from a quilt in that colors are generally dyed and patterns quilted. Comforters are filled with layers of material including polyester batting (a synthetic fiber), down feathers, wool or silk. The loft (thickness) of the filling determines the weight as well as the level of insulation. When having your comforter custom made you can select the thickness of the fill to accommodate the needs of your family.
Comforters are stitched or quilted to secure the filling and ensure that is is evenly distributed and usually have a decorative fabrics on both the front on back. Unlike a bedspread, a comforter will fall halfway down the side of the bed. Comforters are intended to be the bedspread, sitting on top of sheets, but again, those who want to create a layered look should go ahead and do it. There are no cardinal rules to be broken in bedding!
Quilt - Traditionally composed of three layers of fiber, quilts consist of a woven cloth top, a layer of batting and a woven back, all stitched together in decorative patterns. Different from other forms of bed covers because they are generally pieced together with many pieces of cloth, quilts are occasionally found with a single piece of fabric on the top (a whole-cloth quilt).