If you’ve ever wanted to build out a luxurious bed, you’ve got to know the essential parts of bedding. Here are all the elements that go into making your dream bed, from the bottom up.
Parts of Bedding Glossary
The basic parts of bedding include mattress covers, sheets, a quilt, coverlet, duvet cover, or comforter, and pillows.
Mattress Covers and Protectors
Protect the most important part of your bed with a mattress cover. It will defend your mattress against allergens, dust, and perspiration. It will also increase the longevity of your mattress by decreasing the amount of cleaning needed. Simply wash the cover instead!
There are three main sheets to consider when buying bedding: fitted, top, and pillowcases.
Fitted: The fitted sheet is the first layer of bedding. The fitted sheet, complete with an elastic band around the edges, fits snugly on top of your mattress. If you have a mattress protector, it will go on top of that. The elastic prevents the sheet from coming off the bed in the middle of the night. Make sure all the corners are tucked tightly around the mattress when making your bed.
Flat: Flat (or top) sheets are the next layer to your bedding. They lie on top of the fitted sheet and have the decorative trim at the head of the bed. When sleeping, pull the flat sheet over you for a light layer of warmth. Tuck the flat sheet into the sides and foot of the bed, leaving the top untucked so it can be folded to make room for the pillows.
Pillowcases: These sheet coverings are made specifically to protect your pillows from wear and tear. Pillowcases typically match your fitted and flat sheets, but you can switch up your style by choosing a patterned, eye-catching pillowcase. Any bed larger than a twin typically has two pillows, so make sure to buy the proper amount of pillowcases.
Quilts, Coverlets, Duvets and Comforters
From the heaviest comforter to the lightest coverlet, each bedspread offers a different level of warmth, texture, and coziness. These top layers provide added warmth and style, and can be swapped out with the seasons. There are four main options: quilts, coverlets/bedspreads, duvet covers, and comforters.
Quilts: A quilt is made up of three pieces: a top sheet, inner batting, and a bottom sheet. The stitching is usually visible and made into many designs or patterns. They are perfect for colder months, as they can be paired with a heavier layer like a duvet or comforter.
Coverlets/Bedspreads: A coverlet is an extra layer of bedding used for decoration or warmth. Since they typically don't extend far beyond the corners of your bed, coverlets work well in cold climates or seasons as an additional layer atop your comforter or duvet. However, they can also be used as your main bedding option in warm climates or seasons.
Duvet & Duvet Covers: A duvet is made up of two soft, flat pieces of fabric, is typically white in color, and is filled with down or synthetic fibers (also known as a down alternative). Duvets are often paired with a cover to keep them clean. You can choose from many colors or patterns or change it up seasonally. Because of the cover, there is also no need for a top sheet.
Comforters: A comforter is a quilted, fluffy blanket that sits on top of your sheets. It is made up of two breathable pieces of fabric and filled with down or synthetic fibers to add warmth. They are typically one of the heaviest parts of bedding.
Bed-in-a-Bag: Just like you can get a sheet set, a bed-in-a-bag is the easiest way to get a complete bedding set. They will include one bedspread/comforter along with a complete set of sheets. Each set varies, so check the product description to make sure you’re getting all of the essentials!