How To Choose Quilts, Coverlets & Sets

Ever wondered what makes a bedroom oh-so-cozy? The perfect quilt and coverlet set of course! Quilts are a timeless addition to any room, regardless of style, color, or size. Adding the matching coverlet and throw pillows will tie the room together and create a magazine-ready bedroom.

This guide will describe the difference between a quilt and a coverlet, explain how to choose high-quality quilt materials, which size quilt and coverlet you will need, and how to style your bed to perfection with matching sets.

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What's the difference between a quilt and a coverlet?

You know that matching bed sets create a cozy atmosphere. But what is the difference between a quilt and coverlet?

A quilt is a relatively lightweight bedspread that usually has a woven, artistic top and a softer layer underneath. Quilts are much lighter than traditional comforters or duvets, as they only have a thin layer of batting in the middle.

Pattern Reversible Quilt Set
White Classic Microfiber Quilt Set
Decorative Quilt Set in Nude
Simple White Reversible Quilt Set
Floral Styled Light Green Quilt
Microfiber Quilt Set in Light Brown

A coverlet is a type of bedding that you find at the foot of the bed. It is an extra cover that goes over the top of the main quilt or bedspread and only covers the bottom third of the bed.

As well as being decorative, a coverlet is perfect as an extra layer of warmth and texture on the bed. Coverlets are great for guest beds as they can be pulled up in the night instead of fetching more blankets.

This style of bedding can make great bedding in summer homes and warmer climates where comforters can be too heavy.

Blue and Yellow Mandala Styled Coverlet
Eclectic Styled Colorful Coverlet Set
Elegant Blue Coverlet Set
Ruffle Skirt Bedspread Set in Grey
Reversible Coverlet Set in Cream
Dark Grey Simple Coverlet Set

How to choose high-quality materials for quilts & coverlets?

If you are investing in high-quality bedding, you need to find the best materials for your quilt and coverlet. Most bedding is sorted into natural fibers and synthetic fibers, and there are features to consider for both.

Natural fibers

Natural fibers are materials that occur naturally. This category includes materials like cotton, wool, and silk. It can also include flannel, however, this can be made synthetically as well. Natural fibers are usually more expensive options but will last longer because of the quality. Your choice of material will often depend on what kind of climate you will be using the quilt.

You will need to compare the natural fibers to decide which one you want for your quilt:

  • Cotton - lightweight, durable, usually machine washable. Higher thread-count cotton is usually of higher quality and feels softer.

  • Wool - warm, cozy, and stays cleaner for longer. Wool is usually unsuitable for the dryer, so not as good for low maintenance bedding.

  • Silk - naturally hypoallergenic, luxurious feel. Real silk (instead of synthetic) is known for having a higher price tag. If you want the silky, luxurious feel without the price tag, opt for cotton with a sateen weave or something synthetic.

  • Flannelette - 100% brushed cotton, cozy feeling, better for slightly colder temperatures.

Oriental Single Reversible Silk Quilt
Floral Cotton Reversible Quilt Set
Natural Cotton Quilt in Light Pink
Simple Medium Grey Silk Quilt
Elegant Embossed Textured Cotton Quilted Coverlet
Natural Cotton Single Bedspread in Green

Synthetic fibers

Synthetic fibers have a more accessible price tag and are especially good if you have allergies. Economically, synthetic quilts are appealing, and they are still good quality. However, their lifespan is usually a lot shorter than natural quiltsand covers and can feel "plastic" before washing them properly.

Here are a few synthetic materials you might find for your quilts and bedding:

  • Polyester - affordable, can be "scratchy". Polyester is the name of the synthetic fiber "group". It is often combined with other materials like cotton.

  • Microfibre - machine washable, silky feel, microfibre is a finely-woven polyester.

  • Acrylic - not as soft as other synthetic fibers but is often used for more colorful fabrics like the ones found on top of quilts and coverlets. The bottom half of the quilt will usually be made of something softer.

  • Micro flannel - softer than some other polyesters, wrinkle-resistant

When choosing duvets, you should keep in mind that they come in direct contact with your body, and thus, you may wish to consider the choice of materials a bit more, focusing on your personal needs and conditions (e.g. allergies). As for coverlets, they are generally more decorative and are not directly on your skin, so you can play around with the design a bit more.

Synthetic Blend Acrylic Coverlet
Elegantly Boho Polyester Bedspread Set
Yellow Microfiber and Polyester Blend Quilt
Grey Acrylic Coverlet Set
Green Polyester Coverlet Set
Polyester Reversible Coverlet Set in Cream

What size quilt and coverlet do I need?

The next tip for buying quilts and coverlets is to make sure you get the right size.

  • Like most bedding, quilts are sold to match standard bed sizes from single to kings.

  • It is important to remember that quilts and coverlet dimensions will be much wider than the mattress size. The overhang creates a more luxurious look and hides any space underneath the bed.

  • For example, a double bed is 54"x75". A standard quilt for a double bed is 81"x96". Even though there are standard sizes for quilts, it is a good idea to measure from the top of the mattress to the ground so you know how low it will hang.

  • Coverlets are usually not as wide as traditional quilts. This helps you get that "layered" look. Buying quilts and coverlets in a set will have balanced sizes to achieve this look.

  • As well as measuring the width of the quilt, you should look at the length. If you have a lot of throw pillows on the bed, then you might want to get something shorter or longer to keep it balanced. The quilt should hang down equally on all three sides of the bed.

Best style tips for quilts, coverlets and sets

The next step on how to choose quilts and coverlets is the style. How do you match it to your bedroom decor? How heavy should the quilt be for the climate?

We have a few style tips to help you choose the perfect bedding set:

  • Consider the climate first - No matter what color or style quilt you buy, always consider the climate first. There are many beautiful quilts and coverlets that may be too heavy for warmer climates!

  • Use complementary colors/patterns - A quilt and coverlet set need to complement each other. If they are made from exactly the same material, you lose the luxurious effect. In the same way, if they do not have a color that ties them together, it will look messy.

  • Stick to one color palette - This is interior design 101. As well as complementing each other, the quilt and coverlet set should have one color palette. More than two colors from a different palette will distract the eyes and risks looking unrefined.

  • Mix and match throw pillows - Your pillows and cushions should match and complement your bedding. It is good to have a couple that match the quilt and then mix complementary colors and textures to add interest.