Top of the Bed
Stop hiding under the covers and replace that boring bedding with something new. With all the choices available, choosing a bed covering may seem like an overwhelming task, but it really isn’t. Each type comes in sizes to fit your respective mattress. Familiarize yourself with the choices available, and you’ll find that changing your bedding is an excellent way to transform your bedroom.
COMFORTER: This appropriately named bed topping is designed to do what it says – comfort you. Comforters are essentially two pieces of fabric stitched together on all four ends and filled with either polyester or down to give them their plush feel. Patterned comforters are used to cover your bed and set the style, while solids are often slipped into a duvet cover and used for warmth rather than decoration.
QUILT: These coverings have a simple charm with a traditional appeal. The material is usually pieced into a wonderful design that will make a statement in the bedroom. They consist of a layer of cotton or polyester fill between two layers of fabric all stitched together and are usually lighter in weight than a comforter.
BLANKET: Cover yourself in warmth and comfort. Let season dictate your choice of blanket. For fall and winter, you’ll want a heavier blanket than for spring or summer. Cotton, fleece and acrylic blankets are suitable for warmer times of the year because they tend to be lightweight. On the other hand, you may prefer a heavier wool or down blanket, typically warmer, during the cooler months. If you hate the idea of hopping into a chilly bed, consider layering an electric blanket between your flat sheet and bed covering to pre-heat your bed.
DUVET COVER: Derived from French, a duvet (pronounced du-vay) cover is literally a protective, and often decorative cover for your comforter and a must for your down comforter. It is also referred to as a comforter cover. Simply slip your comforter into the duvet cover and close by buttoning, tying or zipping, depending on the type of closure it has. Remove the cover to clean. These little numbers come in as many varieties as you’d expect to find in patterned comforters. Play it safe with a solid color, or make a bold statement with an exciting pattern. The choice is yours.
BEDSPREAD: Timeless and simple, these coverings are classics when it comes to bedding. They’re a one shot solution to what to put on your bed. The lightweight and decorative piece covers the entire bed, including the mattress, box spring and pillows. Occasionally, coordinating shams are offered, but most often the bedspread is used alone.
Let’s face it – a bed just isn’t a bed without shams. (It would be a-sham-e not to include one in your ensemble.) They slip right over a pillow, polishing your bed’s appearance and giving it a luxurious presence. Coordinating shams can usually be purchased for a comforter, duvet cover or quilt. However, they are also available in solid colors that you can use to match with your bedding if you’d prefer to fashion your own ensemble.
STANDARD OR KING SHAM: These rectangular beauties can make a bed. (No, they won’t tidy it up for you in the morning, but they can certainly enhance its look.) Standard shams are the most common and are usually 20” x 26”, while king shams are 20” x 36”. Frequently they are made specifically to match a bedding pattern, making it a superb way to maintain a uniform appearance.
EUROPEAN SHAM: They may not be as worldly or exotic as the name indicates, but they will most certainly help create an inviting bed. These square pillow coverings usually measure 26” x 26” and fit over European pillows. Many bedding patterns offer this size sham to coordinate with them. When used with standard shams, they create a stellar ensemble.
Who doesn’t store things under their bed? The solution to keeping these things hidden is a bed skirt, also called a dust ruffle. This neat little skirt is both practical and attractive. It hides what you don’t want seen and enhances the bedding ensemble at the same time.
BED SKIRT: This clever creation not only gives your bed a finished appearance, but it also keeps the box spring and dust bunnies out of sight. It has a platform that attaches to your mattress and a skirt that drops to the floor, covering the area from your box spring to the floor. Two common styles of bed skirts include the straight skirt, which has a modern appeal and the ruffled, which has more of a classic style. Most bed skirts are 14 to 15 inches long, but do come longer. Because bed heights can vary, it’s important to measure to ensure that the bed skirt you want will reach the floor.
So your newly fashioned bed is finished, yet seems to be silently crying for something more. Consider toss pillows – the a la carte toppings of the bedding world. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Many bedding patterns have coordinating pillows, and often, each pillow picks up on a different element of the overall design. A combination of toss pillows in a variety of shapes and sizes will give you the ultimate in bed dressings. In addition to their aesthetic beauty, they also make the top of your bed a comfy place to curl up with a book. They are usually filled with polyester or a feather/down combination. Additionally, they are sometimes accented with cording, fringe, tassels or a flange. Without decorative pillows your bed is like a hot fudge sundae without the maraschino cherry.
SQUARE TOSS: Although this square-shaped pillow can come in any size, it is most commonly 18”x 18” or 16” x 16”. It’s the old standby of decorative pillows.
BREAKFAST: Despite the name, these are not designed for you to use when eating breakfast in bed. These romantically-sized pillows add an adorable touch to a finished bed. They are usually about 12” x 18”, giving them a cute rectangular shape.
BOUDOIR: Taken from French, this rectangular pillow is the twin of the breakfast toss and is generally 12” x 18”.
NECKROLL: Cylindrical in shape, these pillows are aptly name, for their shape makes them perfect for slipping under your neck.
TAMBOURINE: Fear not, this toss pillow won’t make a peep. Its name comes from its shape. The round pillow often has fringe on the edge, calling to mind its namesake even more.