We all want more or less the same things from our bedding: to stand the test of time, to look welcoming and, of course, to keep us sleeping soundly all night long. The first two are simply a question of quality and style but the last requirement is the hardest to achieve, because what makes us sleep well, ultimately, is comfort. One person’s cozy nest is another person’s recipe for endless tossing and turning. Sheets tucked in or loose, duvets or blankets, hard or soft pillows: we all have different preferences. Before you decide, you first need to know what your options are so that any choice you make is informed and will lead to the holy grail of bedding: peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.
Today we are focusing specifically on quilts: what they are, why you might choose one and what their benefits are.
Let’s break down the lingo
A quilt is a thick, cozy blanket that is used for warmth and to add layers onto your bed. Usually quilts are filled with a synthetic filling that can easily be washed. It consists of three layers: a top layer of fabric, a padded inner filling and a bottom layer of fabric. These three layers are then stitched together at intervals to keep the filling from moving around and give it that traditional quilted look. The idea is to place it over the top of a flat sheet, so that it adds warmth and brings a decorative appeal at the same time.
A duvet is a fluffy, top-layer “blanket” (for want of a better word) that is encased in a non-removable shell and filled, traditionally, with down. There are many options when considering what you would like your duvet filled with. Options include synthetic fibers, feather down or wool, like these hypoallergenic, natural and breathable merino wool-filled duvets.
A comforter is the same thing as a quilt. Simple!
A duvet insert is the same thing as a duvet. Also simple!
Cotton quilt in Salt Pink paired with Warm Blue linen gingham flat sheet (left) and cotton duvet cover in Stone (right)
Ok, so what should you choose?
It really all comes down to how much you like layering. Quilts are really designed to be the top layer, meaning you can use it in the summer and the winter, with fewer or more layers underneath depending on the season. Your first layer would typically always be a flat sheet that you would wash more frequently as it is closer to your skin. Depending on the season you could add a blanket and then the quilt would sit on top as the final layer.
Duvets come in different weights so it is not uncommon for people to have a lighter summer duvet and switch it for a warmer winter one when the weather gets colder. Duvets also need to be covered with a duvet cover, which is the layer that is regularly washed and changed.
Many people love the decorative finish of a quilt on a fully-made bed, so opt for both a duvet and a quilt, which is then removed or pushed down the bed at night. The quilt can be matched to pillow shams, made from the same fabric, for the completed look. If you’re not sure what these are, check out our ultimate guide to pillow shams.
Matching cotton quilt and pillow shams in Honeysuckle.
What else is there to consider?
Size: make sure you opt for a quilt or a duvet that is big enough for your bed. Not sure what size bedding you need, see our complete guide to US bedding sizes.
Fabric: at Piglet in Bed, we believe that all your bedding should be made of 100% natural fibres. Not only are they more breathable, better for temperature regulation and super soft against your skin but they are also better for the planet. Linen quilts, in particular, consume less water to produce and are hard-wearing and long-lasting. Read our article All About Linen, to find out more about the wonders of linen. Both linen and cotton quilts are great options, both soft and breathable. Your final decision will really come down to personal preference. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of both these fabrics, read our Battle of the Naturals post, which might help you decide!
Style: quilts are a fantastic way to put your own stamp on your final bedding look. Whether you are going for a uniform, hotel-inspired look of matching quilt and shams or mixing it up with your colors and textures, you can be sure that the end result will be a true reflection of your own personal style. Exactly the way all bedrooms should be!
From left to right: cotton quilt in Salt Pink, linen quilt in Sage Green and linen quilt in Blueberry. Hero image above: cotton quilt and pillow shams in Warm Blue.
A good quality quilt is worth the investment and can be kept for generations to come. We hope you’ve found this guide useful in explaining some of the common misunderstandings when it comes to bedding, its uses and its terminology. We hope this helps you to layer up and snuggle down in style this winter.