What is a coverlet and a bedspread: The All-Encompassing Guide

What is a coverlet and a bedspread   When it comes to decorating your bedroom and adding that perfect finishing touch, choosing the right bed coverings is of paramount importance. Among the plethora of options available, two terms often pop up – coverlets and bedspreads. But what are coverlets and bedspreads, and how do they differ from each other? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricate details of these bed linens, helping you understand their unique characteristics, uses, and how to make the perfect choice for your bedroom. coverlet and a bedspread

What is a coverlet and a bedspread: The All-Encompassing Guide

Coverlets: A Closer Look

Coverlets are lightweight bed coverings that are primarily designed to cover the top of the bed. They are typically woven or quilted and come in various materials, including cotton, linen, and microfiber. The versatility of coverlets is one of their standout features, as they can be used in a variety of ways.

Types of Coverlets

  1. Woven Coverlets: These are made by weaving different threads together to create a fabric that is both stylish and functional. Woven coverlets come in a wide range of colors and patterns to suit your bedroom decor.
  2. Quilted Coverlets: Quilted coverlets consist of a top layer, a layer of batting, and a bottom layer, all stitched together. This unique construction provides extra warmth and comfort.
  3. Matelassé Coverlets: Matelassé is a French word that translates to “quilted” or “padded.” These coverlets have a raised, textured design that adds an elegant touch to your bed.

Advantages of Coverlets

  • Lightweight: Coverlets are perfect for warmer seasons or as an additional layer during colder months without making your bed too heavy.
  • Easy Maintenance: They are usually machine washable, making them a convenient choice for busy households.
  • Stylish: With a variety of colors and patterns available, you can find a coverlet that matches your bedroom’s style.
  • Versatile: You can use a coverlet as a decorative element or as the primary bed covering, depending on your preference.

Bedspreads: A Closer Look

Bedspreads, on the other hand, are larger and heavier than coverlets. They are designed to drape over the sides of the bed, covering not only the top but also the sides and foot. Bedspreads are known for their all-encompassing nature, making them a popular choice for a timeless and elegant look.

Types of Bedspreads

  1. Traditional Bedspreads: These bed coverings have a classic, timeless design. They are often made from materials like cotton, chenille, or polyester, offering both comfort and durability.
  2. Matelassé Bedspreads: Similar to matelassé coverlets, matelassé bedspreads have a raised, quilted design. This gives your bed a touch of luxury and sophistication.
  3. Coverlet-Style Bedspreads: These bedspreads are designed to look like coverlets but offer the full coverage of a traditional bedspread. They are a versatile choice, combining style and functionality.

Advantages of Bedspreads

  • Full Coverage: Bedspreads cover the entire bed, including the sides and foot, providing a polished and elegant look.
  • Extra Warmth: With their larger size and heavier weight, bedspreads are ideal for colder seasons, ensuring a cozy night’s sleep.
  • Timeless Elegance: Bedspreads have a classic appeal that never goes out of style, making them a long-lasting choice for your bedroom decor.
  • Protective: They offer protection to the mattress and other bedding beneath, keeping your bed clean and well-maintained.

Choosing Between Coverlets and Bedspreads

The decision between a coverlet and a bedspread depends on your specific needs and style preferences. To make the right choice, consider the following factors:

Seasonal Considerations

  • For a light and airy feel during warmer months, opt for a coverlet.
  • If you prefer added warmth during the colder seasons, a bedspread is the way to go.

Aesthetic Preferences

  • Choose a coverlet if you want to showcase your decorative bedding and create a layered look.
  • Opt for a bedspread for a more traditional, elegant appearance.

What is a coverlet and a bedspread: The All-Encompassing Guide

I can provide a simple comparison chart to highlight the differences between bedspreads and coverlets.

Aspect Bedspreads Coverlets
Coverage Cover the entire bed, including Cover the top of the bed,
top, sides, and foot. leaving the sides and foot open.
Size Options Available in various sizes to Available in standard bed sizes
fit twin, full, queen, and king. (twin, full, queen, king).
Weight Heavier and thicker for added Lightweight and thinner, ideal
warmth. for warm weather or layering.
Design and Aesthetics Often feature classic and Versatile designs with a wide
traditional patterns. range of colors and patterns.
Maintenance May require professional cleaning Usually machine washable for
due to size and weight. easy maintenance.
Layering Options Limit the ability to layer with Ideal for layering with other
other bedding elements. bedding like duvets and quilts.
Seasonal Suitability Provides extra warmth during Perfect for warmer seasons or
colder months. additional layering.

This chart summarizes the main differences between bedspreads and coverlets, helping you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.

Making the Perfect Choice

When it comes to selecting the right bed covering, the perfect choice often depends on personal preferences and the overall design of your bedroom. Let’s explore some additional factors that can help you make an informed decision:

Bedroom Size

  • If you have a smaller bedroom, a coverlet’s lightweight and less bulky design can make the room appear more spacious.
  • In larger bedrooms, bedspreads can add an extra layer of coziness and fill the space effectively.

Color and Pattern

  • Coverlets come in a wide array of colors and patterns, making it easy to match them with your existing bedroom decor. They can even be changed seasonally for a fresh look.
  • Bedspreads often have a more traditional or classic design, making them a timeless choice. If you have a specific color scheme in your bedroom, a bedspread can add a touch of elegance that complements your design.


  • Coverlets are generally easier to clean, as they can be machine washed. This convenience is perfect for households with busy schedules or where frequent washing is required.
  • Bedspreads, being larger and heavier, may require professional cleaning due to their size. Consider this when thinking about maintenance.


  • If you love layering your bed with different textures and colors, a coverlet is a versatile choice that can be combined with other bedding elements like duvets and decorative pillows.
  • Bedspreads, while elegant on their own, may limit your ability to add multiple layers, as they cover the entire bed.

Bedroom Theme

  • Consider the overall theme of your bedroom. If you have a modern or contemporary design, a coverlet might be a better fit. Its clean lines and versatility can complement these styles.
  • For traditional or vintage-themed bedrooms, a bedspread’s classic appeal can enhance the overall ambiance.

Coverlets and Bedspreads FAQs

1. What is the primary difference between a coverlet and a bedspread?

The key difference lies in the coverage. Coverlets are designed to cover the top of the bed, while bedspreads cover the top, sides, and foot of the bed. Bedspreads are larger and offer more coverage.

2. Are coverlets and bedspreads suitable for all bed sizes?

Yes, coverlets and bedspreads are available in various sizes to fit different bed sizes, including twin, full, queen, and king. Make sure to select the appropriate size for your bed.

3. Can I use coverlets and bedspreads as the sole bed covering?

Yes, both coverlets and bedspreads can be used as standalone bed coverings. They provide a polished look without the need for additional blankets or duvets.

4. Are coverlets and bedspreads machine washable?

Coverlets are typically machine washable, making them easy to maintain. Bedspreads, however, may require professional cleaning due to their size and weight. Always check the care instructions on the product.

5. Can I layer coverlets and bedspreads with other bedding?

Coverlets are versatile and can be layered with other bedding elements like duvets, quilts, or decorative pillows. Bedspreads, due to their size, may limit your ability to add multiple layers.

6. Do coverlets and bedspreads come in various materials and designs?

Yes, both coverlets and bedspreads are available in a wide range of materials, including cotton, linen, microfiber, and more. They also come in various colors, patterns, and designs, allowing you to choose one that suits your bedroom decor.

7. What type of bedroom themes do coverlets and bedspreads complement?

Coverlets are versatile and work well with modern and contemporary bedroom themes, thanks to their clean lines and adaptability. Bedspreads, with their classic designs, are often a great fit for traditional or vintage-themed bedrooms.

8. Which is better for warmer seasons – coverlets or bedspreads?

For warmer seasons, coverlets are an excellent choice due to their lightweight nature. They provide a stylish and comfortable option that won’t make your bed too hot.

9. Which option offers more warmth during colder months – coverlets or bedspreads?

If you’re looking for extra warmth during the colder months, bedspreads are the way to go. Their larger size and heavier weight provide the necessary insulation for a cozy night’s sleep.


In the world of bedroom decor, selecting the perfect bed covering is a crucial decision that impacts the overall look and feel of your sleeping space. Coverlets and bedspreads both offer unique advantages, ensuring you can find the ideal option for your bedroom. Consider your needs, style, and the season when making your choice, and you’ll have the perfect finishing touch to your bed. Whether it’s a lightweight and stylish coverlet or an all-encompassing, classic bedspread, your bedroom will reflect your taste and personality.

So, next time you’re in search of the ideal bed covering, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to make the right choice, ensuring your bedroom is as comfortable and stylish as can be.

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