Bedding: What does it all mean? | Opinion Piece | Stacey Sansom Designs

Have you ever gone to the store to purchase new bedding for yourself, your kids, or others? Have you stood there confused about what all the different sizes and types are?

Keep reading!

Keep in mind, this post will only touch on the topics and won’t be the in depth historical reference some may want. If you are looking for more historical information, I recommend you check out the references found on Wikipedia: BEDDING and do your own in depth research from there.

This post will only cover a narrow portion of the topic: Bed Linens. More specifically, the bedding sets that are traditionally found on the shelves of your big box stores.

Bed Sizes

First we must cover the topic of bed sizes.

As you are well aware, beds come in a variety of sizes. We hope that you are buying standard sizes, however, that is your choice. This article will only address sizes that are standard in the USA. Stacey Sansom Designs is located in the USA, thus our sizing will be based on these standards.

Mattress Size Label Mattress Measurements
Mini-Crib 24″ x 38″
Crib / Toddler 27″ x 52″
Twin 38″ x 75″
Twin XL 38″ x 80″
Full / Double 53″ x 75″
Queen 60″ x 80″
King 76″ x 80″
California King 72″ x 84″

Note: There are other non-traditional mattress sizes out there. These, however, are the most common found in stores.

Mattress Depth Varies

It is important to note that the thicknesses (or depth) of mattresses varies a large bit in the USA. I am sure this is the case in other countries as well. Please pay attention to this depth when shopping for new bed linens or bedding sets for your beds.

The average mattress can range anywhere from 1″-6″ for baby and/or toddler sizes. They typically do not need as much padding and/or support.

Large mattresses can range between 6′-20″ in depth. This is why you need to know what you own or are buying before purchasing.

Not all bedding is made to accommodate the thinner or thicker mattresses. Average thickness for a mattress with a pillow top is approximately 10″-12″.

Depth is important when buying linens

The depth of a mattress may not seem all that important until your bedding does not fit as expected. Know your measurements and don’t be surprised.

The different types of bedding are intended to fit with varying results. This includes, but is not limited to how the blanket drapes on the bed.

Different Types of Linens

Here at Stacey Sansom Designs, we focus on the outer most layer of bedding and bed linens. We focus on your blankets and quilts and their coordinating pieces. Our specialty is not sheets and the like. You can pick those up most affordably in your big box stores, simply wash and use.

You may have heard the terms:

  • Bedspread
  • Duvet/Duvet Cover
  • Coverlet
  • Comforter
  • Quilt
  • Blanket

To a large degree some of these can be used interchangeably. On the other hand, some of them are unique to themselves.

Bedspread vs Coverlet

A bedspread and coverlet both cover the mattress. The difference is primarily found in how much coverage the bed receives when in use.

A bedspread is designed to cover the entire bed. Think “full coverage” here. It covers the pillows and often goes to the floor on all remaining sides.

On the other hand, a coverlet is designed to cover the bed, below the pillow area. Typically, the length of a coverlet only reaches to the bottom of the box spring. This is when you would use a bed skirt or dust ruffle to cover the remaining portion of the bed.

Duvet vs Duvet Cover vs Comforter

A duvet cover can simply stated as being a cover for your comforter. Much like a pillow case is the cover for a pillow. These can easily be washed or changed out for the season. Duvet covers are designed to provide protection for your duvet and/or comforter.

A duvet is typically a down filled comforter. Whereas, a comforter is more likely to have a synthetic filling. Both duvets and comforters are typically harder to clean due to their bulk or loft.

Duvet covers should be used to limit the amount of washing required in your thicker or loftier bedding pieces. Duvet covers are also a great way to spruce up a bedroom.

Blanket vs Quilt

A blanket is typically a single layer of woven fabric used for warmth. Traditionally your blankets were from a wool or other loosely woven material. They do not have to be a single layer, but most woolen blankets are single layer albeit of various thicknesses. Today, blankets are commonly found in synthetic materials such as acrylic or polyester.

Quilts are your more decorative layered blanket. The act of quilting is stitching together 3 layers, but a quilt is the finished product. Quilts can be whole cloth or pieced. Most people associate quilts with patch work pieced tops. They can be used interchangeably for a blanket in many cases. A summer quilt is one that does not contain the filler layer.

A quilt is traditionally sized more like a coverlet (see above). They are designed to cover the bed below the pillow area and come down and cover the mattress and/or box spring of the bed. The length of the quilt is determined by the “drop.”

What is drop?

The drop on a blanket or quilt (or other bed covering) is the amount that it drops down from the top edge of the mattress. If a quilt is listed as having a 10″ drop, it means that it would drop down 10″ from the top edge of the mattress (depth wise).

For example, working with a Twin bed, you would have the following measurements:

Twin Mattress: 38″x 75″

Traditional Twin Quilt: 70″ x 90″

Amount of drop (sides): 16″ – both sides

Amount of drop (bottom): 15″ – if placed at the top edge of the mattress

With the above example, if you have a 10″ deep mattress, a 16″ drop will not only cover all of the depth of the mattress on both sides, but will also cover up to 6″ of the box spring depth. This could leave a lovely finished look if combined with an appropriate bed skirt or dust ruffle.

Traditional US Quilt Sizes

The following are sizes that are typical of a traditional quilt in the US. Remember that Stacey Sansom Designs is based in the USA and we will use US Standard sizing. This size chart is based on accepted quilt sizes. Since the primary bedding manufactured by Stacey Sansom Designs is in quilt format, it is what we will offer as a guide.

Quilt sizes vary widely. These are just a guideline. Much like clothing, there is nothing that must state that a quilt of a given label sizes must fall within certain measurements. Please use your best judgement when purchasing.

Mattress Size Label Approximate Quilt Measurements
Crib / Toddler 36″ x 52″
Twin 70″ x 90″
Full / Double 85″ x 108″
Queen 90″ x 108″
King 110″ x 108″

All quilts at Stacey Sansom Designs will have a sizing chart available on each shop listing. Please check the size chart regardless of the label size. Your needs may be slightly different. There will be no refunds or exchanges because you purchased the wrong size.

Why is Bedding Sizing Important?

Bedding sizing is important to help you achieve the look you prefer. If you like to have your bed covered like a coverlet, you are not limited to only coverlets. You can easily adjust a larger quilt to fit into the look you need.

It is most important that you know the three dimensional measurements on your mattress when you are shopping.

Please keep in mind that pillow tops or gel mattress toppers may adjust your measurements slightly. Allow for variance.


Bedding: What is the difference?