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Top Layer Bedding For Winter: Quilts, Bedspreads & Blankets

Nov 5, 2019

Bedding for winter warmth

Selecting a style of top layer bedding can feel overwhelming, especially when you live in a colder climate and must choose something that will be suitable for a long, cold winter. Any bed and bath store or website will be stocked with many different top layer bedding options including comforters, duvets, bedspreads, quilts, and blankets. This guide to top layer bedding will cover quilts, bedspreads, and blankets to help you select the best type of bedding for your sleeping style that will keep you warm through the coldest winter nights.


Quilts were traditionally composed of three layers. The top, or face, of the quilt was composed of many different fabrics stitched together in a certain pattern or design. The second layer was a batting, often made of cotton or wool, for added warmth. The bottom layer was usually a single, solid colored piece of fabric. All three layers were stitched together in a checkerboard pattern. Today, quilts are structured in a similar way, but since most quilts are made with machines, there are many more styles, patterns, and designs on the market. The face is typically made of cotton, the fill of cotton or a cotton/polyester blend, and the backing is often a soft microfiber polyester. Modern quilts come in solid colors and designs ranging from floral to geometric. Some quilts are still made in the traditional patchwork design of fabrics, but more commonly, they are a single fabric with a repeating pattern. Often, the backing is made of a complementing pattern or color, so that when the bed is made the quilt can be folded down to reveal the back for added style. These quilts are also usually reversible. For the colder months, quilts typically must be paired with other layers of bedding. The most common solution is to layer blankets between the top sheet and quilt. Throw blankets can also be added to the end of the bed, and pulled up for warmth when needed. Quilts are great for those who like to layer their bed. Since they are lightweight on their own, they are a perfect option for year-round use. They can offer a more traditional look for your bedroom, but are also available in very modern and minimalistic designs. We carry a selection of quilts suitable for the kids room to the master bedroom.


Bedspreads are one of the most popular decorative bedding styles. They often can look similar to modern quilts, but there are a couple of key differences. The first being that bedspreads fall to the floor. This eliminates the need for a bedskirt even if you have a mattress and boxspring, and creates an elegant and sophisticated look. Unlike quilts, bedspreads don’t always contain a fill or batting.Bedspreads are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and styles. They are typically made from cotton or polyester, and often include stitching in a floral, patchwork, or geometrical design. For a classic look, choose a woven bedspread. This style typically comes in white or cream and is modeled after historical colonial patterns. They’re made of heavy weight cotton and often feature fringed edges and are typically offered in either an Heirloom or a Matelassé style construction. Heirloom style bedspreads have raised areas that create the pattern, much like a towel or terry cloth. Matelassé style bedspreads are created by shearing off or shrinking excess exposed yarn at the end of the manufacturing process. This creates a hand-quilted look that imitates traditional quilts made in France. For winter, bedspreads should be layered with blankets for warmth. Like quilts, they are a lightweight option for warmer months, that can be made warmer with additional layers. Bedspreads are ideal for master bedrooms because of their sophisticated floor-length look.


Blankets are not meant to be used on their own, but layered with other styles of top layer bedding. They pair perfectly with bedspreads and quilts, and can also be used with comforters and duvets. Blankets come in a variety of materials, most commonly cotton or fleece. They are usually made in the bed, between the top sheet and bedspread, comforter, or quilt. They also can be placed at the foot of the bed, which adds extra style and allows you to easily pull the blanket up when extra warmth is needed. Blankets are always good to have on hand for those extra cold nights. To learn about comforters and duvets, read part two of this bedding guide.

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