Get Laid Beds' Ultimate Bedding Jargon Buster

By Beth 24 April 2024


In the world of beds, bedding, and mattresses, there’re a lot of terms used interchangeably, perhaps by error. 

Duvets, quilts, bedspreads, what does it all mean? And which ones should we all be using? 

Like you, we’ve grown tired of the confusion, so we’re here to set some things straight. Join us in this piece, as we shed some light on all the jargon surrounding bedding.

What is a Quilt?

Upon hearing the word “quilt”, you’d be forgiven for picturing something more akin to a duvet. 

A quilt is composed of three parts: the top, middle and bottom. On the top is the outward-facing layer of the quilt, which is usually styled in a square pattern. In the middle is the “batting”. The batting is the inner material of the quilt, which is usually made from something warm like cotton. And, on the bottom, is the backing. The backing, like the top, is visible from the outside but is commonly kept out of view to give the quilt some form of order.

What is a Duvet?

The duvet is a stalwart bedtime companion for most sleepers, especially those in colder climates.

Duvets are made of two components: the shell, and the filler. The shell is, as you might’ve guessed, the material on the outside of the duvet. This material isn’t usually stylised, as duvets tend to be kept inside of a designated duvet cover. The filler is where a lot of debate around duvets happens.

There are many materials that can be used as a duvet filler. From wool to feathers and even synthetic, polyester materials, the exact one you prefer is a matter of preference. Some materials hold heat better than others, some have different levels of breathability, and even the sound of them all can differ wildly. But, they all serve the same purpose: to pad out the interior of the duvet and make it comfy. 

With duvets not usually looking the most aesthetically pleasing, a duvet cover is used to give a nice looking, comfortable exterior. 

What is a Comforter?

Having explained a duvet, the explanation of a comforter is very simple: comforters and duvets are almost the same thing, with a small difference.

The word “comforter” is more commonly used in American English, whereas we Brits tend to use the words like “throw”. Comforters (or throws), are placed on top of duvets to provide a little extra warmth throughout the night, and are often styled to fit the rest of your room.

What is a Bedspread?

Bedspreads are laid on top of your duvet, usually about 1/4 of the way up from the bottom of your bed. 

Bedspreads are more of a decorative piece in the bedroom, though they can also be used to provide a little extra warmth in colder periods. Bedspreads are lighter than throws, with their primary function being to protect your duvet, and add some personality to your space. 

What is a Top Sheet?

Not to be confused with a bedspread, a top sheet is another layer of comfort that gets added to your bed for additional warmth.

This time, the top sheet sits underneath the duvet itself to protect the duvet from sweat build up, while also serving to keep a bit of extra heat in while you sleep.

What is Down Filling?

Down is a filler material that’s used in duvets and pillows. The word “down” derives from down feathers acquired from very young birds. Down feathers are particularly fine and aren’t fully developed enough to provide much protection in isolation. 

Though, once clumped together and concentrated into a tight space (like a duvet or pillow), down acts as a soft material that keeps heat in throughout the night.

What is an Eiderdown?

Used commonly throughout the 1930s, an eiderdown is essentially a combination of down feathers and a quilt. The result is a chunky, soft, quilt that is warm, firm, and protective.

Eiderdowns aren’t as common as they once were, potentially due to the methods in which they are made. Eiderdowns can only technically be called this name if the down inside them comes from an eider duck, of which, some people hold ethical concerns. This concern of ethics has spread to other types of down but, these days, man-made alternatives are available that promise all the same features of traditional down filling.

Quality Duvets, Pillows, And Linen from Get Laid Beds

Armed with your new-found bedding terminology, you’re soon to create the night time sanctuary of your dreams with Get Laid Beds.

Browse pillows, duvets and linen of the highest quality for the perfect night’s sleep.

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