There are many different types of terms used to identify certain pieces of bedding. Knowing the correct terms will help you shop and find the right item for your bed. Whether it's linens, bed coverings, pillows, or the stuffing you use for a duvet cover, this list will help you find the perfect fit, along with some tips you may not have known in regards to bedding.
A top sheet, also known as a flat sheet, is the sheet you put over the top of your bed to separate you from your comforter or duvet. Some duvet or comforter sets do not include a top sheet because they’ll have a smooth, crisp cotton side instead, which replaces it.
A bottom sheet, or fitted sheet, is the sheet with the elastic-edge that is used to fit over your mattress--hence the name bottom or fitted sheet.
A bedspread is similar to a coverlet--a thin, decorative covering--but it normally covers the entire bed and touches the floor.
Blanket or Throw
A blanket or throw is a small covering normally found at the foot of a bed used for extra warmth or decorative accents.
A comforter is a bed cover stuffed with fibers or down then sewed together at all four sides. This stuffing is added to create additional warmth and comfort on cold nights. A comforter can be decorative and come in many different colors, patterns, and designs. It’s normally used as a major decorative element in bedrooms.
A duvet is similar to a comforter except it requires the use of a duvet cover, where a comforter does not.
A duvet cover is used over a comforter or duvet. It will have an opening where the comforter or duvet is inserted, once placed inside, it's opening is closed with buttons. The duvet cover is normally a decorative covering, which basic function is to add décor to your bedroom. Some duvet covers will have a sheet fabric sewn into one side so a top sheet is not required, which helps with making the bed since there's no need to tuck in any sheets.
Euro or Continental Pillow
A Euro or Continental pillow--a large square pillow--is a decorative pillow that sits back against the headboard.
A sleeping pillow is the medium-sized rectangular pillow that you lay your head on when sleeping. A sleeping pillow can come in many sizes--such as standard, Queen, or King--to fit your bed or sleeping habits.
A decorative pillow, also referred to as an accent or throw pillow, is a small pillow that comes in many shapes, sizes and colors to add decoration to a bed.
A Bolster pillow is a tubular pillow used to lean back against for lumbar support, but typically it’s used as a decorative pillow or accent pillow. These pillows range in size from very small to some that span the entire width of the bed.
A pillowcase is used to cover a sleeping pillow and sometimes decorative or bolster pillows. It’s normally a rectangular shape with an opening on one end where you insert the pillow.
A pillow sham is similar to a pillowcase but it does not open on one side, instead it has a flange, which is an extra piece of fabric that extends from where the pillow sham is sewn on each edge. Pillow shams create a more finished look, which is why they are used over pillowcases. Pillow shams are often more decorative than pillowcases and more likely to have elaborate embellishes on them.
A bed skirt is decorative piece of bedding placed between the mattress and box springs. It extends to the floor and its main function is to hide the box spring as well as add decor. Bed skirts are commonly used with coverlets, duvets, and comforter sets.