Elements of a Bedspread

Elements of a Bedspread

2018 Mar 26th

For those new customers in our stores or for anyone who’s decided to take their bedding game to the next level, looking at a full bedspread for the first time can feel like looking at a table setting in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

“Why do I have 5 glasses?”
“Which of the four forks do I actually use?”
“Gosh they must clean a lot of dishes here.”

However, don’t be intimidated! Getting to know the basic lingo for the elements of a full bedspread simply make it easier for you to set up your bed in a way that suits your decorative and comfort needs.

Below, we’ve drawn up a diagram showing you the common components of a full bedspread:


1. Euro sham (short for European sham)

With their bulky size, they add “oomph” to a bed and can practically serve as a headboard. They work great as support for when you want to sit up in bed and read or watch TV.

*Note: all pillow shams would require correspondingly named pillow insert.

2. Pillow case

This is what protects the pillow that you lay your head on at night. Typically customers will put just as much care into selecting a good quality pillow as they do their mattress. The case simply protects your investment and provides additional comfort against the skin. These pillow cases are typically sold as a pair or in a set with sheets.

3. Pillow sham

Frequently confused with pillow cases, these shams are more for decorative purposes. They add more layers of coziness to your bed and can commonly be told apart from cases by their tight closure (e.g. zippers or buttons) near the back versus a loose opening on the side.

4. Square cushion

Sometimes referred to as toss cushions, this element is typically used as an accent. The square cushion adds texture or colour to your display and helps to transition your pillow arrangement from the big euro shams in the back to the small boudoir pillow at the front.

5. Boudoir sham

The smallest piece of the puzzle, this little element is the finishing touch to your pillow arrangement. Sometimes a neck roll can be used here instead. The handy size is great for providing a bit of neck support when you’re reading in bed or to use for travel!

6. Duvet cover

As explained in our post, “6 Reasons to use a Duvet Cover,” this key element serves many purposes both functionally and aesthetically. The other elements on the bed will often be styled around the look of your duvet cover.

7. Fitted sheet

This is the sheet that contains an elastic border and stretches taut over your mattress. This prevents bunching up (unlike flat sheets) and therefore provides a stable layer of protection for your mattress surface.

8. Flat sheet

Depending on where you were raised, you may or may not be familiar with this piece. When used, it is layered between your body and the duvet, especially if you sleep with only a comforter or quilt instead of a duvet cover. To make it easier to slip into bed, the flat sheet comes with one edge that has a deeper hem, allowing you to elegantly fold it over the upper layers.

9. Coverlet

This blanket-type element can by applied to the bed in many ways. Most traditionally, it is layered between the flat sheet and duvet, but that changes for sleepers who don’t like the use of a flat sheet. Coverlets typically come in rich textures and colours, adding coziness and depth to your arrangement. They can provide extra warmth in the winter or be used on their own in the hot summer months.

10. Throw

As the name implies, this element is meant to be thrown on the bed, adding a dash of casualness and relaxation to the structure of the previous elements. Throws come in a huge variety of fabrics and styles, so they can work throughout the house to cozy up a corner and tie the look of an interior together.

11. Bedskirt

The use of a bedskirt can depend on your bed. Often, modern beds don’t allow for one. However when incorporated, they can ground the look of an ensemble or add an extra bit of flair depending on how you coordinate the colours.

1 to 11 creates a full bedspread! Congrats, now you know the lingo!

Of course, if this is all still a bit confusing, our knowledgable store staff are always there to serve as your bedroom stylists, helping you to outfit your beds from head to toe!

Below are some different arrangements to give you inspiration and get you started! As well, follow us @qehome on Instagram and Pinterest to see many more beautiful ensembles!