Ever look at a picture of one of our bed’s and think: “I want the whole thing... but where do I start?”
You’re not alone! If you’re new to bedding lingo, looking at all those pillows and layers can be a bit intimidating. You may have questions like:
“What’s that small skinny cushion in the middle?”
“What do you call those big square pillows at the back?”
“Why do the regular-sized pillows have different cases?
Thankfully, the answers are simple — and will help you dress the perfect bed for your style and needs!
Below, we’ve drawn up a diagram showing the common elements of a bed:
9 Common Elements of a Bed
- Duvet Cover
A duvet cover anchors the look of your entire bed. Often, all the other elements on your bed will be styled around this piece! It’s not just for looks either. Your duvet cover protects and extends the life of your duvet. It’s an easy piece to swap out too, whenever you want to refresh the look of your bedroom.
- Pillow Sham*
Not to be confused with pillowcases, pillow shams are more decorative! Typically, they match your duvet cover (although they don’t have to!) and showcase a design or pattern. You can tell them apart from pillowcases by their tight closure. Shams have zippers or buttons, while pillowcases have a loose opening on the side.
- Sheet Set (includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases — one pillowcase for twin sets)
3A) Fitted Sheet
This element makes your mattress ‘fit’ for sleeping! With its elastic border, a fitted sheet stretches taut over your mattress and provides a soft surface to sleep on. Pro-tip: to reduce wear on the elastic of this sheet, invest in a couple and swap them out on laundry day.
3B) Flat Sheet
Depending where you were raised, you may or may not be familiar with this piece! A flat sheet is simply a sheet without an elastic that goes between your body and the duvet. The top edge of a flat sheet has an elegant, deep hem, which can be folded over your duvet when making the bed. This piece is especially handy if you sleep with only a comforter or quilt instead of a duvet cover, as it will keep these layers cleaner.
- Euro Sham (short for European sham)*
A versatile yet underrated staple, euro shams are both functional and beautiful. With their large size, they add extra “oomph” to a bed and can practically serve as a headboard! They also provide back and neck support when you want to sit up and read or watch TV.
- Square Cushion*
Also called a ‘toss cushion’, a square cushion is generally used as an accent or finishing touch. This element adds colour and texture to your pillow arrangement and helps ease the transition from big euros at the back, to medium-sized pillows, to small cushions!
- Boudoir Cushion*
The smallest piece of the puzzle, a boudoir cushion is the perfect finishing touch for a pillow arrangement. This little element usually features a fun design, like a geometric pattern or tufting. A boudoir is also a nice way to add a pop of colour. The small size of this cushion is great for providing a bit of neck support when you’re reading or to prop up a book.
- Quilt or Coverlet
Quilts and coverlets can be styled many ways! Traditionally, you layer a coverlet between a flat sheet and duvet. You might fold it over at the top and allow the pattern to peek out artfully. A quilt may be folded across the foot of the bed for aesthetic appeal, but also for layering on cold nights. Both quilts and coverlets come in rich textures and colours and add style and warmth to your bed. In the hot summer months, these pieces can also be used on their own!
- Blanket or Throw
There are many ways to style blankets and throws too! As the name implies, a throw is meant to be casually ‘thrown’ over the bed to create a relaxed vibe. Throws come in a huge variety of fabrics and styles, and are a little smaller in size, making them perfect for cozy corners or curling up in bed with a book. Blankets come in larger sizes to cover your whole bed and are usually a little less decorative, though no less cozy.
Bedskirts create a classic, traditional look! Whether you use a bedskirt or not may depend on your bed, as some modern frames don’t allow for one. But when incorporated, this element can ground the look of an ensemble or add an extra bit of flair, depending what style or colour you choose.
When you lay your head down at night, a pillowcase is your best friend! It protects your pillow and feels comfortable against the skin. A soft, silky material will allow your hair and skin to glide across your pillowcase at night, preventing tangling and the formation of fine lines. Pillowcases are usually sold as a pair or in a set with sheets. They can also be sold individually, like our luxurious mulberry silk pillowcases.
*Note: all shams and cushion covers require corresponding pillow inserts.
Need Help Dressing the Perfect Bed?
Congrats, now you know the lingo and are well on your way to dressing the perfect bed!
If it's all still a bit confusing, not to worry. Our friendly stylists are here to help. Schedule a free virtual consultation for advice on everything from mixing and matching to how a fabric feels and which pieces are right for you.
Sweet dreams! :)