What Is a Coverlet, and Do You Need One?

When it comes to the top layer of bedding, you have a myriad of options to choose from today. These include things like duvets, comforters, quilts, and something called a coverlet.

What is a coverlet, exactly, though? You might have heard this term before, but maybe you’re not sure what exactly it refers to, what the difference between a coverlet and a quilt is, or what the differences are between a comforter vs. a coverlet.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about coverlets, how they differ from other types of bedding, and whether or not you need one in your life.

What is a coverlet?

A coverlet is a lightweight blanket that’s used as an extra layer of bedding either for decoration or for warmth.

Coverlets can be made from a variety of materials, the most common being cotton and linen. Additionally, they can be plain or patterned and are often woven or made to have an interesting texture.

Coverlets are extremely versatile as they can be placed between your top sheet and duvet and used for added warmth (particularly useful in cold climates) or simply folded at the foot of your bed to serve as a decorative piece.

Coverlet vs. other types of bedding

So how does a coverlet differ from other types of blankets? Let’s clear out the confusion once and for all.

Coverlet vs. comforter

A comforter is a heavy blanket that has filling inside and is constructed with widely spaced stitching to make sure the filling is evenly distributed. A coverlet has no filling and is made of one piece of fabric.

If you’re looking for a top layer to keep you warm at night, a comforter is the way to go. A coverlet can only be used as an extra just in case layer for winter or as a lightweight blanket in the summer.

Coverlet vs. quilt

Coverlets and quilts are both lightweight blankets, so it’s easy to get them confused-but there are important differences. The difference is that quilts are made of two large pieces of fabric with a layer of batting in between.

Coverlets are often made using the matelasse weaving or stitching method, which makes them look like quilts. But, coverlets are made with just one piece of fabric and no batting inside.

Coverlet vs. bedspread

A bedspread is usually an oversized piece of bedding that’s designed to be used as a decorative element and is usually large enough to be pulled up over the pillows and hang down to the floor.

Coverlets can also be used as a decorative spread, but they’re much smaller than bedspreads. Coverlets are also more versatile than bedspreads.

They can be spread on top of the bed like a bedspread, folded and put at the foot of the bed, or hidden as an extra thin layer between the bedspread and the duvet.

When to use a coverlet

The two primary uses of a coverlet are for extra warmth or for decoration. As blankets go, coverlets are actually quite versatile.

You can use one as a lightweight blanket during the summer months or keep it around in the winter for those particularly cold nights when your duvet isn’t enough.

Of course, it can also be used to style your bed particularly if you want to achieve that special layered look.

How to style a coverlet

Coverlets come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and styles to match any type of decor, from modern to farmhouse-chic. If you’re using your coverlet primarily as a decorative piece, you have a few options.

For a modern look, lay it across the bed as the topmost layer, pulling it tightly over the mattress (and the pillows if it’s large enough) and tucking it around the sides of the mattress.

Alternatively, for a more relaxed, layered, or rustic look, fold your coverlet in half and cover just the foot of the bed.


What is the purpose of a coverlet?

A coverlet can be used as a top layer of bedding for extra warmth (in addition to your comforter), as a lightweight blanket for summer months, or as a decorative piece to add a special look to your bedroom.

What is the difference between a coverlet and a comforter?

A comforter is a heavy blanket with filling inside whose primary purpose is to keep you warm at night. A coverlet is a lightweight blanket made of just one piece of fabric that can be used either as a lightweight blanket or for decoration.

What is the difference between a bedspread and a coverlet?

A bedspread is a decorative layer of bedding that’s usually large enough to be pulled up over the pillows and hang down to the floor. While coverlets can be also used decoratively, they’re typically much smaller and lighter than bedspreads.

What is a coverlet vs. a quilt?

A quilt is a lightweight blanket that’s made of two layers of fabric with batting in between. While coverlets often look like quilts, they have no batting and are made of just one piece of fabric.

Shop comforters, quilts, and more at Saatva

As you can see, there are many different types of bedding you can choose for the top of your bed. Choose just one heavy blanket for a neat and simple setup, go with a lightweight quilt or a coverlet if you’re a hot sleeper, or add a coverlet to your favorite comforter to achieve that cozy layered look.

Whatever your preferences, Saatva offers a wide variety of top bedding layers, including comfortersquiltsduvet covers, and blankets. All of our top-of-bed items are made with high-quality materials that’ll keep you comfortable all night long.

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