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Bedspread Buying Guide


Bedspreads and coverlets: What are they? Which will work best in your room? Never fear, here are some basics about these bed coverings that will guide you in finding exactly what you need.

  • What Is A Bedspread?
    A bedspread is a bed covering that hangs to the floor on three sides. It has enough extra fabric at the head to turn back over the pillows. Bedspreads are usually used in more formal settings, although there are spreads that suit almost any decor. They can be made from many different materials from cotton to chenille. Bedspreads are usually for decorative use only and are removed at bedtime.

  • What Is A Coverlet?
    A coverlet hangs to the bottom of the box spring on three sides of the bed. It does not cover the pillows. If you use a coverlet you may need to purchase a bed skirt to hide your bed frame. Coverlets are most often found in more casual spaces but can work with a variety of styles depending on the fabric used. They can be removed at bedtime, but some coverlets can be used as a light blanket.

    When choosing a bed covering, consider your own personal style and your needs. If you like a formal, put-together look, you might choose a bedspread over a coverlet. But if you prefer a more relaxed, yet not quite casual, feeling in your bedroom, a coverlet might be a better option. Both bedspreads and coverlets are more formal options than a comforter.


    To keep your bedspread looking fresh and new, it needs proper care. Regular vacuuming will keep dust and dirt from building up on it, but you must also wash your bedspread occasionally, ideally before it gets really dirty.

    Bedspreads are made from many different fabrics, each requiring different care. The first thing you should do is read the care instructions on the label and then follow them. Many bedspreads are washable and will be fine in the washing machine, but some require special treatment.

    When washing your bedspread, follow these tips:

  • Be sure the spread is in good repair. A washing machine can cause more damage if there is a tear in the fabric. Mend anything that needs it before washing.
  • Pre-treat any stains. This will increase the chances that they will come out in the wash.
  • Check your spread's care instructions and follow them.
  • Use a commercial washing machine and dryer for over-sized bedspreads or if your washer and dryer are small.
  • You can line dry your bedspread if you wish. Line drying can keep the spread from shrinking.
  • In between washings, you can freshen your bedspread by putting it in the dryer on a low setting with a damp towel and a fabric softener sheet.

    If your bedspread is not machine-washable, simply bring it to your dry cleaner at least once a year to keep it in good shape. Be sure to point out any stains to the dry cleaner so that they can be properly treated.
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