Posted by Bridget Reed

What Is a Coverlet?

5 min read

A few variables make for a peaceful night's rest, and your bedding is one of them. There are many bedding options, but the only way to make the best choice is by educating yourself on the various linens available. 

Of course, your sheets are the star of the show. If your sheets aren’t up-to-par, it won’t matter if you’re sleeping with a luxurious temperature-regulating comforter or a duvet. 

There’s a new competitor to consider: the coverlet. 

A coverlet isn’t a quilt, comforter, or duvet, and it serves multiple purposes. It’s lightweight so that it can be used in between your primary top layer for extra warmth or folded at the foot of the bed for aesthetic purposes.

Here’s everything you need to know about a coverlet and how it differs from other types of bedding. 

How Is a Coverlet Different From a Comforter?

The main difference between a comforter and a coverlet is that a comforter is more heavy-duty and provides more warmth. 

Comforters are comprised of two pieces of fabric sewn together, stuffed with down or artificial filler. Your standard comforter is used strictly in the winter months. However, comforter technology has stepped up its game. With breathable materials and cooling technology, comforters aren’t just a winter staple. 

Some comforters are even self-cleaning, thanks to the natural antibacterial powers of silver. Silver-infused bedding results in three times less laundry, helps prevent an overgrowth of germs and bacteria, and can help deter allergies from sneaking up on you. 

Coverlets are also much thinner than comforters and are a hot sleeper's dream. Some find themselves drenched in sweat no matter what the thermostat is set to or how breathable their bedding is. That’s when opting for lightweight fabrics is a good idea.

What’s the Difference Between a Coverlet and Duvet?

Duvets are between comforters and coverlets. They aren’t as thick as a comforter but provide more warmth than a coverlet. Duvets comprise two pieces: a duvet cover, which resembles an unstuffed comforter, and a duvet insert. 

Coverlets are more like lightweight quilts, although they still have some unique features. They’re comprised of one fabric but may not work best for somebody who runs cold. 

Is Coverlet Different From a Quilt?

While coverlets and quilts share some similarities (and purposes), they aren’t the same. 

Quilts are two different layers of batting sheet stitched together, whereas a coverlet is one piece of fabric, resulting in a more lightweight top bedding option. 

Quits are comfy, give your room a vintage ambiance, and provide a decent amount of warmth and coverage. Quilts have a rich history and have been around since the earliest American settlers. While they’ve recently picked up popularity again, that’s not to say they’re superior to the comforter, duvet, or coverlet.

Is a Coverlet Right for You? 

You’ve arrived at the tough choice of ditching your beloved comforter or duvet for a coverlet.

Before you pull the trigger, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. You’ll soon discover if coverlets are worth the hype or if your trusty duvet still reigns supreme. 

Do You Sleep Hot?

Hot sleepers might appreciate the breathability a coverlet provides. However, if you deal with night sweats, you may find even the thinnest top layer leaves you too warm.

Are You a Cold Sleeper? 

If you struggle to stay warm at night, your coverlet may serve you better by remaining at the foot of your bed. Considering they’re much thinner than their cousins, the comforter and duvet, it’s best to use the more heavy-duty options for bedtime. 

Is Your Bedroom Aesthetic Important to You? 

If you pride yourself on your bedroom, adding a coverlet to your bedding may provide that extra flair you’ve been missing. Coverlets are excellent layering pieces, adding a lovely sense of style to your space.

Layer Your Coverlet

The bottom line is, even if you’ve found you prefer your comforter, duvet, or quilt, coverlets are still deemed useful. They’re perfect-layer items and can be used with your other top-layer bedding. 

Before you decide a coverlet isn’t for you, think about the versatility they offer; you don’t have to lug your comforter around the house anymore — simply grab your coverlet. 

There’s no need to bundle up with your duvet even if you aren’t ready for bed; that’s what your coverlet is for. Not to mention, they’re the perfect piece to have during the winter months when you need a little more coverage than normal. 

What Are the Benefits of a Coverlet?

Coverlets offer numerous benefits, including all of the following attributes:

  • They’re lightweight.
  • They’re more versatile than a comforter or duvet.
  • You can use them as a layering piece in the winter. 
  • They’re often more affordable than comforters and duvets. 
  • They’re a great (and functional) decor piece for your bedding. 
  • They’re easier to wash. 

How To Choose the Best Coverlet

Choosing the perfect coverlet is no easy feat. There are many brands to choose from, all comprised of different thread counts and cotton. We love our Supima cotton, and we suggest opting for a cotton similar to Supima, if not Supima itself. You want durable, breathable cotton that will maintain color and shape over time. 

How To Care for Your Coverlet

Once you’ve found a coverlet you love and adore, you’ll have to formulate a care routine. Top bedding doesn’t have to be washed as often as your sheets (ideally once per week), but when it is time to wash your coverlet, you must have a game plan. 

Read the Tag

Before washing any fabric, it’s essential to read the tag. There are likely in-depth details on how to wash for optimal results and what not to do. 

Most coverlets are made of cotton-based fabric, which is usually machine-safe, but you can never be too careful. 

Mind Your Laundry Detergent

Always watch your pour when washing towels, clothes, or sheets. Adding too much laundry detergent can damage your machine or, even worse, your beloved bedding. 

If washing your coverlet in the washing machine, opt for one to two tablespoons of detergent per load. 

Use Cold Water

As you should for most laundry, always wash your coverlet in cold water. Once the detergent is exposed to water over 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it doesn’t work as well.

Set to Gentle Cycle 

Always opt for a gentle cycle wash when washing your bedding in your washing machine.

Dry on a Low Heat

High heat can damage your coverlet, fade the color, or even shrink the fibers in the blanket. Steer clear of drying your new bedding on high heat. 

Coverlets: A Versatile Bedding Option

If you’ve heard the buzz around coverlets, we’re sure you’d agree now they’re worth the hype. While we say keep your comforter or duvet within arm's reach, a coverlet is still a useful linen to have in the house. 

Remember our tips when choosing your coverlet and how to care for it after your purchase! Your bedding serves you well and should always be treated with as much TLC as you can give them. 


Silver turns bacteria into deadly zombies | Science | AAAS

The Social History of Quilt Making in America |

Why do we use hot water to wash clothes? | Office for Science and Society | McGill University

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