Coverlet vs Quilt: Which is Better?

Coverlet and quilt are two of several beds covering options that you have. Although quite similar in design, coverlets, and quilts differ in size and function. It is important to note the difference between a coverlet and a quilt and how to use them in your bedding set.

What is a Coverlet? 

Woman Holding a Coverlet

A coverlet is the uppermost single-layer fabric piece of bed covering. Many people use them as a lightweight extra layer for warmth or as the only top bedding layer during the hot season. Unlike quilts, they do not cover pillows, but only a small part of the bed, usually the foot part of the bed. 

They are commonly made of linen, cotton, velvet, or silk. You can use the coverlet alone during the hot season or pair it with a blanket in winter to add extra warmth to your bed.

What is a Quilt?

Folded Quilt

A quilt is a multi-layered traditional bed covering composed of about three layers of thick fabric. It provides extra warmth during the cold season; unlike the coverlet, which covers only a small part of the bed, a quilt covers all parts. You can also use it as a table runner, wall hanging, or gift.

Major Differences Between a Coverlet and a Quilt 

Coverlet and Quilt

Although the coverlet and the quilt are similar, some features make them unique.

1. Function

Coverlets are thin fabrics designed to cover the bed, providing more warmth, especially during the cold season. They can also be used as throw blankets across couches or chairs or hung as wall art. On the other hand, quilts are thick because they are made in layers, providing warmth. Quilts can also be used as a table runners or wall hanging.

2. Materials

Coverlets are made from light fabrics, cotton, or silk that are not heavy. For quilts, heavy cotton and silk materials are used to make them so that they will be thick enough to ensure warmth.

3. Thickness

It is important to note that coverlets are used for bed covering and decorating the bed and are not meant to be thick or heavy. The materials used for coverlets are usually very light, and just a single layer of material is used in making them. Quilts provide warmth to the person using them and, therefore, have to be thicker and heavier than coverlets. That’s why quilts have more layers and fillings than coverlets.

4. Number of layers

Both coverlets and quilts have different numbers of layers. Coverlets have just a single layer because they are meant to be light and laid on the uppermost part of the bed. 

Quilts are commonly made of three layers: the decorative top layer and the first fabric layer. Next, the batting layer is made with cotton, silk, wool, synthetic fiber, or other worn-out quilts to give it additional warmth and thickness. 

Finally, the back layer can be plain or decorated like the first layer to add to its beauty. The layers are stitched together to create a covering. Some people like quilts with decorative back layers because you can use them facing front or back. 

5. Size

The size of coverlets and quilts differ because of the difference in function. Coverlets are smaller than quilts and have sides that hang down a few inches past the bed. They are majorly designed to cover just one part of the bed, which can be the foot or middle part, by triple folding and spread over about halfway down the sides of the bed. At the same time, quilts are larger because they have to cover the entire bed size, hang down, and still cover about two people sleeping on that bed.

6. Design

The major purpose of the coverlet is to decorate the bed and make it more attractive to use; that’s why it is made to make it attractive to the user. Quilts are made with different colors and patterns, and the upper part of the quilt usually has different colors and patterns. In contrast, the backing part is usually plain.

7. Care 

The single-layer fabric makes coverlets small and lightweight, making them easier to maintain. You can easily wash them with your hands or washing machine. 

Conversely, many people’s hands cannot handle the weight of a soaked quilt, and they’ll need to use a washing machine or dry clean it. It’s usually great to use your quilt for short periods so it doesn’t get too stained and is hard to wash. 

Which is Better: Coverlets or Quilts?

You can’t go wrong in choosing either a coverlet or quilt. Practically speaking, quilts are meant for winter, but you can use them on your bed all year long. Coverlets also add some warmth and personality to your room.

Your choice depends mostly on personal preference and how well you want to dress your bed. Your bed will also look beautiful if you choose to use both coverings.

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