Different Types Of Bedding

woman lying in bed in white sheets

There are many different types of bedding available today and what you choose for your own bed comes down to personal preference. But with so many options, it’s easy to get confused about what you need. Do you know the difference between flat sheets and fitted sheets? Comforters vs duvets? And what’s a duvet cover? Let Cariloha define each type of bedding, so you know what you need for the perfect night’s sleep, every night.

Consumer Disclaimer: Cariloha Bamboo™ fabrics are made of viscose from bamboo.

Bed linens and bedding set Types

Layer after layer, there are many different pieces that go into creating a complete bedding set. Let’s look at everything from layer one — the fitted sheet — to the last layer — throw pillows, throw blankets, and bed scarves.

woman lying on bed in bamboo sheets

Bed Sheets

Bed sheets are the foundation of every bedding set. They’re usually sold together with the flat and fitted sheet as a matching set. When investing in bedsheets, you’ll notice that they’re marketed with thread counts ranging anywhere from 200 to over 1,000. A thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch and, generally, the higher the thread count, the more expensive the sheets.

Choose bed sheets with thread counts between 300 and 500 for soft, comfortable sheets that are still durable for every night’s sleep. When picking out your sheets, you’ll need to know the difference between flat and fitted sheets.

Flat vs Fitted Sheets

When choosing between a flat sheet vs a fitted sheet, remember that there are differences between each sheet.

Flat Sheet

  • Goes between the fitted sheet and the blanket
  • Does not have an elastic edge
  • Usually used for temperature control

Fitted Sheet

  • Protects the mattress
  • Elastic edge makes for a snug fit and a smoother sleeping surface
  • Can be easily removed for cleaning
stack of blankets on a bed

Bed Covers

There are many different types of bedding covers available, including quilts, coverlets, duvet covers, and comforters. Many people use bed covers as a statement or focal point for the entire bedroom. On the other hand, some people like to keep their bedding sleek and simple to let bedroom decor shine. Whatever look you decide on, you’ll need to choose which type of bedding cover you want to use.


A quilt is typically a handcrafted blanket made of three layers: the top, inner batting, and bottom. The top of the quilt is made with a unique pattern consisting of many smaller strips of fabric sewn together to create a specific design or image. The three layers of a quilt are actually quite thin and breathable, making them a lightweight option for summer months or those individuals who tend to sleep hot no matter the season.


A coverlet is a type of bedding that’s usually used for decorative purposes. It’s not long enough to touch the floor on either side of the bed and it doesn’t extend all the way up to the pillows. The most common name for this type of bedding cover is a throw blanket. Coverlets are accent pieces and can be used to bring color, patterns, or texture to a bedroom. It’s also intended for top-of-bed use.

gray blanket on bed

Quilt Vs Comforter Vs Blanket

When choosing between a quilt, a comforters, or a blanket, it mostly comes down to personal preference. Perhaps you’ll want to use a quilt that was handmade by a beloved family member? Or, maybe a fluffy comforter with matching sheets and pillowcases is more your style? Still, others prefer a simple, thin blanket for all their sleeping needs, or a blanket that repels odors and allergens naturally and has thermal-regulating properties.

Keep in mind the following differences when selecting the right bedding type for your bedroom.


  • More breathable
  • Helps you sleep cooler
  • May need to be dry cleaned (most quilts can’t go through the wash)


  • Keeps you warmer during sleep
  • Gives you more design flexibility
  • Most comforters are machine-washable


  • Can keep you warm or cool, depending on the fabric
  • Usually machine-washable
  • Typically stand-alone bedding without a matching set
stack of cariloha pillows

Pillow Types

When it comes to choosing pillows for your bedding, it’s a personal preference. Whether you are a side sleeper, stomach sleeper, or back sleeper, your pillow needs should cater to how you sleep. Additionally, you can consider decorative pillows to give your bed more dimension and texture.

Throw Pillow

Throw pillows are mainly used for decorating instead of sleeping. They come in small, medium, and large sizes and can be arranged in a variety of ways to create a unique look on your bed.

Bed Pillow

Your bed pillow is the one you use for sleeping and should be picked based on your sleeping position. Bed pillows come in a variety of sizes, including standard, super standard, queen, king, and European. This allows you to pick pillows that fit the size of your bed and your sleeping needs.


There are two types of pillowcases: Oxford and Housewife. While these pillowcases are nearly identical, the Oxford pillowcase has a wide-stitched hem around the edge while the Housewife case is the normal pillowcase most people use. This hem is purely for design purposes and does not change or affect the function of the pillowcase. Both pillowcases come in standard bedding sizes to fit all bed types.

Pillow Sham

While a pillowcase directly covers your pillow, a pillow sham is a decorative element that adds more texture, interest, and visual appeal to your bedding.

Shams may have different features, including:

  • Trim
  • Ruffles
  • Flanges
  • Cording

Other bedding Accessories

Sheets, blankets, pillows, and pillowcases are the core of any bedding set, but there are other bedding accessories that take your bed from just comfortable to sleeping in luxury.

mattress protector on Cariloha Classic Mattress

Mattress Cover Or Protector

A mattress cover or protector goes on top of or around the mattress and under the fitted sheet. As we sleep, sweat, dead skin, dust mites, and more can get embedded in our sheets and mattress. However, mattresses can’t be washed and cleaned like bedding can. With a mattress cover or protector, your mattress stays cleaner, stain-free, and in better shape for the long run.

mattress cover or protector can look similar to a fitted sheet but made with a stronger, more durable material. It can also function like a sleeping bag when the mattress is completely enclosed in the protector and held together with a zipper around at least three sides.

Bed Skirt

Bed skirts are used for both style and functionality in the bedroom. A bed skirt can hide the gap underneath the bed, helping hide items stored underneath the bed and giving a cleaner appearance to the room. Bed skirts usually come as part of a matching bedding set to create a cohesive look in the room.

throw blankets on a chair

Throw Blanket

A throw blanket is a smaller blanket that’s made from wrinkle-free material and can be easily thrown over the end of the bed or couch without getting crumpled. Many people use throw blankets to help keep their feet warm or wrap around their shoulders, since they’re not the same size as regular blankets. Throws come in a variety of colors, prints, and patterns to help create a unique focal point on the bed.

Mattress Pad

Mattress pads, also known as mattress toppers, go on top of mattresses to change the comfort level of the mattress. People usually use mattress pads when their current mattress is getting older and worn out.

Bed Scarf

Similar in function to a throw blanket, a bed scarf is a thin piece of fabric that lays across the end of the bed. Bed scarfs are most commonly seen in hotel rooms and are used to protect bedding from getting dirty from people sitting at the end of the bed, using the bed as a luggage holder, and even people laying down with their shoes on.

Adding a bed scarf to your home bedding set functions as another layer of protection as well as a pop of color or an added design feature in the room.

Get started on creating your Perfect Bedding

There are many different types of bedding and there’s a lot that goes into creating your perfect sleep hideaway. Cariloha carries every type of bedding, from sheets and comforters to pillowcases and mattress protectors — but all carrying the unique, beneficial properties of sustainable bamboo. Let our bamboo bedding professionals help you choose the right bedding for your sleeping — and bedroom design — needs.

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