Quilt Versus Coverlet: What’s the Difference?

When choosing the best layers for your bed, is a quilt or coverlet the better option? These bedding layers are similar, but a few key differences can help you decide. Unlike comforters, quilts and coverlets are thinner and are not filled with down or down alternative fill. This means they are both lightweight options for warm weather or good extra layers during cool months and shoulder seasons. To choose the best option for you, consider your decor style and sleep preferences.

What Is A Quilt?

A quilt is a traditional bedding item constructed with two outer layers of fabric stitched over an inner layer of batting. Quilts come in a variety of styles—from understated designs for the traditional look, to elaborately embellished creations with appliqué, decorative stitching, or embroidered accents for a bold, fun option. Our 100 percent cotton quilts are handcrafted for quality, and our exclusive designs brighten main bedrooms, kids’ beds, and guest rooms.

There are two main types of quilt:

  • Patchwork of pieced-style quilts are constructed with multiple small fabric shapes to create a larger pattern or design.
  • Wholecloth quilts use a single, complete length of fabric for the topmost layer.

What Is A Coverlet?

A coverlet, also referred to as a ‘bedspread,’ is a lightweight blanket intended for use as a polished top bedding layer. Coverlets are thinner than quilts and can be a perfect, lightweight option to top the bed in the summer or to layer beneath a comforter or duvet when cool weather rolls in. A coverlet may also be folded at the foot of the bed for an easy-to-reach extra layer. Choose the coverlet style that speaks to you: pull the whole room together with a coverlet that features textural matelassé, a jacquard weave, or decorative stitching, or brighten your space with a vibrant color.

Which Is Better: A Quilt Or Coverlet?

Coverlet versus quilt, which is the best option? You really can’t go wrong—both quilts and coverlets bring warmth and personality to the room. If you love to layer your bedding, either style is a gorgeous bed topper. After you’ve chosen sheets and mid-layers, a quilt or coverlet provides the finishing touch that brings it all together.

Consider these points when choosing your perfect bedding layer:

woman sleeping on coverlet
  • Quilts are thicker, and often slightly warmer, than coverlets.
  • Quilts are made with a layer of batting stitched between two layers of fabric, while coverlets are a single layer.
  • Both can be used as a top bedding layer, but also work wonderfully beneath comforters and blankets for extra warmth.
  • Many of our quilts and coverlets have matching shams to complete your look.
  • Our coverlet collections may also include matching bed skirts.
  • Both quilts and coverlets can be laundered seasonally, or more often if necessary—but pieced quilts may be more delicate than coverlets due to the construction techniques.

Can’t decide between a quilt or coverlet? No problem: layer them both. In warm summer weather, top your bed with a quilt, then leave a folded coverlet at the foot of the bed, or vice versa. This way, if you get cool in the middle of the night, you have an extra layer within easy reach. Or, during the spring and fall—the shoulder seasons—or year-round for cool sleepers, top your sheets with a coverlet, then add a quilt for just-right warmth. Coverlets and quilts are lightweight options that layer easily for the warmth you want in any season.