Bed Linen Terms explained

By , July 12, 2010 12:01 pm

Definitions of Bed Linen Types


A duvet, (the word comes from the French for down) is also known as a continental quilt. A Duvet is a soft flat bag traditionally filled with down or feathers, or often a micofibre filling and used on a bed , usually with no other bed cover.A duvet is similar to a comforter and/or a quilt in that a duvet is also composed of two layers of fabric with an insulation substance between. However, the difference between a duvet and a comforter and/or quilt is that the duvet is to be placed inside a duvet cover.

Duvet Cover

A giant pillowcase-like covering that fits over a duvet. It is open on one end, typically closed by snaps. The purpose a duvet cover is to protect the duvet and be decorative.
In North America Duvets are less common than Europe where Comforters are more commonly used.


Is a bed covering which is similar to  duvet in style but usually made of decorative fabric and designed to be used without a cover.
Comforters often feature decorative machine quilting patterns to hold the fill in place that add feature to the design of the item.
Comforters are usually used with Pillow Shams.

Pillow Shams

Usually made of the same fabric that makes a comforter or quilt.They are a decorative cover for a pillow.  Because they are purely decorative  you don’t sleep on pillows covered by a pillow sham.They are usually removed from the bed during the night or may be placed behind the pillows and in front of the bed head. When making a bed, pillow sham covered pillows are usually placed on top or in front of pillows.

Fitted Sheet

A fitted sheet is designed to correctly fit on to your mattress and stay put. A fitted sheet properly manufactured will a. Be elasticated all the way around so that the tuck under your mattress stays put and the sheet does not ‘ping’ off during the night. And b.  Will be correctly sized for the dimensions of your mattress including the depth which can vary from 8″ – 20″ deep!
Many people have a problem finding the correct size for their bed . Please look at our Bed Size Guide where there is information on how to measure your bed and bed size gudes  to ensure you get the right fitted sheet for your bed. Be very careful that any fitted sheet is elasticated all the way round. Cheap, poorly made fitted sheets are often sold with pocket corners. These do not work and you will forever be remaking your bed! You may be interested in looking at our UK bed sizes post.

Flat Sheet

As it says a flat oblong piece of bed linen. Hemmed at edges. Good quality flat sheets often have a cuff at the top.


A Valance is a skirt of material which covers the bottom part of a bed between the base of a mattress and the floor.

There are  four main types of valance.

Hook and Loop Valance 

 Hook and loop (Velcro style) Valances are ideal for wooden beds, Hook and loop is supplied to stick to the underside of the bed frame and
the valance has Hook and loop attached and simply attach to the frame.

Platform Valance 

 Perfect for divan beds. Valances can be simply laid over the bed base beneath the mattress. These platform Valances always drape beautifully and remain firmly in place.

Split Corner Valance

The perfect valance for metal framed beds and four posters.

Collar Valance 

 The Collar valance simply tucks between the mattress and the bed base. Ideal for those with a heavier mattress.

For more information on Valances Please Click Here


A pillowcase is a decorative and protective bag for a pillow.  Pillowcases come in a very wide variety of sizes which vary from country to country.

Common pillowcase sizes are :-

Standard 49 x 74cm
Contour 41 x 58cm
Pillow Case Euro 65 x 65 cm
Pillow Case Euro 65 x 100cm
Pillow Case Euro 40 x 80cm
Pillow Case Euro 50 x 60cm
Pillow Case Euro 80 x 80 cm
Waterbed King 50 x 91cm

In addition there are many other sizes all of which can be found by Clicking Here

We will be adding more information to this blog.  If you have any questions related to bed linen terms please ask and we will try to help.


Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy