AskDefine | Define bedspread

Dictionary Definition

bedspread n : decorative cover for a bed [syn: bedcover, bed cover, bed covering, counterpane, spread]

User Contributed Dictionary



bed + spread


  1. The topmost covering of a bed, often functioning as a blanket.
  2. A coverlet.
  3. A counterpane.

Extensive Definition

Bedding refers to the materials laid above the mattress of a bed for warmth. Bedding excludes the mattress, box spring and bed frame. Down materials are often used for warmth in bedding. To seek bedding means a person will retire for sleep, to his or her bedding.

Common bedding materials


Around 3400 BC Egyptian pharaohs had their beds moved off the ground and slept on a raised surface.
The Roman Empire brought the beginning of luxury beds. The mattresses were stuffed with wool, feather, reeds or hay. They were decorated with paint, bronze, silver, jewels and gold.
During the Renaissance, mattresses were stuffed with straw and feathers and then covered with silks, velvets or satin material.
The arrival of the 18th century brought bed frames made from cast iron, and mattresses that were made of cotton. This quickly did away with much of the vermin that would nest in mattresses that were stuffed with easily decomposed matter. The 19th century saw the invention of the bed spring, also called the box spring.
The 20th century brought the inner spring mattress, futon, water bed (starting in 1960's), air mattresses, foam rubber mattresses and pillows.


Bed Skirt (also Bed Ruffle, Dust Ruffle or Valance): A decorative piece used to cover the boxspring and legs of the bed. It fits between the mattress and boxspring and hangs to the floor.
Bed Spread: A bed cover with sides that go to the floor. This does not require a bed skirt.
Boudoir Pillows (or Breakfast Pillows): Small rectangular decorative throw pillows.
Comforter: A filled bed cover that is quilted and usually reversible. They require a bed skirt to complete the look, as the sides only go about halfway to the floor.
Drop: The length of a bed skirt.
Duvet Cover: A decorative and protective covering for a duvet. Most duvet covers have a button or tie closure at one end.
European Sham (or Euro Sham): A decorative pillow covering which fits a large 26” x 26” pillow. These are often placed behind the standard size pillow shams as a backdrop for all of the other pillows.
Flanged: Including a decorative band of fabric that is straight or tailored; often used to describe pillows or pillow shams
Neckroll: Small cylindrical decorative throw pillows
Pillow Shams: Decorative coverings for pillows, often designed with trims, ruffles, flanges, or cording. Shams are normally placed behind the pillows used to sleep on, which would be covered with regular pillowcases.
Pleated: Sewn in folds like a fan
Tailored: Fitted closely ie made to fit the bed exactly
Thread Count: The number of thread ends per square inch in a woven fabric

See also

bedspread in German: Bettware
bedspread in French: Literie
bedspread in Japanese: 寝具

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

afghan, bed linen, bedclothes, bedcover, bedding, bedsheet, blanket, buffalo robe, case, clothes, comfort, comforter, contour sheet, counterpane, cover, coverlet, coverlid, eiderdown, fitted sheet, lap robe, linen, patchwork quilt, pillow slip, pillowcase, quilt, robe, rug, sheet, sheeting, slip, spread
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