Bed Design: What are the bedding layers to dress your bed with?

There isn’t a one size fits all rule book for the bedding layers that you have to use for your bed design. It starts off with the theme of your bedroom setting. If you are going for minimal industrial for example, then your layers have to be absolutely toned down:

Minimal Bed Layers
Minimal Bedroom Design

My personal preference, however, is to not settle for minimal as it does not contribute towards comfort, cosiness or a fantastic sleep experience. Minimal is pretty much a theme for the bachelor pad or a budget hotel. Least maintenance, least comfort but aesthetically pleasing!

If you have an elevated bed design like a platform bed or a standard frame, and you wish to use the base for storage, then you would need a bed skirt to hide what is on the ground. With the bed skirt as a layer, you can go crazy by maximising layers and elevating the comfort dose!

Design bedding with Bed Skirt
Example of Bedskirt

Each layer of your bedding has a purpose. It wasn’t just created as a fashion statement. Let’s get down to that!

Component of a bed
Bedding Layers

A: Fitted Sheet

This bit is a no brainer. The fitted sheet’s purpose is to hold the bottom-most bedding layer in place. It prevents the sheet from slipping off the mattress when the bed is in use. Its rubber-strapped edges hold the sheets in place. It’s absolutely essential to find the right sized sheet for your mattress size for a fitted sheet to even make sense. All aspects of your mattress dimensions should be accounted for:

– the length, the width and the thickness

B: Flat Sheet

The Flat sheet is placed on top of the fitted sheet but under your bed coverlets such as duvets and blankets. The sleeper goes in between the fitted and the flat sheet.

If there was one thing you should spend on as far as your bedding is concerned, it would be this fella. These days, many opt to not have a flat sheet as part of their bedding. It might be considered superfluous, creating even more work in making the bed. However, its advantages far outweigh the additional 30-second hassle. If anything, I am confused with people shunning the flat sheet.

  1.  The flat sheet is imperative to pulling off a designer or hotel bedding look because of the way it layers itself partly over the duvet. It is the focal point of your bedding design. In fact, without the flat sheet, this article is pretty void. Like, stop reading if you are not going to be using a flat sheet… Seriously.
  2.  You know how temperamental the Asian weather can be. Hot humid nights to windy chilly ones. If the weather decides to throw a tantrum, then you are gonna have to sneak a foot out of your duvet when it gets warm even with air conditioning. The foot then becomes cold and you sneak it back in again. How are you ever reaching REM at this pace? With a flat sheet, you get to add practicality to your bed design. You could just use the flat sheet instead of the duvet if it gets too warm in the middle of the night. Foot remains intact.
  3.  You are always only in contact with your fitted sheets and flat sheets. In that way, you do not have to wash the duvet covers as often and only wash your sheets. If you void the flat sheet due to the 30 extra seconds in making up the bed, then how about the effort to wash your duvet covers weekly?
  4.  The Hotel look comes only with the use of the flat sheet for your bed design. Hotels can’t do without the flat sheets as it makes the most practical sense for them for both maintenance and aesthetics.
  5. A duvet cover of Egyptian Cotton could get really expensive. However, A flat sheet made of Egyptian Cotton would not be. You could have the best quality Flat sheet caressing your body with the same comfort that your duvet inserts would be providing. Since the flat sheet would be the one in contact with your body and not the duvet, in practicality you could buy a simple cotton duvet cover making your total bedding cost that much lower.

So in summary – Use the God-given flat sheets even though the Asian culture wasn’t brought up to do so.

There is nothing permanent except change – Heraclitus –

C. Duvet Insert/Cover

With regards to the diagram, C could be a comforter, blanket, quilt or a Duvet. More about the difference between these in a later article but ultimately, the Duvet is what provides the warmth and snugness to your sleep.

The feel of luxury comes from the choice of duvet inserts rather than the cover itself. What type of insert to buy really depends on the type of sleepers you and your partner are. Do you crank up the air conditioning to 16°C or do you set it to 21°C with a 2-hour timer? The warm and cool sleepers require different types of Duvet fillings.


You can choose from an array of fills that you deem the most comfortable. Synthetic fills and natural fills including Wool, Cotton, Down and Feathers are some of the most popular choices.

Fill Material

The fill material will help determine how light and fluffy the duvet feels. Better quality fill material does not necessarily mean more warmth, but it typically means more comfort.


Choosing the material of the fill alone does not validate luxury or comfort. Fill-Power is important too. An average duvet features up to 600 fill-power down, while luxury duvets feature up to 900 fill-power down.


There are other criteria such as tog rating, size besides fill-power. More about those later. Ultimately, invest in your duvet inserts as they are one time investments. You would switch about your duvet covers but would be using the same insert based on the fact that we have Summer perpetually every day.

D. Throwover

The throwover goes on top of the Duvet. However, its placement can be random. Typically, it’s set at the foot or centre of the bed where the Duvet folds over the flat sheet. However, feel free to close your eyes and throw the throw! onto your bed after making up your bed. However it lands, it makes for a perfect Pinterest snapshot of your bed design.

Bedding Throwover
Throwover random placement

The throws are the piece of the bedding that you can choose to be the most adventurous with. In terms of colour, weave, material; you can be as loud and crazy as you want as long as it stays within the colour theme of your homes:

Read the following for more about colour themes for your bed design: How to recreate and design the Hotel sleep experience right at home?

Aesthetically, throws serve its biggest function. However, they have a practical use too!

Let’s assume its a Sunday afternoon. You decide to have a lazy day reading your book on the bed. The last thing you want to do is make a mess of your done up bed by getting into your duvet covers. Instead, simply snug into your throwovers which serve that purpose especially for that of a selfie on bed.

E. Bed Scarf

A bed scarf or bed runner is a decorative layer that spans the entire width of the foot of the bed. Hotels use them as it protects the bed from dirt from luggages and shoes. At homes, it comes in rather handy for those with pets or those who love their bedding enough to stay on the bed even for breakfast.

Eating On Bed
Bed Scarf

F. Bed Skirt

The Bed Skirt only works with certain themes. Vintage and Cottage themes would hold a Bed Skirt really well. A Bed Skirt or valance is a piece of decorative fabric that is placed between the mattress and the box spring of a bed. The purpose of a bed skirt is to give a stylish appearance to a bed without exposing the sides of the box spring or any space under the bed that may be used for storage.

These days, however, mattresses are created to be self-sufficient in the sense they do not need a Box Spring to be used. Therefore, this bedding layer is one that can be forgone. As mentioned earlier, unless you use the bottom of your bed for storage and you need to hide its contents, the Bed skirt can really be done away with. For those enthusiastic still, there are modern designs for Bed Skirts that can still aesthetically appeal to new-age deco.

The following article from a touch of class breaks it down rather well: Types of Bed Skirts

G/H/I/J: Pillows

Pillow layering is a complexity on its own. It is also important to know what are your activities on your bed before you choose a pillow layer style for your bed design. (I know what you are thinking).

Reading , Eating, Playing with Kids, Working I meant!

We will get to Pillow Layering and how it aesthetically and functionally serves your bedding style under the articles in pillow section soon.

Home Textiles and Bedding Layers are something Asians are not accustomed to. We love how it looks at Hotels but we never choose to practice its appeal at our homes. Culturally, we have never been used to such a bed setting. Times have changed. The millennials are looking at luxury and comfort as a need. Start with the changes right at your homes especially now that you have cottoncrumbled as a guide!

Your choice of bedding layers has to be based on both functionality and aesthetics. Understand your theme, your habits, your family occupants, guests and then dress the bed around it.

This article alone would not be able to complete your layering education. You need to understand,  fill materials, pillow layering and how to physically layer these segments before you execute it at your homes.



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