We all go to bed every day, but that doesn’t prevent making the bed or the process of choosing proper bedding from being downright mystifying at times. With the surplus of options on the market—down, down alternative, feather-blend!—a little clarification seems like it could go a long way. Consider this your Bedding Basics 101. Shop bedding on westelm.com here.

Basic Bedding Components

west elm - Duvet Insert

1. Duvet Insert – Choose from down + down alternatives. Higher fill power means more down for a warmer duvet. Baffle box construction keeps down from shifting for even warmth.

west elm - Featherbed

2. Featherbed – For extra softness, warmth, and luxury, try a featherbed atop your mattress.

west elm - Mattress Pad

3. Mattress Pad – This protects and extends the life of your mattress, adds cushioning, and reduces allergens.

west elm - Bedskirt

4. Bedskirt – Bedskirts give a finished look to a bed. For platform beds, try a boxspring cover for a tailored look.

Pillow Talk

west elm - Pillows

To choose the right pillow for you, take into a ccount the type + amount of fill, the level of firmness, and whether you sleep on your side, back or stomach. Here is a quick guide to fill options.

Down Alternative
– These hypoallergenic options include plant-based Lyocell, microfibers, memory foam, or cooling performance fibers.

Down – European white down is the premium fill. Look for higher fill power for a firmer pillow, but in general, down is soft and molds to the body.

Feather or Blend – All-feather fill is the best for decorative pillows like Euros. Feather-down blends are soft + less expensive than pure down.

Back-up Bedding: Linen Closet

Here’s our checklist for a well–stocked linen closet, including a few extras to keep on hand for guests.

2 Sheets Sets: You’ll need at least 2 sets of sheets per bed; consider adding flannel for winter + linen for summer.

2 Blankets: A lightweight blanket or quilt for spring/summer + a heavier blanket for winter (you may not need one with a duvet).

2 Duvet Covers + Shams: Choose an extra duvet cover and set of shams for laundering or to change up your look.

4 Extra Pillowcases: Many of us use 2 sets of pillows on the bed, plus it’s nice to have a patterned set for a design accent.

2 Pillows: Keep an extra set of pillows (plus a blanket and/or duvet) at the ready for guests.

1 Featherbed: If your guest bed’s a pull–out sofa or inflatable mattress, a featherbed or memory foam cover can make it extra comfy.

What’s Your Bedding Style


    1. Create a relaxed (not messy) look by showing off layers.
    2. Drape sheets over a turned–down duvet or quilt rather than tucking them in. Layer pillows instead of matching them up perfectly.
    3. Stylist’s Secret: For a lush look, insert 2 duvets into 1 duvet cover.
    4. Try: Belgian Flax Linen or Organic Washed Cotton bedding.

Luxe Layers:

    1. Layer a quilt or matelassé coverlet with a duvet folded halfway over it.
    2. Prop up Euro pillows behind standard pillows and match them to the duvet.
    3. Choose contrasting pillow shams or match them to your sheets. Add a luxe accent pillow or two, and a throw at the foot of the bed.
    4. Try: a Lush Velvet or Washed Silk quilt.


    1. Tuck in not only your sheets with hospital corners, but also your quilt or coverlet.
    2. Stack pillows flat in pairs rather than propping them up.
    3. Opt for a fitted boxspring cover rather than a bedskirt.
    4. Try: Organic Cotton Sateen Sheets.

Tips For Bedding Care

1. To Keep Whites White

Instead of chlorine bleach, which can harm fabric, use an enzyme- or oxygen-based stain remover, or go natural: Add 1/4 c. lemon juice or 1/2 c. baking soda with your detergent and 1/2 c. white vinegar during the rinse cycle. Wash in warm water. Dry outside in the sun when possible.

2. To Keep Bedding Fresh

Use pillow protectors, duvet and mattress covers, and wash monthly. Wash pillows and duvets twice a year. Use mild liquid detergent, warm water and a second rinse cycle. Dry fully on low heat with tennis balls tucked inside white socks to help fluff them.

Get the Look

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts