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How to Layer a Bed And Create the Ultimate Bedding Ensemble

How to Layer a Bed
“For each person at every age, there is a bed, a place that is harbor to our most intimate of moments…our moments of abandon” - Diane Von Furstenberg, fashion designer

Your bed is more than just a place to sleep; it's a sanctuary, a retreat from the demands of the day. One of the keys to transforming your bed into a cozy haven lies in the art of layering. By combining textures, fabrics, and thoughtful design, you can create a bed that not only looks inviting but also feels like a warm embrace. In this guide, we'll explore the essential elements of layering your bed to achieve the ultimate in comfort and style.

Invest In Quality Bedding

The foundation of a cozy bed begins with quality bedding. Invest in a comfortable mattress and soft, breathable sheets. Opt for natural fibers like cotton or linen, which are not only luxurious but also promote a comfortable sleep environment. While you might want to consider the thread count of your sheets and whether you choose percale, sateen or linen sheets, you also want to think about relative cost.  Quality bedding does not necessarily mean expensive bedding. Take your time to lie on a mattress before buying it, to physically touch a sheet before committing to it and to ask your friends and family for their advice. You might find it helpful to visit our blogs that explain thread count or explore the differences between sateen vs percale, but remember your bed is your personal haven so trust yourself to make the choices that are going to make you feel most comfortable and at home. 

Building the Base Layers

When we think about what a bed looks like I'm sure many of us just think that it includes a mattress, sheets, a comforter or blanket and a couple of pillows. Now nothing is wrong with having just the basics - it can certainly create a clean, modern vibe -  but if you truly want to elevate your bedroom and create a more cozy aesthetic then the key is adding layers, some of them not visible (like a mattress topper or pad) but most of them on the bed - like euro shams, coverlets, throws, quilts, decorative pillows, blankets and more.

Add a Plush Mattress Topper

Many mattresses these days come with a mattress topper.  Even so, and especially if your mattress does not have a mattress topper, you can really enhance the comfort and coziness of your bed by adding a plush mattress topper. This extra layer provides additional cushioning, transforming even the most basic mattress into a luxurious sleeping surface. Choose a topper with materials like down, memory foam or a down alternative, catering to your preference for a softer or firmer feel.

How to layer a bed: Add a plush mattress topper

Select the Perfect Duvet or Comforter

The focal point of your bed layering strategy is the duvet or comforter. This is where you really can begin to infuse your personal style and elevate the coziness factor. Select a duvet inner or a comforter with a soft, plush fill. Consider the weight of the duvet, choosing a lighter option for warmer climates months and a heavier one for cooler locales.  If you are able to, you might want to invest in a heavier one for the cooler months and lighter one for the warmer months. Duvet inners and comforters come in a variety of fabrications from down to wool to down alternatives.  Take the time to find the fill that is right for you.  

The cover of your comforter or duvet is going to set the tone for your room.  Think about your fabric choices - there are many out there - from cool, crisp cotton to textured, breathable linen.  Our blog that explores the differences between linen and cotton might be a helpful guide as you navigate your choices.  You are also going to want to consider color, texture and pattern.  Keep your room scheme or theme in mind as you navigate these choices.  

Before you commit to anything we really recommend creating a board (you can do it digitally on platforms like Pinterest) or by printing out your choices and laying them out on a large table or pinned to bulletin board.

How to layer a bed: Select the perfect duvet or comforter

How Many Pillows Is Too Many

Although you probably do not sleep with more than 1 or 2 pillows, one of the most effective ways to create visual impact is by layering pillows at the head of your bead.  

We really love to anchor the bed with euro shams.  These square pillows sit in front of your headboard, sticking up above your standard pillows. They not only provide an extra layer of support if you sit up in bed reading or watching television, they are a great way to add color and texture to your bed.  We love to choose euro shams that are a contrasting but complementary pattern, color or texture to your main bedding.  Add at least 1 layer of standard pillows in front of your euro pillows.

Decorative throw pillows can be the finishing touch, adding personality and flair. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and textures to create a visually appealing arrangement.  Explore our blog on How To Decorate With Throw Pillows for some helpful tips in selecting and arranging your decorative pillows.

How to layer a bed: How many pillows Is too many

Introduce a Quilt or Coverlet

For an added layer of sophistication, include a quilt or coverlet. These lightweight bed coverings not only provide extra warmth but also serve as a versatile design element. Choose a quilt in a complementary color or pattern to add visual depth to your bed. Fold it halfway or lay it across the entire bed for a polished appearance.  Quilts and coverlets are often sold as a set, including 2 pillow shams to place at the head of the board which ties in beautifully with a folded quilt at the base of the bed.

How to layer a bed: Introduce a quilt or coverlet

Layering with a Cozy Blanket

“As the seasons change, I suggest reducing or adding the number of blankets accordingly. Often, that middle blanket layer goes in the warmer months, I'll also use wool in the cooler months at the foot of the bed and switch to light cotton quilts or blankets in warmer months.” - Lauren Liess, designer

The next step in creating a cozy bed is to add a warm blanket. Opt for something with texture and complementary color to introduce visual interest and tactile appeal. Drape it casually across the foot of the bed or fold it neatly for a more polished look. The blanket not only serves as a decorative element, contributing to the overall aesthetic of your bed, it is the perfect accessory to pull up over your feet if you are lounging on your bed before bedtime and want just that little layer of warmth and coziness.

Finishing Touches with a Bed Skirt

Complete the look of your cozy bed with a bed skirt. This not only adds a polished finish but also conceals the space beneath your bed, creating a tidy and organized appearance. Choose a bed skirt in a color that complements your bedding, and ensure it's the right length to gracefully touch the floor.  Not all beds take bedskirts, so make sure yours does before making the investment.  One note of caution - although we list it here as the final element, when you are setting up your bed you will put your bedskirt on first.  It usually goes on the box spring below the mattress and hides the box spring and the bed frame.

Things To Bear In Mind  

As you layer your bed, remember each of these elements that we have touched on in all of the sections above:

Mix and Match Textures

Texture is key when it comes to creating a cozy bed. Mix and match different textures to add depth and visual interest. Combine smooth cotton sheets with a chunky knit blanket, a silky quilt, and fluffy pillows. The interplay of textures not only looks inviting but also enhances the tactile experience of your bed.

Coordinate Colors and Patterns

A cohesive color scheme and well-chosen patterns can tie the layers of your bed together, creating a harmonious and visually pleasing look. Consider the colors of your walls and bedroom furniture when selecting bedding. If you have a neutral bedroom, use your bedding as an opportunity to introduce pops of color or patterns that reflect your style.

“If you like a monochrome look, then mix up the tones and textures for variety and visual interest. If you want something more pattern-driven, then choose a color palette, and make sure that you vary the scales and the patterns.” - Emily Henderson, designer

Consider Seasonal Changes

To keep your bed cozy all year round, consider making seasonal adjustments. In warmer months, opt for lighter layers such as breathable sheets and a lightweight quilt. As temperatures drop, layer on thicker blankets and a heavier comforter. This not only keeps you comfortable but also allows you to refresh the look of your bed with the changing seasons.

Creating a cozy and inviting bed is an art form that combines comfort, style, and personal expression. By layering your bed with quality bedding, plush textures, and thoughtful design elements, you can transform your bed into a haven of comfort and relaxation. Experiment with colors, textures, and patterns to find the perfect combination that suits your style and makes your bed the focal point of your bedroom. With these tips, you'll not only enjoy a restful night's sleep but also wake up to a bed that radiates warmth and style.

“I’m always converting from one bed style to another based on how I feel. I don’t like for things to be the same for too long. As a designer, the most ideal way to make a beautiful bed is to be neat about everything you do with your bed. As long as it’s neat, it’s beautiful.” - Andre’ Jordan Hilton, designer


Q: What are the essential components for creating a layered bed

A: To craft a layered bed, focus on foundational elements like quality bedding, including sheets (preferably made from natural fibers like cotton or linen), a comfortable mattress, and a plush mattress topper. Building upon this base involves adding layers such as duvet covers, quilts, coverlets, decorative pillows, blankets, and throws for a cozy and stylish setup.

Q: What are some tips for selecting the perfect bedding materials for layering?

A: When choosing bedding materials for layering, consider factors like comfort, breathability, and personal preference. Opt for quality sheets with natural fibers, explore different fillings for duvets or comforters (such as down, wool, or alternatives), and select covers or textures that complement your room's aesthetic. It's essential to consider thread count, fabric type (like cotton or linen), and colors or patterns that align with your bedroom's theme.

Q: How many pillows should be used in a well-layered bed setup?

A: While the number of pillows used for sleeping might be minimal, creating a visually impactful layered bed involves strategic pillow placement. Start with euro shams as a base for the headboard, adding standard pillows in front. Decorative throw pillows serve as the finishing touch, allowing experimentation with different shapes, sizes, and textures for an appealing arrangement.

Q: What are some creative ways to mix and match patterns and textures in a layered bedding design?

A: Achieving an aesthetically pleasing layered bedding design involves mixing and matching textures and patterns. Combine smooth and textured fabrics, such as pairing cotton sheets with chunky knit blankets or silky quilts. Coordinate colors and patterns in a cohesive manner, considering your room's color scheme and furniture. Seasonal changes can also influence your choice of layers, allowing flexibility in creating a refreshed look for different times of the year.


1. How To Style Your Bed, According To Top Designers on Forbes -

2. 5 Designer-Approved Ways to Make a Bed on Architectural Digest -