Quilt / Bedspread / Cover / Eiderdown / Duvet


Senior Member
Spanish / Spain
Hi all,

I know all these words are used for bed covers, but I would like to discuss their differences and the ones most commonly used in BE / AE.

  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    "Quilt" technically refers to the construction of the item: an insulating middle layer, such as a blanket, is sewn between the cover and a backing, usually by the sewing technique known as "quilting".

    Eiderdown is a type of feather that comes from eider ducks. An eiderdown comforter, or pillow, or featherbed, or whatever else, would be filled with eiderdown.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Here is a local interpretation of these terms. I suspect there is considerable variation.

    A cover could be anything. A bed-cover is probably a bedspread.

    A bedspread is used if you sleep under sheet & blankets. The bedspread is a decorative layer covering the blankets and hanging down on either side of the bed - probably not as far as the floor. It could be a single layer of fabric - probably quite heavy.

    An eiderdown is a thicker cover and should, as the name suggests, be stuffed with feathers. It may cover the top of the bed only.

    If you don't sleep under blankets, you sleep under a duvet.
    A duvet is thick, soft and full of something like feathers or synthetic insulating stuff. A duvet is put inside a duvet cover.

    What's a quilt?
    Tricky question. A quilt around here could be any of the above, though probably it is a somewhat padded form of bedspread with decorative stitching or indeed made of patchwork. MrsP went through a fanatical patchwork phase that resulted in patchwork quilts all over the house.

    Which is most common - again, personal comments.
    Currently, I would say that duvets dominate and quilts come next. Bedspreads are used on beds that don't have duvets. I haven't heard eiderdowns mentioned a great deal recently. Cover?
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