Difference Between a Coverlet and Quilt

Posted In Knowledge - 06/12/2018

Should You Purchase a Coverlet or a Quilt?

When shopping for bedroom essentials, the wide array of bedding available may come as a surprise. There are many options, and deciding between coverlets and quilts can be difficult. Consider filling, decor and care while weighing the pros and cons of coverlets vs. quilts.

Differences between Coverlets and Quilts

  • Often thinner, lighter fabric
  • Ideal for summer months
  • Heavy-duty, multiple layers
  • Great in winter
  • Available in many designs
  • Trendy and versatile
  • Often hand-stitched, heirloom quality
  • Country-chic
  • Easy to handle and care for
  • Typically hand-wash only


Many people in cooler areas prefer quilts because these pieces are often thicker and heavier than coverlets. Quilts have a top, a batting layer and a bottom. Together, they provide additional warmth in the winter.

Coverlets are thinner than quilts since they have less filling. Some people use them in the summer months to stay covered without additional weight or heat. During cold spells, add a blanket underneath a coverlet for extra warmth.  


Traditionally hand-stitched in elegant patterns, many quilts have an heirloom quality about them. These pieces also have multiple uses in home decor. You can throw them over couches and chairs or hang them on a blank wall. For the contemporary decorator, there are plenty of modern quilts that create new twists on old designs.

A coverlet often serves as a decorative cover in addition to other bedding. It's an easily updated accessory that is usually less expensive than bulkier blankets. Some pieces fit snugly over a mattress, while others loosely drape over the bed. Those interested in modern decor might prefer a coverlet's clean and minimal look.


Cleaning and maintenance can also affect your decision to purchase a quilt vs. a coverlet. Intricate quilts with stitched fabric pieces need gentle care to retain their original look. Some require hand washing and air-drying, which lengthens the cleaning process. Quilts may need minor stitching repairs over time as well.

Depending on their material, coverlets can require extensive care or be relatively low maintenance. However, because they are thinner than quilts, they are usually easier to clean and dry.

Making the Decision: Quilt or Coverlet?

When it comes down to it, choosing between a coverlet vs. a quilt depends on your personal tastes. Decorators who want a more traditional look will enjoy the classic elements in a quilt. On the other hand, those who want versatility may favor the simple and contemporary style of a coverlet.

For more on bedding options, see our related article: Duvet vs. Comforter.