Quilts are beautiful and functional items that are often used as bedding to give your bedroom an aesthetic appearance. They are also good for keeping you warm in the winter and cool during the summer nights.
Frequently washing a quilt can diminish its color and shorten its lifespan. So, considering using a quilt cover is the right thing to do. Quilt covers do more than just protect your comforter, they keep you comfortable as well. Besides, putting on a quilt cover can dramatically enhance the overall feel of your bedroom and completely transform its appearance.
Quilt covers are made up of a variety of materials, though choosing the right one is the real deal as the breathability, comfortability, and ease of use will depend entirely on the material used.
Quilt covers made from cotton and linen are known to be the best. Cotton has the most breathable properties of all fabrics due to its lightweight and soft nature. There are also materials that are best suited for quilting covers, such as percale cotton, silk, cotton/polyester blends, flannel, bamboo, sateen, and Tencel.
Best Quilt Cover Materials
There is no doubt that cotton is the most popular material for quilt covers. It is because cotton is soft, comfortable, and breathable, while also being easy to maintain. If you’re looking for a no-fuss, low-maintenance material, cotton is your best bet. The seamless airflow provided by cotton and its moisture-wicking properties makes it the perfect choice for a long night’s sleep.
In my opinion, organic cotton is a little bit better if you can spend a little more money on it. Cotton plants grown organically are less susceptible to pesticides, so they produce fibers with a longer staple, resulting in softer and more breathable fabrics.
However, if you are searching for superior quality, Supima, Egyptian cotton, and Pima will not disappoint you at all. Apart from that, these types of cotton come with a higher thread count, which is important because experts recommend that you use a quilt cover with a higher thread count to protect your quilt.
If you’re looking for a cooler night’s sleep, linen is the perfect material. Besides being lightweight and breathable, it is durable as well. Furthermore, linen is capable of absorbing up to 20% of its weight in moisture before feeling wet, meaning you will remain dry and your sleep is less likely to be disrupted. There is one advantage of linen: it dries much faster than cotton. However, linen has a tendency to wrinkle, regardless of how careful you are.
Percale cotton is a fine, lightweight, and soft material that is commonly used in quilt covers. In addition to being durable, it lasts a long time. This fabric is frequently used by hotels for their sheets and other bedding accessories. The good thing about percale cotton is that it is easy to maintain. You can throw it in the washing machine as often as you wish, without damaging it. However, the thread count may be of concern since it is low in percale cotton. To put it another way, percale cotton is soft, but not quite as soft as long-staple cotton.
With its elegant and comfortable nature, silk is considered one of the most luxurious quilt cover materials. If you tend to sleep hot, you will appreciate silk as a quilt cover. Silk is particularly popular as a quilt cover material because it emits a luxurious vibe while being much smoother and more shiny.
Silk has health benefits as well. Due to its dust-repellent properties, it is an excellent material for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. However, silk is very delicate – which means it might be much harder to care for a quilt cover made of silk. Plus, silk tends to catch stains quickly so using a silk quilt cover may be a challenge at times.
Flannel is generally a mix of cotton and wool. This means that flannel is durable, warm, and soft, which makes it the best material for colder climates. Unlike linen, flannel does not wrinkle, and it dries very quickly, making it very easy to care for. Flannel also has a distinct fuzzy texture made of brushed cotton.
However, you may not want to use it in hot summer weather or if you are a hot sleeper in general. That’s because you would likely feel too warm with a flannel quilt cover and experience discomfort while sleeping on summer nights. Getting sweaty is a bonus as well.
Sateen is praised for being breathable and cooling, but it’s also necessary to note its elegant looks, too. Flannel is also a great option in hot climates because it is highly absorbent and can help keep you cool even on the hottest of nights. Besides sateen being lightweight, it is also known for its smooth and glossy finish, making it ideal for those who want a luxurious look. Aside from this, sateen is soft and durable, making it a great choice for those concerned about durability.
Bamboo is a natural fabric made from bamboo grass pulp that is known for its softness, durability, and comfort. Due to its hypoallergenic properties, this natural material is likely to promote uninterrupted sleep. Just like linen, it can absorb three times more water than its weight, making it an ideal choice for hot sleepers. As a result, it works extremely well at wicking moisture away from your body. Apart from that, bamboo has a higher thread count, about 300-500 threads per inch, which makes it more comfortable and softer than cotton.
Although bamboo is a natural material, some manufacturers use a viscose process with chemicals to extract cellulose from the bamboo and spin it into fibers. This process usually results in Lyocell, rayon, and modal types of bamboo fabrics.
A mix of cotton and polyester is the best option if you’re looking for a cheaper option. Polyester is also wrinkle-proof and does not fade with time. In the short run, choosing a blend can save you money, and you can select more than one cover according to your changing decor. But since it is cheaply made, you can’t expect it to hold up over time. Moreover, polyester is less breathable, trapping moisture and heat in your bed.
Fabrics to Avoid
It is highly recommended to avoid upholstery-grade fabrics. Even though upholstery fabrics are an attractive and durable option for sofas and blankets, they present difficulties when used for quilt covers.
A quilt that is enclosed in this material is unlikely to feel as plush and the added weight will result in an extremely heavy quilt. Besides, it takes a long time to wash and dry upholstery fabric in a standard washing machine – if the fabric can even be washed. You should also avoid fabrics such as brocades, velvets, and chenille.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Material for a Quilt Cover
A quilt cover can be made out of a variety of materials, but choosing the right one is crucial as far as comfort, breathability, and durability are concerned.
The properties of cotton and linen make them popular for their breathability, while warmer options like flannel and microfiber are more suitable for colder climates. If you plan to choose cotton, pay attention to the weave type. As for Percale, it will give you a cool, crisp feel, whereas jersey or brushed cotton will feel more cozy and warm. If you’re looking for a 5-star finish, satin cotton is the right choice. It has a silky texture and subtle shine.
As you hunt for quilt covers, you should look at thread count, but here’s something to keep in mind: quality quilt covers made from long-staple cotton may have a lower thread count, but they are also more breathable, durable, and soft compared to other quilt covers.
Ease of use
Quilt covers are primarily used to avoid having to wash quilts frequently. This is why you should choose a material that is easy to clean and maintain. Thus, make sure that the fabric of the quilt cover is easy to clean, especially if it’s destined for your children’s or pets’ room.
When selecting a quilt cover, pay attention to the care instructions to ensure it can be machine washed and dried easily. Also, go for a wrinkle-proof fabric, which you can choose if wrinkles aren’t an issue. In my opinion, you should choose cotton, flannel, and cotton/poly blends since they are easy to maintain and clean. On the other hand, linen and silk are difficult in this regard.
In order to keep the quilt inside the quilt cover, a button, zipper, or tie will be required. Otherwise, the quilt will hang from the bottom of the cover. Most quilt covers use buttons to close, however, a zipper closure saves you the time and effort of securing each button individually. So, keep that in mind if you want to save time making the bed. Yet, some people still prefer the traditional look of a buttoned quilt cover over a zippered one. Meanwhile, fabric ties are a less common option for securing the open end of a quilt cover, but they can help create a relaxed, breezy look.
As far as the colors and patterns of quilt covers are concerned, there are many that can be found on the market, but it is important to keep in mind the decor of your bedroom and choose fabrics that match it.
It is easy to find cotton/poly blends and cotton quilt covers in all sorts of patterns and colors. However, if you are looking for flannel, percale, linen, or silk, there is not much choice available.
When buying a quilt cover, the cost is another critical factor to consider. Therefore, choose a fabric that is affordable but of good quality. Choosing a material with all the features you want shouldn’t cost you a fortune.
I mean it’s true that silk and long-staple cotton have the highest prices because they offer just about everything you could possibly need in a quilt cover. However, you should consider going with percale, linen, and cotton/poly blends because they offer almost all the same features, but at a more reasonable price.
Why should you use a quilt cover?
Quilt covers protect your quilt by preventing damage and ruination caused by body oils, sweat, and stains. This also means that you won’t have to wash your quilt as often, which will help prolong the life of your quilt.
Why quilt covers are so expensive?
To put it simply, it is largely due to the fact that they use a great deal of fabric. Besides, quilt covers are usually made from high-quality fabrics for both durability and appearance. They also require a longer production process, which naturally increases the cost of the final product.
What is the softest quilt cover material?
It is true that silk is the softest material for a quilt cover, but it is quite expensive and difficult to care for because of its delicate nature. As an affordable alternative, long-staple cotton is the softest while also being breathable, durable, and easy to clean.
What quilt cover material is the warmest?
A quilt cover made of brushed cotton is the warmest material available. This brushed cotton has a unique texture and is quite warm, making it suitable for colder climates only.
Which is better a cotton or polyester quilt cover?
As a matter of fact, cotton is always a better choice than polyester. The problem with polyester is that it is not breathable, and it is more difficult to maintain as well. Conversely, cotton is very breathable, light, and easy to maintain. Furthermore, it is much softer. Cotton is also more durable than polyester.