White versus brown eggs. BB cream versus foundation. Bourbon versus whiskey. We’re never too proud to ask for clarification when we need it. Thus, when it recently came to our attention that coverlets and bedspreads are not in fact the same thing (who knew?), we set out to clear things up tout suite. Thankfully our friend Marie Flanigan, interior designer and master of the artfully made bed, was kind enough to explain the difference.

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Coverlets

Although both options are lightweight bed toppers, coverlets do differ in size and style. Smaller than a bedspread but larger than a standard blanket, a coverlet grazes the space where your mattress meets your bed frame and, when tucked in with the rest of your bedding, lends a tailored, modern vibe. Since its small-footprint styling is versatile, it can also be left untucked for a slightly more relaxed look, or even folded at the foot of the bed as you would a light blanket.

Pro tip: Stick with a coverlet if you live in a warmer climate or are prone to changing things up on the regular. Their size makes it easier to pull them off, switch them out and store. 

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Bedspreads

These guys are your best bet if you’re on the hunt for both maximum coverage and a more formal look. Large enough to cover every inch of space from your headboard down to the floor, bedspreads nod to traditional style (while coverlets tend to lean more modern). Because of their grand dimensions and excess material, styling options are quite limited—they look best (and make the most sense) when laid flat as a statement-making top layer. 

Pro tip: Even with a floor-grazing bedspread, invest in a bed skirt or dust ruffle to finish the look and avoid exposing the frame when bedding shifts as you sleep. 

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