Bedding

The universally used word that describes all the different items used to cover and protect your bed while sleeping.

Comforter

Comforters are most commonly used in North America.  Comforters are generally made with polyester or cotton stuffing inside two pieces of decorated fabric which is then sewn together on 4 sides, with a minimal stitch pattern on the exterior to hold the stuffing in place during sleep and washing.  

Duvet

Duvets are commonly used in Europe but are becoming more popular in North America today.  Duvets are similar to Comforters but are not typically machine washable.  They are usually Solid White and stuffed with Wool or Down, and are intended to be used with a Duvet Cover to make the Duvet look nice and to keep it clean between trips to the Dry Cleaner.  

Duvet Cover

A duvet cover covers and protects a duvet. Like a pillow case, it has an opening on one side to insert your duvet. Once placed inside, the opening is closed with a zipper, buttons or snaps. Duvet covers are generally very decorative and are available in a nearly endless selection of colors and styles. The duvet cover takes the place of a top sheet in Europe, and some people in the U.S. also use it this way.

Doona or Doona Cover

Australian for Duvet or Duvet Cover.

Blanket

A blankets is a single ply cover for your bed intended to add warmth to your existing bedding.  While some people use a blanket on its own, others prefer to use blankets in conjunction with a comforter or duvet. 

Quilt  

A quilt is similar to a comforter, with excessive stitching on the exterior, making it thinner and not as puffy as a comforter.  

Bedspread

A bedspread is similar to a coverlet (below)--a thin, decorative cover-- which normally covers the entire bed, pillows, and is commonly floor length. 

Coverlet

A Coverlet is similar to a bedspread (above)--a thin, decorative cover--but is smaller and normally covers just the mattress, and not the box spring or pillows. 

Top or Flat Sheet

Commonly used in North America, and uncommon in Europe, a top sheet, also known as a flat sheet, is the sheet that separates you from your comforter, blanket or duvet.  In Europe (and very slowly catching on in the United States), the duvet cover takes the place of the top sheet.

Bottom or Fitted Sheet

A bottom sheet, or fitted sheet, is the sheet with the elastic edge that fits over your mattress--hence the name bottom or fitted sheet. As today's mattresses have grown much thicker, it's important to check the measurements before buying a fitted sheet to make sure it will stretch all the way over your mattress. 

Euro or Continental Pillow

A Euro or Continental pillow--a large 26" square pillow--is a decorative pillow that sits back against the headboard with a removable cover for washing.

Decorative Pillow

A decorative pillow, also referred to as an accent or throw pillow, is a small pillow that comes in many shapes, sizes and colors to add decoration to a bed, sofa or chair.  

Pillowcase

A pillowcase is used to cover a sleeping pillow, with an opening on one end where you insert the pillow.

Pillow Sham

A pillow sham is similar to a pillowcase but it does not open on one side, instead it has the opening on the backside of the pillow for a clean and neat look, shams are typically used for decoration and are not optimal for sleeping on do to the opening on the backside.

Throw

Smaller than a regular blanket, a throw, or toss blanket, is used to add extra warmth at the foot of the bed, when lounging on the couch or when wrapped around your shoulders. They are a good way to add a touch of color to your bed.  I enjoy using mine while I watch tv or read before bed.