Bedding, also known as bedclothes, refers to the materials laid above the mattress of a bed for hygiene, warmth, to protect the mattress, and for decorative effect. Bedding is the removable and washable portion of a human sleeping environment. Multiple sets of bedding for each bed will often be washed in rotation and/or changed seasonally to improve sleep comfort at varying room temperatures. In American English bedding generally does not include the mattress, bed frame, or bed base (such as box-spring), while in British English it does. In Antipodean English the term for bedding used is often Manchester.
A blanket is a type of bedding, generally speaking, a large piece of cloth, intended to keep the user warm, especially while sleeping. Blankets are distinguished from sheets by their thickness and purpose; the thickest sheet is still thinner than the lightest blanket.
A bolster is a long narrow pillow or cushion filled with cotton, down or fibre. Bolsters are usually firm for back or arm support or for decorative application. They are not a standard size or shape and commonly have a zipper or hook-and-loop enclosure. A foam insert is sometimes used for additional support. A bolster is also referred to as a cushion, a pillow and a prop. In western countries, a bolster is usually placed at the head of one's bed and functions as head or lower back support, or as an arm support on furniture with high rigid sides. Bolster pillows are also used as bumpers in cribs and for lounging on the floor in family and children's rooms.
A comforter (in American English), also known as a doona in Australian English or a continental quilt (or simply quilt) or duvet in British English, is a type of bedding. Comforters are a type of blanket, filled with natural or synthetic insulative material and encased in a shell/covering. Like quilts, comforters are generally used with a set of bed sheets. Duvets are another form of quilt, traditionally filled with feathers though often made of synthetic fibres.
A cushion is a soft bag of some ornamental material, stuffed with wool, hair, feathers, polyester staple fibre, non-woven material, or even paper torn into fragments. It may be used for sitting or kneeling upon, or to soften the hardness or angularity of a chair or couch.
A duvet, also known as a doona in Australian English, or a continental quilt (or simply quilt) in British English, or a comforter in American English, is a type of bedding. It consists of a soft flat bag filled with down, feathers, wool, silk or a synthetic alternative and protected with a removable cover, analogous to a pillow and pillow case. Duvets originated in rural Europe and were made from the down feathers of the eider duck, known for its usefulness as a thermal insulator.
In the United States and Canada, an electric blanket is a blanket with an integrated electrical heating device usually placed above the top bed sheet. In the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, electric blanket commonly refers to an electric underblanket (electric mattress pad), which is placed below the bottom bed sheet. Electric blankets usually have a control unit which adjusts the amount of heat the blanket produces. Blankets for larger sized beds often have separate controls for each side of the bed. The electric blanket may be used to pre-heat the bed before use or to keep the occupant warm while in bed.
Linen is a textile made from the fibres of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fibre is very absorbent and garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.
A mattress protector, mattress topper, mattress pad, or underpad is an item of removable bedding that sits on top of or encases a mattress to provide protection to the mattress. Some mattress protectors also provide protection to the individual sleeping on the mattress from allergens and irritants such as dust mites, bed bugs, mould, and dead skin (like dandruff).
A mosquito net offers protection against mosquitoes, flies, and other insects, and thus against the diseases they may carry. Examples include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and various forms of encephalitis, including the West Nile virus. To be effective the mesh of a mosquito net must be fine enough to exclude such insects without impeding visibility or the flow of air unacceptably. It is possible to increase the effectiveness of a mosquito net greatly by treating it with an appropriate insecticide or mosquito repellent.
A pillow is a cushioned support for the head or other parts of the body, usually used while sleeping on a bed, or for the body as used on a couch or chair. Pillows consist of a fabric envelope which contains a soft stuffing, which may range from down feathers to synthetic foam. Bed pillows are typically covered with a cloth pillowcase. Pillows used in a living room typically have a sturdy cloth cover.
A quilt is a type of blanket, traditionally composed of three layers of fibre: a woven cloth top, a layer of batting or wadding, and a woven back, combined using the technique of quilting.
A bed sheet is a rectangular cloth used to cover a mattress and those sleeping upon it. They are the sheets which one typically lies between. In many places a second flat bed sheet is laid on top of the sheet covering the mattress. When a second sheet is used, the top one is known as the top sheet and the sheet covering the mattress is known as the bottom sheet or "coupie sheet" in some European countries. If the bottom sheet is presewn to fit snugly over the mattress, it is known as a fitted sheet. Blankets, quilts / duvets / comforters, and other bed covers are placed on top of the top sheet.
A sleeping bag is a protective "bag" for a person to sleep in, essentially a blanket that can be closed with a zipper or similar means, and functions as a bed in situations where a bed is unavailable (e.g. when camping, hiking, hill walking or climbing). Its primary purpose is to provide warmth and thermal insulation. It also protects, to some extent, against wind chill, precipitation, and exposure to view, but a tent performs those functions better. The bottom surface also provides some cushioning, but a sleeping pad is usually used in addition for that purpose. A bivouac sack (bivy) is a waterproof cover for a sleeping bag that may be used in place of a tent for lightweight travellers or as a backup if inclement weather occurs.
A throw pillow, or toss pillow, is a small, decorative type of pillow. Throw pillows are usually placed on sofas or armchairs but are also frequently used on beds, day beds and floors. Throw pillows serve both an aesthetic and a functional purpose. Decorative pillows are commonly used to tie in colour accents within a room, often drawing on the colours in drapes, walls or area rugs. From a functional perspective, throw pillows may provide back, neck and head support, although many throw pillows are very uncomfortable.