Let’s face it. We can all do with more storage in our homes. Unless the foundation on your bed sits obscenely close to the floor, chances are you have a lovely gap between your bed and floor that you can hide some clutter in.
But the problem is that any object you place under your bed is immediately on display for anyone to see. And chances are you want it hidden away for a good reason.
That is where pillow skirts and dust ruffles come in. These bedding accessories act as a fashionable curtain, and can not only be used to enhance your bedroom decor but to obstruct the view of the junk hiding under your bed. Out of sight, out of mind. In fact, when combined with bed risers a dust ruffle or bed skirt can grant you as much hidden storage space as your closet.
And as the name suggests, dust ruffles can help prevent dirt and grime from building up on whatever you store under your bed.
What is the difference between a bed skirt and a dust ruffle?
These days the definition of a dust ruffle and bed skirt has been watered down. It is not uncommon for people to refer to a dust ruffle and a bed skirt as any piece of fabric that covers the space between the edge of your comforter and the floor.
In fact, if you walked into a bedding store and asked for either a dust ruffle or a bedding skirt you would likely be shown the same product. It is worth mentioning that bed skirt is used more commonly to refer to this bedding accessory.
And it’s easy to see why people get confused between the two. Both products…
- Make your bed look like it’s wearing a skirt
- Cover the boxspring or foundation
- Hide what is under your bed
- Help prevent dust from getting under your bed
- Can be used to enhance the décor of your bedding set.
But technically speaking, the two are different products. The key differences are in the construction and how the product attaches to your bed.
Bed Skirt vs. Dust Ruffle
Let’s take a closer look at the subtle differences between these two bedding accessories.
A bed skirt is essentially a large sheet three ruffled or pleated sections sewn on. These sections fall down the side of your bed, hiding whatever sits behind it.
There is no trim on the top side of the bed skirt, to make room for your headboard.
Bed skirts is lay over foundation or box spring. You will have to remove your mattress to install it. Once installed, the weight of your mattress will hold the bed skirt in place.
A dust ruffle on the other hand can generally installed without lifting up your mattress. Many dust ruffles attach to your foundation or box spring with elastic. Some people call these elastic dust ruffles “fitted bed skirts”.
Some dust ruffles even come in three separate pieces and are pinned directly to the box spring, allowing you to customize their height.
Traditionally, dust ruffles featured a ruffled trim. As you may have guessed, this is part of the reason for their name.
Why do you need a dust ruffle or bed skirt?
Dust covers and bed skirts are an affordable way to pretty up your bedroom without having to drop a wad of cash on expensive furniture.
Got an older bed frame or mattress foundation? Cover it up with a bed skirt or dust ruffle.
Do you use the space under your bed as storage? Hide it from view with a bed skirt or dust ruffle
Looking to add a princess theme to your kids bedroom? A dust cover is a cheaper way to make a bed feel more royal.
These are just a few uses for bed skirts. How do you use yours? Let me know in the comments.
The Different Styles of Trim
When shopping for a bed skirt or dust ruffle it is important that you consider the style of your bedroom décor. Whether your bedroom setting is modern or vintage there is a dust cover designed to suit it.
Bed skirts come in all manner of different styles, below are some of the more commonly known designs:
Tailored bed skirts are one of the most popular designed and the easiest to track down. The flat design is suited to modern bed sets
While you will occasionally come across a tailored bed skirt that has just a straight piece of fabric trim, most will have a single pleat in the middle of the fabric.
If you are using a tailored bed skirt to hide your under bed storage then be mindful that objects are not pushed up against it or the outline will come through the fabric.
Gathered bed skirts are bunched together into neat little ruffles and are another popular style that is easy to track down.
It matters less if objects under your bed sit right up against the gathered bed skirt since the ruffled shape will obscure the outline.
Complete the look with a ruffle trimmed pillow sham.
Multi-layered bed skirts are just that; layers upon layers of fabric. Frillier looking looking layered bedskirts are popular to use in princess themed rooms. Plainer more modern styles are also available.
Because Multi-layered bed skirts are less popular than other styles they can be difficult to track down.
By far the least popular style of bed skirt around, Box pleated bed skirts look similar to your drapes.
How low should the skirt sit?
Whether you have purchased a dust ruffle or a bed skirt, the skirt should sit at the same length; just touching the floor. The length from the top of the bed skirt to the lowest point is called the drop.
Common size drops include 21 inches, 18 inches, 16 inches and 12 inches
It is important that you measure your mattress before heading to the store to purchase your bed skirt. Modern mattresses come in all different thicknesses and just because a bed skirt says “king size” on the packaging does not mean that it will sit at the right height for your specific mattress.
Does a bed skirt need to be cleaned?
How often do you clean the sides of your beds box spring? Nearly never? The same is true of bed skirts. Bed skirts are typically left on the bed and cleaned once in a blue moon.
Because bed skirts do not come into contact with your skin while you sleep, they should remain clean and hygienic. That said, a dust down while you are cleaning your bedroom won’t hurt, particularly for ruffled styles.
The obvious exception to this is if you have children. Their sticky hands get everywhere and your bed skirt is a fun thing to hide behind. If you can’t keep your children out of your bedroom then use your better judgement as to how often to clean them. As always, follow the cleaning instructions set out on the packaging.
Bed skirts are for people of all ages
Because bed skirts are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, you will be able to find one to suit even the most unusual shaped bed. Check out a couple of examples as to how dust covers can be incorporated into a bedrooms decore:
And that wraps up my guide on bed skirts and dust ruffles. Do you this unusual bedding accessory? Let me know in the comments below!