Many of us have enjoyed wrapping ourselves under a cozy, thick comforter to beat the chill during autumn and winter. There are even all-seasons comforters designed for year-round use.
However, buying the right comforter can be challenging since their sizes can vary. If you’re not careful choosing your comforter, it may extend down to your floor or just barely cover the edges of your mattress. Your comforter should have some leeway when it comes to how much it hangs over the edge, particularly since some fills expand more than others, reducing the comforter’s surface area.
What is a Comforter?
A comforter is a thick, quilted blanket designed to keep you warm. It’s quilted to prevent the fill from collecting to one side.
What separates a comforter from your average blanket? While a blanket is just a strip of fabric, a comforter is essentially three layers of insulation—the fill and the top and bottom fabrics.
What is a Duvet?
Many use the terms “comforter” and “duvet” interchangeably, but the two are technically different items. A comforter is made to be used with other bedding, while a duvet is meant to replace your top sheet and blanket. This is why many duvets are thicker than the average comforter.
What is a Cover?
A cover for a duvet or comforter acts like a pillowcase. You slip it over the comforter for protection. Some covers have a zipper, others a series of buttons.
We always recommend washing your bedding once a week to keep dust mites down. However, comforters and duvets are bulky pieces that may not fit in your washer. To save yourself from paying for a professional cleaning every week, you can slip them inside a cover and wash that once a week. Then you only need to clean your comforter once or twice a year.
What’s in a Comforter Set?
You don’t have to buy a comforter separately and try to match it with your existing bedding. Bedding sets exist that help you create a more uniform bedspread.
Aside from a comforter, the set often includes:
- Two decorative pillow shams. People rarely sleep on a sham and instead use them as decorative pillows.
- Throw pillows, if it’s a more expensive comforter set.
- A bed skirt. Not every comforter set has a bed skirt, but enough do to warrant a mention. Bed skirts are designed to be placed between a mattress and a box spring or over the bed frame’s side. The skirt’s purpose is mostly to give your bed a streamlined look.
Bed-in-a-bag sets are slightly different from a comforter set. They include the fitted sheets and pillowcases needed for a full bedspread.
How to Choose the Right Size Comforter
Unlike mattress sizes, comforter sizes are not standardized. Brands may differ in how long or how wide their comforters are, and some may offer oversized options for thicker mattresses. Our size chart below lists a range of possible measurements for each bed size.
|Bed Size||Mattress Dimensions||Expected Comforter Width||Expected Comforter Length|
|Crib||27.25 inches by 52 inches||28 to 36 inches||48 to 52 inches|
|Twin||38 inches by 75 inches||66 to 68 inches||86 to 88 inches|
|Twin XL||38 inches by 80 inches||68 inches||90 inches|
|Full/Double||54 inches by 75 inches||81 to 84 inches||86 to 88 inches|
|Queen||60 inches by 80 inches||86 to 88 inches||96 to 100 inches|
|King/Eastern King||76 inches by 80 inches||102 inches||86 to 88 inches|
|California King/Western King||72 inches by 84 inches||107 to 110 inches||96 to 98 inches|
We would like to note that although we included the dimensions of a crib size comforter, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend giving an infant a comforter. Comforters are one of many soft objects that can block a baby’s nose and mouth.
Although comforters are a loose piece of bedding, you cannot just place one on a differently sized bed. A twin comforter may hang short on a twin XL mattress. Similarly, an Eastern king may hang a bit too long over the sides of a California king mattress. Full/queen comforters designed to fit on either size may be too wide for a full or too narrow on a queen.
The comforter’s thickness and fill can also affect how it lays on your bed. If it has a fluffy fill like down, the comforter may puff up and cover less of the bed than you expect.
It’s often difficult to judge how a comforter might expand when it’s wrapped up in a package. You might want not only to consider its materials but take the time to see if you can find a photo or read a customer review online.
What is an Oversized Comforter?
An oversized comforter is made for a mattress that’s thicker than the average bed, such as a pillow top or luxury mattress. It’s wider than a standard size comforter. If you have a thick mattress and don’t want a too-long comforter from “sizing up” (such as putting a king comforter on a queen mattress), you might want to try an oversized comforter.
Measuring Your Mattress
Knowing your mattress’s measurements can help you find the perfect sized comforter. You might be able to read that information with a quick web search on your mattress; if not, a tape measure should suffice for measuring its length, width, and depth.
Mattress depth will help you determine how wide your comforter should be. Add on both sides to your mattress’s width, and you have an idea of how wide your comforter should be. For example, a twin size mattress that’s 10 inches thick would be 38 inches wide + 10 inches + 10 inches, for a total of 58 inches.
When you’re calculating the ideal length of your comforter, don’t forget to account for a footboard if you have one. Some comforters are designed to hang over the foot of your bed, which a footboard can disrupt.
What Else Should I Look for in a Comforter?
Finding the right size isn’t your only consideration. A comforter’s main purpose is to keep you warm during the cold winter months, so you want one that’s heavy and thick enough to do so. The right thickness and weight will depend on your local climate and bedroom temperature.
It’s always better to go with a lighter comforter if you’re debating between weights. If you grow cold, you can always add a flat sheet or a thin blanket. You can’t empty a heavy comforter if you find yourself sweating underneath it.
The comforter’s fill and fabric can affect how breathable it is. If air can flow through your comforter, you’re less likely to sleep hot while still staying warm. Natural materials such as cotton, wool, and down are more breathable than synthetic fibers such as polyester. However, if you’re shopping on a budget, a comforter with synthetic materials is still an excellent way to keep warm.
Then there’s the comforter’s design. Some may not consider a comforter’s looks important, but others feel more cheerful if they start the day wrapped up in a vibrant pattern. Down comforters are traditionally white, but you can dress them up with a colorful cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because a king mattress is 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, a king comforter should have a few more inches lengthwise and widthwise, at least. Often, it’s around 100 inches wide and between 85 to 96 inches long. You want a comforter that can hang at least a few inches over the side of your bed.
There’s no wrong answer to how much a comforter should hang down. Many think it’s best if it doesn’t extend past the bottom of the mattress, or that it meets the top of your bed frame (or bed skirt, if you have one). This is mostly just to look nice, so it’s fine if yours hangs longer or shorter. However, you don’t want it to touch the floor since it might get dirty or dusty.
Comforter sizes can vary by brand, but some companies do sell comforters larger than a king size. These massive comforters are meant for an oversized mattress, such as a Texas or Wyoming king. You may have to do some hunting for comforters that large, so it might be better to settle for a standard king size comforter.
A full/queen comforter is meant to fit on both a full or a queen size mattress. A comforter designed for both can be between 80 to 90 inches wide and 86 to 100 long. Depending on the comforter, it may hang a bit long on a full mattress or a bit short on a queen bed.
Did We Help?
Choosing a comforter in the right size can keep your bed looking beautiful and help you feel more warm and comfortable. A too-short comforter may slip off of you during the night. A too-long comforter may give your bed a sloppy or uneven look.
Remember that the key to finding the perfect size is to understand your mattress’s dimensions. Adding up the mattress’s depths to its length and its width will give you a rough idea of what your comforter’s dimensions should be.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.