What is a Quilt?

December 22, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

Quilts come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. Maybe you’re interested in a cozy,  soft quilt cover for your bed, or an ornate abstract quilt cover to hang upon your wall. It can be challenging to decide which one suits you or even to know what makes a traditional quilt a quilt with the various options. 

So what is a quilt? It’s a decorative textile, often used as a bedspread, made by stitching together a top, middle, and bottom layer of fabric. This process is called quilting.1 

Keep reading to learn about the construction and function of quilts. We’ll also help you understand the differences between various types of blankets, with a comforter vs quilt showdown to come.

Made with comfort for every season, we have blankets that will keep you cozy no matter what. Whether you need something light or extra warm, we have something for you.

Characteristics of a Quilt

Quilts are made of three layers:

  • Top layer – This is the decorative part of the traditional quilt, featuring a pattern or artwork. It’s usually made of cotton, although other fabrics can be used as well, including velvet, silk, tulle, polyester, and microfiber.
  • Batting – The middle of the quilt, or the batting, is a padded layer that gives the quilt its warmth. Batting is traditionally made of wool, down, feathers, or cotton. 
  • Bottom layer – The bottom of the quilt is normally a solid piece of fabric in the same material as the top.2

Modern quilts can be hand or machine stitched. The stitching pattern and the top layer work together to create various designs. For example, a wavy stitch pattern offset against a fabric with straight lines.3 Quilts also come in different sizes. Miniature quilts fit in dollhouses and photo frames, whereas a king-size quilt might be as large as 120 inches by 120 inches.

What Is a Quilt Used For?

Quilts are versatile pieces that both provide warmth and serve decorative purposes. They can be used in any number of ways, including as: 

  • Bed coverings
  • Throw blankets
  • Wall decorations
  • Framed artwork
  • Repurposed fabrics for other cloth projects, including table runners and doll clothing
  • Family heirlooms and gifts4

What Is the Difference Between a Quilt, Comforter, Duvet, and Blanket? 

Despite the many imaginative uses for quilts, you might be most concerned about their functional abilities. How does a quilt differ from other types of bedding? In the quilt vs comforter debate, which one comes out on top? 

Now that you know what a quilt is, let’s explore how it compares with your other options.


The difference between quilt and comforter lies in the way they are made and used. Unlike quilts, which can have artistic lives as wall decorations, comforters function as bed toppers.

The top and bottom of a comforter are each a single piece of fabric. The two pieces are sewn together and then filled with cotton, down, or alternative materials. Some comforters will use quilting techniques to keep the filler even, but this type of stitching is not for decorative purposes and doesn’t make a comforter a quilt.5

So which one is right for you? If you get cold easily, go with a comforter, which is warmer, heavier, and fluffier than a quilt. Modern quilts, on the other hand, are thinner and better for the summer months. Because they are lightweight and ornate, they can be used throughout the house as decoration.6


Duvets are similar to comforters, and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, duvets have two pieces, an insert, and a cover, while comforters are all-in-one deals.7 

So, what is a duvet? The duvet insert is traditionally stuffed with down and encased in a shell. Other common fillers are wool or polyester. The cover is essential to protect the insert from stains and dirt.8

Similar to comforters, duvet cover inserts can have stitch patterns to keep the filler in place, but the stitching is not as ornate as for quilts. Duvet covers feature a variety of designs and can be switched out depending on your preferences. Unlike quilts, however, duvets are only used as bedding.


A blanket is generally a single fabric covering used to preserve body heat during rest or sleep. Blankets are often found on beds, chairs, and sofas. They’re made from various materials, including:9

  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Fleece
  • Polyester

Some blankets even have special features, such as an electric blanket or weighted blanket.   

Blankets may feature creative designs, but they do not have elaborate stitching patterns as quilts do. Quilts are also more durable and more likely to be family treasures or displayed as artwork.

Casper: Cozy Bedding that Suits Your Sleep Needs

There’s nothing like quality bedding to express your unique taste and personality and to ensure a restful night’s sleep. Whether you’re turning in for the night or just lounging around, Casper has what you need. Our collection of quilts, blankets, and throws is expertly designed with both function and comfort in mind.

Standout quilts, luxurious duvets, or casual throw blankets—whatever your sleep needs may be, start shopping Casper today. 

Related Content: 

Coverlet vs Quilt


  1. Mattress Advisor. The Difference Between Quilts and Comforters. https://www.mattressadvisor.com/quilts-vs-comforters/ 
  2. eHow. What Are Quilts Used For? https://www.ehow.com/about_5081320_quilts-used.html 
  3. Sleep Foundation. Bedding Reviews. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedding-reviews 
  4. Sleep Foundation. What Is a Duvet Cover? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedding-information/what-is-a-duvet-cover 
  5. The Inspired Sewist. What Is The Difference Between A Quilt And A Blanket? https://theinspiredsewist.com/the-difference-between-a-quilt-and-a-blanket/