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From printed bedspreads to quilts to plain down- or synthetic-filled comforters that you cover with a duvet cover (also known as a comforter cover), you and your child have a range of options when deciding on the best way to “cover up.” Bedspreads tend to have a printed pattern on one side (or both) with a little bit of insulation in the middle and some stitching to create a quilt effect. These add instant color and pizzazz to a room, and are relatively light, so that you can adjust the warmth through the use of other layers.
Similarly, coverlets and quilts are items slightly heavier than a blanket that function both decoratively and as a warm layer. Comforters, on the other hand, tend to be plain layers filled with either down, synthetic fill, or a combination of both. They are often heavy enough to be used alone, but can also be layered with blankets and/or quilts.
Comforters can be sheathed with a duvet cover or comforter cover – similar to a large pillowcase – that allows for easy cleaning and for quick and relatively inexpensive décor changes. Comforters come in a variety of weights. In general, the “heavier” the fill number, the warmer the comforter will be. Also note that the more stitching a comforter has, the less likely it is that the fill will ball up, making for more even fill and warmth.
A quilt is a bedcover with typically made from fabrics pieced and sewn together to create a decorative pattern. Backed with another fabric and filled with batting, the layers are sewn together, then quilted with basic or decorative patterns of tiny stitches. Quilts may be machine- or hand-quilted, though the hand-quilted varieties tend to me more unique, more expensive, and more durable.
Also known as a "duvet," a comforter is a puffy bedcover filled with feather and down clusters or synthetic fibers and stitched through to discourage the fill from shifting. Comforters are often used with comforter covers, or duvet covers, which are like big pillowcases. These covers protect the comforter from dirt and dust, and are easily laundered.
A pillowcase is a removable pillow covering, usually made from cotton, flannel or jersey, that usually comes to match or coordinate sheet sets. Extra pillow cases always come in handy, so when you purchase sheet sets, try to get a few extra pillow cases for your kid's bedding.
If your child has allergies, you will probably want to avoid natural fills and fibers, such as down and wool. Rather, look into hypoallergenic, synthetic fills and some of the new materials, like fleece and micro-fiber, to provide traditional softness and comfort without causing sneezing or rashes.
You can also get foundation items, like mattress pads and pillow covers, that limit the number of allergens that can get into – or back out of – durable goods like mattresses and pillows.