Has this ever happened to you? You’ve chosen the perfect quilt pattern to complement your bedroom décor, found the perfect fabric, and calculated the amount of batting you will need for your quilt’s backing only to find out that the quilt size you had in mind is much too small for the bed you are making it for?
Deciding the size of a quilt is an important factor to consider before beginning any project and can be confusing for a beginner quilter. In this blog post, we aim to help ease that confusion by providing a breakdown of the standard quilt size chart, tips for selecting the right size, and ideas for selecting accompanying accessories.
Making a quilt for a bed used to be so simple, you knew what size your bed was and you found a quilt pattern marked for that size. It’s not so simple anymore, the majority of quilt patterns today just give dimensions, and beds come in a lot more sizes than twin, full, queen, and king.
I’ve researched the mattresses, I should have read the reviews we are in need of a new one, to find out not just the sizes of today’s mattresses but also the thickness of both the mattress and box springs. The big thing I learned is they aren’t called box springs anymore, they are mattress foundations.
Bed Size Chart
The first thing we need to know is what size the top of the bed is that we are going to be making a quilt for. Once we know the size of the mattress the math below will make a lot more sense.
Standard Quilt Size Chart
Spoiler alert there is no standard quilt size chart anymore. That’s because there is no longer a standard mattress. Mattresses come in various thicknesses meaning the amount of quilt you need to cover the mattress varies. This also comes into play when buying sheets. West Elm sells top sheets in a variety of sizes so you can cover your mattress.
We also used to use a box spring or foundation under our mattress that’s not a necessity today with the way bed frames are made. Those added more height to the bed and would change how big a quilt would need to be.
Tips for Selecting the Right Size Quilt
The size of the quilt you want to make will depend on the look you are going for, how thick your mattress is, and in some cases how tall the bed is too.
Covering Just The Top
Personally, this is not my favorite because if you make your quilt the same size as your mattress top there’s just not enough to snuggle under. This would be fine for decorative purposes.
If you do pick this option I would add a couple of inches to account for shrinkage during quilting and/or washing.
✴︎ The next sections exclude crib mattresses. All examples use an 11″ tall mattress.
Covering the Mattress
Once you know how tall your mattress is you’ll need to double that number so we cover both sides of the mattress. I have a queen mattress so I would need an 82″ x 102″ quilt to cover.
Covering to Edge of Bed Frame Or to the Floor
This will vary depending on your setup. It is really easy to figure out though. Just measure from the edge of the bed frame to the top of your mattress.
The math will be the same, double your measurement and add it to your mattress size.
Examples of Different Quilt Sizes On Beds
Let’s look at some examples from my friends at HGTV. They have 30 examples of bedrooms on their site. Now, I’m not going to show all 30, if you want to see them head over to HGTV. The examples are going to show duvet covers not quilts but the concept is the same. This is also why I give you that math formula so you can get the right look for your bedroom.
First up we have this bedroom from HGTV’s Hometown. Erin Napier has the bedding going to the floor. This is a great option if you store things under your bed but want to hide it if someone is going to see your bed.
In this bedroom by Joanna Gaines she opted to cover the mattress and the foundation if there is one. I remember watching this episode but I don’t remember that little detail.
I have watched every episode of Fixer Upper at least 3 times if not more and I was shocked to see this example and it wasn’t a standalone example. There were several like this. So here Joanna covers the mattress with the quilt and covers the foundation with a bed skirt. I didn’t realize that bed skirts were still a thing. I remember my mom making them but I have always covered the foundation of the bed with the quilt.
This is my final example and it is once again from Joanna Gaines. Here the foundation sits down in the bed frame so the quilt on top goes to the edge of the bed frame.
Ideas for Making Accompanying Accessories
I think we all saw the pillows on the beds in the above examples. Pillows are quick and easy to make. A great way to tie everything together is to make a couple of extra quilt blocks and turn them into pillows. You can even make pillowcases out of the same fabric as your quilt. I would toss in a contrasting pillow set too just so everything doesn’t get too matchy-matchy.
If you like the idea of a bed skirt I found this tutorial on how to make a bed skirt. I like this bed skirt because it isn’t ruffled but if ruffles are your thing here’s a tutorial on how to make a ruffled bed skirt. The ruffled tutorial is what I remember my mom making using basically the same method.
Final Thoughts on What Size of Quilt So I Need
I hope the examples truly show that there is no right or wrong answer for what size to make your quilt and the right size for me, 100×120, might not be the right size for you. Just make the quilt that’s going to give you the look that YOU WANT.
Now that you have the knowledge to select the best size quilt for your project, get quilting! Share this blog post with friends who are just getting started in quilting and let this be their quilting 101 guide.