How to Buy the Best Bed Skirts

Tall purple headboard

The Spruce

Making and styling the bed is one of the key skills needed to design a perfect bedroom. Usually, that means ironing linens, filling duvet covers, making perfect corners, and fluffing pillows. But there is one last element to creating a perfectly styled bed that doesn't get as much attention as it deserves: a bed skirt.

When you're planning to buy a bed skirt for your bed, there are several things to consider. Take a walk through our guide to find out about size, color, construction, and more.

Why Use a Bed Skirt?

Bed skirts are designed to hide a bed's box spring or foundation. They're a simple little addition, but the aesthetic benefits of keeping the bed's foundation out of sight behind a stylish-looking cover can be pretty remarkable. Bed skirts come in a variety of styles and can offer another useful way to bring additional pattern, color, and texture to the decor style of the bedroom.

In addition to the benefits a bed skirt can have on the look and feel of your space, it can also have a more functional benefit. A bed skirt long enough to reach the floor will also allow you to use the space under the bed to store things out of sight but easily accessible.

A bed skirt can be tailored in many different ways. They can be found either with pleats or in a flat panel, gathered into ruffles. Some skirts combine several layers of coordinating fabrics for a multi-faceted appearance.

Before Buying a Bed Skirt

A bed skirt provides the last finishing touch to a bed. Traditionally placed between the mattress and the box spring, the bed skirt flows down to the floor. It complements your bedding, from your comforter to your sheets, bringing the entire bed's design together as one.

If you don't currently have a bed skirt or if you're changing the colors by updating the bedding, purchasing one will complete your bed's ensemble, helping to bestow a new look and feel in your bedroom, so get ready to have fun and start shopping for one as soon as you can.

Buying Considerations for a Bed Skirt

The Right Size

When it comes to picking the right bed skirt, size is the first and most important thing. If it's too big, it will never fit correctly, and, of course, if it's too small, it won't fit at all. Either eventuality will ruin the look of your bed skirt and diminish the overall look of the room. So guessing it out as a means to pick the right skirt; don't assume that your queen size bed is 60 inches wide and 80 inches long. Mattresses, box springs, and foundations can vary slightly in size. It's important to get the right size of bed skirt so that it will hang properly on your bed.

The Drop of a Bed Skirt

When speaking of the drop of a bed skirt (or a tablecloth), we're referring to the measurement from the top of the foundation to the floor. A standard measurement for ready-made bed skirts is 15 inches, but they do vary. If your "drop" measurement is 16 inches, the standard bed skirt will not go all the way to the floor. If your "drop" measurement is 14 inches, the bed skirt will drag on the floor.

The Color of the Bed Skirt

A solid color is a versatile choice for a bed skirt. If you select a light color such as white, pink, yellow, or another pastel, be sure that the bed skirt is lined or made of a heavy fabric so that light does not show through from under the bed.

Interesting Pattern

A bed skirt is a great place to use an interesting pattern, stripe, plaid, check, or texture. It can either complement or contrast with other fabrics in the room.

A Unique Texture

A bed skirt made of heavy-textured fabric will keep its shape and stand fresh for several years. You'll only need to take it off for cleaning. Fabrics like chenille, velvet, faux suede, and Matelasse work well.

Ready-Made Bed Skirts

When you're buying sheets or a comforter, you will often find a matching bed skirt. But beware! Most of these pieces are made out of inexpensive fabrics and will not give a good look when placed on the bed. And often, the pattern may be the same or similar, but the fabric may be of inferior quality, and the piece will not hold up. Be sure that you can return any piece that is not correct.

Dress Up Plain Bed Skirts

A plain bed skirt can be embellished to look custom-made with the addition of a trim of lace, an overlay of eyelet or sheer fabric, ribbon trim, or beaded trims. Experiment for a custom look, then buy the materials you'll need.

Types of Bed Skirts

Traditional Bed Skirt

The traditional bed skirt (aka the dust ruffle) was made with ruffles that fell down to the floor around the bed. Nowadays, you will see it with ruffles, pleats, or straight fabric. With this type of bed skirt, removing and placing it can be cumbersome since the flat sheet the bed skirt portion is attached to is placed between the mattress and the box spring.

Wrap Around Bed Skirt

This type of bed skirt merely wraps around the mattress and sports an elastic band that keeps it in place. It has to be taken off every time you change the sheets and put back on after putting the fitted sheet on the mattress.

Detachable Bed Skirt

This bed skirt is a breeze to take off and on. To install initially, the fitted and flat platform is placed between the mattress and the box spring, and the bed skirt is attached to it with velcro. When you want to wash the skirt, simply detach it, launder, and reattach the velcro strips.


A bed skirt is an inexpensive piece of bedding that usually costs around $20 or less. Some might cost as high as $50, depending on the manufacturer, the type of fabric used to make it, and the length of the drop.

When purchasing one for your bed, try to accent or match it to the colors in your comforter or quilt, or if buying a new bedding set, get the bed skirt at that time to ensure a uniform look and feel. Watch for white sales in the month of January, when bedding and towels usually go on sale.

How to Choose a Bed Skirt

There are numerous colors, patterns, and styles of bed skirts to choose from, and going on the search for the right one all comes down to your taste and preference. Finding one that fits your bed, is to your liking, and falls within your budget, can be an enjoyable shopping spree. As you get ready to venture out and about, ask yourself:

What Does the Rest of Your Bedroom Look Like?

Take a moment and look at your room. The color of the paint on the walls, the furnishings, and the color or pattern of the bedding on your bed. This will all help determine what color you want to choose for your bed skirt. A solid neutral color will go with just about anything, but will it jazz it up enough and achieve what you're trying to accomplish with this addition to your bed?

Where to Shop

Bed skirts can be found where any bedding is sold, including any department store, bath and bedding store, supercenter, and online retailers. Shopping for it in a store allows you to feel it for softness, texture, and weight, plus how the bed skirt is made. If you don't have the time or prefer to shop online, there are many options available, too. Just make sure to scroll through the reviews to see what others think of the bed skirt before purchasing.

Apply the Finishing Touch

Once you've decided on the right size, color, and fabric for your bed skirt and purchased it, take a few minutes to press it before putting it on your bed. It will hang off the side of the bed better when you eliminate unsightly wrinkles and look much more professional.

With a new bed skirt installed on your bed, your room will have a finished, professionally decorated room. Sweet dreams!

  • Does the bed skirt need to match the bedding?

    It is not necessary to match the bed skirt to the comforter and other bedding on your bed. Try to pull a color in that is currently on your bedding as the skirt will offset and add a bit of creative element to the room.

  • Bed skirt vs bed valance

    A bed skirt and a bed valance are the same thing. They both hide the box spring, or base of the bed, and typically go down to the floor.

  • Why use a bed skirt?

    A bed skirt not only adds a finishing touch to the bed, it also hides things that are under the bed, and also reduces the amount of dust underneath the bed.

  • How often should you wash your bed skirt?

    While you don't have to wash it as often as you do sheets, you should still wash it occasionally. A good rule of thumb is to wash it at least every six months, more if you have pets, to help keep loose pet hair down to a minimum.

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