Quality sleep can add years to your life, according to new research by the American College of Cardiology. Needless to say, comfortable bedding is a worthy investment — it can balance your body temperature and facilitate deeper rest. With so many bedding designs and materials to choose from, the selection can be overwhelming. According to three experts we spoke with, quilts remain one of the best bedding options for many sleepers.
Quilting is a timeless art form and one of the oldest blanket-making techniques, but that doesn’t mean quilts are antiquated: Since they’re padded and textured, but often thinner than comforters and duvets, quilts are the “perfect option for the summer to avoid overheating,” says Parima Ijaz, a second-generation bedding developer and the founder of Pure Parima, a luxury bedding brand. For colder weather, you can easily layer quilts on top of other bedding to create customized warmth levels, according to our experts.
To learn more about quilts, we spoke to two textile experts and an interior designer. Below, you’ll find their brand recommendations as well as the criteria you should keep in mind while shopping.
Selected.Our top picks
How we picked the best quilts
We interviewed three experts who specialize in textiles and interior design. They recommend keeping the following in mind while shopping for the best quilts:
- Materials: Like comforters, quilts have both exterior fabric layers and internal padding (called batting), and the materials of each should suit your texture and temperature preferences, according to our experts. We go into further detail about the best materials for both fabric and batting below.
- Construction: Materials are woven into various fabrics, which further impact a quilt’s breathability and weight. Shoppers should also prioritize durable stitching, which allows you to machine-wash your quilt without issue, according to our experts.
- Appearance: Granted it’s often the most visible layer of your bedding, look for a quilt that’s as stylish as it is comfortable. Choosing washable, durable materials also helps you maintain the appearance of your quilt over time, making it an heirloom item you can pass down.
The best quilts in 2023
We curated some of the best quilts on the market, which we chose using our expert’s advice on materials, construction techniques and functionality. All of the quilts on this list are either direct recommendations from our experts or top sellers with at least 4.4 stars from more than 200 reviewers. We also included a range of colors and patterns to suit varying style preferences.
The Parachute box quilt uses Oeko-Tex standard-certified percale cotton (more on what that means below) on the underside and a polyester batting fill, making it a breathable, easy-to-wash option. However, its outermost layer is made from 100% linen, which gives your bed a laid-back, modern appearance. (Linen’s also highly breathable and great for hot sleepers, according to experts in our guide to the best cooling sheets.) It has box stitching so it’s machine washable, plus its medium weight is ideal for layering, according to the brand.
Cover material: cotton and linen | Batting material: polyester | Available sizes: twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/California king | Available color options: 8
Made from long-staple cotton on both sides, this Brooklinen quilt is designed to be a lighter alternative to a comforter, so you can use it alone in hot weather or layer it over other bedding when temperatures drop. Each one takes six days to make since it’s hand-stitched by artisans, but it’s still durable enough for the washing machine, according to Brooklinen. Instead of traditional box stitching, the dotted-line stitches give it a more contemporary appearance.
Cover material: cotton | Batting material: cotton | Available sizes: full/queen, king/California king | Available color options: 3
Whereas most quilts on this list cost a few hundred dollars, this California Design Den quilt is available in most sizes and colors for less than $100. That said, it’s still made from 100% cotton, both inside and out, and comes with two matching shams. Despite the quilt being hand-stitched, it’s durable enough to machine-wash and tumble dry on low, according to the brand.
Cover material: cotton | Batting material: cotton | Available sizes: crib, twin/twin XL, queen, king | Available color options: 8
This quilt comes recommended by Lauren Farrell, head of interior design for Pacaso, a company that facilitates co-ownership and management of luxury vacation homes. Farrell designs all Pacaso home interiors, which includes choosing the linens and bedding, and Annie Selke quilts are one of her favorites. This one has linen on the front, cotton percale on the back and lightweight polyester batting inside. It also has tight diamond stitching on both sides, making it iron-safe and machine-washable, according to the brand.
Cover material: linen and cotton | Batting material: polyester | Available sizes: twin, full/queen, king | Available color options: 6
Farrell also loves quilts from The Citizenry because they add warmth to her spaces with their unique, handmade designs. This top-selling linen quilt is fair-trade crafted in Portugal using traditional techniques and Oeko-Tex-certified flax, so it’s breathable enough for summer but layerable for winter, according to the brand. You can also machine wash it using a mild detergent and tumble dry it on low. It’s available in both solid colors and striped patterns, all with large box stitching for a classic look.
Cover material: linen | Batting material: polyester | Available sizes: twin, full/queen, king/California king | Available color options: 15
For cold sleepers, Ijaz recommends cotton materials woven into a denser fabric. This Threshold quilt is made from cotton that’s been tufted into a velvet finish, so it’s soft, warm and cozy, according to reviewers. Its vertical stitching (also known as channel stitching) has a modern look that keeps the polyester fill in place at night and while machine-washing, as detailed on the brand’s website.
Cover material: cotton | Batting material: polyester | Available sizes: full/queen, king | Available color options: 10
L.L. Bean’s most popular quilt, the Botanical Border is made using 100% cotton for both the fabric and batting. As a result, you can machine-wash and line-dry it, according to the brand. Reviewers say it’s lightweight, but warm and temperature-regulating enough for cooler weather. The brand also makes matching quilted pillow shams, though they’re sold separately.
Cover material: cotton | Batting material: cotton | Available sizes: twin, full/queen, king | Available color options: 1
This quilt is made entirely from Oeko-Tex-standard certified cotton, which is the most recommended material among our experts. Its color-blocked design, mirrored floral patterns, heavier weight and lived-in texture all aim to mimic traditional quilts, according to Schoolhouse. The quilt, which has over 200 five-star reviews, is safe for machine-washing with cold water; you can tumble dry it on low, and iron it with warm heat too.
Cover material: cotton | Batting material: cotton | Available sizes: twin, full/queen, king | Available color options: 3
Because of the brand’s printed style, Bebejan quilts are a great way to transform your space while keeping you comfortable and cozy, says Ijaz. Ijaz also loves that they’re made from 100% cotton sateen, which is a breathable but warm option for sleepers who run cool. The reversible quilt has a gray ombre design with floral patterning on the front and a tonal leaf print on the back with polyester batting in between. The set also includes matching shams and a reusable quilted tote bag.
Cover material: cotton | Batting material: polyester | Available sizes: queen, king | Available color options: 1
While it’s technically a coverlet (more on the difference between quilts and coverlets below), this chunky, wool blanket from The Citizenry is plush and textured like a quilt, but made entirely from wool, which is temperature-regulating and easy to maintain, according to our experts. It’s handwoven in Uruguay, and has a pebbled texture with tassels on the end, according to the brand.
Cover material: wool | Batting material: N/A | Available sizes: throw, bed throw | Available color options: 1
How to shop for quilts
Quilts consist of three layers stitched together: a layer of fabric on the bottom, a layer of filling inside and a layer of fabric on the top. When shopping for any kind of bedding, you should prioritize the materials first and foremost, after which you should consider the durability, ease of maintenance and appearance, according to our experts. Our experts recommend using the following criteria to help you pick a quilt:
A quilt’s cover material should be comfortable, washable and suited to your sleep preferences, according to our experts. These are the most common quilt cover materials and their benefits:
- Cotton: Our experts prefer cotton because it’s breathable, skin-friendly and easy to clean. Cotton’s also commonly woven into various textures to suit both hot and cold sleepers, our experts told us. Ijaz also recommends that shoppers prioritize Oeko-Tex-certified cotton (a label that ensures all included materials have been tested by independent partner institutes and declared free from known harmful substances).
- Linen: Linen, which is made from flax, is a great option for hot sleepers because it’s breathable, sweat-wicking and temperature-regulating, according to our experts. It gets softer over time and you also don’t need to wash it as frequently as other materials, according to Frej Lewenhaupt, a textile engineer and the co-founder and CEO of Steamery, a company that specializes in cleaning and caring for textiles.
- Wool: Wool is another great material for bedding because it’s temperature-regulating and doesn’t require as much laundering due to its dirt- and odor-resistant qualities, says Lewenhaupt.
- Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic material often used to create microfiber, which may mimic the texture of the above materials while costing significantly less. However, according to Ijaz, synthetic fabrics are “less durable, harder to dry and limit airflow between layers” when compared to natural fabrics such as cotton, which is why we omitted microfiber quilts altogether.
Like sheets and other bedding, quilt cover materials are woven into various fabrics, which affects the texture and weight of the cover — and cotton is one of the most versatile, according to our experts. For example, hot sleepers can opt for cotton percale, which is cooling due to its consistent airflow and sweat-wicking abilities, while colder sleepers should choose denser weaves (like sateen or velvet), which keeps warmth in without hindering breathability, says Ijaz.
The quality of a quilt’s stitching shouldn’t be overlooked, as the stitching holds the top layer, the batting and the bottom layer together, says Ijaz. While companies may use varying techniques and shapes (such as boxes, diamonds, waves, dotted lines or channels), “the strength of the fabric and fibers will determine durability and longevity,” and natural, reinforced fabrics tend to be the strongest, says Ijaz.
Batting is the padding inside each quilted section, which gives the quilt additional plushness, weight and warmth. The quilts on this list either have cotton or polyester batting. (According to Lewenhaupt, lightweight polyester is one of the easiest fillings to clean, so while we’ve skipped polyester covers, we’ve included quilts with polyester batting.)
Quilts are often the outermost layer of your bedding, so shoppers should choose colors and patterns that complement their design aesthetic, says Farrell. Ijaz also says that since quilts are lightweight and easy to swap out seasonally, they can offer the perfect pop of color to change up your bedroom style on a whim.
You want your bedding to be cozy and comfortable, but you also want it to last. As opposed to most comforters, many quilts are thin and lightweight enough to fit in your residential washing machine, says Farrell. For that reason, you should prioritize quilts made with machine-washable fabrics and durable stitching, so you can keep them fresh despite regular use, according to our experts.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Parima Ijaz is a second-generation bedding developer and the founder of Pure Parima, a luxury bedding brand that specializes in Egyptian cotton sheets, duvet covers and more.
- Lauren Farrell is the head of interior design at Pacaso, a company that designs and manages luxury vacation homes. Farrell designs all Pacaso home interiors, including choosing the bedding and textiles.
- Frej Lewenhaupt is a trained textile engineer with a degree from Borås Textile University and the co-founder and CEO of Steamery, a company that specializes in cleaning and caring for textiles.