5 Essential Bedding Layers for a Cozy Winter Bed

5 Essential Bedding Layers for a Cozy Winter Bed

Winter is a wonderful time of the year. Cooler days mean more time inside, sipping hot chocolate and snuggling up with a good book. When it's time to tuck in for the night, we want our bed to feel as warm and cozy as a crackling fire in the hearth. 

Our team here at Mellanni knows a thing or two about setting up the perfect bed for chilly winter nights. We've compiled a list of the 5 essential bedding layers that are both functional and stylish to make your bed extra cozy this winter.

Essential Layer #1: Sheets 

The base layer of any perfectly layered winter bed is cozy bed sheets. High-quality sheets can mean the difference between a good night's sleep and a night of tossing and turning. It's essential to choose this layer well.

Bedsheets: the basics

Most bedsheets come in sets, which include a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and pillowcases.

The fitted sheet often comes with elastic to fit snuggly around your mattress. At Mellanni, our fitted sheets come with elastic all around to ensure your fitted sheet doesn't slip off during the night.

The top sheet, or flat sheet, usually goes between your body and your duvet, comforter, or blanket. Not everyone opts to use a top sheet, however, it is included in most sheet sets. 

The best bedsheets for winter

Cozy, printed flannel sheets probably spring to mind when you think of winter bedsheets. Flannel certainly is a staple for winter, but it's not the only option.

Cotton bedsheets are an excellent alternative to flannel and have year-round appeal. Hot sleepers should especially take note: as the temperature drops outside and we add layers to our bed, having breathable fabrics as a base is critical.

Cold sleepers, on the other hand, should stick with the status quo. Sheets that retain body heat, such as those made from flannel or microfiber, will help cold sleepers sleep warm even in the chilly winter months.

Thread count and GSM 

When picking out the best sheets to become the base of your perfectly layered winter bed, pay attention to quality. The quality of sheets is generally determined by the material they are made from and how well they are crafted. 

A common misconception is that a high thread count is synonymous with good sheets. While thread count can be an indicator of softness and durability, don't assume sheets with an ultra-high thread count are the best. 

The ideal thread count for cotton sheets is between 200-400. 

Microfiber and flannel sheets are measured in grams per square meter (GSM). The ideal GSM for microfiber sheets is between 9-120. For flannel sheets, look for a GSM of 170+. 

Essential Layer #2: Duvet Insert 

An ultra-plush, ultra-soft duvet insert is the epitome of comfort and luxury. Nothing will keep you as warm and cozy. 

What is the difference between a duvet and a comforter?

If you're confused about the difference between a duvet and a comforter, you're not alone.

Duvets come in two pieces: the insert and the cover. Using a duvet insert on your bed without a cover is not recommended. Comforters, on the other hand, can be used as is (although no one will stop you from using a duvet cover on your comforter!).

There is nothing inherently better or worse about using a comforter versus a duvet. Duvets usually provide more versatility in style and design (as the cover can be changed to fit every season), not to mention a removable cover is easier to wash.

Duvet insert filling 

Duvet inserts are generally filled with soft material such as down, feathers, or synthetic materials that mimic down (also known as down alternative filling).

Down filling, made from the soft, fine feathers found on the underside of birds and ducks, is easily the most delicate, luxurious filling material. It is also the most expensive.  

Feathers provide a lofty and cozy duvet, although they may not be as soft as down or down alternative fill. Feather filling is a cheaper alternative to down. The difference between down feathers and "regular" feathers is that down feathers are soft, lightweight, and do not have a noticeable spine.

Down alternative filling is a synthetic fill that mimics the feeling of down but with a more affordable price tag. Down alternative filling is also the best option for those that suffer from allergies: the synthetic material is less likely to be a trigger than its down counterpart.

Duvet insert sizes

Your duvet should cover your entire bed with plenty of room to spare. A well-made bed isn't just about having all the essential layers: sizes matter! Be sure to buy the correct duvet insert for the size of your bed.

Essential Layer #3: Duvet Cover  

Your duvet insert needs a cover! The good news? Duvet covers are versatile and come in various colors and fabrics, making them optimal for comfort, care, and style.


Like bedsheets, you can find duvet covers made in a wide array of fabrics. Some of the most common materials are cotton, microfiber, linen, and flannel.

Duvets provide a considerable amount of warmth. If you're a hot sleeper, opt for a duvet cover made from cotton or linen—two of the most breathable fabrics for bedding.

For a cozier option, or if you tend to run cold, microfiber and flannel are a good bet for a great night's sleep.


Duvet covers come in an extensive range of colors and styles and can be used as a decorative element as much as for comfort and function. 

Having different duvet covers on hand makes it possible to instantly change a room's mood. 

At Mellanni, we have a wide variety of duvet cover sets that also come with matching Euro shams to help you elevate your entire bedroom effortlessly.

Essential Layer #4: Quilt

Nothing says winter quite like a quilt. Quilts have a long history of keeping us warm, telling stories, and bringing people together. 

Does this essential bedding layer have to be a quilt specifically? Definitely not! A bed blanket, throw blanket, or coverlet will also provide an elegant extra layer to your winter bed.


You can find quilts, bed blankets, throws, and coverlets made from almost any fabric. 

Quilts are often made from cotton fabrics but can also be constructed with synthetic materials. You'll likely find bed blankets made from cotton, wool, fleece, or polyester. Throw blankets, usually used as an accent piece, are likely to be made from a textured material such as fur, faux fur, or wool. 

Essential Layer #5: Pillows 

We don't judge the rare person that chooses to sleep without a pillow. Still, at Mellanni, we consider the pillow an essential bedding layer! 

Types of pillows 

Pillows come in all shapes and sizes. For everyday comfort, it's common to adorn a bed with two standard, queen, or king-sized sleeping pillows. Adding decorative and accent pillows is common for design and decor purposes.

You will generally find pillows, or pillow inserts, sold separately from pillowcases, although some accent pillows have a cover included.

Pillow filling 

What fills your pillows? Pillows can be filled with down, feathers, memory foam, or down alternative. 

Prefered pillow filling usually varies from person to person, depending on several factors such as sleeping style, budget, and possible allergens.


Pillowcases are essential for protecting your pillow. They also provide an excellent opportunity to mix and match colors in your winter bedroom. 

Most sheet sets come with matching pillowcases; however pillowcases can be purchased separately for decorative pillows or if you prefer to rest your head on a different fabric than your sheets. 

How many pillows should you have on the bed?

The number of pillows typically found on a bed depend on the size of the bed. Most bed sizes above a twin bed come with at least two pillows.

When it comes to winter layering, we recommend adding at least two decorative or Euro pillows to your set-up to really tie the room together.

If you're lucky enough to sleep on a king bed, you have have even more space to work with. Feel free to get creative with an extra layer of pillows, playing with color and texture.

Other layers for your consideration 

While these layers may not be considered essential, they may benefit your winter bed. 

Mattress and pillow protectors 

Mattresses are an investment. A mattress protector helps keep your mattress in excellent condition for longer. It can also protect your mattress from pesky dust mites.

The same applies for your pillows. For a added pillow protection, especially if you have expensive, harder-to-care-for pillows, consider adding pillow protectors to your bedding collection.


If your duvet covers only part of the height of your bed, consider investing in a bed skirt. 

Layer Like a Design Professional 

While being warm and comfortable is the most important layering factor in the perfect winter bed, style and design don't need to take a backseat. 

Having multiple bedding layers to work with provides the perfect opportunity for being creative. 


Winter color palettes generally revolve around moody blues, icy whites, soft creams, or rusty reds. 

Experiment using different types of color schemes: monochromatic, analogous, or complementary. 


When it comes to home decor, textures are king. Using a variety of textures in a space adds depth and sophistication.

During the winter, incorporating soft, fluffy textures into your bedding layers will add an immediate touch of coziness to your space.

Take advantage of the different textures you may be able to mix between your duvet cover, quilt or throw blanket, pillow shams, and other items in your bedroom, such as your carpet, drapes, and decorations.

Personal preference 

We aren't all the same, and neither are our design preferences. Let your personal style be reflected in your room decor! 

Final thoughts

There's nothing like falling into a super-cozy, completely made bed on a cold winter night. Mellanni has everything you need for a perfectly layered bed and better night's sleep this winter!

  • Check out our variety of sheet sets in cotton, flannel, microfiber, and more! This winter, we have the perfect winter sheets for hot and cold sleepers alike.
  • For a stylish and comfortable duvet cover, please browse our selection of high-quality, expertly crafted options.
  • Our Faux Fur & Sherpa 2-Sided Throw Blanket is the perfect alternative or complement to the quilt layer on your winter bed.
  • Be sure to layer your bed with the perfect pillows and pillowcases! We have some of the softest, fluffiest pillows on the market and a wide selection of pillowcases.
  • Cover your bed with style with one of our top-of-the-line coverlets.

 Happy holidays and happy layering from the Mellanni team!

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