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Do You Need a Bed Skirt? Expert Answers from Fine Linen and Bath

  • by Mary Babinski
  • 5 min read

To bed skirt or not to bed skirt? That is the question we are answering today!

With apologies to Shakespeare, this is a query we field all the time here at Fine Linen and Bath. For many of us, the phrase "bed skirt" conjures up a fussy, frilly, patterned accessory we saw in our grandmother's home.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

A bed skirt can be a functional and beautiful piece of your bedroom décor, and an essential accessory for furnishing your perfect bed. But is a bed skirt strictly necessary? Answering that question comes down to practical and aesthetic considerations.

Things to Consider When Thinking About Bed Skirts

Let's start with a quick definition: A bed skirt or dust ruffle is a piece of decorative fabric (often cotton or linen) that runs along the sides and foot of a bed, placed between the mattress and the box spring, reaching down to the floor. It's meant to cover the (sometimes unsightly metal) bed frame. A bed skirt adds a style component to the bedding ensemble and room as well. Broadly speaking, there are two types of bed skirts: tailored and gathered.

  • Tailored bed skirts look modern and sleek, with box pleats and straight lines.
  • Gathered beds skirts are the traditional look, with fabric loosely bunched to create pretty folds.

Practical considerations of a bed skirt

First and foremost, what does your box spring look like and is it exposed? How about your bed frame? Some bed frames are definitely NOT made to be seen, and a bed skirt is perfect camouflage. (Note: if you have a platform or wood frame bed that is meant to be seen and/or won't accommodate a bed skirt, consider using a fabric box spring cover for a finished look. We like this much better than a box spring that peeks out from under luxury bedding). Also think about how high your bed is, and whether or not you need the space for storage; covering underbed storage is an important function of bed skirts, especially in smaller rooms or children's rooms where space is at a premium. Lastly, if your floors are hardwood, a bed skirt can help prevent accumulation of dust bunnies, which are a nuisance and can irritate allergies (after all, not everyone has a Roomba and vacuuming under the bed can be a huge challenge!)

Aesthetic considerations of a bed skirt

Do you like the look of a bed skirt? Will it work with not just your bedding, but the overall design vibe of your bedroom? Do you want a bed skirt that blends in seamlessly with your overall bed linen, or would you like to make a statement with a bold color contrast? (Design tip: you can coordinate the fabric of your bed skirt with other accessories like decorative pillows and even window treatments).

Suggestions For Choosing A Tailored Bed Skirt

If the overall look and feel of the room is to have dark or light colors with focus on items like the comforter or curtains, a solid color tailored bed skirt will work well. Tailored skirts are box pleated. This pleated look is becoming a popular choice today. The straight lines of the bed skirt allow you to cover the bed frame without bringing too much attention to the floor. Here are two tailored bed skirt options from one of our favorite manufacturers, Peacock Alley.

Peacock AlleyVienna Bed Skirt: Made from 100 percent Egyptian cotton with a matelassé weave, this signature collection from Peacock Alley features a tailored bed skirt with three panels and center/corner pleats. Machine washable, made in Portugal. 22 inch drop. Queen: $305.

Peacock Alley Vienna Bed Skirt

Peacock AlleyMandalay Tailored Bed Skirt: This bed skirt is a masterpiece in linen, with clean lines touched off with natural linen inset on the hems. A must for the well-made bed. Three panels, center and kick pleats. Machine washable. Constructed of 100% linen and made in the USA of imported fabric. 22 inch drop. Queen: $370

Peacock Alley Mandalay Tailored Bed Skirt

Suggestions for Choosing A Gathered Bed Skirt

A gathered bed skirt is the traditional bed skirt most of us think of. The gathered look is appealing for traditional bedrooms, which accounts for the enduring popularity of this style. A gathered bed skirt is both classic and dressy. Soft and curvilinear, a gathered skirt's corners are often split to accommodate for the bed posts. A gathered bed skirt is pretty without being overwhelming or fussy. Here are two to consider, also from Peacock Alley.

Peacock Alley Mandalay Ruffled Linen Bed Skirt: This ruffled linen bed skirt is lightweight with three panels and center and corner pleats. Machine washable. Constructed of 100% linen and made in the USA of imported fabric. 22 inch drop. Queen: $440

Peacock Alley Mandalay Ruffled Linen Bed Skirt

Peacock Alley SopranoRuffled Bed Skirt: This sateen bed skirt is beautiful and versatile enough to complement a variety of rooms. Unlined, three panels with center and corner pleats. Machine washable. Made from 100 percent extra-long-staple cotton, 420 thread count sateen. Made in the USA of Portuguese fabric. Queen $350.

Peacock Alley Soprano Ruffled Bed Skirt

*all Peacock Alley bed skirts come with upholstery pins, also called bed skirt pins, to hold the bed skirt in place.

Choosing a Box Spring Cover

As we noted above, some bed frames are not made to accommodate a bed skirt of any style. These include a platform bed, a sleigh bed, and similar designs. For these, we always recommend using a box spring cover as a bed skirt alternative for a clean, unobtrusive look and finishing touch.

Peacock Alley Box Spring Cover: Made from 100% cotton sateen, the mattress box spring cover is the perfect answer to hide your exposed box spring. Textured diamond matelassé pattern. Machine washable, imported from Portugal. Queen: $135

Peacock Alley Mattress Box Spring Cover

Of course, if you're unsure of whether and which bed skirt to choose, give us a call at 866) 352-4522. Our design team can give you personalized guidance. You can even send a photograph to help us make the perfect bed skirt recommendation for your bedroom decor.

More About Peacock Alley

One of the most respected brands carried by Fine Linen and Bath, Peacock Alley creates luxurious bedding and high-end linens that will stand the test of time. The company is known for its curated collection of luxury bedding that is modern, yet classic. The Peacock Alley fine linen collection includes bed linens, bath linens, blankets, and throws. Peacock Alley is built around the concept of everyday indulgence and superior quality found in fine bed linens. A set of super soft sheets, topped with an artisan-crafted luxury duvet cover or coverlet and a blanket or throw in neutral hues combine to make your bedroom a restful sanctuary. They bring the same timeless indulgence to bath linens with the plushest towels, the softest robes, stylish shower curtains and bath mats, and more...everything you need to outfit your bathroom oasis in elegance and enduring comfort. Peacock Alley takes pride in each step of the process, from sourcing fabric from around the world, to sewing each product individually in the U.S.A.

Fine Linen and Bath: An In-Store Shopping Experience Delivered to You Online 

At Fine Linen and Bath, our mission is to deliver a concierge luxury linen shopping experience with online convenience. Browse our website to access an expansive collection of bedding, bath, table linens, and accessories from the world's premier brands.

When you need answers, consultation, or help to narrow your choices, our team of expert design consultants is here to assist you. We offer individualized recommendations, personal consultation, and even complimentary swatch samples for your review. We'll help you make the right buying decisions for your style, budget, and design goals.

Please connect with us online or -- even better -- give us a call at (866) 352-4522. We'd love to get to know you!