Bed Skirts

Add a bed skirt for that finishing touch

From lace and ruffles to solid colors, bed skirts help you coordinate the bottom of your bed to look as great as the top of it. Also called dust ruffles, bed skirts are a fitted piece of fabric designed to cover up the box springs and bed foundation. Depending on the size of your bed and the style of your bed set, you may choose a gathered bed skirt, pleats or panels, or a plain, flat dust ruffle to disguise an easy-to-reach but out-of-sight storage solution underneath the bed.

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How to Buy a Dust Ruffle

When purchasing a bed skirt, as when buying any other bedding, make sure to compare the dimensions of the skirt to those of your bed, since sizes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For instance, a standard queen bed skirt should fit a 60-inch by 80-inch bed, but your queen size bed may be slightly bigger or smaller than that. Always take the time to measure when investing in something for the bedroom.

While you've got out that measuring tape, also measure the drop from the top of your bed's foundation (the bottom mattress or box spring) to the floor. Standard bed skirts have a 15-inch drop, so if your bed is higher than that, the skirt won't touch the floor. On the other hand, if it's lower than that, the skirt may drag. As long as you have a measurement, you should be able to find a non-standard-size bed skirt that will fit perfectly — it just requires some extra effort!

Daybeds also require non-standard dust ruffles to accommodate their size and features. Daybed dust ruffles are usually smaller than a twin dust ruffle, though they often maintain the standard 15-inch drop. Additionally, some daybed bed skirts only cover the open front of the daybed, leaving the metal or wooden slats at the side uncovered. Others are designed with side panels to fit behind these slats, and still others are complete bed skirts, covering all four sides of the daybed.

How to Make a Dust Ruffle

For truly non-standard beds, or for those who like to sew, making a custom dust ruffle may be the best solution.

To make your own bed skirt, measure around the sides and foot of your bed, and then add a few inches to allow for cutting and seaming. If you're making a pleated or gathered bed skirt, also allow extra material for the texture. Next, measure from the top of your box spring to the floor, and add 2 inches for the hem.

Select a material that matches your bedding and décor and carefully mark the panel dimensions using the measurements you took earlier, including all additional allowances. You may also wish to use a pattern, many of which are readily available at fabric and sewing stores. Carefully cut the pieces, add any pleats or gathering, and then seam the pieces together.

When you're done, you can easily attach the dust ruffle with Velcro, or another temporary and non-damaging adhesive, making it easy to remove and clean. Or, you can use a cheap, plain material to create a center panel from which the bed skirt panels hang. This not only requires more effort to make, however, but also requires more effort to put on and off the bed, since you'll have to lift the mattress to spread the center panel over the box spring.