Unless you live in the tropics, most of us need a little warmth at night! A well-made quilt is the perfect bed topper that can both keep you cozy and set the decor tone for your room, and it’s also an easy and inexpensive way to introduce an all-new color or pattern into your bedroom. Whether you live in a warmer climate where you just need light coverage or a colder one that requires some real layers, quilts come in a variety of styles, materials and weights to suit your needs. The beauty of a quilt is that it can work alone or with layers of other bedding, so it can easily transition through changes of season or simply from napping during the warm daytime and going to bed in the chilly night.
TEMPERATURE RATINGS: The introduction of standardized sleeping bag temperature ratings by the outdoor industry substantially improved their reliability. Many manufacturers had overstated their temperature ratings by as much as 10 degrees before that standard was introduced. No such testing standard exists for backpacking quilts, so you’re forced to rely on their reputation and customer reviews. When buying a backpacking quilt, the current rule of thumb is to purchase one rated for 10 degrees below your needs to ensure you’ll be warm enough. There is enormous incentive for ultralight quilt makers to quote low gear weights, so read their customer reviews carefully. Women may want to add 15-20 degrees of insulation because they sleep colder than men due to lower body mass. No one makes women’s specific quilts yet, although there is an obvious need for them.
Quilts, unlike blankets, are made of at least two layers of fabric with a warmth-inducing filler in between, with decorative stitching to hold the whole quilt sandwich together. Depending on what materials are used, a quilt can either be quite lightweight and breathable (great for warm-weather spots) or extremely warm and cozy. Typically, you can find that information in the product description (usually it’s described as light-, medium- or heavy-weight), but generally cotton is lighter-weight while materials like wool or microfiber will offer more warmth. Here, the best quilts for your needs.