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How to Put on a Bed Skirt

Stylish bedding can help you create a comfortable space to get some sleep and unwind after a long day. When shopping for bedding, sheets, duvets, blankets and pillow shams are a must. Other items like bed skirts can help you update your room's style and craft a cozy sanctuary you love too.

Use this guide from west elm to learn more about bed skirts, why you should have one and how to put one on your bed.

What is a Bed Skirt?

You've probably heard of a bed skirt when shopping for linens or in general conversation about design and housekeeping. While bed skirts are common, not everybody knows exactly what they look like or what they're for if they've never used one before.

A bed skirt is a simple decorative piece of fabric designed to go between your mattress and box spring. The material then hangs over the box spring to keep it from being exposed, providing a more refined look.

What Do Bed Skirts Do?

Bed skirts are designed to be a decorative covering for your box spring, creating a look that showcases your bedding. Bed skirts also work for giving your room a little bit more color and a more elegant feel, especially when you choose pleated or more formal types of bed skirts.

Bed skirts also work to keep your box spring and mattress clean, which is particularly important in a home with pets and kids!

What Size Do I Need?

In many cases, choosing the bed skirt that will work with your bed is as simple as knowing whether you're dealing with a twin, full, queen, king, California king, or another type of bed. Measuring your box spring the traditional way will give you more accurate results.

Use these tips to find the right bed skirt size:

  1. Measure the distance from the top of your box spring to the floor. This will help you determine the drop length of the bed skirt. Round this measurement up to the nearest inch.
  2. Subtract 1.5 inches from the drop length when choosing a bed skirt. This will provide plenty of coverage without too much material on the floor.
  3. Measure the width of your box spring. Double-check that size against the bed skirt size range provided by the manufacturer.

Typical measurements for your box spring height will be 14-inches to 18-inches, but this can vary for very low or high bed frames. Carefully measure around all sides of the bed to make sure the frame height and box spring are even. If they're not, use the average of all four sides to determine your bed skirt size.

Are There Different Types of Bed Skirts?

Most bed skirts come in either full styles or elastic skirts. With a full style, the bed skirt will cover your whole box spring as a flat sheet would. Elastic skirts only go around the edges of the box spring.

Bed skirts also come in a few different looks and choosing the right one for your needs depends on the design of your room. Common bed skirt looks include:

  • Ruffled bed skirts. These are the most decorative and work well in spaces with more ornate furniture and a softer style.
  • Pinch-pleat bed skirts. These work well in traditional and more formal spaces like master bedrooms.
  • Box-pleat bed skirts. A little less formal than pinch-pleat shades, these can be used in transitional spaces for a sophisticated style.
  • Flat or un-pleated bed skirts. These work best in modern and less formal spaces where a box or pinch-pleat won't fit visually.

You also have a wide range of options when it comes to colors for bed skirts. While many people choose a bed skirt that matches their sheet set, you can pick an alternate color to liven up your space. Neutral tones work well with almost any style so they can easily be added to existing bedding sets.

Why Buy a Bed Skirt?

Bed skirts are designed to give your bed a little more visual appeal by hiding a box spring. They also serve to soften spaces like in areas where a bed sits directly on a hardwood or stone floor without a rug below.

A properly sized bed skirt will keep items under the bed like winter clothing in storage containers out of view while shielding your box spring from dust and dirt as well.

How Do I Put on a Bed Skirt?

Putting a bed skirt on your bed is something you can do in a matter of minutes even if it’s your first time. Follow these steps to get the job done right.

  • Remove your mattress from the bed and get it out of the way. An uncovered box spring and a clear space will make getting the bed skirt on easier.
  • Iron or press the bed skirt. Avoid ironing over pleats or creating creases.
  • Place the bed skirt on the bed like a flat sheet if you're using a full style skirt. Make sure the bed skirt is placed evenly over the top of the box spring.
  • Carefully position an elastic skirt around the edges of your box spring, taking care to position it evenly on all sides if you're using an elastic model.
  • Replace the mattress. Be careful to avoid moving the bed skirt during this process.
  • Go around the bed adjusting the bed skirt on all sides. It should look even all over with the same drape on each side.

Bed skirts help to soften your space, protect your box spring and hide what you store under the mattress. Whether you prefer a modern style or a vintage-inspired look, the right bed skirt can help you get the style you want.