Dust Ruffles

Sally Painter
pretty bed with dust ruffle

Dust ruffles can complete the look of your bedding ensemble.

What are Dust Ruffles?

A dust ruffle, also referred to as a bed skirt, is a piece of material that is either gathered, pleated or ruffled and is placed over the box spring mattress or foundation mattress to create a skirting along the bottom edges of your bed. The bottom hemline should touch the floor. While these borders of ruffles are most commonly thought of as decorative borders just for beds, they are also used on other furniture pieces such as couches, loveseats and chairs.

Decorative and Functional

In modern design, the bed skirt or ruffle is often used for more than just a way to stop dust from collecting underneath the bed. Even though this is the original function of this skirting for a bed, over time, it's evolved into a significant decoration as part of the overall bedding ensemble. As a valued design feature, this additional piece of fabric trim is often the finishing touch that completes the overall effect of your bedding collection.

Dust Ruffles for All Beds

bone bedskirt

A wonderful aspect of the dust ruffle is that they are available for all sizes and types of beds. It can help establish or add to the theme of your bedroom. A tailored trimming can change your bedding from plain to highly sophisticated, while a gathered one with many ruffles can alter the ambiance of your bedroom to a very romantic feel.

The Right Choice

When selecting a dust ruffle, you want it to match your bedding, either as a contrasting or complementary design piece. Often you'll find striped bed ruffles matched with floral comforters. Typically, the striped material is also repeated somewhere else in the bedding ensemble, many times in pillows or throws. The stripe colors are a repetition of the colors found in the comforter and many times is finished in a tailored style to show off the striped material. Sometimes, if the stripes are a combination of a color and white, the bed skirt is ruffles. Bed shirts or ruffles can be made out of just about any kind of material. Sometimes, especially for a little girl's bedroom, the ruffle is made out of lace or the skirting has a lace hem.

Attaching a Skirting to Your Bed

There are several techniques for attaching a bed skirt or ruffle to your bed, especially if you're sewing one. The majority of the commercial pieces you would purchase with your bedding ensemble will be about the same size as your comforter, perhaps a little longer. The center of the panel will be made out of a piece of mesh or cotton material and will usually be a white or off white fabric color. This inner panel can easily be lined up with your box spring. The border of this fabric, when lined up on the box spring mattress, will cascade to the floor just the way it's meant to fall. You'll replace the top mattress over the box spring, careful not to allow the ruffle to shift and become askew on the box spring. The weight of the top mattress will keep the fabric in place, sandwiched between the two mattresses. Some styles are designed with a fitted sheet effect that you'll place around the edges of the mattress. Other styles have elasticized top hems and are wrapped around the mattress and is secured with Velcro. Some higher-end ones are tailored as bed skirts without ruffling or gathering. These have corner pleats to hide the bed legs and give more of a skirt effect to the bedding.

Shopping Online

If your bedding choice doesn't offer a dust ruffle, you can still find or make one that will go with your ensemble. Dust ruffles are often sold separately and you can often pick one up to match your bedding.

  • Charles P Rogers makes customized bed skirts and ruffles to your specifications.
  • Shop Bedding offers matching pillows and bed skirts and ruffles.
  • Bellacor has quite a few choices for you to consider.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond offers a large choice of styles, fabrics, patterns, and colors.

With so many choices available for dust ruffles, you'll be able to find the ideal one for your bed.

Dust Ruffles