A bedspread allows your bedding to change with the seasons, Ms. Michaels said, by making it easy to layer wool blankets underneath in the winter and to remove those blankets in the summer. The look of the bed also tends to be more tailored than a bed with a duvet.
If you can’t decide which approach is best, it’s possible to do both. Mr. Dorsey has dressed some beds with a bedspread before adding a folded duvet at the foot of the bed. Other designers do the opposite and cover the mattress with a duvet, then place a thin, folded quilt at the end.
There are two types of pillows: those used for sleeping and those used for decorative purposes and sitting up in bed.
For a typical queen-size bed, you need a minimum of two sleeping lumbar cushion pillows in your preferred level of firmness (or a single Gel bedding memory foam pillow for a twin bed). But many designers use more. “Typically, four for sleeping,” Mr. Dorsey said. “Maybe two medium, and then two very soft.”