If You Only Make One Upgrade to Your Bedroom for Summer, It Should be This

updated Jun 18, 2020
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Credit: Alexis Buryk

Now that warm weather is here for a while, I’ve switched up my winter bedding to my favorite summertime combo: Crisp cotton percale sheets and a lightweight quilt. Quilts may sound old-fashioned, but there are plenty of modern versions available today. For sleepers like me that prefer just a bit of weight to their bed coverings, a quilt offers the feeling of security without the excess warmth.

For summer, I’ve found that 100 hundred percent cotton fabric and fill makes for a really breathable quilt (sometimes they’re labeled as “coverlets,” and they’re often sold as sets with a pair of quilted shams). And better yet, they sometimes have two different patterns on each side, so you get two looks for the price of one.

I rounded up eight quilts that meet all of my above criteria in a range of patterns and styles. Know that quilts are often on the pricier side, but a well-made one will last for years, if not decades—I just retired my 20+ year-old quilt last summer when it finally became threadbare. If you’re looking for new summer bedding, consider one of these styles. 

Credit: Target

Leopard Medallion Stitch Quilt

Bold and beautiful, I love the playful look of the Leopard Medallion Stitch Quilt from Target’s Opalhouse brand. The saffron color is trendy and feels bright and fresh for the warmer months, and because the leopard spots are not too precisely realistic, the print doesn’t look over-the-top.

Buy: Opalhouse Leopard Medallion Stitch Quilt, $59.99 for Full/Queen from Target

Credit: Target

Blue Himaya Print Quilt Set 

Another Target fave is the Blue Himaya Print Quilt Set from Justin Blakeney’s bedding collection. Inspired by Moroccan mosaics, it’s a pattern that straddles the line between traditional and contemporary. The palette—the crisp aquas of swimming pools and blue-sky days—is perfect for summer.

Buy: Blue Himaya Print Quilt Set, $99.99 for Full/Queen set from Target

Credit: CB2

Aldeia Black Blanket 

Minimalists: Take note of CB2’s Aldeia Black Blanket dotted with tiny white dots. I love this simple design so much that I’m giving it a pass on my preference for reversible quilts. It’s also available in white with black dots though, if you like lighter bedding.

Buy: Aldeia Black Blanket, $119.00 for Full/Queen from CB2

Rugby Stripe Quilt

When I retired my much-beloved quilt last year, I replaced it with a Rugby Stripe Quilt from Pottery Barn Kids (shhhh, don’t tell anyone I buy my bedding at a kids’ store). I use both the striped side and the solid navy depending on how I want to style it

Buy: Rugby Stripe Quilt, $179.00 for Full/Queen from Pottery Barn Kids

Diamond Ticking Quilt

I’ve long coveted the timeless ticking stripe quilt from Schoolhouse Electric: The blue and white stripes offer just a whisper of pattern and color that coordinate with almost any decor. To me, the ticking has the nostalgic feel of a New England summer house. Fair warning, these coverlets are so popular that they’re often out of stock.

Buy: Diamond Ticking Quilt, $189.00 for a Full/Queen from Schoolhouse Electric

Waveny Quilt

Modern and graphic, the Waveny Quilt from The Company Store’s Cstudio Home comes pre-washed for extra softness. With a fragmented zigzag on one side and a dashed stripe on the reverse, you get two different chevron looks for the price of one.

Buy: Cstudio Home Waveny Cotton Quilt and Shams, $199.00 $148.99 from The Company Store

Colored Coverlet

If you’re looking to splurge (and have restrained but colorful taste), check out Utility Canvas’s coverlets. These have been a part of the indie brand’s line since the early days of the company in the 1990s. I admired them first-hand a couple years back at the Rivertown Lodge in Hudson, New York and am saving my pennies for one of my own.

Buy: Colored Coverlet, $372 for Queen from Utility Canvas

Purple Ogee Quilt

The bright berry hue of this 100 percent organic cotton quilt is a refreshing pop of color for your bedroom. Plover Organic’s patterns are all meant to be mixed and matched for a casual boho look.

Buy: Purple Ogee Quilt, $218 for Queen from Plover Organics