...because home doesn't happen overnight.

UPDATE: Apparently, I was operating on no coffee / no sleep / no brain cells at the time this post was written. So sorry for all the confusion! I have edited the post to clarify the main points and terminology. I hope it makes a little more sense. Thanks for all your feedback!

bunk bed duvets 1

A few years ago, I shared my bunk bed making secrets. Two and a half years later, I want to edit that post…starting with the removal of the cheesy lead shot. (Ugh.) But no, for real.

For the most part, the tips I shared are still in full force over here. I still use a step stool and sheet clips. (They’re like suspenders for your sheets.) I still keep pillows to a minimum. I’m still nixing the flat sheets. (They’re pointless with kids.) But there is one little thing that has been making my life even easier when it comes to making the boys’ bunk beds.

bunk bed duvets 2

They’re linen duvet covers in European sizes. Let me repeat. Linen duvet covers. European sizing. They will change your life. No more ironing. (Who am I kidding? I have never ironed bedding.) No more baggy, ill-fitting duvet covers. No more balled up, bunched up comforters inside said duvet covers. No more comforter clips.

European-sized duvet covers are smaller (narrower & shorter) so they actually fit the comforters. There’s less shifting of the comforters inside so I’ve been able to lose the comforter clips. (I still use sheet clips on the fitted sheet on the top bunk.) Also, the smaller sizing means less fabric to tuck around the mattress. Less tucking = less linen wrestling = less sweating = happy mama.

bunk bed duvets 3

I went with white European singles from this etsy shop and opted for the zipper closure for the boys’ twin mattresses. (If you are thinking of purchasing a European duvet cover, double check that it says EUR sizing. Not every listing in this etsy shop has EUR sizing available at this time which is why I didn’t link to a specific item.) For me, I prefer the zipper closure over any fold over, button or tie closure. It’s convenient and there’s no comforter slipping out over time.

I made the switch over a year ago. At the time, it seemed like such a splurge but now it feels like money well spent, an investment in my sanity. Bed making is quicker and the wrinkly linen is super kid-friendly. I’m hoping the white will stand the test of time. I can always pair it with something more colorful when boredom strikes.

When the BHG crew was here last month, the stylist brought in different bedding for the bunks. She was huffing and puffing, sweating and cursing by the time it was all said and done. We agreed that making bunk beds is the worst.

Thank goodness for those linen duvet covers that always look great with little effort. I’m tempted to make the switch in my bedroom, too.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

82 Comments

18.August.2015

Those look beautiful! Very tempting.

Am I missing something, though? Are these not just another duvet cover? I went to the site… aside from being linen, what makes them better than the duvet covers you had before?

Honestly wondering, because linen is very tempting. :)

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replied on August 18th, 2015

Me too! I read the post a few times to figure out what I missed so I’m very curious to know the answer!

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replied on August 18th, 2015

So did I. :) And went to the Etsy shop and then read the post again.

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replied on August 19th, 2015

From what I understand this duvet has a zipper that runs lengthwise on one side of the duvet cover so you just slip in the duvet and zip it up. I’m not sure that’s what she meant, but it would make sense as it would make everything a lot faster and easier to change :)

replied on August 20th, 2015

Eek! I wasn’t very clear, was I? I mentioned the zipper closure because I like it better than a fold over, button or tie closure. For me, it’s totally been worth the upgrade. No extra time tying ties or buttoning buttons. No comforter eventually spilling out of a fold over closure.

replied on August 19th, 2015

The zippers are great, but all my duvet covers have them… they’re not too uncommon. And the original post talks about clips to keep the duvet from moving around inside the cover, but this post said ‘no more clips’… wondering why? The zipper doesn’t affect that.

Clearly an issue of desperate urgency and inquiring minds want to know. ;) :-P

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replied on August 20th, 2015

Apparently, I was operating on no coffee at the time this post was written. Ha! Personally, for me, the zippers are just easier and quicker to use – as opposed to buttoning a bunch of buttons or tying ties at the duvet cover opening. And I never really liked the fold over closures because eventually the comforter started creeping out.

The European-sized duvet covers are smaller (narrower & shorter) than the ones I had before so they fit the American-sized comforters I use much better. No need for clips because the comforter isn’t shifting around nearly as much. Also, with a smaller duvet cover there’s less tucking around the mattress!

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Stacy Hyatt
replied on August 19th, 2015

From what I can tell from the listing, these duvets are exactly the same as nearly every higher quality linen duvet cover I’ve found.

Per the listing, the zipper does not come standard — it’s an extra $15 on top of the cost of the duvet. Zipper closure or button closure, doesn’t really make much of a difference in the end.

The linen is, of course, BEAUTIFUL (I’ve been tempted to get a clean, white linen duvet for a year now) — but I can get a pre-washed, wrinkly, 100% Belgium linen duvet (with corner ties built into the duvet to keep the comforter in place) from West Elm for just a bit more expensive.

So yeah, I’m also confused as to how this makes bed-making easier… Sorry, Dana. Maybe you can explain how these duvets make the whole “getting the comforter into the duvet and in place” part less sweat-inducing and frustrating?

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Stacy Hyatt
replied on August 19th, 2015

Though, I’m thinking the key is the “European sizing” part of this, which…. I’m not sure what that means, other than by guessing they must be smaller than American duvet sizes…

Any further explanation as to how these actually keep duvet covers in place is much appreciated, Dana! :)

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replied on August 20th, 2015

The European duvet covers are smaller (narrower & shorter) so comforters fill them out better and no clips are needed to keep the comforters in place since they aren’t moving around so much. Also, the smaller size allows the duvet to cover the mattress without a bunch of unnecessary overhang…much less tucking and pulling…much less sweating ;)

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replied on August 20th, 2015

The European duvet covers are smaller in size so the American-sized comforters I put inside them actually stay put and don’t shift around as much. There’s less tucking around the mattress, too.

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18.August.2015

ditto Ellen’s question above…same confusion…???

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18.August.2015

Why European sizing; where did you get comforters to fit inside? Are you putting a standard US blanket inside?

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replied on August 20th, 2015

European-sized duvet covers are smaller – shorter and narrower – so there’s less comforter shifting inside and less tucking around the mattress.

I use American-sized comforters inside the duvet covers. Hope that helps!

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18.August.2015

I am ALL for some tips for easy bunk bed making!! I have two bunk beds at my house! But I also don’t really understand what makes these duvet’s different from any other. Could you explain more about what they are and what makes them better for making beds? I’d like to know more!

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replied on August 20th, 2015

European-sized duvet covers are smaller – narrower and shorter – so there’s less comforter shifting and less tucking around the mattress. Hope that helps!

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18.August.2015

This has nothing to do with bunk beds, but I thought you might be interested in this.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-paleo-diet-has-it-wrong-cavemen-did-eat-carbs-2015-08-18

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replied on August 20th, 2015

Good thing I’m not paleo ;) I will have to pass this along to Steve.

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18.August.2015

It appears that your sons are old enough to be making their own beds.

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replied on August 20th, 2015

They are and they do…not every day…but they do. Bed making is easier for them as well.

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18.August.2015

I’m confused by the terminology. A duvet is a down-filled ‘comforter’ (‘duvet’ is French for ‘down’). You can’t put a comforter in a duvet – they’re essentially the same thing. You can put a duvet or comforter in a duvet cover. Was the problem that you were trying to put a Euro-sized duvet in an American-sized duvet cover?

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replied on August 20th, 2015

Sorry, my lingo may be affected by my geography…or ignorance. I will go back and clarify within the post. Thanks for the feedback!

Using your terminology, I was using an American-sized comforter within an American-sized duvet cover. Now I use a European-sized duvet cover with American-sized comforters inside. The European sizing is smaller – narrower & shorter – so the comforter doesn’t shift nearly as much and there’s less tucking involved. Does that help any?

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replied on August 21st, 2015

Yes! Thanks, I had it backwards. And I went back and read the first post you wrote about the bunk beds and I realized you knew the difference between a duvet and a duvet cover and for that I apologize. When I was a kid I had an eiderdown, just to confuse things more!

I prefer zippered duvet covers too, but now they are hard to find. And I have an Pottery Barn duvet cover that is way to big for my (Canadian) duvet. It has ties inside to tie the cover to the duvet but they are not helpful because they end up pulling the duvet cover inside out.

Here’s a link to a made in the USA linen duvet cover, with actual measurements – but lots of $$$
http://www.roughlinen.com/rough-linen-duvet-cover.html

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18.August.2015

Checkout Beddys.com The price point seems a little high, especially when buying 2 for bunks, but the concept is genius!

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replied on August 19th, 2015

I was just going to suggest Beddys, too! They are definitely in my family’s bunk bed future.

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18.August.2015

Hello,
Thank you for this post. I am so interested in anything that would make bunkbed making easier for me and the kids (we have 3 bunkbeds and 1 loft bed…7 kiddos). However, I did check out the Esty shop and I have to echo a few previous comments, I am confused as to why these are better? Reread the post to see if I missed anything (love your sons’ room, it is decorated so nicely). Could you kindly elaborate a wee bit more please? Thanks again :)

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replied on August 20th, 2015

So sorry for the confusion! Clearly, I need to go back and clarify within the post which I will do after trying to explain more in the comments section.

I use American-sized comforters inside European-sized duvet covers. The European duvet covers are smaller (narrower & shorter) so they FIT the comforters much better. There is no need for comforter clips because the comforter doesn’t shift nearly as much. (I still use sheet clips on the underside of the fitted sheet to hold it in place on the mattress.) Also, a smaller duvet cover means there is less tucking around the mattress!

If you’re looking to purchase a European duvet cover, double check that it specifically says European (EUR) sizing. Not every duvet cover listed in the etsy shop I linked to has EUR sizes available at this time…which is why I didn’t link to a particular duvet cover. Hope that helps and, once again, so sorry for the confusion!

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replied on August 21st, 2015

Ahhh, makes sense now…thank you for the clarification. These may just be the answer to saving my back and my sanity :)

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19.August.2015

I grew up in Brazil where we also make a complicated bedding, with under and top sheet plus blanket or two and/or a conforter (it is not always hot everywhere in Brazil and there is normally no heater). In winter all those layers will, at least for me, always fell apart during the night.
Ten years in Germany and bedding is sooo simple here, a fitted sheet with elastics (which we also use in Brazil, I wonder why you do not use them…. do you have them in USA?), a linen duvet and pillows. For babys and todlers, bedding is even more simple and very safe, just the fitted sheet and a sleeping bag – there is nothing that can cover the kid’s head and the kid WILL stay warm.
The duvet cover is not so easy to change, specially in couple size, but the time in between you just have to straight the duvet (or fold it), put pillows in place and that is it.
We have a duvet system from IKEA, there is 2 duvets (one for sommer and warm one) that can be clipped together for a even warmer duvet. If it is really hot we just use the duvet cover.
Haha ironing… in my first week in Germany I was ironing a pair of jeans and a flat mate asked what I was doing… I gues that was the last time I ironed everyday clothes.
I bought this mandal chest for my baby after I saw it here. It is so pretty and holds a lot. We use the top as changing station.

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replied on August 20th, 2015

I use fitted sheets on the mattresses! That’s what the sheet clips are for. I used to use comforters / duvet clips but they aren’t necessary with European-sized duvet covers because the covers actually fit the comforters. I also have comforters from Ikea with different warmth rating. They’re great, aren’t they?!

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replied on August 21st, 2015

The clips that I mentioned are just the pressure bottoms in the corners of the duvets, sorry for the wrong therminology. If you have the same IKEA duvet as I you know what I mean. The existence of a clip that clips the duvet cover and the duvet is new to me and I never have seen in person, we do not have this in Germany (as the cover fits the duvet perfectly and normally stays in place – well I guess that is what you were explaining about european size duvet cover).
I just need to add, I hate tucking, specially the really firm tucking from american hotels.

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replied on August 21st, 2015

I hear you. The last thing I want to do when I get in bed is tug and tug at tightly tucked bed linens! So uncomfortable!

19.August.2015

I’m always surprised at Americans (or anyone for that matter but mostly American bloggers) who complain about balled up duvets inside duvet covers. Have you people never heard of a duvet clip? With the duvet cover inside out, lay the duvet on top. Clip the clips to each corner, Turn right side out and voila! No more bunchy duvets.

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replied on August 20th, 2015

I was using those! But with a duvet cover that actually FITS the comforter, I’ve been able to leave them by the wayside. Plus, my kids were always taking the clips out anyway because they could feel them through the duvet cover. The European (smaller) duvet covers have really helped speed up bed making.

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replied on August 24th, 2015

I’m going to have to look into the Euro size duvet cover then! Thanks Dana.

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19.August.2015

Your post gives me permission to finally dump the flat sheet on my kids’ beds. “Permission” because for whatever reason I didn’t think of just not using it. Duh. Sometimes you can’t see beyond your upbringing.

But, like everyone else, I’m curious as to the European sizing of the duvet cover. Is it smaller so the duvet fits better?

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replied on August 20th, 2015

Yep! Smaller duvet cover = less shifting of the comforter inside + less tucking around mattresses = happy mom.

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19.August.2015

Glad to see everyone elso is wondering the same thing as me. What exactly is different about the duvet covers? Are they a little smaller and maybe the duvets fit better? Also, what type of duvets do you have? Are they down filled?

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replied on August 19th, 2015

Also, forgot to mention, I’ve always loved your sons’ bedroom! Trying desperately to do something similar with my son’s room.

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replied on August 20th, 2015

I use American-sized comforters inside European-sized duvet covers. The European duvet covers are sized smaller (narrower and shorter) so the comforters shift considerably less and there’s little to no tucking needed around the mattress.

I use Ikea comforters. They’re inexpensive and offer a variety of warmth ratings for difference seasons. I use comforters with higher warmth ratings in the winter and comforters with lower warmth ratings in the summer. Hopefully that helps clear up some confusion. So sorry you were baffled!

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replied on September 3rd, 2015

were you just using the IKEA twin sized comforters? we have our boys in a bunk bed and both our girls have loft beds. this post was awesome!!!

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replied on September 3rd, 2015

Yes, the comforters are from Ikea. They sell comforters with varying warmth ratings so I have two each for each bunk – two for summer, two for winter.

19.August.2015

So good.
Ever read The Tipping Point? You’re a true Maven — a one stop shop for reliable, well-researched, stylish information. Thanks for sharing great ideas and solutions!

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replied on August 20th, 2015

I don’t know about “Maven” but I’m itching to read that book now. Thanks for the rec!

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19.August.2015

I couldn’t even find mention of European sizing at the etsy shop. Do we just know that 68″ x 90″ twin is not the usual American size? Please come back and explain in detail what you hinted at in the post. I always just used comforters filled with polyester batting (no top sheets, no covers) for my kids. They washed up as easily as sheets.

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replied on August 20th, 2015

I use American-sized comforters inside European-sized duvet covers. European duvet covers are smaller (narrower & shorter) so there is less shifting of the comforter inside and less tucking of the duvet around the mattress. This specific duvet cover…

https://www.etsy.com/listing/170105162/rough-ivory-off-white-duvet-cover-doona

…lists USA, Australian (AUS) and European (EUR) size options. I purchased 2 pure white versions (looks like it isn’t available in a European size at this time so I linked to the off-white color) in the EUR single size for the boys’ beds. They fit the comforters perfectly so there’s no need for the comforter clips anymore. Hope that helps!

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19.August.2015

Hey, I wanted to know where the ceiling fixture came from? I love it.

Thanks

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replied on August 20th, 2015

An entire source list for the room can be found here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/12/23/the-boys-shared-bedroom/

(It’s from Lamps Plus!)

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19.August.2015

I am also a little confused about the European sizing. However, I assume that Dana places a USA twin duvet inside a European single duvet cover (which is smaller), and because the duvet cover is smaller than the duvet, the duvet itself does not move around inside the cover.

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replied on August 20th, 2015

Exactly! Thank you for clarifying ;)

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19.August.2015

This might out me as a heathen but we stopped using a duvet at all. It’s so hot here down in Austin and our winters are pretty mild. I love the way duvets look- so comfy and inviting- but anytime I travel, I’m uncomfortably hot! We bought a beautiful quilted cover (think beautiful monochromatic gray- not patchwork) and we use that year round.

Good for you for splurging on something that is beautiful and makes your life easier!

Katy
http://www.alittledailyhappiness.com

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19.August.2015

Haha ~ I get all huffy/puffy/sweaty when making up the two daybeds in our kiddos bedrooms. Great space-savers but the back edge is a real pain to get things tucked in!
~Leah

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replied on August 19th, 2015

We have daybeds as well and I think there are a pain to make. I gave up tucking in bedding on the backside most days. That only gets done now when we have overnight guests who will be sleeping in there.

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19.August.2015

I think the point of the European Size it to prevent you from needing to tuck excess comforter over the side of the bunk? That makes total sense for bunk beds!! 59″x78″ roughly.

I’ve got a few guesses on not needing the duvet clips anymore, but I won’t speculate there.

Thanks for sharing another great Etsy resource!

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replied on August 20th, 2015

Yes! Much less tucking due to the smaller size and much less shifting of the comforter inside the duvet cover since it actually FITS. Hope that makes sense.

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19.August.2015

Don’t understand what’s better or why you don’t need the clips anymore.

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replied on August 20th, 2015

European sizing is narrower and shorter than what you typically find here in the U.S. The European duvet covers actually FIT the comforters so no comforter clips are needed to hold the corners in place. Sorry for the confusion!

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20.August.2015

So does that mean you are washing the duvet covers once a week with the sheet?

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replied on August 20th, 2015

I wish! It’s more like every 3-4 weeks. Probably not what Martha recommends but I’m not beating myself up about it.

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20.August.2015

Love how these make the bunk bed look! So chic! And yay for being easy to make! Wondering what you are using inside these duvet covers? Also, on the Etsy site there are duvets listed as Australian sizes…is that what you purchased? Thanks again for another fabulous idea!!!

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replied on August 20th, 2015

I use Ikea down comforters inside the duvet covers. I have two (one for each bunk) for warmer months (lower warmth rating) and two for colder months (higher warmth rating).

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20.August.2015

How do you keep the white linens clean? I have a white cotton duvet cover that just gets dirty over the years.

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replied on August 20th, 2015

I use OxiClean powder in the wash with the bed linens to keep them white.

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Emma S
replied on August 21st, 2015

Thanks for the tip!

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21.August.2015

Being German, I frankly cannot see what the problem is: why not use fitted sheets with elastic bands (no clips necessary), then fold the duvet once over and just lay it on the bed. We never tuck in the bedding. Your boys can make their beds in seconds.
When we use European-sized duvets and the respective duvet cover there never is a mess; don’t the American-sized duvets and duvet covers go together?
Oh, and a flat sheet is unknown here and in a double bed everyone has their own duvet – but this would take things too far …
On another note: let me say how much I adore your house!
Greetings from Petra

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replied on August 21st, 2015

Even with the elastic on the fitted sheets, my boys are able to wrestle them loose in their sleep. I joke that they swim in their sleep! Frequently readjusting the fitted sheet on the top bunk is a nightmare, so I use the sheet clips to keep it in place. (I don’t use sheet clips on the bottom bunk just because it’s easier to access.) With the European-sized duvet covers, tucking isn’t really necessary anymore…it speeds up bed making for sure! Folding over the duvet is a great idea. I might try that.

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21.August.2015

Oh Dana, I’m a long time reader. Seriously, look up Beddy’s bedding.. I’ve had one on my daughter’s day bed for two months now. Worth.every.penny!

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23.August.2015

God Bless you, Dana, for being so patient with the explanation of your duvet post and responses!!!
I felt as though this was dialoque with me and my in-laws!!!!
Some times our ideas come across differently to others and you patiently took the time to explain… thank you:)

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23.August.2015

Hi Dana,
Thanks so much for this info, it’s obviously useful to lots of us out here! I’m interested in purchasing euro sized single duvet covers for my boys now that you’ve mentioned it. I’m wondering if you happen to know of any other sources for them that you wouldn’t mind sharing? I thought maybe you came across some others any other sources when you were searching. Thanks again!

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24.August.2015

If you have an existing duvet cover you love that is a little big for your duvet, you can take it to a seamstress or dry-cleaner and have them run a seam around on the inside (on the top and the two sides) to make the cover fit more tightly. Cost me about $20 and eliminated the empty corner syndrome that so tormented me!

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replied on August 31st, 2015

That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

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Those bunk beds are cool! They are the perfect choice if you want to maximize your space. Those bunk beds is for those who want to organize and maintain a room that is clean, spacious and functional. Thanks for sharing!

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28.August.2015

What type of mattresses did you use for the bunk beds?

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replied on August 31st, 2015

One mattress is from a local mattress store back when we lived in Illinois and our oldest transitioned from the crib. The other is an Ikea mattress. Both are standard twins. The Ikea one is more comfortable!

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replied on September 3rd, 2015

I recently purchased Ikea twin mattresses for my son’s bunk beds. The bed itself is not from Ikea, and apparently the Ikea mattresses are not standard US sizes. The mattress was a couple of inches short on each side. I should have looked at the measurements but I trusted it would fit since it was labeled “twin”. I was able to return the unopened one, and replaced it with a twin mattress from Walmart. Walmart’s mattress was the same price and is WAY more comfortable.

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replied on September 3rd, 2015

Hmmm…We have an Ikea mattress and a non-Ikea mattress (purchased ~10 years ago) on the bunks and they’re the same. I guess it would be wise to check measurements before buying!

31.August.2015

This is so good to know!!! I have a USA King linen duvet cover on my King comforter and the shift drives me nuts. I don’t know why there is literally 2 feet of room on the side?!?!

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31.August.2015

What type of mattresses did you use for the bunk beds? Ikea?

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replied on August 31st, 2015

One is a twin mattress we bought from a local mattress place when we lived in Illinois many years ago. We bought an Ikea twin mattress when Everett moved out of his crib. We use both on the bunk. The Ikea one is more comfortable!

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01.September.2015

This is really nice! It reminds me when I was little and I always though about twin mattress with my sister.

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14.November.2015

Hi–I went to the etsy site for the linen duvet covers, and I was wondering if you got the off white? They look pretty bright white to me in your photos, but on her site, she only lists “off white-Ivory”. Just curious! Don’t want to have to ship them back, and really don’t want anything on the “cream” spectrum! Thanks–

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replied on November 16th, 2015

Ours are the white.

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