The Layered Bed Trend and the History of White Sales

When I was a kid I remember my mother getting excited for white sales during the month of January. What I never understood is why January was the chosen month for sheets, quilts, and other bedding to go on sale. Today, a layered bed style is trending and creates opportunity to be more creative. Layers mean more pillows and blankets, which means that January is a good month to make bedding purchases when you can take advantage of the discounts. (This post contains affiliate links – see my privacy policy.)

rustic country bedroom with paneled wallsPhoto by Conrad Brothers Construction

I’m completely smitten by the layered bed trend. It feels so warm and cozy and is perfect for the fall and winter seasons. The bedroom above pairs a variety of patterns in soft earth tones. Just lovely!

Below, the pastel tones prove that layering works in spring and summer, too. If you don’t trust yourself to mix patterns, using a monochromatic approach might be the way to go. Everything blends so well in this pale blue and white bedroom.

white Jenny Lind bed in pale blue bedroomPhoto by Phoebe Howard


The walls in an industrial style bedroom are kept plain, allowing the mixed textiles to take center stage. 

Industrial style bedroom with 4-poster canape bedPhoto by Kim Gordon Designs


Another approach to try if you’re a little shy when mixing patterns and colors, is to keep your comforter and blankets in solid, similar colors. You can introduce bolder patterns and colors through the use of pillows. 

Classic country style bedroomPhoto by Kate Jackson Design


A French country bedroom features layers of linen pillows and bedding. The look is subtle and elegant.

Neutral French style bedroomPhoto by Avenue Design


A cozy under-the-eaves bedroom enjoys a layered look in the same color family. Light brown walls add to the warmth of the space.

country style brown bedroomPhoto by Kate Jackson Design


Designer Sarah Richardson enjoys working with color, as evidenced here in one of her bedrooms. She pairs a white and yellow quilt with striped and floral pillows, while the curtains sport a geometric pattern. 

Traditional colorful bedroom in the tropicsPhoto by Sarah Richardson Design


This rustic bedroom features my idea of a layered bed. A big puffy comforter folded on top of a beautiful quilt. During the winter months, I like my bedroom to be cold with plenty of blankets to keep me warm. I have a weighted blanket which is equivalent to having several blankets. 

Blue and white bedding in rustic bedroomPhoto by Miller-Roodell Architects Ltd


Here’s another bright and cheery bedroom that proves you can have a layered bed during spring and summer.

Pale blue and green cottage style bedroomPhoto by Robinson Residential Design


So I did manage to find out that the first white sale was started in 1878 by famed Philadelphia department store owner, John Wanamaker. White bed linens were put on sale during the month of January to boost post-Christmas sales. Today, the sales aren’t limited to white bedding only, and often include other household items. 


I found lots of pretty quilts, comforters, and sheets – most of which are currently on sale. It’s always fun to buy new bedding, even if it’s just a new set of sheets. Click on any of the images for sources on where to buy.



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  1. I Love the layered look but struggle with it as I can never figure the sequence…quilt on top, duvet neatly folder at the foot of the bed or duvet on the bed with quilt folded at the end of the bed! Also, what do I do with all those extra pillows when I’m sleeping? I don’t want to just throw them on the floor & no chair to pile them in!!!

  2. Lovely article. Having a comfortable bed, visually and physically, is really important to me. You reminded me of my gran and mum shopping the linen sales. Thanks.

  3. Since we spend at least 6 to 8 hours in bed, I love to have the bed look inviting, crisp and cozy. I layer and change out my duvets, quilts and shams for the seasons. It makes me so happy to see a beautiful bedroom.

  4. I love the layered look and have fun changing blankets/quilts around, for my bed. Just like you I like a cool room to sleep in with lots of layers, I have my vent shut off. It’s so nice to be cold and get in the bed, makes for sleeping better.

  5. A layered bed with the heat on low is the best way for me to sleep. Who else has has someone complaining it’s too cold though!? I close the vents only to hear it’s harmful to the furnace..ugh!….
    I’m always hunting some soft fluffy bed toppings..especially in velvet right now.

  6. Linens are my biggest weakness. I love to cozy up in a bed with lots of patterns and textures and layers. And I agree with you, Jennifer, cold room, lots of blankets. What’s more inviting than a pretty bed?