Many people also refer to a bed skirt as a valance, and it’s a very appealing piece of fabric that goes around your mattress’s perimeter. It looks exactly like the name suggests, and it gives the appearance of your bed having a skirt. Bed skirts are a very popular way to display your individual style, and they’re not a new design. You can easily go for a bed skirt alternative to dress up the room even more if you don’t find traditional bed skirts to your liking.
Minimalism has gained a huge amount of popularity in the interior design world, and many people have chosen to skip the bed skirt alternatives and bed skirts entirely to get a more streamlined and modern look. They’ve also started to lose the general appeal due to the outdated look. However, a big benefit is that they seamlessly hide the mattress and whatever else you have under the bed. So, if you want to store things or you have a box spring that you don’t want on display, you need a solution.
If you’re trying to get a refreshing or modern touch to your bedroom, consider picking out a bed skirt alternative. There are several stylish designs available that can boost how your room looks without breaking your budget, and we’re going to outline them for you below.
Defining a Bed Skirt
A bed skirt wraps around your bed frame and box spring or mattress to prevent dust and allergens from building up and add a little flair. Most bed skirts come with a strong elastic band that makes it easy to put it around your bed without having to physically lift the mattress.
This skirt can be made out of flowy, soft fabrics like rayon, poly-cotton, viscose, or linen, or it can feature more sturdy fabrics like poplin, wool tweed, or duck cloth. The lighter fabric will give you a ruffled look while the heavy fabric will make the skirt look like it’s pleated or straight and structured to create a styled and clean look.
It also has a necessary function of keeping dust from building up under the bed while concealing any space under the bed that you may want to use for storage. It has a decorative function when you match it to other furnishings in your room. There are several types of bed skirts and bed skirt alternatives you can choose from, and they all differ in terms of color, styles, fabric, and installation.
1. Bed Skirt Wrap Around
The first bed skirt alternative on the list is one that wraps around. It’s easy and quick to find, and you can make your own using a fitted sheet. Another option is to order it online. It allows you to hide the space under the bed along with the frame of your bed and the box frame. It comes in a huge range of colors and patterns, and they’re cheap to make them a cost-effective choice. You can change them out right along with the bedsheets in a quick swap as part of your routine.
You don’t have to list the mattress to fit this bed skirt alternative on either. You can stretch them right over the mattress and adjust them into place. It’s a great way to add to the decor, and they’re easy to replace or buy multiples of to change up the look. However, the elastic can stretch out over time and they can shift or slide. They don’t have splits at the corners, and this can eventually tear. You’ll have to check your bed’s size and take care of the elastic to ensure that they last.
Also, this bed skirt alternative isn’t meant to wrap around the outside of your bed’s frame. They fit on the box spring and mattresses when you have a metal frame. They also don’t extend beyond the sides of these parts of your bed.
2. Box Spring Cover or Encasement
An encasement or box spring cover is a device that comes designed to protect the box spring. It can help seal out dust mites and bed bugs, and it shields your surface from spills, stains, and accidents. By limiting how much moisture reaches your box spring, the covers prevent mildew and mold growth.
However, you can also use it as a bed skirt alternative. The benefit of using this system is that it gives you a semi-permanent solution of not needing to ever adjust the bed skirt. It covers the box spring while being neatly tucked, and it requires little to no maintenance. Although this bed skirt alternative isn’t as cost-effective as some of the options on the list, it’s a very effective choice for anyone who wants to avoid using a traditional bed skirt altogether.
3. Box Spring Gift Wrap
This is a fun bed skirt alternative that you can do during the holidays. The idea is that your box spring will look like a wrapped gift when you finish. It’s a way to create Christmas morning on your bed, but you can swap it out for the whole year. Or, you can enhance that special holiday feeling by holding off and only doing it on the holidays. However, it may not seem extremely exciting because it’s a decent amount of work.
There is very little maintenance involved, and you can buy them online too. You can pick out several different colors and patterns to go with your display. All you have to do is measure your box spring and cut the paper to fit. Make sure you leave overlapping paper for the top and bottom so you can fold it over and secure it. You want to be careful not to rip the paper, and you may need to use a combination of tape and pins to ensure that it stays in place. There should be no wrinkles in the paper.
If you’re after a unique bed skirt alternative, you can use a window valance or drapery to create a very dramatic look. You can find it in virtually every fabric type in a huge range of colors, styles, and patterns. It’s easy to install using box spring pins, and you can change it frequently as your design styles change. Also, it’s easy to adjust the length to be as long or short as you want.
You should be aware that the pinning can eventually come loose, and this can cause the bed skirt alternative to sag. To prevent this, you should invest in high-quality upholstery pins. Finding the right height is tricky with this material because it’s usually much heavier than a traditional bed skirt.
Curtains make surprising bed skirt alternatives, but you can get in a huge range of colors, patterns, and flat or ruffled designs. Cromwell Bedroom – Stan Hywet – 2014-11-25 by Tim Evanson / CC BY-SA 2.0
5. DIY Bed Skirt
If you like to use your hands and imagination to get crafty, this DIY bed skirt alternative can be a fun project to tackle. A little bit of sewing can help your project move along at a nice pace to create a custom bed skirt. You want to pick a fabric that works for daily use to start. It could be old duvet covers, sheets, or linens. If you’re someone who likes buying fabric by the yard, you can do that too. Find something that matches your room’s decor and that speaks to you. It’s also possible to go with a solid color, and if you get variations in one color, you can change it when you change your bed sheets.
You do have to be comfortable sewing fabric with this bed skirt alternative. There are dozens of tutorials on the internet that are free to follow, but you want to pick something that works with your bed frame size, fabric choice, and decor. Pick out a design that goes well with the style and fabric you picked. It could be ruffled, flat, or scalloped, or you could make it very fancy.
This is a more time-consuming project, and you have to double-check all of your measurements. If you’re a DIYer, you already know this though. However, if you’re going to change your bedding, you will most likely have to make another one to match.
6. Fitted Sheets
When you’re trying to come up with bed skirt alternatives, it’s easy to skip the simple things that you have on-hand. A nicely fitted sheet might not give you the flair for dramatic that the bed skirt does, but it’s a nice substitute to consider. However, first things first. It’s not a perfect alternative because it won’t cover the frame or the empty space underneath the bed. However, it has advantages over a traditional bed skirt.
You also don’t need anything extra, and there’s no going to look for tools or worrying about fixing it if something happens. You can accomplish this project sitting at home, and there’s nothing you have to go out and buy. You’ll end up with a modern, elegant, and minimalist look. The space also looks more sleek if your box spring isn’t attractive and hidden. All you have to do is find the sheet that will fit the box spring well to stop it from sagging. This will happen if you have an oversized sheet, and you’ll constantly be adjusting it.
It’s also possible to match your sheet with the drapes or comforter to create a seamless look. It covers the box spring’s print when you get the size right. You can easily match it to any color scheme you have, and you can wash it easily in the washing machine when it comes time to switch it out. However size is key, and you have to be okay with the fact that the bed frame will stay exposed. Depending on the rest of your furniture, it may not be the most elegant finished product. However, it does wonderfully with modern furniture pieces.
7. Flat Sheet
Technically speaking, one of the most cost-effective ways to avoid using a traditional bed skirt is to use a bigger flat sheet. Using an oversized sheet as a bed skirt alternative on a smaller bed is very simple, and all you have to do is purchase a flat sheet that is bigger than the mattress that you’re trying to cover. However, if your bed is a California King, you will need more prep work for it to look nice. Flat sheets also need more frequent adjusting and tend to slip around more. Using lace, embroidery, or other personalization options can really enhance how your flat sheet looks. It’s a fun way to put your DIY skill to the test and make the sheet match your style.
You also don’t have to purchase a lot of extra material with this option. You can easily take a current flat sheet and turn it into a contemporary and fun bed skirt alternative. For a younger child’s room, a machine or hand embroidered motif could add a personalized touch to your cute design. Even stitched or monogrammed personalized names along the foot of the bed would make it look unique. You can easily find ideas and step-by-step tutorials by searching the internet.
8. Padded Bed Skirts
You can attach an ordinary piece of soft fabric to the box spring on your bed. Pick the color that matches your bedroom decor. It’s possible to use a staple gun to attach the fabric to your box spring to create this bed skirt alternative. If you decide to go with a padded material, you should consider using a lightweight polyester batting and cover it with whatever desired fabric you want. Depending on the materials, this can be a more expensive project to take on, but it gives you a luxurious and soft cover.
9. Velcro Bed Skirts
This is an easy bed skirt alternative, and it’s an option that doesn’t offer many of the drawbacks that a traditional bed skirt has. You won’t have to lift your heavy mattress to get it on the bed either. You can also consider buying anti-shift fabric and making one if you’re DIY-handy. This allows you to save money while making a custom option that matches your style preference, needs, and bed size. You can easily make it out of the stay types of fabric as your bed sheets.
Muslin is a very cost-effective choice that you can pair with whatever trim you like. It goes well with ruffles, lace, or tassels. If you’re not 100% sure what you want, take time to look at a few tutorials to help you decide. You can also add velcro to an existing bed skirt to adhere it into place and fix the shifting issue. It won’t sag or shift with the velcro in place, and it works to keep the box spring and bed frame hidden from view.
Velcro is also easy to get and attach to any material you use for your bed skirt alternative. You can put it wherever you want without an issue, and you can interchange it with other bed skirts. However, the adhesive on your velco is vulnerable to wear and tear unless you sew them on. You’ll also have to carefully place the velcro evenly when you install it, and this can be time-consuming and tedious. It can feel stiff before you wash it, but you won’t feel it when you sleep.
10. Window Valance
If you like recycling things to use them again, this may be a viable bed skirt alternative for you to consider. Window valances can turn into pretty bed skirts, especially if you’re after something that is thicker and heavier than the usually thin material. Window valances make a great bed skirt if you’re after a broad range of styles. They’re very cheap, and all you need is two valances that are the same length. You’ll put one on each side, and you’ll need something shorter for the foot end. When you get them situated, you pin them into place.
This bed skirt alternative works with a wide range of decors, and they’re available in almost any store, locally or online. You can sew them if you have the skills and the time to add folds or ripples. You can also easily swap them out when you redecorate the room. You can choose from different fabrics and styles, more than you have with traditional bed skirts. You do want to measure to ensure you get a good match for your bed spring size. Valances are also usually heavier, so you have to watch the fabric. Since you keep them together with pins, they can sag over time.
11. Wood Bed Skirts
The final bed skirt alternative on the list involves a little work because you’ll make a false frame around your bed. No matter if your box spring is up on metal brackets or sitting right on the ground, you’ll want to build your frame high enough so that it reaches to the top of the box spring to effectively hide it. A lot of metal frames have slots on the head to attach a headboard, and on the foot. You can take advantage of these spaces by adding washers and bolts to keep the wood bed skirt situated.
This is a cheap alternative to going out and buying an expensive wooden frame for your bed or another complicated bed frame type. If you do it correctly, it’ll look the exact same when you finish, especially if you attach a nice headboard.
How to Size a Bed Skirt
Before you build or buy your bed skirt alternative, you want to ensure that you have the correct dimensions. Doing so will ensure that the bed skirt alternative fits nicely without any gaps or wrinkles. Dust ruffles usually come with a 15-inch drop to the floor, and they use the following measurements:
- Twin – 39 inches by 75 inches
- Full – 54 inches by 75 inches
- Queen – 60 inches by 80 inches
- King – 78 inches by 80 inches
- California King – 72 inches by 84 inches
Also, if you go for a higher-end luxury bed skirt alternative, they can attach differently than more affordable options that use a single piece of fabric in the design, like your oversized sheet. Some of the options on the list have three panels, including one for the foot and two for the sides. You may attach them using L-shaped pins to keep them securely in place. It’s also possible to shorten them up to fit more bed sizes.
How to Properly Put on a Bed Skirt
When it comes to putting your bed skirt or bed skirt alternative on, there are a few things that you can do to make the process easier on yourself. Doing so will ensure that you get a sleek finished product that matches your decor.
- Alignment – The first step that you want to take is to line up the panels with the correct side of the bed. Start by laying the shortest panel at the foot of your bed. Then, you want to lay out each of the longer panels on each side of the bed. Starting with the end of your bed, you want to tuck the top panel in-between the box spring and the mattress a little at a time. This allows you to adjust it as you go to fit your bed.
- Insert Pins – Once you get your bed skirt alternative lined up and hanging evenly on all sides, you can affix the panel to the corner edge of your box spring using pins. You want to place pins every 12 inches, so you’ll need three per panel. The pins will tuck right into your box spring’s top and lie flat and out of your line of view. Next, apply your first side panel, being sure that you keep it the same length to the floor from corner to corner. Repeat until you’ve secured all of the panels with pins.
- Make Adjustments – You want to ensure that the bed skirt hangs evenly around the entire bed. Walk around it and make adjustments where you see it hanging unevenly. You may find yourself adjusting the folds of a pleated or ruffled bed skirt alternative to get the perfect look.
- Press – Ironing your bed skirt alternative may not be 100% necessary, but it’ll remove any wrinkles. You’ll get a finished, crisp look if you use it.
Once you get the bed skirt alternative in place, you can finish making your bed with the bedding of your choice.
How to Keep Your Bed Skirt Alternative in Place
We love the look of bed skirt alternatives, but we realize that a big part of enjoying it is to ensure that it stays secured in places so it’s aligned correctly to get the best look possible. We’re going to give you a few quick tips to help you keep everything in place and looking neat.
- Bed Skirt Pins – These pins come specifically designed to keep the paneled bed skirt in place. You can buy them at virtually any store that sells bedding items, or they’re available online. The pins sink down into the box spring to hold everything in place and keep it looking neat without damaging anything.
- Non-Slip Pads – If you’re using a bed skirt that drapes over the edge of the bed, using non-slip pads can help keep it in place. They’re common to add to rugs. All you have to do is cut a one-foot section for the center of each corner of your bed skirt alternative to keep it in place. It’s a nice option to try with beds that don’t have a box spring too.
- Velcro – Velcro tape is another great solution to prevent anything from sliding around, and it works well for people who don’t have a box spring or they have a platform bed. All you have to do is cut the tape into small pieces to secure the bed skirt alternative. Also, this tape makes it easy to remove it to wash it.
We’ve outlined 11 fun bed skirt alternatives you can use if you’re tired of your traditional bed skirt. You can make your own if you’re crafty or use the cost-effective ideas we outlined to create a unique item that effectively hides the area under the bed while keeping the room looking neat.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.