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What is a Dust Ruffle?

Shannon Kietzman
Shannon Kietzman

A dust ruffle is a piece of cloth that runs along the bottom perimeter of a bed. It serves largely as a decorative piece, but can also help prevents dust from collecting beneath the bed.

Dust ruffles may be used on any size bed, including on a crib. Regardless of the bed it is used on, the ruffle should match the comforter and pillowcases. In some cases, it may also be designed to match the curtains used in the bedroom. The theme used in the color and design of the dust ruffle may also be used in other areas of the room. For example, if there is a chair in the room, it may also include a piece of cloth around its bottom perimeter that matches the one used on the bed.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

A dust ruffle may be attached to a bed in several ways. Some use a sort of spandex inlay that allows them to be stretched out around the bed, similar to the way the corners of the bottom sheet on the bed are stretched over the corners of the mattress. Others may also simply wrap around the bed and connect with themselves at one location, though it can be difficult to obtain a tight fit with this type.

Another variation of this decor makes use of Velcro. In this case, both the bed and the dust ruffle have Velcro located at intermittent points. When pushed together, the Velcro pieces help hold the ruffle in place.

Less commonly, the term dust ruffle is used to refer to a ruffle of cloth sewn to the inside bottom hem of a full-length skirt or petticoat. In this use, the cloth is designed to prevent the clothing from getting dirty or worn out. This type of dust ruffle was most popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Discussion Comments


You know, I love my dust ruffle because it adds a finished quality to my bedding, and the overall decoration of my bedroom. However, I love it even more because it actually is a great little dust catcher.

We have cherry hardwood floors, and they are simply beautiful! They are also unbeatable dust magnets! Especially in hard to reach places like under furniture, and in particular my bed.

The bed skirt not only keeps a lot of that dust out of there, but it also hides the little bits that do escape!


I have a very large, very tall, very high four poster bed. As a result, I have had a very difficult time finding a dust ruffle that actually fits the way that it should. They are always too short, and they never fit around the footboard of the bed.

Is it acceptable to add a bed skirt or dust ruffle that matches underneath the top one for a layered look and to cut and hem the bottom corners so that it lays flat instead of bunched up on the bed rails?

I love my bed – it is a gorgeous mahogany with a lovely canopy. But the problem with the dust ruffle takes away from the whole appearance.


I cannot find a dust ruffle with a zipper. Please tell me where to find one.


Dust ruffle or bed skirt, they are one and the same, I imagine? Well, they do come also with a zipper, a very long zipper. It makes it easier to remove for washing. No need to move the mattress around.

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