The term ‘Household Linen’ encompasses all the things we use at home that are made of fabric. This includes your Bed linen (bed sheets, mattress covers, pillowcases, blankets) Table linen (tea towels, table cloth, table napkin) Curtains and draperies, Bathroom linen (Bath towels, face towels, hand towels, washcloth, shower curtain) Kitchen linen (oven mitt, apron, dishcloth, hand towels). Here is a ready reckoner for their dimensions and the number of items you should ideally have.
Disclaimer: I used the term ‘ideally’ but there is nothing ideal in real life, so these are all subjective figures. These numbers are all subject to your preferences, space to store, exact dimensions of things at home and of course, budget.
Fitted bedsheet (top sheet), Flat bedsheet, 2 or 3 pillowcases, Quilts/ bedspread, blanket and a bed skirt – this is the ideal set you need for a bed.
Bedsheet sets (Fitted bedsheet, flat bedsheet, 2 pillowcases) – 3 pairs per bed; 1 extra fancy sheet for guest.
A fitted sheet covers the bed mattress with tucked corners and elastic along the four corners so that the mattress is not at all exposed. The flat sheet is used on top of the fitted bedsheet, as a top sheet. It can be tucked under the mattress or left as it is, because it is typically shorter along the sides.
Blankets – 1 lightweight blanket for the summer and 1 winter weight for cold nights. Comforters can be used as a winter blanket. Comforter is a thick bedding topper filled with a synthetic filling or goose father /down – it is used as a blanket. Duvet is another name for a comforter. Actually Duvet cover is the term used to refer to the cover you can make to cover your comforter. Quilt is another option. A quilt is a coverlet made with 3 layers – a top, inner batting, and bottom – they can be made lightweight or heavyweight according to the thickness of the inner batting used.
Bedspreads are decorative sheets used as bedding topper to cover the bed wholly including the pillows and extend down, maybe till the floor. It is used as a decorative cover and to prevent dust from settling on the bedsheets, in the daytime. You have to remove the bedspreads when you use the bed at night and keep it folded somewhere else. It is then spread in the morning when you get up. You can have a fitted bedspread (which is tailored to fit the bed with split corners or gussets or tucks), or throw style bedspread or the regular bedspread which has an extra 20-24″ drop from the top of the bed to the floor. A bedspread can also double up as a blanket.
Number of Bedspreads to have per bed – 2
Size of bedspreads: For Queen and King beds – 110″ x 102″; For twin and double beds – 71″ x 98″
Mattress covers – 2 pairs per bed ; Extra pair of pillowcases – 2 sets per pillowsham; Duvet covers, comforters, mattress pads, throws – as needed.
Throws are small blankets. Size of a throw can be 51″ x 67 “
A bed skirt is optional but it is very useful as it covers the portion under your bed with pretty fabric. But skip this, if you live in a place with lots of dust as they will collect all the dust and debris when you sweep the floor.
26″ square pillow shams /cushions can be used as decorations on bed or to rest your back as you sit up in the bed. They are called Euro shams. Throw pillows are small cushions in sizes like 14 inch square, 18 inch sqaure etc.
Bath towels – 6 ; A bath towel may be of sizes 25″ x 48″ or 27″ x 52″ or 30″ x 58″. Oversized bath towels (also called bath sheets) can be as big as 40″ x 70″.
Hand towels – 12 ; These are of sizes from 16″ x 28″ to 18″ x 30″. Finger towels are slightly smaller than hand towels. They can be folded and kept on a tray on the bathroom counter.
Guest towels – 3
Bathmats per bathroom – 2
Shower curtain, washcloths as needed. A wash cloth is typically made as small as a 4.5 inch square or 12 inch square.
Shower curtain size = Regular shower curtain = 72″ x 72″ ; Large shower curtain = 108″ x 72″
Table napkins – 24 numbers
Cocktail napkin size – 12″ x 12″; Luncheon napkin size is 14″ x 14″ or 18″ x 18″ ; Dinner Napkin size is 16″ x 16″ or 22″ x 22″
Table cloth – 2 numbers
Sizes of table clothes are 52″ X 52″; 52″ x 70″ ; 60″ x 84″; 60″ x 102″ ; 60″ x 120″; 60″ x 144″; this depends on the table size.
Dishtowels – 12 numbers. Ideal Sizes – 14″ x 14″ ; 16″ x 24″ ; 20″ x 28″
Apron – 2 numbers.