I have encountered this totally useless object at several hotels and motels recently, so there must be a name (phrase or word) for it in the hotel/motel industry.

If it covered the entire surface of the bed, it would be a bedspread, but I estimate it covers only the bottom 20% to 25% of the bed. The term that popped into my mind was bedspread bikini, but a bikini, however sparing of material, covers both the bottom and the top with a large gap in the middle. Bedspread monokini? It resembles a scarf more than a bathing suit, so maybe Bed foot-scarf? But foot scarf doesn't make any sense.

Rather than fanciful words or phrases, I'd really like to know what the hotel industry calls this truncated beadspread-oid thingie.

Obligatory Sentence:

What is the purpose of this __________ covering the foot of the bed?

@StoneyB says it is a bed runner. The picture in his link is not exactly what I saw recently. What I saw covered the entire foot of the bed and fell to the floor on each side -- I don't remember if it fell to the floor at the foot. And in one case, it was on top of a bedspread. He has probably given the correct answer, and bed runners are just getting larger.

  • 4
    It's a bed runner. Its purpose is addressed on SE here. May 10, 2017 at 17:45
  • Valance. It's called a Valance.
    – user235511
    May 10, 2017 at 20:46
  • My wife and I just call it a "bed skirt"
    – John
    May 10, 2017 at 21:48
  • 1
    ^ To save clicking on the above link: according to the answers there, its purpose is that it allegedly “will enhance the appearance”. May 10, 2017 at 22:53
  • The U.S. Army refers to it as a 'dust cover', whether that adds anything to the discussion.
    – SSG_M
    May 10, 2017 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


It's called a bed scarf or sometimes partial coverlet or possibly (as StoneyB notes in comments) a bed runner. From The Linen Gallery Blog:

A bed scarf is just that — a two foot by 8 foot piece of fabric or a knit throw that is meant to go at the foot of the bed. It is suppose to be functional in that it protects the bedding when someone lays down on top of it with shoes or puts a piece of luggage on it. ("What's a Bed Scarf?", July 1, 2010)

As suggested by this definition, there is an ostensibly practical purpose for the bed scarf; another travel blogger notes that

The first time I noticed a bed scarf was in a cabin on a ship. Since space is tight in a stateroom, most passengers heave their suitcase on top of the bed to unpack. Functional rather than pretty, that ship's bed scarf was a strip of vinyl placed to protect the bedspread from being soiled by dirt that the wheelse [sic] and bottom of luggage may have picked up during transit. (Susan Breslow Sardone, "What is a Bed Scarf? Do You Know Its Purpose?", About Travel, October 25, 2016)

However, they are now very often primarily decorative. The Home Shopping Network's bedding glossary emphasizes the decorative purpose:

Bed Scarf– Fabric accessory that drapes across the bottom of a comforter or other bed covering for a decorative effect

You can see many examples, especially of the decorative variety, with a Google Image Search:

Google Image search results for phrase "bed scarf" depicting various beds with colorful strips of fabric or knits across the foot

  • 21
    That just about covers it. May 10, 2017 at 19:56
  • 14
    @EdwinAshworth Or at least about 25% of it. May 10, 2017 at 21:54
  • 2
    @JanusBahsJacquet Surely closer to a third, at least?
    – 1006a
    May 10, 2017 at 23:44
  • 2
    IMO, the most decorative object one can have on a bed is a cat, but this is not practical (or humane) for the hotel industry.
    – ab2
    May 11, 2017 at 4:23
  • 1
    Nor for keeping your shoes off the bed. May 11, 2017 at 10:10

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