Bedsheets, but Spanish: Need-to-Know Vocab for Buying Bedsheets in Spain

Programs for this blog post

Teach In Spain Program

Authored By:

Sydney W.

Picture this: I’ve been in Spain for four days, and I’m moving into an apartment that night. I’m standing in the ‘bedroom’ section of El Corte Inglés, where I’ve been for the last 45 minutes. Despite studying Spanish for nine years, I have no idea what the words in front of me mean, and they don’t appear to have sheets that are the exact size of my mattress. 

Getting a Spanish phone number? Can do. Figuring out the metro system? Sure. Buying bed linens? Uhh…help

To spare you this experience, I’ve compiled a guide to buying bedsheets in Spain. May it make your move-in process más fácil.



The three sizes typical in Spain are 135, 150, and 180 cm. This refers to the width of the sheets. My bed is about the size of a twin or single, and so I bought 135cm sheets. They’re actually a bit big for my mattress, but that’s the smallest sheet size that I could find. 



These are your need-to-know words when you go to buy your bedsheets. I knew about four of them before that day in El Corte Inglés *cries in Spanish*. 

Sábana bajera: fitted sheet

Sábana encimera: top sheet

Funda de almohada: pillowcase

Almohada: pillow

Juego de cama: sheet set (usually includes a fitted sheet, a top sheet, and two pillowcases)

Funda nórdica: duvet/duvet cover*

Colcha: bedspread**

Colchón: mattress

Manta: blanket

Edredón: duvet/quilt***

Algodón: cotton

Lino: linen

Hilos: threads (you’ll often see something like “144 hilos”, which tells you the thread count)

*Think of a big, puffy comforter that has a removable cover. They’re very warm, which is why I didn’t buy one. I got through the winter just fine with a fleece blanket on top of my sheets, and the heat here really is brutal, so it’s completely unnecessary in late spring and summer. If you’re interested, here is a link to an article that explains the difference between comforters, duvets, and duvet covers. 

**it’s like a flatter comforter, similar to what you’d find in a Travelodge. 

***this isn’t a quilt quilt, but a quilted duvet kind of thing. It’s thinner and less puffy than a ‘funda nórdica’. The word literally translates as “eiderdown”, which I had to look up. We can add it to the list of English words that I learned because of Spanish; see also “crampon” and “cetacean”.


I hope that this guide will make buying your sheets a much easier experience than mine was. (It really wasn’t that bad; I was short-circuiting because of all the options and unknown vocab, and I was tired. But still.)


Wishing you un buen descanso,