Summary. Background: A quantitative description of bleeding symptoms in type 1 von Willebrand disease (VWD) has never been reported. Objectives: The aim was to quantitatively evaluate the severity of bleeding symptoms in type 1 VWD and its correlation with clinical and laboratory features. Patients and methods: Bleeding symptoms were retrospectively recorded in a European cohort of VWD type 1 families, and for each subject a quantitative bleeding score (BS) was obtained together with phenotypic tests. Results: A total of 712 subjects belonging to 144 families and 195 controls were available for analysis. The BS was higher in index cases than in affected family members (BS 9 vs. 5, P < 0.0001) and in unaffected family members than in controls (BS 0 vs. −1, P < 0.0001). There was no effect of ABO blood group. BS showed a strong significant inverse relation with either von Willebrand ristocetin cofactor (VWF:RCo), von Willebrand antigen (VWF:Ag) or factor VIII procoagulant activity (FVIII:C) measured at time of enrollment, even after adjustment for age, sex and blood group (P < 0.001 for all the four upper quintiles of BS vs. the first quintile, for either VWF:RCo, VWF:Ag or FVIII:C). Higher BS was related with increasing likelihood of VWD, and a mucocutaneous BS (computed from spontaneous, mucocutaneous symptoms) was strongly associated with bleeding after surgery or tooth extraction. Conclusions: Quantitative analysis of bleeding symptoms is potentially useful for a more accurate diagnosis of type 1 VWD and to develop guidelines for its optimal treatment.