Where do you fall in the debate over top sheets? Many people skip the top sheet to create a more comfortable sleeping experience, but it's also important to consider the flat sheet purpose to make sure you're creating a cozy and hygienic sleep environment.
Flat Sheet Purpose
Top sheets do more than just annoy you when you're trying to get comfortable. Their main purpose is to serve as a barrier between you and your blankets. As you sleep, you can get skin cells, dirt, oil and sweat all over your bedding. By sandwiching the top sheet between your body and your blanket, you keep your blanket more clean.
Most people wash their sheets more often than their blankets. Because of that, you get rid of the build-up of gunk a lot faster when you use a top sheet, assuming you're washing your sheets frequently. Basically, the top sheet serves as a hygienic barrier to keep your blanket from getting gross. However, top sheets still come with disadvantages that many people find annoying.
Difficult to Keep in Place
Fitted sheets have convenient pockets that help them stay in place, but top sheets are completely flat with nothing to secure them. Even if the top sheet starts in the right spot when you go to bed, it's likely to end up shifting throughout the night. Flat sheets, even the best sheets, tend to bunch up at your feet, get twisted or generally mess up the sheet and blanket arrangement while you sleep. Some people don't like waking up in those situations because it takes away from the comfy, cozy feeling of the bed.
More Difficult Bed-Making Process
When you use a top sheet, you add an extra step to the bed-making process. It may not seem like much, but you have to clear everything off the bed to neatly arrange the top sheet on the bed. Then, you have to carefully put your blanket, comforter or quilt on top without shifting the flat sheet. It can be a big hassle.
If you skip the top sheet, making your bed is much easier. You just need to give the blanket a little shake and let it settle into the correct spot. It saves you a lot of time and frustration in the morning.
Extra Bedding Expense
Sheets typically come in sets with the fitted sheet, top sheet and pillowcases, but why pay for the top sheet if you don't plan to use it? You can find the individual sheet components, which means you can get just the fitted sheet and the matching pillowcases. It could save you money on something you don't really need and don't want to use anyway.
Benefits of Using a Top Sheet
Despite the little annoyances, top sheets do come with some perks beyond the hygienic aspect. Adding the flat sheet creates a layered approach, which can help you get to a comfortable sleeping temperature. On a cold night, the sheet gives you a little extra insulation to leave you feeling toasty. On a hot night, you can ditch the blanket completely and just cover up with the top sheet so you don't overheat.
Duvet Cover Alternative Option
If you want to skip the top sheet, a good alternative is using a duvet cover. This comforter cover protects your comforter from all the skin cells, oils and sweat. Using a duvet cover has its own pros and cons to consider.
Pros of Duvet Covers
It's easier to wash a duvet cover than an entire comforter, so you can still keep it clean with less work. The duvet cover essentially serves the same function of protecting the comforter as a top sheet without the hassle of keeping it in place. Since the comforter slips inside the duvet cover, making the bed is easy.
Another perk of using a duvet cover is the versatility of designs. You can easily change the look of your comforter by choosing a new cover with a fun design. Top sheets don't really add to the look of your bed since they're hidden under the blanket.
Cons of Duvet Covers
Duvet covers can be challenging to get back on the comforter after you wash them. You also have to be diligent about washing them to keep your bed clean and fresh. If you find it difficult to wrangle the cover, you may tend to wait longer than you should to wash it.
Shelley Frost combines her love of DIY and writing in her freelance career. She has first-hand experience with tiling, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, installing lighting, roofing and many other home improvement projects. She keeps her DIY skills fresh with regular projects around the house and extensive writing work on the topic.