Fitted Sheet vs. Flat Sheet

Bed sheets are an important component to creating the best and most comfortable sleep space — aside from the mattress itself, of course. But, with so many different types and materials to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start or what the difference is between all of them — specifically a flat sheet vs. fitted sheet.

Flat sheets (also known as top sheets) have been around since as early as the 15th century, but as of recently, they have become a topic of debate. Many people are beginning to wonder whether or not they’re necessary.

Ultimately, when it comes to top sheet bedding and the choice to use a top sheet vs. flat sheet, the choice is up to you and your comfort. So you can make the best choice for your sleep needs, we’ve outlined the basics on top sheets vs. flat sheets and why you should always keep your bedding in top-notch condition:

The Great Debate: Top Sheet vs. Fitted Sheet

What is a fitted sheet?

Often times, it can be confusing which sheet is which and what the proper name is for each. However, one easy way to remember the difference is to understand the function of each type of sheet. First, fitted sheets cover the mattress. Fitted sheets feature elastic in each corner to help to hold the fabric tight around the mattress so that it doesn’t budge or come up while you’re sleeping. In addition to providing you with some added comfort, fitted sheets also serve as another layer of protection for your mattress (always protect your investment with a mattress protector).

What is a top sheet?

While fitted sheets are a must, many sleepers choose to go sans top sheet and just sleep with a blanket or comforter. If you’re a top sheet kind of person though, you likely know the comfort of sleeping with a little extra layer of softness and protection.

Unlike a fitted sheet, top sheets are rectangular in shape and go on top of your bed and over the fitted sheet but underneath a duvet, quilt or comforter. They serve to keep you comfortable throughout the night and protect your blanket or duvet from getting dirty.

Why should I use a top sheet?

Recently, millennials are making the news for changing the way that they set up their bedding by eliminating their top sheets all together and only sleeping with the fitted sheet and a duvet.

While sleeping without a top sheet eliminates a step in the bed-making process and leaves you with less laundry to deal with, it also takes away a layer of protection between yourself and your duvet cover or comforter, which means you will need to wash your duvet cover or comforter more frequently.

Over time, bacteria can build up if you don’t wash your bedding, whether you use a top sheet or not, so be sure to wash your bedding at least every two weeks (and your pillowcases every week).

Top sheets can also add more comfort to your sleep space as they can provide a smoother and cooler sensation than just a regular comforter or blanket. Not to mention, during the summer months, having layers that you can fold down or kick off when you get too hot provides another added bonus.

Whether or not you decide to join the trend and ditch your flat sheet is up to you; however, keep in mind all of the pros and cons associated with each different way to sleep. And, if you’re in need of some new bedding accessories, check out our selection any time at MattressFirm.com.

About The Author

The Daily Dozers The Daily Dozers are the mattress experts behind The Daily Doze, pooling their knowledge to bring you all that you need to know about what’s right under your head (literally). The Daily Dozers are team members who have been embedded in the mattress industry for years, whether that’s at one of our thousands of neighborhood stores, or in our hometown of Houston at BedQuarters. These product experts can answer any question you might have about your bed. From ‘what size mattress do I need for my room?’ to ‘how do I know if I need an adjustable base?’ – there’s no topic too tired for The Daily Dozers. Even better? The Daily Dozers work together with The Savvy Savers to make sure you’re getting the bed you want, at a price you can’t find anywhere else.

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