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What Is A Top Sheet And Do You Need One?

Bed sheets are the simplest bedding items compared to other pieces such as pillowcases, quilts, duvet covers, and comforters. Yet, they carry the heaviest work in making our bed cozy and comfortable to sleep on without intricate designs.

a gray sheet set including a fitted sheet, a flat sheet and matching pillowcases

Speaking of bed sheets, most of us will think of a flat sheet or a fitted sheet made of various fabrics like cotton or Tencel. It’s doubtless that flat sheets and fitted sheets are must-have bed linen items. However, there’s still another member of the bed sheets family, the top sheet.

Once a staple piece of the bedding, the top sheet has become a hot debate in recent years. What is a top sheet? Do you need it or not? Let’s explore the functions, pros and cons of the top sheet to make your own choice.


What is a Top Sheet?

a white top sheet under the duvet

Many people, younger generation in particular, may not even know what a top sheet is, since it is apparently a dying trend during the past years. Let’s make it simple and clear. A top sheet refers to an oversized flat sheet that lies between you and your blanket, quilt, comforter or duvet cover while you sleep. Like a typical flat sheet, it comes in many fabrics such as cotton, linen, Tencel, silk or blended materials.

The main purpose of a top sheet is to protect your blanket, quilt, comforter or duvet cover from the dirt and bacteria your body shed during the night. In such a case, it helps keep your other bedding clean longer, so you don’t have to wash them frequently.


The Pros and Cons of  a Top Sheet

a gray top sheet

The Pros of Using a Top Sheet                          

Keeping Hygienic

Humans are shedding dead skins cells and sweating over the night, and the top sheet will take all the dirt away. As long as you wash and replace it regularly, your bed will be less likely to breed much bacteria over time.

Preserving Bedding Covers

As the top sheet prevents you from touching the bedding covers directly, they will stay cleaner for a longer time and need less washing, further prolonging their service life.

Regulating Temperature

In a cold climate, a top sheet can add an extra layer of warmth to your bed. While in warm months or for hot sleepers, a single top sheet will act as a breathable and cool cover over your body.


The Cons of Using a Top Sheet

Tangled Sheet on the Bed

The top sheet will not always stay in place between you and the blanket, quilt, comforter or duvet. Instead, if you move or even toss and turn a lot at night, you are prone to get entangled in the sheet. That will definitely bring you an uncomfortable sleeping experience.

Extra Work of Making Bed

As an extra bedding layer, the top sheet may add more work in making your bed, especially when it gets tangled under other bedding. In those cases, making your bed every morning becomes less easy and time-consuming.

Waste of Time and Comfortable Fabrics

Suppose you have an exceptionally fluffy and soft duvet. Unfortunately, the top sheet creates a barrier between you and the duvet, so you seldom touch it. Let’s say you truly find a soft and comfy tops sheet, yet it may move down to your feet and ends up bunched up at the bottom of the bed. Now you need to take time to wash this sheet that neither offers you comfort nor keeps your duvet cover clean.


Overall, whether to use a top sheet depends on your own sleeping habits and preferences. Also, it may have different usages in warm and cold seasons. So, think before you use or ditch a top sheet. What do you need it for and will it really do the job you want?



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  • Posted on Eliana

    I only use top sheet in winter so that I don’t need to change the duvet cover frequently.

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