Do You Need a Top Sheet?
Put simply – yes! You may see adverts with people sleeping directly on the surface of a mattress without a sheet in sight. But think about it for a moment.
Can you put your duvet into the washing machine? Are you happy to wrestle with a duvet cover every week when wash day comes around? And if you use blankets, can you really cope with that scratchy feeling all night long? That’s where a top sheet comes in.
What is a top sheet?
A top sheet (also sometimes known as a flat sheet) is a sheet that goes between you and the duvet or blankets on top. Its purpose is to keep the covers from touching your body as you sleep. They usually come as part of a set of bedding. So, in the average pack, you’ll get a bottom or fitted sheet, one or two pillowcases, and a top sheet.
Top sheets can be made out of almost any material, from brushed cotton that’s warm in the winter, to cool, fresh linen and luxury Egyptian cotton that are cool and comfortable in the summer. It’s a good idea to have ‘seasonal’ sets of bedding to suit the change in temperatures throughout the year.
When should you use a top sheet?
So what is the point of a top sheet? And when should you use one? The simple answer is that it is entirely up to you whether you use one or not. But bear the following points in mind before you consign it to the bottom of the linen cupboard:
- A human being perspires around 26 gallons (yes, gallons!) of sweat into their sheets every year (which is why regular washing is essential)
- You are constantly shedding dead skin cells every night, which build up and can trigger allergies
- Washing a top sheet is a lot easier than washing a duvet cover
- A top sheet gives you an extra layer of warmth in the winter. It can be used on its own on those hot nights in the summer for a cooler sleeping experience.
A top sheet also gives you a layer of softness between you and the upper layers of your bedding. Sometimes, that comforter or quilt may not have the softest texture, and blankets can feel scratchy and irritate your skin. A top sheet protects you while you sleep, giving you a better night’s rest.
However, there are a few cons to using a top sheet:
- It means more washing on laundry day
- It takes a little longer to make your bed
- A top sheet may trap the heat more effectively, which could trigger those night sweats during the summer.
Do you use a top sheet with a duvet cover?
A duvet cover is designed to prevent your duvet from getting dirty and stained. They’re easy to wash and can be changed regularly to suit your mood, the season (with brushed fleece covers giving you extra warmth in the winter), or the temperature. Technically, you don’t need to include a top sheet in your bedding if you use a duvet cover. But if the temperature starts to drop, it can certainly add an extra layer of warmth.
During the summer, a duvet may simply be too warm for general use. When the nights start to get hotter, a combination of a top sheet and a blanket allows you to regulate the temperature of your sleeping environment. This helps prevent restless nights and that feeling of being too hot. Cotton sheets are breathable too, so they keep you feeling cooler and fresher.
Is it worth getting a top sheet?
When you buy a set of bedding, you’ll usually get a top sheet. It’s up to you whether you use it or if you keep it as a spare ‘bottom sheet’ to use directly on top of your mattress. However, if you don’t want to use a top sheet, there are other protective bedding items for you to choose from.
Mattress toppers sit on the top of your mattress, giving you an additional layer of comfort and softness. These are ideal if you want to prolong the lifespan of a mattress. Or need a little additional cushioning on top of a firm mattress. They can be washed, too, making them a healthier option. They also hold the heat incredibly well, giving you that warm, snuggly sensation when the weather’s colder.
If a topper is a little thick for you, then a mattress protector is a great alternative. These are thinner than toppers and are easier to wash, too. They’re usually made from natural materials such as cotton, so they feel cool and fresh. There is also the option of buying anti-allergy options. Ideal if you suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions.
Duvet covers are a practical option if you don’t want to use a top sheet. They can be taken off regularly and popped in the washing machine to keep them clean and fresh. Although, it can be a bit of a battle to get them back on!
The bottom line is that it’s entirely your choice whether you use a top sheet. Mattress toppers, duvet covers, and mattress protectors all provide you with options to create the perfect sleeping environment for you, whatever the season.
Top sheets are adaptable, affordable, and easy to keep clean and have plenty of advantages. But only you can decide whether or not you want to use a top sheet.