Do You Really Need a Top Sheet? Our Team’s Bedding Debate

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holding top sheet

Who even needs a top sheet anyways?… 🤔

If you haven’t already heard, using a top sheet… (or not using one) has been a huge debate! Up until recently, I didn’t even know this was a thing but come to find out, lots of you have some pretty strong feelings over the topic and while we may never get to the bottom of it, our team was excited to share theirs thoughts on this steamy discussion!

Before we get to the debate, what is a “top sheet”?

messy white bedding and pillows ruffled and disorganized on bed

A top sheet, otherwise known as a flat sheet, is the fabric that you lie under. It goes directly above the fitted sheet and underneath blankets, quilts, duvets, and/or comforters that might be on the bed and is the barrier between the other layers of bedding. 

Here’s what our team said about having a top sheet:

Tired woman laying in bed with a pillow over her head

Top sheet 👍vs. no top sheet 👎

“YES! I have always used a top sheet! It seems icky to me to NOT have one as I feel like it keeps my comforter/duvet cover cleaner if my body is not fully in contact with the comforter. If I was to not use a top sheet, I would feel pressure to wash my comforter weekly.” – Bryn

“Of course, a top sheet, or the bed doesn’t feel whole! I don’t wash the comforter as much as sheets so it seems cleaner (more hygienic). Plus, I love the feel of great quality sheets and sometimes if it’s hot, just use a top sheet as a cover and kick off the comforter.” – Lina

“I completely agree with Bryn! ‘Icky’ is definitely the word and the fact that’s how my mom taught us, it’s just a habit. Although, my husband does NOT like the top sheet so its an interesting half top sheet, half kicked to the bottom top sheet combo!” – Chelsey

“I literally had a debate yesterday with my son over his non-use of a top sheet. To me, it’s about cleanliness – especially, with a teen guy! Although he does his own laundry, I find myself frequently washing his comforter. Definitely a Team Top Sheet member here.” – Irene

“I used to hate using one when I was a kid but as an adult, I HAVE to use one now. I don’t understand when people have one on their bed but it’s bunched up at the bottom…WHY HAVE ONE THEN?! I like the feel of a top sheet, and I feel like it keeps me cooler – and I can’t sleep when I’m hot. Plus, using a top sheet keeps your comforters cleaner for longer, and who doesn’t love doing less laundry?” – Eden

“Top sheet for the win! It just makes me feel cozier even though it’s thin. The more layers, the better!” – Taylor 

“Definitely! Our comforter is heavy duty and has to be dry cleaned. I don’t want to get our body oils all over it and have to clean it regularly so we use all the sheets! #lazy” – Mary

“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! I am definitely on the top sheet train! I can’t imagine not sleeping with my top sheet. First, I love that it protects my duvet cover from getting dirty even faster and allows me to just have to wash it on occasion. In addition, if I get hot, I really like that I can just take off the duvet but still have the top sheet over me – I am one of those people who always has to have something covering me. I also love climbing into bed with soft sheets and being able to tuck them in around me.” – Collin

“I keep it traditional around here – mattress pad, fitted sheet, top sheet, soft blanket, and a duvet. I need to be super comfortable in order to get any sort of sleep. Plus, the weather is so cray in WI – I’ll use just the top sheet to start off, then pull my soft blanket up about halfway through the night and by morning I have my duvet on as well.” – Jessica 

“We use our top sheet basically as our blanket because it’s hot. Even with having two fans in our room.” – Alana 

“Top sheet all the way. I love that feeling of crisp, cool cotton. Plus, it’s kind of a pain to take the duvet off my comforter and wash all that business. With a top sheet, those things aren’t right up against our skin, so I feel like we can get away with washing them less.” – Jenna

“Top sheet, for sure! It sometimes gets rendered useless and is kicked down to the bottom of the bed, but I love the layers and the fact that there is a barrier between me and my duvet so I don’t have to wash that cover as often.” – Emily 

No top sheet 👍 vs. Top sheet 👎

“I religiously made my bed with a mattress pad, fitted sheet, top sheet, blanket, and comforter for years because that’s how my mom did it growing up. Then I started doing my own laundry and I thought, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” And now I literally just use a fitted sheet & comforter. Life-changing!” – Whitney

“No top sheet here! I have a separate comforter than my hubby and wash it often. Mine is like a security blanket – it’s all fuzzy and really cozy. I’m also anemic and can’t get warm enough sometimes so my Mom bought it for me – I love it.” – Angie

“We have a really soft comforter for the summertime so when we have that on we just use a fitted-sheet. Rarely in the winter, we’ll throw one on the bed.” – Ashley 

Yes, most of our team thinks you need a top sheet.

So why might you need… or not need a top sheet? 


1. It’s just what you’re used to.

woman throwing blanket high in the air over bed

I’ve really never given a top sheet a second thought because it has always come with any sheet sets I’ve ever bought and like a few of my hip sidekicks mentioned, it’s what their Mom’s always did. Maybe it’s also because some of us are too Type A and using a top sheet just makes sense. 💁‍♀️

Hip Tip: This brand actually makes sheet sets that only include a fitted sheet and two pillowcases if you are interested in ditching the top sheet. As a bonus, they always offer free shipping and returns. 🙌

2. Your sleeping partner might need a top sheet.

man and woman under white comforter in bed bedding looking at each other

Something, or should I say, someone, to think about when deciding if you need a top sheet or not is your sleeping partner (if you have one)! Oftentimes, one of you may not be able to sleep without one, whereas the other could totally do without it…or kick it down to the bottom like my Hip sidekick, Chelsey shared. 😏 Depending on your reasons, you might decide to compromise (whether you like it or not). 😂

3. It makes more laundry.

front load washer with white blanket hanging out of it

Honestly, though. Who in the world wants to make more laundry for themselves? I know I sure don’t! Some of you might disagree on whether or not this actually makes life easier, but what it boils down to is how often you actually need to clean your bedding.

A bunch of my hip sidekicks agree, that not using a top sheet creates the need to wash your comforter on a more regular basis, whereas, the others think you just have more laundry in general with the top sheet being on the bed. Sounds like a lose, lose if you ask me.

4. Top sheets keep the bed feeling fresher.

white bedding with three rows of white fluffy pillows

There’s nothing like crawling into a bed after a long day and cozying up with fresh, clean, and crisp sheets. That’s until you might get a little too hot. Adding a top sheet can create a cool barrier helping keep you from overheating with a heavy blanket or comforter. Not only that, but it provides an extra layer that gives you the option to take some blankets off if you tend to get too hot.

5. It might be too much of a hassle!

pair of feet hanging off white bed with bright yellow lights in background

Frustrated about making your bed with all those layers? A top sheet might not be your best option. I found that so many people complain about what a hassle they can be, and I have to say, they have a great point! Not only is tucking them in a pain, but more times than not, they become lopsided or bunched-up at the bottom. Um, no thanks!

Often times, that seems to be enough for sleepers to ditch top sheets altogether. Plus, what if you want your feet out when you sleep? The last thing you should need to stress over is yanking at your sheets when you’re trying to get comfy.

6. You change your mind seasonally.

flannel car printed sheets in a red target cart

The seasons, whether hot or cold, may influence your decision to have a top sheet. When cold weather comes, some people look forward to crawling in bed with some warm and cozy flannel sheets. Come spring or summer, you may be ready to throw them off the bed. No matter what you’re sheets game is, it’s okay to change your mind. 😉

7. Top sheets are just too good to pass up.

tufted bed headboard with white pillows and sheets on bed

If you’ve recently bought some amazing new sheets as our whole team did, you know that you want to use up every single piece of them that you can! When you find a good sheet set, you just need to stick with it. No need to explain yourself, we get it. They’re just too cozy to pass up! “Top sheet on”, friends!

If you’re in the market for some new sheets, here are our team’s favorites:

set of sheets in amazon box

1. Threadmill Home Linen 800 Thread Count Sheet Set

With these sheets, you’ll get that luxurious hotel bed feel at home without breaking the bank.”

Hip Tip: You can read more about why our team loves these sheets here.

persons arms laying on white blanket

2. Parachute Sheets and Pillowcases

I love that I can buy these luxurious sheets separately since I only prefer a fitted sheet on my bed.”

Hip Tip: Want to grab these sheets on sale? Twice a year (around Memorial Day and Cyber Monday) Parachute will host big sales where you can score your new bedding at discount. We promise you won’t be disappointed, but even then, they still have a 60-day trial. 🤗

woman in bed with white sheets

3. 400 Thread Count Cuddledown Sheets

“I took my sister to a spa in Arizona for a girl’s getaway trip in January and the place we stayed in had the most amazing sheets ever!!! We were both so obsessed because they were so cozy, fluffy, soft, and we literally felt like we were sleeping in a cloud. We asked the hotel where we could buy them and the brand, then I immediately hopped online to grab some. The prices were actually pretty reasonable compared to what I thought they’d be” – Collin at Hip2Save

You can keep white sheets clean without using bleach, here’s how.

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 104

  1. jen

    I’m a quilt girl, no comforter or duvet cover on my bed….that said…I want a little softness at night that my quilt with all it’s pretty stitching can’t provide. So top sheet with my quilt works great!

  2. Joy

    We are a duvet & cover family. The duvet cover acts as the top sheet and is washed EVERY time the sheets are washed. If you go this route, it is important to use a quality duvet cover that is soft and feels like a sheet.

    • kay

      Smart! Do you have a recommendation for a duvet cover?

  3. daisy-0

    Nope! Just ends up at the foot of the bed in a tangled mess. Hubs and I have our own comforters as well. We say it’s our secret to 17+yr of marriage. 🤷🏻‍♀️ All 4 kids are offered the sheet and refuse it as well. We’ve found some great uses for them though! Blanket forts, drop cloths for painting, picnic blankets, room dividers…

    • Aerokiki

      Yes! I’ve never found the top sheet to be of any benefit and it does end up in a tangled mess at the end of the bed. It is just a hassle; bedding is washed regularly so that is not really a deal breaker.

  4. Amesy

    Top sheet all the way! I change my bedding twice a week and I’m still using a top sheet.

    Here’s another bedding question: I’m in the market for a lightweight wool summer blanket that’s washable. I’ve been researching and the usual suspects show up : Faribault, Pendleton etc. I would prefer to stay with a blanket that is made in the USA… But they’re SO EXPENSIVE! I know they’re considered investment pieces but I can’t afford to buy an investment piece so what other options are there that are equally good in quality? Desperately seeking an answer to this question! Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  5. patricialavenz-goff

    I grew up in Germany as we were stationed there from 72-96 and German’s very rarely used a top sheet. My mom never put them on the bed until we came to the states and had to use American bedding instead of German bedding. I don’t care either way unless it is hot then I have to use a sheet as a cover. We never turn the air on until it is 80 or humid as our house is shaded and cooler inside especially with the ceiling fans. Being raised overseas without air it is hard to get used to sometimes.

  6. Laura

    When I studied abroad in Scotland they provided sheet and duvet services, one fitted sheet, one duvet and one duvet cover, there was no top sheet. It seemed totally fine to me then. However if I had a comforter then most definitely yes to a top sheet as you don’t wash a comforter as much as a duvet cover. My kids have a top sheet with duvet and cover however it’s almost always off to the side or near the bottom so now that I think about it, I don’t think they really need a top sheet. I’m a top sheet type of gal because I usually kick off the duvet in the middle of the night but still like to have a light sheet on top of me.

  7. yjr2004

    I guess I’m old school. I’m on team “yes” for top sheet. I grew up with a top sheet and my bed doesn’t feel the same without one. My kids on the other hand don’t see a need for it and refuses to use a top sheet. I gave up on fighting with them.

  8. Sarah

    I don’t use a top sheet but I have quite a few pillows so I cut up my top sheet and sew some extra matching pillow cases. Sometimes the king size sheet sets only come with 2 pillow cases so I make a few more because we definitely need more than 2 pillows on a king size bed.

  9. Dina

    I am from Europe. We always use duvet covers instead of sheets.

  10. Lynn Brown

    Oh I’m a top sheet person. My youngest daughter growing up always pushes hers to the end of the bed aN she had this really nice heavy comforter that would keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. After she had her own family I thought she would hopefully use the top sheet but nope she tosses them to the side I think it’s disgusting not to use the top sheet!

    • Teresa

      I either drape the top sheet over the fitted (it clings pretty well without having to be tucked in all the way around) and sleep on top of it so it acts as another bottom sheet that can be pulled off after a few days leaving the clean fresh fitted sheet…does that make sense? Or I sew two of the top sheets together and make my own duvet cover…then I have two fitted sheets, four pillow cases and a matching duvet cover.

  11. Sol

    My husband and I have our own bedcovers so we don’t of using the flat sheet as a top sheet –it would get in the way of wrapping myself in my cover like a cocoon. Instead, I buy elastic corner clips and an extra set of pillowcases and use the flat sheet as a second fitted sheet.

    My mattress is super heavy and awkward so I make the bed with four layers: mattress allergy protector, fitted sheet, mattress allergy protector, flat sheet with clips, and then every other week I just need to peel off the top two layers and change the pillowcases.

  12. Emily

    I am not an every day bed maker (my mother would be horrified!), but as a result we don’t do the top sheet thing. It just ends up bunched at the bottom and feels like an extra step when I actually do make the bed.

  13. K

    Kind of off topic but I have been looking for a good quality cotton sheet set. Anyone have any recommendations? Preferably under $100

    • K

      Or good quality bamboo sheets under $100?

  14. Mabos

    The real question is… Pajamas or birthday suit?!

    • hip2trade

      Pajamas! I wouldn’t want to be nude during any emergency that could arise! Happened to a neighbor. No thanks! Lol

  15. Katie

    A top sheet is all I really need

  16. Mamamia

    I wear clothes to sleep, so Im not sure how different it is to use pj’s vs top sheet vs duvet to keep blankets clean? Esp as a child lol. Anyways my top sheet is used to sleep on. I hate it. Sometimes I throw it off and just sleep with a fitted sheet on the bed. I need to feel my cozy blanket at night,a top sheet makes me feel chilly instead of cozy. All my kids are the same, they don’t like the top Sheet. Abs fwiw, I’ve always called it a flat sheet.

  17. ericataylor-0

    We don’t use a top sheet – I have my own full blanket that is heavier and thicker, and Hubby prefers a light blanket because he sleep hotter than I do. Since they are full size blankets ( on our Cal King bed they are easy to wash. And we are both night time shower takers so I haven’t found they get dirty and need tons of washing. Our pillow case get. Switched and washed once a week. We both sleep MUCH better having our own blankets. Also I have a toddler that comes into bed around midnight and it was awful getting stuck in the middle! I always woke up so hot! Or DJ tossed and turned because he was hot …. it was miserable! This solution means I can always kick a leg out if I need to!

  18. Christy DuBois

    I am absolutely team top sheet. When I am hot, and am often because of menapause, I like the top sheet over me at least. Usually comforters, quilts, etc (not sure about duvets b/c I have not had one) are not meant to be washed once or twice weekly, however my top sheet is. For those that wash their top covers every time they change their sheets i can understand if that’s what they choose to do. However, for the ones that said having a top sheet means more washing, I think they must not wash their blankets, comforters every time they change their sheets and again, in my opinion only, is not very wise or sanitary to me. I happen to enjoy getting into bed with freshly washed and dried sheets. I would not feel that way if my top covers touched me and had not been washed and dried as well. My age is showing with my opinion. My oldest daughter and her husband do not use a top sheet but they wash their top cover every time they wash their sheets. I still see it as taking up much room in the washer and dryer than a top sheet does. But all different perspectives is what makes the world interesting. Maybe not sanitary, but definitely interesting.

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