Do You Really Need a Top Sheet? Our Team’s Bedding Debate
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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”?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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. 🤗
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.
Y’all never had sensory issues and it shows. Lol If I feel all those wrinkles I won’t sleep.
Haha! Same, I iron my sheets especially the edges if there’s wrinkles. Guess I take after my grandma and mom 🤣
I feel tangled and held down with a top sheet. I prefer my cozy ribbed blankets or a puffy soft comforter. I love the white ones at Ikea. Sheet sets also come with those bottom box skirts; I don’t have a bottom box because I use a 14 inch foam mattress straight on the base so that gets repurposed into more pillow cases. I also do not use curtains because ew dust. Blackout Blinds only!
I cannot believe it never occurred to me to do something with the dust ruffle. I LOVE the idea of making it into more pillow cases! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Sometimes it’s the only cover I use as it gets warmer. I have to be covered so it might be a security thing with me.
Ditto, in the summer its all I use. I have to have something on me when sleeping.
That’s why I love those white hospital blankets with holes (the waffle type blanket). Wamsutta makes one that’s around $70 at bed bath & beyond (after coupon of course) & worth every penny. Even in the heat of Texas, it’s the perfect blanket all year round! Actually, now that I look at it, it doesn’t really have holes, but a zig zag type texture. Anyway, my favorite blanket! I gave up on top sheets as soon as my mom would let me get away with it🙂 You just need the right blanket or comforter on top. If you have a cheap comforter, then you’ll want that sheet to keep it off of you. Almost all comforters are made like cheap ones these days…I had to get an expensive wamsutta comforter too cuz all the others are too hot, stiff, itchy, etc.
None of us use top sheets
Team NO top sheet, but I always buy the sets. LOL The guest room always has 2, but my bed only has the fitted and a quilt. I wash all the bedding at once in one load. Thanks for adding the sheet recommendations!
Yes top sheet. I hate the feeling of touching the comforter but like the weight and warmth it provides. We live in Texas so summer time it’s so hot we just use a top sheet and leave off the comforter.
No top sheet–tangled! But also because my down comforters is covered with a duvet cover–that gets washed with everything else, so no dirty comforter.
Same here, we all use a duvet to cover out down comforter and skip the top sheet. I use the top sheets as paint drop cloths.
That’s right. When you have a duvet cover on your duvet, you don’t use a top sheet, especially if your duvet is down. You wash the cover each week and you’re all set. SO much more comfortable and freeing!
Yes I have to have a top sheet!
No to the top sheet. I feel like it must be folded under at the bottom of the bed and then it cramps my toe space. Crazy first world problems.
I never tuck my top sheet in at the bottom of the mattress. Just leave it loose….happy feet!
How often do you wash your bedding without a top sheet? For me it’s not at all related to comfort or preference, but more of a washable layer separating the harder to wash bedding! Especially since my partner sweats SO much when he sleeps… i feel like a blanket or comforter would get real gross, real quick!
I have my comforter in a duvet cover that’s easy to take off and wash, and no top sheet
Once a week or more depending on which blanket
Definitely a crisp cool top sheet when it gets too warm and a fuzzy warm blanket for when it’s too cold. Not a fan of bulky comforters, duvets and quilts..although they’re nice for decorative purposes.
No top sheet for years, gets tangled and moves too much. Can’t handle it. I thought I was the only one!
Ugh!!! I thought this was only an issue with my kids! I had never heard of anyone NOT using a top sheet. I’ve always used a top sheet. My kids on the other hand would either sleep on top of the top sheet without ever turning it down or turn it down and when they made up their bed, they would leave it at the bottom of their bed. I thought it was because they were too lazy to deal with the extra layer and they weren’t the ones doing the laundry. This was a very interesting post. I didn’t know that their were other people in this world who did not use a top sheet!
Same here! I’ve always used a top sheet, but my kids seem to just kick it to the end of the bed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
I agree with the laziness for most kids and adults who don’t use the flat sheet.
Top sheet all the way. Sometimes I just like a light covering, and the layer of sheet is perfect. Also, I have no desire to constantly wash my quilt, and I would have to considering sweat, feet, etc. Besides the fact that it’s more cumbersome to wash, it would wear out so much more quickly.
I feel the same as you, Quinna! Thanks for commenting on what you prefer!
Well, I typically prefer the traditional bed set up, but cosleeping with the baby had other plans. Now I don’t sleep with anything covering me except when I get cold I’ll put a small throw over my legs far from the baby. I think my kids are like Sara in the first comment. Definitely there could be sensory issues at play here. They have complained the wrinkles are “painful” but ultimately the one with sensory issues prefers a top sheet tucked in *extremely* tight over the fluffy comforter. It’s a mixed bag here, some have top sheets, some don’t. As far as laundry, I don’t think washing a comforter every couple weeks vs a top sheet is much more work. It’s certainly easier to make a bed that has no top sheet. I do think that washing sheets every week is a little extreme unless you don’t shower at night or are an extremely sweaty person. There’s all kinds of stuff living on your skin and lots of it is *beneficial.* Washing too frequently sounds like a recipe for dry skin and eczema over here 😏 Just my opinion.
I wash my sheets weekly and bathe daily. I’ll take my clean dry skin anyday over dirty skin and sheets. Sweat, oil and dead skin are all reasons to wash sheets weekly. Having a baby in your bed seems dangerous and disruptive to proper sleeping habits for both you and baby. I have 4 kids, and for me, the rare o occasions we slept together left me feeling very tired.
most of the world has been cosleeping with their children for over a millennia but okay. you certainly know best ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There are a lot of things the rest of the world does that the modernized, civilized world does that the rest of the world no longer lives with… dirt floors, grass huts, living without modern medicines and vaccines. I’m just saying that my choice is to not be stuck in a 3rd world lifestyle “just cause that’s what’s always been done.”
No top sheets here! Those go strait to the donate pile if I buy a sheet set. Too much work, and for what?
I use a top sheet on our bed and I sleep under it. I’m always cold, so I like the extra blanket. My husband runs hot so he just lays on top of it, usually. It’s really no big deal for us. I don’t even really think about it. I don’t have top sheets on either of my kids beds though; I never have. I don’t think they need them.
No top sheet here. Yes we wash our comforter a lot but I feel tangled with a top sheet. I grew up in top sheet family but my husband has converted me.
I ALWAYS hated the top sheet, my mom always made it into a curtain so my curtain always matched my sheets in my room. Now my kids ONLY sleep with a sheet just like my husband and I only sleep with a comforter.
Ick! So gross to not sleep without a top sheet unless you’re washing your comforter every week as well. You sweat a ton at night as well as shed lots of dead skin cells which in turn attract dust mites. Using a top sheet helps absorb the sweat and washing your sheets weekly helps kill dust mites. Otherwise you have a comforter and/or duvet cover full of them!
If I’m sweating while I sleep, I need a new a/c, not a top sheet!
NO top sheet for me. Just a 60 inch body pillow and two microfiber blankets.
I buy my sheets from Target since they sell them separately, so l don’t pay for a sheet l will never use.
I buy satin zippered pillowcase from Sally Beauty Supply because l am an angry sleeper and they prevent hair damage. Theirs last FOREVER!!
The threshold fitted sheets with the elastic on the corners & the label that says “top” (so you know which way the sheet goes) are EVERYTHING! I’ll never not have elastic on the corners if I can help it! Those sheets will never come off the corner until you’re ready to take it off.
I was raised in Europe and until I met my husband the life was simple – sheet on the mattress and comforter in the cover on top. I still hate the top sheet and won’t sleep under it if I have the choice.
Absolutely a top sheet! I can’t imagine not having one. When my covers get all crazy in the middle of the night I will dig until I find it… then the rest of the covers. Then all is right with the world again….Lol
I put an extra top sheet over my blanket. My dog likes to sleep on the bed. The top sheet keeps my blanket cleaner from paw prints and I’d rather wash the sheet repeatedly. And yes, I like the dog on the bed. We don’t want to stop him from jumping up. He’ll snuggle for a while then warm my freezing feet.
Love this idea!
No top sheet needed. It’s extra laundry 🧺 😝.
I have a toddler and use our top sheets as floor protectors during crafts, messy meals, etc. I wash and change the fitted sheet and our duvet at least weekly but I don’t even like the feeling of covering with a sheet so no top sheet for me 🙂 definitely not icky, just wash your bedding as you should. I just bought a duvet cover so I don’t have to take a comforter to the laundry mat every week and I am loving it!
Team no top sheet also! They make great fort makers for the kids tho! Haha
Absolutely a top sheet!
Top sheet for me. I live in the south and it gets hot in the summer.
For me it’s a sensory issue. My husband and I sleep with soft fuzzy blankets only – no comforters in our house either except on the guest bed! By extension, my children also do the same thing. 😬 We just wash blankets extra; I don’t find it gross if you’re actually washing your bedding!
I feel a top sheet (tucked in at the bottom) keeps me from getting tangled up – it can’t roll all around with me like a loose blanket can.
Interesting topic, I also have a teen boy who HATES top sheets. My mom used to make me use one when living at home. Since moving out, all of my apartments have had heat included and I live in WI. Even WITH the heat off, all of my places have been very hot. I do like the idea of using one as then our body oils dont get on our comforters, but when you are a hot sleeper and your place remains hot, not much else you can do.
My entire life I always thought the top sheet was just frivolous and such a bother. I honestly never understood what the point of it was, and found it cumbersome to sleep in. I would get tangled and that thing ended up at the bottom of my feet. And then I took a temp job to run an Airbnb rental. They told me the duvet covers only got washed once every 6 months. Gross. And that’s when I learned the importance of top sheets. If you’re in a rental/ hotel, always use your top sheet. Also, since I have eczema, the top sheet now stops me from having to wash my blanket every single week, and it gives a little extra warmth in the winter. I am a top sheet convert!
For those of you that only use a bottom sheet, why bother using anything at all? Your justifications for not using a top sheet are weak. I read through the comments and the only thing that non top sheet uses says is it’s uncomfortable? And more work to make the bed? End up with stuff to take to goodwill? The people at use a top sheet have more solid reasons. Keeping top blankets cleaner longer, keeps cooler at night, looks nicer on the bed. Hip2save compile a pro-con list see who wins.
Why do you care?
How does a bed look “nicer” with a top sheet? It is underneath blankets, comforters, etc. I don’t buy that it’s cleaner, either, unless you are a farmhand going to bed fully dressed after evening chores. It’s pure preference–no pros or cons. 🙄
You compile the list if you’re on the fence about it. As for everyone else, I’m pretty sure we have already know the top sheet is optional & as have already made our decision according to our own person preference. We aren’t going to lose any sleep if Betty or anyone else doesn’t approve of our decision.
I have to have a top sheet!
Me too! So interesting how we all have a specific preference. Thanks for taking a moment to let us know yours!
If you don’t sleep under the top sheet, you could always put it on top of the fitted sheet and sleep on top of it to have more barrier between your mattress and fitted sheet. And just wash the top sheet more often so you don’t have to take the fitted sheet off and on constantly.
Neat idea! Thanks for the helpful suggestion, Lisa!
I don’t use my top sheets to sleep most of the year except summer. I usually put one on top of my floral/dated love seat that’s also in my bedroom. The pattern isn’t so out of place and it protects it from the dog. I’ve also used some sheets as curtians, extra pillowcases, and wash clothes for gentle cleaning (like on my face to remove make up, or a separate piles to clean windows).
No top sheet! Can’t stand it!!! And yes I wash my comforter more often but I don’t buy crazy, hard to wash comforters. I love the down Big One comforters from Kohls. I get them on sale and have several around.
Thanks so much for sharing with us what you have liked best! I’ll have to look for those comforters at Kohl’s!
I really dislike the flat sheet. It’s too light typically and gets tangled easily than heavier blankets.
Also I like the feel of my thicker/fuzzier blankets on me instead. I get cold Pretty often.
Also it’s not functional for how I personally make the bed. -I sleep with my bf. I’m a midnight blanket stealer and toss/turn a lot. After the fitted sheet I put (random patterns) blanket on just his side of the bed and then just mine. Sometimes I put extra on mine since I get more cold. Then on top I put two matching blankets on his side and my side so it’s more cohesive. This keeps us both sleeping better at night and we wake each other less.
No top sheet, I can’t stand the feeling of having my legs tangled up in a sheet.
We are Asian and we bath before bed. I could never understand if you have to wash duvet cover why do we have to use top sheet? I use those extra soft Costco $14 super soft blanket that came out every falls for bed sheet. Like sleeping on the clound.
We shower before bed every night, but I would not DREAM of not using a top sheet! I don’t think people realize the ick they are not seeing! I don’t understand why you would want to wash your blanket or comforter as often as you should if not using a top sheet! Newsflash People!!! You would need to be washing it every time you wash your sheets.
No to the top sheet. I have neurapathy which means at night I can’t stand anything touching my toes even in winter. Add to that an adjustable bed where I keep my feet elevated at night and the top sheet with the quilt is just a constant tug of war. I’d have the bed nice and straight before I climbed in. Then throughout the night I moved my legs so much trying to find a position where my feet were “happy” that the top sheet went one way and the quilt went the other. I finally ditched the top sheet. Summer time I ditch the quilt too and just use a Vera Bradley throw blanket and fitted sheet.
I was really surprised not to see Peachskin sheets mentioned here! If you’re in the market for sheets these are IT! Love love love ❤ they are super soft and luxurious and the packaging is beautiful. Makes a super nice gift.
Just wondering how many people who don’t use the flat sheet got their preference due to laziness of making the bed completely as it was traditionally made? No offense or anything… to each their own. Also, the comments of people who don’t like the flat sheet seem like THEY have more laundry because they wash their duvets/ comforters/ quilts everytime they wash sheets, while people who use flat sheets probably do that only occasionally and just wash the sheets frequently.
Also, how does all the tangling happen to everyone? Did everyone not learn the proper way to make a bed? Tucking sheets and any blankets (excluding whatever is on top) when they make their bed.
I like the top sheet, but my bf and I always have had the debate which side do you face up? Does the pattern face the bottom sheet or does it face up? I say it faces the bottom sheet with a bit of the top folded so you see the pattern there. She says the pattern should face up. What do you guys think?
Technically the pattern should face down so that the edge folded over at the top shows the pattern.
No top sheet. I am European…strictly using duvet cover over the blanket, washing it every week ;-).
what Sara said above… I’m Chinese and sleep on top of the flat sheet which is over the fitted sheet and use a duvet cover. I don’t understand people complaining how it’s unhygienic to sleep without the top sheet. I wash the flat sheet and *duvet cover* about every 2 weeks, and the fitted sheet under that every 2-3 months. I also don’t think the fitted sheet is enough weight even when it’s hot. I’ll take the comforter out of the duvet cover and sleep just with the duvet cover for the extra weight.
I don’t know a single Asian friend who sleeps with a flat top sheet under their duvet, and I’ve slept over at a ton of friends’ places. so the flat top sheet thing is also cultural… just saying
Top sheet all the way!!! My comforter is too fancy to wash every week. Every time I travel to Europe, where they don’t use top sheets in hotels, I make them bring me one and they act like I’m nuts. It’s too stinking hot to use a down comforter when they have no A/C in lots of their hotels, lol
We have a waterbed so the bottom and top sheets are sewn together. No choice to take off the top sheet. I love the top sheet though and usually only cover with that at night. Blankets make me too sweaty.