Top Sheets VS Flat Sheets

Bedsheets are the most important component of a bed. You can get by without a comforter, duvet, blanket, or even a pillow. But few people can sleep on a bed without at least one sheet.

But sheets are not all the same. You have quite a number of options to choose from. And this is where the ‘Top Sheets vs Flat Sheets’ debate enters the picture. Interestingly enough, there is no obvious answer to the debate because most of the people do not know what is top sheets and what is flat sheets. In real-world, flat sheets is used as top sheets which is placed over a mattress. And the top sheets can not be a fitted sheet. On the other hand, flat sheets can work as top sheets or bottom sheets.

However,  It becomes so much easier to understand why the question creates so much confusion once you realize what flat and top sheets are.

To make your decision between these two, you need to understand a few things :

1). It is technically impossible to choose between flat sheets and top sheets because the two are the same thing. There are two types of sheets in the world, namely: flat sheets and fitted sheets.

2). Fitted sheets look like ordinary sheets. They are rectangular pieces of cloth. However, they have an elastic hem and pockets that slide over the corners of the mattress, hugging it firmly. This keeps them from slipping off the mattress.

You can call the fitted sheet a bottom sheet because it goes on top of the mattress. It is supposed to protect the mattress from the sweat and oils generated by the body. As such, it serves a sanitary purpose.

Everyone uses a bottom sheet, especially if they have an ordinary mattress. It is easier to clean a dirty bottom sheet than it is to clean a mattress whose cover has been stained.

3). A fitted sheet is the same as a bottom sheet. However, a bottom sheet can also be a flat sheet. Flat sheets are also rectangular pieces of cloth. However, unlike fitted sheets, they have neither an elastic hem nor pockets. They cannot hug the mattress. However, you can tuck them in on the sides to keep them in place.

4). Like a fitted sheet, a flat sheet will protect the mattress from the sleeper lying on top of it. However, it can also act as a top sheet.

5). A top sheet lies on top of the bottom sheet. If someone is sleeping in the bed, the top sheet will lie in between their body and the blanket. It also serves a sanitary purpose. It protects the blanket from the oils and sweat produced by the body. When a flat sheet is positioned between the sleeper and the blanket, it is called a top sheet.

As you can see, a flat sheet can be many things. It is worth noting that the flat sheet has been around since the 15th Century. Fitted sheets only entered the picture in the 90s. As such, they are still quite new.

Most people are accustomed to flat sheets. Though, fitted sheets have gained immense popularity because they are so easy to use. They also stay in place. If you get the right size, a fitted sheet will fit your mattress like a glove.

6). It is fairly commonplace for most people to use flat and fitted sheets at the same time. What is uncommon are comparisons between flat and top sheets, seeing as they are the same thing.

You are more likely to see comparisons between flat and fitted sheets; in such discussions, people are not merely debating the qualities of each type of sheet but, rather, their uses.

Specifically, they are asking whether it is necessary to have a flat sheet that is working as a top sheet when you already have a fitted sheet at the bottom. That argument doesn’t make sense if you have a blanket.

It only becomes relevant in situations where the sleeper has a duvet or a comforter with a cover. This is because the presence of a duvet makes a top sheet unnecessary.

The average duvet has a very soft and smooth surface that is as soothing against your skin as a top sheet. As such, some people don’t see the point of using a top sheet in such circumstances.

On the other hand, even if you have a duvet, you are still expected to use a fitted sheet. This technically makes fitted sheets superior. However, in most cases, it comes down to the preferences of the user.

  • a couple of months ago
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