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Flat vs Fitted Sheets: What’s the Difference?

A flat sheet is exactly what it sounds like—a flat, rectangular-shaped sheet—whereas a fitted sheet has rounded, elasticized corners made to fit perfectly over a mattress. 

While these two sheet types may seem to serve a similar purpose, they’re actually designed for different uses. We’ll go over what flat versus fitted sheets are so you can understand the difference and find the pairing that works best for your needs. 

Looking for ultra soft bedding? Our flat and fitted sheets are made of dreamy, soft, breathable organic cotton for the ultimate sleep experience.

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What is a Fitted Sheet and What It’s Used For

Sometimes called a bottom sheet, a fitted sheet is a special type of sheet that slips directly onto your mattress thanks to its elastic corners. A fitted sheet gives you a soft, comfortable base surface to sleep on, and its elastic corners ensure it stays securely on your mattress while you sleep soundly. Since they stretch over your mattress, fitted sheets aren’t as prone to wrinkles as other types of bedding. They protect your mattress from dirt, dust, and other harmful debris, and are easy to wash.  Our fitted sheets are 17 inches deep, so they’ll fit any mattress, no matter how deep. They also come marked with tags to indicate the top and bottom of the sheet, so you’ll never be left guessing which way the sheet goes back on after you wash it. 

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What is a Flat Sheet and What It’s Used For 

Flat sheets, which are sometimes called top sheets, go between a fitted sheet and an outer layer like a comforter or duvet

Flat sheets can help keep you at an optimal temperature at night and give you a cozier, tucked in feel. In terms of bed styling, your bed may look more complete or full when styled with a flat sheet than without. 

Can You Use a Flat Sheet as a Fitted Sheet?

Technically, a flat sheet could be used as a fitted sheet, i.e. to cover a mattress, but this is not recommended. Flat sheets are not designed to stay in place over a mattress. There also may be sizing issues if the sheet is not big enough to cover the entire mattress.

You can tuck a flat sheet into a mattress by tucking the loose ends that hang over the mattress underneath it. If you have two sides of your sheet that line up with the edge of your mattress perfectly, you won’t need to tuck those in.

Deciding Which to Use

Since a fitted sheet protects your mattress, it’s the more essential of the two. It’s highly recommended that you use a fitted sheet to keep your mattress clean and in good condition. 

Even though it’s one more thing to style and clean, we recommend adding a flat sheet for complete bed styling. Flat sheets are both stylish and functional—they can be tucked over a duvet to add contrast, and also keep you warm and snug. 

Ultimately, adding a flat sheet is completely up to you. You may sleep better with or without one, so the decision should be a personal one.

Fitted and Flat Sheet Dimensions

Looking for exact dimensions? We’ve listed flat and fitted sheet dimensions below to help you figure out what size would work best for you (especially if you plan to buy each separately).  Buying sheets in sets helps ensure that you get the correct sizes for each, and is oftentimes more convenient than buying them separately.

Mattress Size

Flat Sheet Dimensions

Fitted Sheet Dimensions


66 x 96 inches

39 x 75 inches

Twin XL

66 x 96 inches

39 x 80 inches


96 x 102 inches

54 x 75 inches


96  x 102 inches

60 x 80 inches


102 x 112 inches

76 x 80 inches

California King

102 x 112 inches

72 x 84 inches