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Top Sheet or No Top Sheet? The Great Debate

What's the better way to make your bed, with a top sheet or without? This is a contentious topic that sees strong arguments on both sides. Some swear by perfect American-style hospital corners. Others join Europeans in asking, “what's the point?” Here, we share both sides of the great debate, so you can find the perfect experience for you. 

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What is a top sheet?

The Boll & Branch Signature Hemmed Flat Sheet, also called the top sheet, is placed on top of the fitted sheet. As you sleep, it provides a layer between you and your bed blanket, quilt, or duvet. Its purpose is both to keep you warm and to protect your top bed layer, which can be cumbersome to wash often, from needing frequent cleaning. However, it does take some extra time to make your bed, especially if you like to tuck in both sides. And if you’re sleeping with a top sheet, you’ll want to make sure you’re washing it regularly, like you would with the fitted sheet.

What is a fitted sheet?

Less controversial than the top sheet, the fitted sheet is universally accepted as a bedding necessity. The purpose of the fitted sheet is to cover the mattress. Because your entire body touches the fitted sheet all night long, choosing one that feels great and is made well is important to your sleep experience. The 100% organic cotton Boll & Branch Signature Fitted Sheet ensures a soft, smooth sleeping surface. Plus, a firm elastic around the bottom of the fitted sheet and deep pockets create a snug fit on even the most plush mattresses. Once you have your fitted sheet in place, you can top it off with a top sheet to add an extra layer. 

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The great debate: top sheet vs. no top sheet

On one hand, sleeping without a top sheet helps remove an extra step in making your bed and gives you one less sheet to wash on laundry day. But by not using this protective layer between yourself and your top of bed layer, you’ll need to wash your top bedding layer more frequently. What difference does it make sleeping with or without a top sheet? We’ve polled our Instagram community, finding 75% of our followers prefer a top sheet, while the balance forgoes this bedding layer. For a deeper look at the thinking behind top sheet vs. no top sheet, we surveyed Boll & Branch employees and asked them which sleeping method they prefer. Here’s what we found.

Top sheets by the numbers

The majority of the Boll & Branch team is pro top sheet. And we agree with our sleeping partners—most of the time.

Do you sleep with a top sheet?

- Yes: 63.6%

- No: 22.7%

- Sometimes: 13.6%

Does your partner agree with your bed-making style?

- Yes: 81%

- No: 4.7%

- Sometimes: 13.6%

We like routine, but we're also open-minded

Many of us choose our bed-making methods simply because we’ve always done it this way. But we’re not 100% stuck in our ways either.

We asked, “When did you start making your bed this way?” Here are some notable responses:

- "I’ve always made my bed this way.”

- "That’s how my mom did it.”

- "I didn’t know there way any other way to make a bed.”

We also asked, “Would you ever change your mind and make your bed a different way?”

- Yes: 4.6%

- No: 63.3%

- Sometimes: 31.8%

The pro-top sheet argument

Here are some reasons why people like using top sheets:

- "The top sheet is smoother and cooler than a blanket. Love it!”

- "I like layers on my bed no matter what season it is. If I get too hot with my duvet during the summer, I can still fold it down and use the top sheet as a thin layer.”

- "A top sheet is much easier to clean. Taking apart a duvet and re-assembling it is more time-consuming and takes longer to wash and dry.”

- "I LOVE to feel fully tucked in and can't achieve that without a flat sheet.”

The no-top sheet argument

Here are some reasons why people prefer to skip this extra layer: 

- “Since discovering the ease of not using a top sheet, I have become more inclined to make my bed this way. And it helps if you're a hot sleeper.”

- “I find the top sheet always gets pushed to the bottom of the bed. I don’t see the point in having one.”

- “My husband refuses to use it! He's from Scotland and apparently was raised not to use them on the bed.”

- “The top sheet makes making the bed 1000x more annoying.”

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Finding the perfect experience for you

Our Sheet Sets are the best value, as they come with a Fitted Sheet, a Flat Sheet, and Pillowcases. You can make your bed both ways and decide what you like. We also sell Fitted Sheets, Flat Sheets, and Pillowcase Sets separately, so you can get the styles you need or forgo the ones you don’t. The first step in creating your ideal experience is choosing a fabric that feels incredible. Then, however you decide to make your bed, don’t overlook the top-most layer: it should keep you feeling great all night long. Discover the difference of a 100% organic cotton Duvet Set