Health & Fitness

The Top Sheet Debate – Is it Necessary?

October 17, 2022   By Clarisa Mcdonald

The Great Top Sheet Debate is a subject matter that has been quite divisive over time. We are seeing that millennials are been ditching the top sheet while the older generation swears that they are a necessity in the bed-making process.

Do you use a top sheet under your duvet covers? Do you enjoy using a top sheet? Did you get rid of it when you bought your sheet set? Are bed sheets already enough? Are you anti-top sheet or pro-top sheet? Do you even know what top sheets are?

No matter your opinion on top sheets being good or bad, you might want to keep reading as we’re about to get into the pros and cons, and what science has to say about this bedding debate. 

What Are Top Sheets?

For you to take part in this debate, you have to first be able to know what on earth a top sheet actually is.

Known as a top sheet in some countries and flat sheet in others (like here in Australia), the top sheet is a layer of bedding that lies between your fitted sheet and your duvet cover or mattress topper – essentially serving as a blanket layer, so your skin doesn’t come in contact with your duvet cover. You should be crawling into the bed underneath the top sheet.

Dust Mites in Your Duvet Covers

Try to remember the last time you washed your doona, or think about how often you wash your covers. Many sleepers are actually quite lazy when it comes to washing their covers.

Duvet covers are usually washed less often as compared to bedsheets and pillowcases, and this makes them a breeding ground for dust mites and other nasties.

Having a top sheet in between you and your duvet cover prevents dust mites from coming in contact with your skin.

Likewise, dust mites feed on dead skin cells that we shed on every night, so having a barrier such as a top sheet cuts off their ration of food – lessening their chance of survival. Having this in mind, it’s best to have clean sheets to have the peace of mind that no creepy crawly will take away your good night’s sleep.

The Smell Factor

Whether we see it or feel it, we often sweat while we sleep, particularly during the warmer months. This is our body’s natural way of cooling itself. Even when we use the best cooling sheets, our body fluid will always find its way to cling to something.

Fabrics on their own, whether the bottom sheets or the duvet covers, do a great job in warming the body, but it can be a bit much at times which is why we perspire.

Apart from warming, fabrics also do a fantastic job of wicking away sweat, especially bamboo sheets. This is why odour can also be absorbed by your duvet cover when you don’t have an extra layer, such as when you have a top sheet.

The dried sweat absorbed by your duvet cover usually retains for a long time, which leads to what we know as smelly sheets.

When you use a top sheet, getting rid of the smells is as easy as taking it off and giving it a quick wash or replacing it with a fresh one.

Fresh Bed Linens

Smelling fresh linen sheets right before you sleep is such a fantastic sensory experience, as it is reminiscent of the comfy beds found in fancy hotel rooms.

Frequently washing and changing your top sheet can give you the experience of smelling fresh bed linens more often, and you can swap them out quickly when the freshness has gone.

Tucked In Tight

Sleeping with a top sheet gives a very cosy feeling, as top sheets are soft and thin enough to be tucked in over your body.

The tucked-in feeling not only keeps you warm during cold nights, but it also gives a level of deep pressure on your body which sends off the same signals to your brain that you get from nice, warm hugs.

Tucking in your sheets before climbing in is the same as what hotels do, which can make your sleeping experience feel more luxurious. 

Why Do Some People Hate Top Sheets?

Given the benefits of using top sheets, some people still choose to not use them – here are some of the reasons we’ve heard why people are against them.

Making Your Bed Becomes a Struggle

One of the tasks people find annoying to do in the morning is making their bed. When you’ve just woken up, it’s easy to feel lazy.

Having a top sheet just adds to the things you have to fix in the morning, and when you’re pressed for time and running late for work, it just becomes a fuss you’d rather not worry about.

They Give You No Use

For some people, having direct contact with a comforter or hugging their doona gives them comfort while they sleep.

Having a top sheet just becomes a fuss and gets in the way of their usual sleeping habits. In these cases, top sheets usually just get kicked to the end of the bed.

Some people even kick them far enough in the middle of the night that they reach the bottom of the bed, which turns out to be another thing you have to pick up in the morning and fix.

It Makes the Bed Too Hot

A comforter or a quilt alone is thick and warm enough even on cold winter nights. Some people find the top sheet as an unnecessary layer as their duvets do a good job already.

In cases like these, people who are against top sheets disagree that it adds any functionality to the bed set and is just an extra layer of burden.

So, Should I Sleep with a Top Sheet?

It all comes down to personal preference, but overall sleeping with a top sheet is more hygienic and better for your health.

We understand that it might seem to be a bit inconvenient to make your bed and it’s just another sheet to wash on your laundry day, but we think it’s still worth it.

If you’ve never slept with a top sheet and we’ve started to change your mind, then we suggest that you try it out with a bamboo sheet.

The Ecosa 100% Organic Bamboo Sheet sets use a sateen weave for extra silky smoothness and breathability, making sure you don’t get too warm during your sleep.

Ecosa Bamboo Sheets are also anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic, which means you not only sleep comfortably but also get to sleep healthy and breathe easy.

If you really can’t stand top sheets, make sure you are washing your doona cover regularly and invest in high-quality materials like bamboo bedding (hot tip: Ecosa also sell Bamboo Quilt Covers!) 

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