The Great Top Sheet Debate

We weigh the pros and cons of sleeping without a top sheet. But if you want a simpler bed making process, it might be time to let it go.

Couple debating in bed

To sleep with a top sheet or not? It’s been a pretty heated debate recently – with sleepers taking extreme sides on the issue:

AGAINST #TOPSHEET

For #TOPSHEET

So of course, we wanted to weigh in.

The pros and cons of going topless

Bare legs in bed

Topless advocates claim liberation from twisted, bunched up top sheets. Pro toppers turn their noses up in disgust and accuse those who eschew top sheets of nothing less than barbarism (see above).

The truth is that using a top sheet is simply a matter of style and personal preference. Forty percent of Americans choose to join most of their European counterparts and sleep without a top sheet. Many people let the weather dictate their bedding style using a duvet in the winter and switching to a top sheet and lightweight blanket in the summer.

So, is this European style bedding right for you? Here’s a look at the pros and cons to help you decide.

Pros of ditching the top sheet

  • Bed making made simple. Forget about hospital corners, fanfolds, and toe pleats. With no top sheet or blanket to worry about, a simple flick of your duvet (super lightweight and airy if filled with down) is all you need to do to make your bed in the morning. (More on bed making later…)
  • No twisted covers. The European bedding style gives you one less reason to lose sleep. No more twisted up top sheets to wrestle with or wind around you like a boa constrictor preparing for a feast.
  • Better temperature regulation. Your duvet can trap your body heat and wick moisture more effectively with fewer layers between you and the covers.

The European bedding style gives you one less reason to lose sleep. No more twisted up top sheets to wrestle with or wind around you like a boa constrictor preparing for a feast.

Cons of ditching the top sheet

  • Laundry challenges. You might think the Europeans have devised an ingenious way to cut down on laundry by eliminating top sheets. Au contraire. You still have to wash whatever you use to cover yourself when you wash the rest of your bedding because, well, ew. That means tossing your comforter in the washer. Unless you happen to have an industrial-size washer and dryer, that can be challenging, especially for queen- and king-size comforters.
    • Easier to wash is a duvet cover that’s like a big pillowcase for your duvet or comforter. And like a pillowcase, you simply unbutton it, slip it off your duvet and throw it in the wash when you wash your sheets.
    • Putting the cover back on your duvet might discourage you from washing it unless you know these two simple ways to do it: the traditional and cake roll methods.
  • Slip sliding away. If your duvet is not big enough to drape sufficiently over the sides, it may slide around and leave you exposed while you sleep. Tucking your duvet into the foot of your bed can help secure it in place.
  • Too warm. If you only have the option to cover yourself with a duvet, you may be too warm when the weather turns summery. Switching back to a top sheet and lightweight blanket solves that problem.

If you only have the option to cover yourself with a duvet, you may be too warm when the weather turns summery.

If you think the Europeans are onto something with ditching their top sheet, then take a look at places that offer this style of bedding.

Where can I buy this “no-top-sheet” style bedding?

Most bedding manufacturers sell bed linens in sets with a fitted sheet, a flat, top sheet, and pillowcases. But you don’t need that flat sheet when you make your bed the European way. Here’s where you can find bedding sets that cater to your need for simplicity.


Parachute logo

Parachute offers high quality, European style bedding sets made of organically grown and processed linen and 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton. Here you’ll find sets that include fitted sheets and pillowcases for use with your own duvet as well as sets that also include a matching duvet cover for a totally coordinated look.

Fabric Weave Sizes Price
100% long-staple Egyptian cotton

100% European flax

Percale

Sateen

  • Twin
  • Twin XL
  • Full
  • Queen
  • King
  • Cal King
Without duvet cover: $109 – $189

With duvet cover: $239 – $439

Visit Parachute


Crane & Canopy Logo

Crane & Canopy features quality bedding at an affordable price. Their no-top-sheet sets are made of 100% long-staple cotton in 300 – 400 thread count. An array of colors and patterns offers you a variety of choices to suit your style.

Fabric Weave Sizes Price
100% long-staple cotton Sateen
  • Twin
  • Twin XL
  • Full
  • Queen
  • King
  • Cal King
$89 – $139

Visit Crane & Canopy


Boll & Branch logo

Boll & Branch gives you the option to buy each piece of bedding separately, so you can easily switch between American style bedding (with top sheet) and European style. Boll & Branch sheets and duvet covers are made certified organic, single-ply, 100% long-staple cotton. Sheets are 300-thread count and dyed using non-toxic formulas.

Fabric Weave Sizes Price
100% long-staple cotton Sateen
  • Twin
  • Twin XL
  • Full
  • Queen
  • Split King
  • King
  • Cal King
Fitted Sheet: $100 – $120

Pillow Cases (Pair): $45 – $55

Duvet cover: $225 – $250

Visit Boll & Branch


How to make your bed without a top sheet

No need to worry about hospital corners when you do away with the top sheet. A fitted sheet, duvet, and pillow cases are the only linens you’ll need to make your bed Euro style, and assembling your bed is easy.

Parachute bedding
Source: Nicole LaMotte/Parachute

1. Lay the foundation.

Attach the fitted sheet to your mattress over a mattress cover.

Pro tip: Secure the corners of the fitted sheet progressing in an X pattern to ensure even distribution.

2. Top it.

Lay the duvet on top. Optional: Fold the top down towards the foot of the bed so that the fold reaches the edge of your pillows when propped (see Step #3).

Pro tip: Make sure the duvet cover’s closed opening is at the foot of the bed or on the side according to the design.

3. Prop it.

Insert pillows into pillowcases and prop them against your headboard.

Pro tip: The openings of the pillowcases go on the outside edge of the bed.

4. Adorn it.

For a little extra style, add pillow shams to complete the look.

No more excuses for not making your bed in the morning. Just hop out of bed, straighten the duvet, fluff and prop your pillows, and you’re done!


How do you prefer to sleep: with a top sheet or topless? We’d love to hear your reasons. Drop us a line.