What is a top sheet and why do you need one?

Jonathan Warren

Author: Jonathan Warren



What is a top sheet and why do you need one?

In today’s modern age, there are plenty of extras when it comes to creating the best set-up for your bed. From extra pillows and throw blankets, to differing duvet togs and a whole host of cosy materials to choose from, the possibilities are endless when it comes to dressing your sleep station. But a much overlooked piece of the bedding puzzle is the humble top sheet, which can greatly improve your quality of sleep.  

In this blog, we’ve put together everything you need to know about top sheets to help you make the all important decision on whether to introduce an extra sheet to your bedding collection. Who knows, it could well be the best (and comfiest) decision you’ve ever made!

Understanding the top sheet

So what exactly is a top sheet we hear you ask? A top sheet is a flat sheet which provides a barrier between a sleeper and their duvet. Functionally, a top sheet can provide an extra layer of warmth (or equally act as a cooler option than a thick duvet in the summer months) and is designed to help keep your duvet and duvet cover cleaner for longer. 

Like most bedding, top sheets come in a variety of different fabrics, including cotton and linen. When selecting your top sheet, it’s very much down to personal preference but it is also worthwhile considering how much you intend on using your top sheet. 

Cotton is a great choice if you plan to use a top sheet all year round. With sweat wicking properties, a cotton top sheet can work wonders in the summer months but also help you to retain heat in the winter. 

Linen is incredibly breathable, making it a go-to choice when the evening temperatures start to climb. Plus, linen has a softer feel which many sleepers find more comfortable.

The benefits of using a top sheet

Now plenty of people will be forgiven for thinking a top sheet is an unnecessary addition to their bedroom set-up. But there’s plenty of reasons to invest, including the fact that it may just save you some money in the long run. 

Acting as an extra barrier, a top sheet can reduce the need for you to wash your duvet cover or duvet and extend the lifespan of your bedding, meaning you could splash out on something super luxurious safe in the knowledge that it's more of a long-term investment for a future of quality kips. Top sheets are also generally easy to maintain and wash, so just because there is an extra layer involved, it doesn’t mean you’ve added to your list of life admin chores! 

A top sheet can also keep things a bit more hygienic. If you’re a sweaty sleeper, it’s quick and easy to replace them regularly to avoid being in contact with a sweat-drenched or dead skin laden bedsheet each night. 

There are also potential additional sleep benefits involved with using a top sheet. In the summer months, they could be all you need as a cover when you hit the hay, but they can also act as an extra layer of warmth in colder times. Remember that temperature regulation is crucial to a quality night’s sleep!

Arguments against the use of top sheets

For those sitting on the fence, and in the name of balance, there are some potential downsides to having a top sheet. 

Although it can prolong the life of your bedding, it is an additional expense when it comes to dressing up your sleep station. A top sheet might also be a step too far for those who prefer a more simplistic approach – if minimalism is your thing, embrace it! 

Personal preference is also a key factor in deciding whether to opt for a top sheet. If you prefer to snuggle up close to your duvet, then an extra layer might not be best for you. Or if you are a fidgety sleeper, you might find them to be overly constrictive and hamper your sleep quality as a result.  

Alternative uses for top sheets

For those looking after the pennies, a top sheet can also come in handy in other ways. Outside the bedroom, top sheets have been known to make trusty picnic blankets, makeshift curtains or even handy floor protectors when it's time to paint or do some DIY! Get creative – there’s no limit to what a top sheet can do.

Searching for more bedding hints and tips?

If you’re in the hunt for bedding hints and tips, head to our blog, where we have put together everything you need to know about duvet and tog ratings, how often you should change your bedsheets and plenty more.