3 Reasons Experts Say Top Sheets Are the Worst

A neatly made bed

KhongkitWiriyachan / Getty Images

What is a top sheet, and is it really necessary? First and foremost, a top sheet is a top protective layer on a bed to help protect the duvet as well as add a refined look to your bedroom. Whether you’ve heard of a top sheet or not, here’s what you need to know: people are pretty divided when it comes to their bedding preferences and opinions. In fact, some people will adamantly defend top sheets and their purpose—while others argue they’re actually the worst. 

To solve this age-old dilemma, we’ve sourced a few experts to share their opinions. From a lack of true practicality to the inconvenience of an extra, unneeded layer, here’s why some bedding experts are saying ‘no’ to top sheets. 

Meet the Expert

  • 01 of 03

    They Don’t Really Add Any Value

    One of the biggest claims that top sheet advocates will make is that they help with protection and comfort, not to mention they make the bed look more *aesthetically pleasing.* However, Karin Sun, textile vet, best sleep practices expert, and co-founder of Crane & Canopy, does not agree. Not only does she consider the added time and laundry with having a top sheet, but she also comments on the impracticality.  

    “The top sheet normally ends up bunched up as a messy ball towards the end of the bed in the mornings,” she says.

    If this is the end result, are top sheets really making our beds look better, protecting our sensitive skin, or creating a barrier layer between us and our duvets? That may be up for debate.

  • 02 of 03

    They're Just Not Practical

    “In Europe, top sheets are hardly used,” shares Miriam Tyrangiel, founder of Undercover Living. “We have recently stocked them in our shop, but the majority of customers just go for duvet covers and fitted sheets.”  

    Why? Because fitted sheets and duvets are more convenient. As popularity grows around sleeping with a duvet, it just doesn’t make sense to add another layer (and item to the washing machine).  

    Tyrangiel also comments on the silliness of top sheets. “The duvet cover gets washed regularly,” she says, “So the argument that a top sheet keeps your bed cleaner, isn't necessarily true. And if you've got a top sheet, duvet cover, and fitted sheet, you just end up having to do much more laundry ”

  • 03 of 03

    We Should Actually Be Buying Better Duvets

    What’s the point of having a top sheet if you can just purchase a better duvet? This is a question that got quite a few experts thinking. Is it necessary to purchase a top sheet when you can upgrade the quality, practicality, and comfort of your bed with a better duvet? 

    “Top sheets are the worst! Or, to put it less dramatically—top sheets are simply not necessary if you pick the right duvet cover!” says Torun Hannam, founder of The Bamboo Shop. “Your duvet cover should be machine washable and easy to remove and replace. Also, your body temperature will fluctuate during sleep so… avoid overheating by only using highly breathable materials in the layers closest to your body." 

    In her opinion, you don’t need a top sheet if you’re buying a better duvet.  

    “Avoid polyester and polyester blends,” she says. “Pick a duvet cover made from 100% natural, breathable and moisture-wicking material, like 100% cotton, bamboo, or linen.”

So, are top sheets necessary? Does the function outweigh the annoyance? Are they practical or is something else more useful? You’ll have to weigh in with your own opinion.