Don’t give a sheet

comments 26
Jane Yee

This is going to be a seriously controversial post and I know some of you will think of me differently after reading this, but I really feel that the subject warrants discussion.

I’ve stopped using top sheets on our beds.

SAY WHAT?

Go ahead, judge me. I don’t care because the liberation I’ve experienced since ditching top sheets is totally worth having you all think I’m a vile human being whose children should be taken from her care immediately.

Here’s how it happened. It started with the turn down creases. No matter how hard I tried, I could not prevent or fix the top of the sheet from getting permanent creases and that shit drives me more nuts than it should.

Then there was LV. He was getting tangled in his top sheet, which made him overheat in the night, which in turn flared up his eczema. Plus it was a pain in the ass to make his bed with the sheet yanked out from under the mattress on the wall side – I would actually break out in a sweat pulling his bed out to make it every day.

We ditched his top sheet first, and were all happier for it.

Ours was the next to go. My bedmate gives exactly zero cares about maintaining top sheet coverage while asleep. Joel moves about a lot when he’s snoozing, and the top sheet gets seriously eff-d about. Not his fault of course, I’m not apportioning blame here because the guy’s asleep – it’s not like he means to mess with the top sheet – but the fact is it comes untucked at the sides and at his feet, the turn-down gets turnt up, the whole damn thing gets tangled.

Finally, making the bed just got to be a trial I couldn’t be bothered enduring anymore. Hospital corners, tidy tucking, a permanently creased turn-down… burgh. A few weeks ago it all got a bit much. I had washed the sheets and done that dumbass thing where I just threw them at the bed without actually making it up, got on with my day and then went to call it a night only to find a mess of scrunched up linen piled on the mattress.

It was sleepy time, I was sleepy and I had to make up a giant fecking bed.

That fateful night I made the decision to just put on the fitted sheet (easy) and chuck the duvet over the top (even easier) and that was it. I climbed into my new bedding situation feeling like a second-rate citizen, but when I got up the next morning and just pulled the duvet back over the mattress without faffing about with a top sheet I was all “hallelujah this is the answer to life!”

We have not had a top sheet since, and I’m totally converted. If you’re super grossed out that our bodies touch the duvet cover, don’t panic, we have plain lightweight duvet covers so I just wash them when I launder the sheets and it’s all just a world of amazing that I never realised existed. I have since discovered (through some embarrassing google searches to make sure I wasn’t being completely insane) that top sheets aren’t even a thing in most of Europe. And I like Europe!

Those of you who don’t use top sheets know exactly where I’m coming from with all this, and those of you who are top sheet devotees will think we’re all bonkers and disgusting, but if you’re a little bit tempted to give it a go I’d definitely recommend joining me and most of Europe by throwing that top sheet to the wind. Then enjoy a nice hot cup of tea with the extra time in your day and think aspirational thoughts with the extra space in your brain.

26 Comments

    • I really wish someone had told me sooner. I feel like I’ve wasted years making the bed unnecessarily!

  1. Susan says

    We’re the same, duvet only 🙂
    I now have a linen cupboard with a ridiculous supply of flat sheets that never get used.

  2. I used to enjoy that first night sleep with a freshly made bed with top sheet. But London, the top sheet is in the same category as dinosaurs and died out millions of years ago. Since moving over here I enjoy the simplicity of fitted sheet and duvet, especially as I tend to overheat.

  3. doompony says

    Randomly I read a buzzfeed (ugh) opinion piece about this last night and was surprised by the number of people who are devotees of the no top sheet movement. I’m the opposite. I used to avoid top sheets like death until I bought nice quality sheets and realised I got less tangled in general with a top sheet and my bed was less of a disaster zone in the morning. Probably knowing I couldn’t hook my legs and feet out of the covers kept me from drastic nocturnal maneuvers. Plus even with the burrito roll I still hate changing my duvet cover.

    • I’m so surprised how many people on here and on my FB and instagram have said they don’t use a top sheet. I never realised it was even a thing not to use one!

  4. Oh, Jane! I had no idea you guys down there were of that belief… My first experience was from when I used to live in the US, where the first thing I did was making the bed the home I always knew it – fitted sheet and duvet (in cover,
    obs.) Now, this is (as you know) not a duvet cover that only get washed once a year, rather a rotation of 4-5 clean ones changed each week. Safely back in Scandinavia, I applaud your findings and encourage you to be bold and loud on preaching this methodology. You might find followers who were just living in pure ignorance. Others might turn away, be that as it may – but I for one is happy to know you’ve found relief! 😉

    Now, I just need to find a way to teach people to do their shoelaces the best way… Lol

  5. We’re somewhere in between. I love sliding in between cosy sheets (top and fitted) but Mr Weka overheats during the night, so we have a top sheet in winter and just a duvet for the rest of the year. All the while, I pull an extra duvet over my side when I need it. It’s not pretty but it works.

    • Mate, my motto is whatever works! Through this post I have discovered my sister in law sleeps under the top sheet while her husband sleeps on top of it!

  6. Kirstie says

    Ooooh I don’t know what to do!! When I was younger it was no top sheet, then I had nice sheet sets, and didn’t want to waste the flat sheet, also it is quite nice. But it annoys me, the sheet never stays where it’s supposed to be! And it ends up all crumpled in a ball on my side. And the kids beds are just a mound of annoyances.
    I may ditch the top sheet! Can’t guarantee this will catch on, but going to try it!
    Also holy moley, is this the third post in a ridiculously short period of time?!? Exciting!

    • Give it a go Kirstie! I know it means washing the duvet covers more often, but I’d rather do that than deal with top sheets every damn day.

      And yes, what the hell has gotten into me? Flexing those writing muscles again and it’s so cool to chat to people. Makes me feel less like a prisoner in my home. Ha.

      • Kirstie says

        Husband couldn’t cope with change so we left the sheet on. And now it’s rolled up and falling off the bed! Dammit!

  7. errr……what. This is standard in all three countries i’ve lived in. This isn’t controversial unless you’re an incredibly stupid person.

  8. Anita says

    I am not converted. Having just returned from the UK I hated not having a top sheet. The weather was hot and all the beds where I stayed had duvets that were far too hot. Had there been a top sheet I could have flicked off the duvet. I also toss and turn a lot but never get caught up in the top sheet. However, far worse is the fact that the duvet cover would need regular washing and I just hate putting the cover on the duvet. I hope you will keep a top sheet on your spare room bed just in case you have an oldie come to stay. It might just put them off staying!

  9. NiccaKicca says

    I have not had a top sheet for years and when people come to stay and ask for one, I have to admit to not owning any. Its the best. I wash my sheets and duvet every week so its not gross. Also, if your wee man has trouble with eczema you might like to have a look at these – http://www.bamandboo.co.nz – their sheets and clothes are great for wee ones!

  10. Sarah says

    I’m of chinese heritage and I have to admit, for the first 18 years of my life I had no idea the flat sheet was supposed to go *on top* of you- I seriously thought it was a backup for when your fitted sheet was in the wash…..

    It’s always a novelty and nice to to have crisp sheets at hotels, but I generally don’t care for them at all!

  11. dragonzflame says

    Ah, I’m so with you. Growing up with British parents I NEVER had a top sheet and it wasn’t until I, erm, began sharing beds with Kiwi guys that I discovered it was a thing even with a duvet.

    I’ve tried to explain it to my husband but he won’t have a bar of it, so we get tangled top sheets and all the rest of it. When we stayed with my aunty in England he almost couldn’t cope without one.

    I suppose the benefits are that you don’t have to wash the duvet cover as often, and therefore don’t have to wrestle the thing back into place, and if you get hot you can just peel back the duvet and maintain some coverage, but all in all I still think top sheets are silly and am glad I’m not alone in this.

  12. Phoebeaky says

    We have international students live with us on and off and invariably they sleep on top of the top sheet also. I was so confused initially but a friend explained the situation – -and as it turns out, your ‘most of Europe’ is joined by ‘most of Asia!

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