What's the Difference Between Flat and Fitted Sheets?

Finding the right bed linen and trying to figure out which type of bed sheet goes where can be a real struggle. With so many different types, names and styles of bedding out there, it’s no surprise that so many of us are confused when it comes to our bed sheets. This guide will explain the difference between flat and fitted sheets, describing the functions of each so that you can feel confident when deciding what types of sheets you need for your bed.

What is a fitted sheet?

A fitted sheet (sometimes called a bottom sheet) is a piece of material with elasticated corners designed to sit on top of the mattress and underneath you when you’re in bed. It’s elasticated corners allow the sheet to fit tightly around the mattress, meaning that when you move around in bed, the sheet should stay where it is. The function of a fitted sheet is to provide a layer of fabric between you and your mattress. This helps to keep the mattress clean protected, which is important given how difficult they are to wash. Fitted sheets on the other hand are much easier to wash and should be washed regularly to keep your bed nice and fresh.

What is a flat sheet?

A flat sheet (also known as a top sheet) is a large sheet that lies between you and your duvet. The purpose of a flat sheet is to protect your duvet cover, meaning that if you wash your flat sheet often, you shouldn’t have to wash your duvet cover as regularly. Many people like to use flat sheets for decorative purposes too, making their bed appear more welcoming. Flat sheets are also handy for helping to control your body temperature at night. Having the extra layer a fitted sheet provides will help keep you nice and toasty while you sleep. But if you get too warm, you can always take off your duvet and just use your flat sheet on it’s own to help keep you cool.

Do I need both?

Short answer: It’s totally up to you. The vast majority of people tend to just have a fitted sheet, with flat sheets often being seen as more of an optional extra. However, there is much debate surrounding the topic at the moment, with some people swearing by top sheets and others deeming them useless.

Either way, we hope this guide has been useful in helping you to learn the differences between flat and fitted sheets and has shed some light on each of their uses.

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