This is why you should use a top sheet on your bed

Are you for or against?
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The debate about whether or not we should use a top sheet in bed rages on.

If you think the answer is obvious, think again. There are definitely those for and against an extra layer of bedlinen so, we thought it time to canvas the preferences for and against a flat sheet that goes over your body and under your quilt.

Does your bed need a top sheet?

Home Beautiful asked the people. A quick vox pop around the office reveals some interesting results – more than twice as many staffers use a top sheet than not and many are vehement in their necessity – even going so far as to convert cohabitating partners. This is proven by one colleague who is happy to bow to the experts and takes no responsibility for his bedroom setup, confessing, “I do what I’m told – it’s not my decision!”

The Australian climate can make things a little challenging for some to commit one way or the other. It certainly sways many in their decision to have a top sheet – particularly in summer – the necessity to throw off the doona on warmer nights means a top sheet is essential for some. “I always start the night with a top sheet,” says one team member, “But I’m a half-in, half-out doona kind of guy.”

“I find a top sheet annoying, but I always make up the guest bed with one”

HB staffer

Another colleague feels a top sheet is imperative all year round, “I’ve called down to reception in hotels all around the world in search of a top sheet,” she reports, adding that her request is not always understood. Conversely, another colleague loves the feeling of escape when she gets to a hotel that doesn’t have top sheets, luxuriating in the crisp, clean quilt cover that someone else will be washing.

Master bedroom with white headboard and Cult wall lights
(Credit: Photography: Sue Stubbs / Styling: Jessica Bellef)

Others see it as a matter of hygiene and consider going without barbaric. “It’s disgusting [not to have one]!!” one exclaims. “How often are you washing your quilt cover then?!” Perhaps that’s the catch – many opt for a top sheet to cut down on washing and drying a heavier quilt cover, just changing their sheets regularly instead, especially in winter when things can take a little longer to dry.

“I love my top sheet and I’ll never give it up!”

HB staffer

If you’re still in two minds, here’s a broad list of reasons for and against, according to us…

The pros of having a top sheet

  • It’s more ‘grown-up’
  • You can kick off the doona and remain covered
  • You don’t have to wash your doona cover as often
  • You feel more secure and “tucked in” to sleep at night
  • It buffers itchy doonas on your skin
  • It protects you against your doona-stealing partner

The cons of have a top sheet

  • It’s annoying and always ends up at the bottom of the bed
  • It’s more linen to wash
  • It’s quicker and easier to make the bed without one
  • You feel more luxurious with just a quilt
  • You can moderate your body temperature better with clothes
do you need a top sheet on your bed
(Photography: John Downs / Styling: Carlene Duffy)

According to the actual experts, having a top sheet facilitates more styling options too, just make sure you make the bed with the sheet the right way around. When talking with HB about how to style a bed like a pro, Jordan Prainito, managing director of Canningvale says many people get it wrong. “If you’re using a flat sheet with your bedding, one mistake we see quite commonly made is that people make the bed with the flat sheet the right way up, which is actually the wrong side up,” he says.

Another colleague thinks the whole idea of a top sheet is completely outdated, “It’s not 1945!” she exclaims, “And anyway, it’s called a duvet!”

Well, now that’s a debate for another time.

Shop these sheets for classic bedroom styling


Abbotson queen linen flat sheet in Flax

$209.99 (usually $299.99), Sheridan

The perfect piece to upgrade your bedlinen set with the addition of a single flat sheet, Abbotson linen is part of Sheridan’s signature range and provides elegant comfort all year round. Choose your favourite colour or mix and match from 7 different colours from flax to ochre, including a cute ticking stripe.

Key features:

  • 100% Belgian flax linen
  • Available in 7 colours
  • Warm in winter, cool in summer


Softwash queen cotton sheet set – vintage in White

$99.99 (usually $199.99), Canningvale

Start all over again in classic comfort with a complete sheet set made of 100% breathable cotton. The soft, vintage feel of this blissful sheets just gets better with each wash.

Key features:

  • 100% cotton, made in India
  • Available in 7 colours
  • Set includes 1 x fitted sheet (with 40cm wall), 1 x flat sheet, 2 x pillowcases
100% french flax linen bedding set in turmeric


100% French flax linen bedding set in Turmeric

$200 (usually $400), Bed Threads

Wrap yourself in a cocoon of spicy linen with this luxe set you’ll never go back to cotton again. There’s something about the slouchy, elegant style that comes with 100% linen sheets that makes you feel like you’re on holiday, every day of the year.

  • 100% French flax linen
  • Available in 24 colours!
  • Set includes 1 x fitted sheet, 1 x flat sheet, 2 x standard pillowcases


Como queen sheet set in Green

$195.30 (usually $279), Freedom

The nature-inspired colours and vintage/enzyme wash of this natural sheet set make for year-round calm and cozy nights. From light stone to rich toffee tones, the quiet hues create a peaceful base for your bedroom sanctuary.

  • Sustainably made 100% European linen sourced from Belgium and France
  • Available in 4 earthy colours
  • Set includes 1 x fitted sheet, 1 x flat sheet, 2 x pillowcases

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