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Top Sheets Are the Absolute Worst
August 29, 2018
credit: Twenty20

When I moved to the U.S. from Germany in 1999 at age five, I'd only known a sweet life of slumbering under 100 percent cotton duvet covers, no top sheet in sight — this is by far the most common bedding option in Germany, and affordable at that. Of the ten boxes my parents packed to move to this country, at least one was filled with duvet covers.

So reality didn't hit until a couple of years later, when I was a pre-teen in desperate need of any bedding less childish. I'd long noticed that American bedding wasn't quite the same as what I was used to, of course — with its decorative comforters paired on top of flat sheets that I thought were so cool (all of my friends had them, you know). And all it took was one trip shopping in my Northwest Arkansas town to realize that duvet covers were scarcer than hen's teeth. In fact, the most I could find were some solid-color options at Target — and they were "expensive"! Surely America's metropolitan areas had duvet covers aplenty in the early-2000s, but middle America was missing out — this much I can tell you.

So with comforters available virtually everywhere, the choice was clear: I was going to have an American bed. I was so excited about my new bedazzled boho polyester comforter with a flat sheet all tucked in underneath. Don't get me wrong — I knew from staying in hotels and at friends' houses that I would be in a prison of my own making, entirely unable to stick a foot out to cool down — but now I totally fit in.

credit: Twenty20

This top sheet nightmare lasted for about two nights max — I also tried untucking the sheet, but only ended up utterly tangled — until I whipped my good old bunny-print duvet cover back out, dumped the sheet, and gingerly placed my new comforter on top for looks, to be thrown to the ground come nighttime. And I haven't looked back since.

As the years passed, more duvet cover options began popping up left and right in my town — from Target, to Bed Bath and Beyond, to Walmart. And we even got a Pottery Barn half an hour down the highway, completely changing the game (it was a big deal, ok?!). The point is, duvet covers are now widely available in all corners of the U.S. It's a revolution, if you may. And recently flat sheet haters seem to be popping up left and right to make their case, too. I'm shocked to see this day, as it wasn't too many years ago that I was trying to fit in by claustrophobically tossing and turning underneath my tucked flat sheet.

This is not to say that the comforter and top sheet combo doesn't have its place — it's loved by millions, and should always remain available for purchase. Many live to be snug as a bug in a rug under their tucked flat sheet, or tangled up, too — and there ain't nothing wrong with it.

But I'm just here to make my case against the top sheet. It goes like this: Comforters are bulkier to wash, and sometimes even require dry cleaning due to their decorative accents. Duvet covers can simply be peeled off and washed weekly, creating less items to clean — you could argue they're better for the environment, as they don't require a top sheet at all. Top sheets are almost impossible to not get tangled up in when untucked, yet when tucked the claustrophobia is real (unless you just really think the monsters are going to get your feet). Making your bed with a duvet cover takes about two seconds, whereas positioning your top sheet with a comforter on top is an ordeal. And finally, if this love for the top sheet just ceased to exist, the rest of us could all be saving money on sheet sets since they'd include one less piece.

Today I live in Los Angeles, absolutely reveling in the duvet cover options (they're so cheap at Ikea!). While many may disagree, top sheets are where I draw the line.

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