From top to bottom: What you need to know about flat and fitted sheets
A good night’s sleep shouldn’t be complicated.
And yet, a visit to any bedding shop can be slightly bewildering: There are bedspreads, coverlets. blankets, comforters, duvets, shams, cases, throws . . . each available in a choice of sizes, colours and fabrics.
Here at Yugen Hut, we believe in comfort and simplicity. That’s why we’re dedicating this blog to two of the most common – and most commonly misunderstood – components of a well-made bed: flat sheets and fitted sheets.
Why do I need them?
Good quality bed sheets provide more than just comfort – but they should offer lots of that, or what’s the point?
Fitted and flat sheets can be viewed as “protectors.” They form an easily removed and washed layer between you and the mattress (in the case of fitted sheets) and your duvet or blanket (with top sheets).
Ease of care is crucial here: If you’ve ever tried to wash a duvet or clean a stain from a mattress, you’ll know what we mean. But top/fitted sheets can also do so much more in terms of both personal comfort and protecting your investment in expensive bed components.
Start at the bottom
A fitted sheet (also known as a bottom sheet) features elasticized edges that wrap around your mattress to hold the sheet in place. The result should be a smooth, neat surface that won’t bunch up when you change sleeping positions at night.
The stretchy edges also make removal for washing literally a snap. Just lift one corner off the mattress and let it “snap” back!
As mentioned, fitted sheets protect your mattress from stains, rips, or tears. While bare mattresses are rarely exposed except on wash days (and, with some potential embarrassment, on moving day), keeping yours looking fresh and new is pleasing aesthetically and helps extend the lifespan of these costly bedroom essentials.
Your top choice
Although their name suggests otherwise, flat sheets have a lot of depth – at least in terms of the role they play in your bed.
Like their fitted counterparts, flat sheets have a practical use by providing a layer of protection against stains or tears to your duvet or blanket. They also offer another kind of defense: Depending on the fabric you choose, a high-quality flat sheet can provide resistance to skin irritants such as dust mites or bacteria.
Many of us sweat during the night, and a flat sheet made from plant fibres that are both breathable and moisture wicking – meaning they don’t retain dampness – is essential. (Tip: Two great fabric choices that combine breathability with hypoallergenic qualities are hemp and bamboo.)
“Thermoregulating” might not be “top” of mind when shopping for bedding, but it’s an important consideration all the same. Have you ever slept with just a duvet on top, only to find that you kick it off in the middle of the night because you are too hot – and that, without it, you quickly become chilled?
The right flat sheet (hemp, bamboo or linen are ideal) will help maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature, even when external conditions change. And during hot summer weather, you can just leave your duvet at the foot of the bed and sleep soundly covered with only your flat sheet.
One final, “flat” thought: like fitted sheets, flat sheets can be easily removed and laundered. That means your duvet cover (the one that seems to take forever to reinstall after washing) stays cleaner, longer.
Quality counts, but only one fabric adds up
While there is some debate about whether flat sheets are necessary (in Europe, for example, duvet covers are preferred over adding another sheet to the bed mix), there is one thing you should never leave off your bedding shopping list: quality.
Our skin comes into contact with both the flat and fitted sheets for hours each night. Doesn’t it make sense to ensure your bedding is the best you can afford?
An increasing number of smaller, eco-conscious brands offer premium alternatives to factory-produced bedding that can contain skin-irritating chemicals or non-breathable synthetic fibres. And many of these independent companies are turning to one of the softest, most durable fibres around: hemp.
Hemp is indeed soft (many people are surprised to discover just how gentle this fabric is on their skin), breathable, and temperature-regulating. It’s also hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, and with proper care will provide years of comfortable use.
Bedding fit for a King or Queen (size)
Hemp fabric, in its natural, dye-free state, also simplifies your decorating conundrums by providing a relaxed, earthy tone that enhances any bed or bedroom. The Yugen Hut online shop stocks all your natural hemp bedding options, including flat or fitted sheets in your choice of Queen or King sizes (a full bedding set, complete with two pillowcases/shams, is also available).
So, flat, fitted, or both? The choice is up to you, but we recommend you include style, comfort, quality, and the environment on your shopping list.