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Flat Sheets and Fitted Sheets: What’s the Difference?

Flat Sheet vs Fitted Sheet

What is a Fitted Sheet

A fitted sheet typically serves as a mattress topper. It is a piece of cloth with elasticated corners that are designed to snug fit around your mattress. Because of the elastic, they don’t get pulled out from under the mattress, and they don’t get tangled either. The purpose of a fitted sheet is to protect the mattress, and because they are fitted so neatly, they also provide a smooth sleeping surface. They’re also pretty easy to remove, and can easily be washed at home.


What is a Flat Sheet

A flat sheet is a flat, rectangular piece of cloth that is easy to fold and can be placed loosely on top of the mattress or tucked under it to keep the sheet from getting tangled and falling off while you sleep. Flat bed sheets are usually meant to go on top of the fitted sheet which is why it is also called a top sheet.


The fitted bed sheet is designed to protect your mattress, while flat sheets protect the fitted sheet, and provides an extra layer of warmth. Many people might think that a flat sheet is just an extra that doesn’t serve any real purpose, while others who prefer luxury beds consider it a vital part of the sheet sets. In fact, in some places, you might find that flat bed sheets are used in replacement for fitted sheets.


How to Shop for Flat and Fitted Sheets

When looking for bed linen, you’d want to know the tricks to buy flat and fitted sheets, and factors you need to keep in mind when making your purchases. Many bedding sets come with both a flat and fitted sheet, but sometimes you will have to make a selection.

When it comes to fitted sheets, you have to be very careful about the size you choose. Since fitted sheets are elasticated, you must make sure that your sheet is the right size for your mattress, not just in length and width but also the height. To make sure that the sheet stays in place and fits snugly, you have to be specific about the dimensions of your mattress. 

On the other hand, flat sheets have fewer rules. You can use larger flat sheets on smaller mattresses. For example, you can throw a queen or king-sized sheet on a double bed. In some warmer areas, people also choose to sleep under a flat sheet instead of a duvet, so you might want to consider this aspect as well.

No matter if you’re buying a flat sheet or fitted sheet or both, it is vital to make sure they’re made of high-quality fabric. Since both of these sheets come in contact with your skin, it’s best to choose gentle, soft, and breathable bedsheets. High-quality fabric is also good to get the maximum comfort out of your bed sheets, and is generally easier to wash and care for than synthetic fibers. 

Your bedsheets can affect the overall aesthetics of your bed and bedroom. Be sure to choose a color that accentuates or matches the colors used in your bedroom. Many times, flat and fitted sheets will be part of your bedding sets, but other times, you might have an extra piece of bed toppers, such as duvet covers, and might be looking for a flat or fitted sheet to go with it. 

Finding the perfect color might be difficult if your desired colors are very specific. But oftentimes, neutral colors like cream and white work with just about anything, making them popular options. Still, of course, you’re free to use harmonizing colors to make your bed look comfier. 


Final Thoughts

The debate of whether you need a flat or fitted sheet - or both - is an ongoing one, but ultimately, it is your lifestyle and preferences that shape your buying decision. After all, the average person spends about 33% of their time sleeping or resting - and who doesn’t want to spend that time comfortably! Keeping your preferences and a few basic tips in mind, you can make sure your bedding is comfortable and keeps you snug in bed all year round.

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