Flat vs Fitted Sheets: Learn the Difference!

Flat vs Fitted Sheets: Learn the Difference!

Bed sheets are your faithful companions during the night, you spend almost eight hours in their cozy company. Given the amount of time you spend together, it is quite convenient to be properly educated about these pieces of bed linen, so let’s hop right into it!

  You probably heard about flat sheets and fitted sheets before, but do you know the differences between them? If you don’t, let’s start by clearing this up!

  A fitted sheet is a sheet that is used on the bottom of the bed. It has its corners and sometimes its sides, fitted with elastic, hence the name. A flat sheet is a regular rectangular sheet that goes on top of the fitted one.

  If you feel like clearing all your doubts about the purposes and advantages of flat and fitted sheets, this blog is meant for you!

What is the purpose of a Fitted Sheet?

  Fitted Sheets are also known as bottom sheets, and they are easily recognizable by the elastics that are fitted along their corners and sides, which are there for the purpose of firmly covering your mattress. Whatever material you choose, the objective of fitted sheets is to protect your thick mattress like a defensive shield, while also providing a soft layer of coziness for a good night's sleep. It can also be used over a mattress topper.

  Using fitted sheets has a lot of advantages for your bed, let’s check a few of the benefits:

Very easy to clean:

  Fitted sheets are easy as they come, you only need to throw them in the washer with your flat sheets and pillowcases, no need for dry cleaning.

Increase the lifespan of your mattress:

  Mattresses usually last between seven and eight years, but when you use an adequately fitted sheet, you can extend it by protecting it from dust and other possible hazards.

Provides an extra layer of comfort while sleeping:

  No matter how comfortable your mattress is, using a fitted sheet takes it to a whole new level, providing a soft, cozy surface to make your bed as plush as possible.

What is the purpose of a flat sheet?

  Flat sheets are also known as top sheets, and true to their name, they lie flat on top of your bed. You can tuck its corners and sides under your mattress, but given that they lack the elastic corners of a fitted sheet, they don’t grip the mattress and can move freely.

  There is a lot of debate surrounding the relevance of a top sheet. In general, everyone agrees that a fitted sheet is a must, without controversy. Yet, top sheets don’t reach the same level of unanimity. A lot of Americans believe you can’t have a complete bedding set without them, especially among the older generations. But millennials seem to be more flexible when it comes to selecting a sheet set, and apparently, flat bed sheets are not necessarily an essential part of it. 

  Let’s check a few fundamentals in defense of the top sheet:

Duvet protection:

  It’s a key asset for protecting your duvet from getting dirty.

Temperature regulation:

  It’s an advantage during warm nights since they are more breathable than a comforter.

Extra level of comfort:

  They are considerably softer than duvets and comforters, which helps attain that extra level of comfort for a good night's rest.

Is it possible to use a Flat Sheet as a Fitted bed Sheet?

  A flat sheet can be used as a fitted sheet if you don’t have a complete set, and while it will serve its purpose regarding mattress protection and comfort, the lack of fitted elastic will make the grip considerably loose, which can be problematic for a pleasant night. But, flat bed sheets can be used as a bottom sheet if the need arises, let’s see how we can turn a top sheet into a replacement for a fitted sheet.

  • First thing is to use an appropriately sized sheet. Since you won’t have the elastic fitted into them, you’ll have to compensate with the correct size so there is enough surface to cover the whole bed while also leaving some to be tucked under the mattress, consider using a king-size flat sheet for this experiment!

  • Once you’ve selected a sizable sheet, the second step is to carefully place it on top of the mattress, making sure it is centered and smoothed, to prevent wrinkles and creases.

  • The third step would be to pay close attention to the corners since they’ll be fundamental in keeping the sheet gripped to the mattress as firmly as possible, so it won’t come off during the night. An advisable method to do this is one we usually see in beds at hotels and medical institutions. They are commonly referred to as hospital corners, and the technique uses a square corner that is tightly tucked under the mattress.

Are Fitted sheets better than Flat Sheets?

  The answer to this question depends on what’s preferable for you. It’s an argument that will likely carry on for decades. Some will undoubtedly maintain that a flat bed sheet cannot replace a fitted one as a bottom sheet, even though you can use it if need be. And top bed sheets will also remain a matter of preference when it comes to using one for extra comfort or just laying under a well-crafted duvet.

  There is no right answer when it comes to it since it’s all a matter of personal experience and opinion. What helps you sleep comfortably at night might be the same that makes it unpleasant for others, and that goes for any combination possible.

  In the end, the advantage that deep fitted sheets have over flat sheets is that they offer a tighter grip on your mattress, even though you can use a flat sheet. flat sheets are better for protecting your duvet and making your night more pleasant, but you can also protect your duvet using a duvet cover. 

  In both cases, you can choose to implement whatever suits you better, and if you are still having doubts or don’t know how to choose, let’s take a quick look at what you can do to find these answers.

Find out which sheet is better suited for you!

If you are still undecided about what kind of sheet is more adjusted to your needs, don’t fret. There are very simple ways to discover what kind of sheets will deliver the best combination for a comfortable night!

Top to bottom swap!

Check your closet for an extra flat sheet and try it out as a bottom sheet. We recommend that you use it for one week at least, so you can properly gauge the benefits and disadvantages of the top to bottom swap. Pay special attention to how you feel about the extra tucking involved and whether the sheets get loose at night!

Forget the top sheet!

Forget the top sheet for a while, but do use a fitted sheet. Take some nights in the company of just your duvet or comforter. Evaluate whether you feel comfortable enough and what’s the difference regarding temperature control. If you find yourself fully covered by the flat sheet in the morning, a top might be right for you, whereas if you awake uncovered, you might not need one. 

Take up the combo!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try both at the same time, use a top sheet for cover while using a bottom sheet for the mattress. It’s a combination that boasts a lot of advantages, and may very well be the best option for you!

After taking these steps, you’ll be ready to decide for yourself which is the better option for a good night’s sleep. Regardless of the debate, it's about personal preference.

Take proper care of your sheets!

  We’ve seen the uses and advantages of fitted sheets and flat sheets, but even though they have their differences, when it comes to hygiene, they are very much alike. The human body sweats during the night, we shed skin cells, and bacteria can build up on our sheets over time. Therefore, it is very important that we establish a cleaning cycle for our sheet set, not only for our own good but also to protect the mattresses since the accumulation of dirt can seep upon it too. Let’s not forget that fitted bed sheets serves as protection for it and having a dirty shield will not do.

  Sleeping on dirty sheets may have more complications than you think. According to the Sleep Foundation, it can trigger skin rashes, irritations, and allergies through dust mites that can proliferate in dirty sheets. So, it is very important to keep your bedding set clean for healthy sleeping!

  Let’s take a look at what you can do to keep your sheets clean and clear, here are a few tips:

Wash them regularly.

Take care to wash them every week, or at least every two weeks!

No makeup.

Have you had a big night out? Take care of removing your makeup before entering your bed, to avoid it getting on your pillowcases and sheets. Makeup is good for your face, not for your sheets!

Night showers!

If keeping a clean sheet set is a top priority for you, you might want to start showering at night before going to bed. This will get rid of any sweat, dirt, and bacteria accumulated during the day, which will keep your sheets cleaner for a longer time.

No pets allowed!

For a clean bed, no pets allowed! Pets are good company, but if you want the cleanest sheets possible, they better be off the bed.

Consider a hot wash.

If the fabric can withstand it, washing sheets in hot water is very recommendable to remove unwanted soil. But be very careful to check for washing instructions, which highly depend on the materials used! We all want a clean sheet set, but we don’t want to ruin them in the process.

No food on the bed.

  Don’t take food to your bed, that’s what tables are for!

  Sheets are our allies when it comes to optimizing the quality of our sleep, so take this advice and take proper care of them!

Advantages of buying a Sheet Set!

  To finish up, we’d like to tackle another question that arises when debating the Flat Sheet or Fitted Sheet debate, which is whether it is better to buy a set that includes both of them or it is better to get them separately.

  It is very common to find both options on sale, and even though there is no reason why you can’t purchase them separately, it is quite convenient to buy them as a set. When you buy them as a set you get a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases (or one, depending on the store or size of the set), and there are some advantages of getting all those pieces in a set because one set means one brand! Let’s check some of them.

Set design!

  One of the advantages lies in the design, when they come in a set they are usually made to go together, so the combination favors the aesthetic element of the purchase.

Same set, same fabric!

  The same set means the same fabric, and that will provide some consistency in terms of the properties and advantages of every piece, whether they are made with natural or synthetic materials.

Wash together!

  No need to worry about separating them when it’s time to wash them, they’ll most likely share the same washing instructions, which makes things simple.


  Make things simpler for warranty purposes, if there is anything wrong with the set, you know there is a company behind it that will take care of it as a whole.

  And now that we’ve established some of the benefits of getting a set of sheets, we recommend that you take a look at Mellanni for the best sheet sets available on the market.

Mellani's sheet sets!

  The material and embroidery of their flat sheets are magnificent, and their Fitted sheets come with elastic all around them and deep pockets!

  We especially recommend the following sheet sets, to enjoy your flat sheets, fitted sheets, and pillowcases with all the advantages of getting them in a set!

  Take a look at Mellanni's 100% Organic cotton 400 thread count bed sheet set. When it comes to a cotton sheet set, it does not get better than this.

  Mellanni's flat cotton bed sheets are hard to beat, but if you feel like microfiber suits your needs better, check out Mellanni's 1800 Collection Microfiber Sheet set for a silky soft feel and extra comfort, making it a great alternative to cotton jersey sheets.

  On the other hand, if you feel like experiencing a sheet set with increased airflow for sensitive skin, you'll be glad to know that Mellanni is about to launch a new 100% Flax Linen Bed Sheet set. So be on the lookout for that one!

  We hope this guide has helped navigate the flat sheet vs fitted sheet debate and we wish you get the set of your dreams for a cozy good night!


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