To Sleep, Or Not To Sleep, With A Top Sheet

The eternal debate continues.

Author by John Devore
Posted on
Credit: iStock

It has come to my attention there is a fierce debate happening that is dividing the nation. If I didn’t know any better I’d say the very future of the republic is at stake.

And, so, I feel it is my responsibility to settle the argument over whether one should sleep with a “top sheet,” or just a “duvet.” So we’re clear, a “top sheet” is the flat sheet that usually separates a duvet from a bed sheet, and a “duvet” is French for “poofy blanket.”  Apparently, there are some people who hate top sheets. Their nemeses? Those who love a cool membrane of cotton fibers between them and their fancy comforter.

The anti-top sheet faction argues that top sheets get all bunched up at night and are, therefore, an inconvenience. The pro-top sheet clan extol the virtues of their sheets: they help control temperature and, also, keep the duvet clean.

This “top sheet”/”duvet” controversy has birthed countless internet hot takes but I do not beg for clicks. I’m just a regular joe who writes for an award-winning mattress company. I’m a straight shooter who calls it like he sees it.

The answer to this quandary is simple and I’ll get to it in just a moment.

I understand both sides. I, mean, I get it: a top sheet can seem like a hassle. I can empathize. I also see it from the other perspective: only animals sleep without a top sheet.

I found about about this contentious topic the way I find out about most ridiculous conversations: from Twitter, the social platform that routinely answers the ancient question “what if millions of people all had nervous breakdowns at the same time?”

This quarrel is pitting one generation against another and it must stop so that we, as a society, can move on to even dumber arguments, like mustard on a hot dog or ketchup? (Mustard. Always mustard. Never ketchup.)

On one end of the dispute you have Millennials who, as far as I can tell, are a large group of adults who do not always like the same things other groups of adults like. For instance: Millennials famously do not like breakfast cereal, diamonds, or dreaming of a retirement that probably isn’t going to happen.

On the opposite end are the, um, not Millennials? This includes Baby Boomers, who grew up on breakfast cereals, proudly wear diamond rings, and are happily retiring because they have all the money.

The Boomers frequently complain that the Millennials have their own thoughts and feelings about things, and the Millennials often times moan about how the Baby Boomers have destroyed the world. It’s a real tit-for-tat slap fight without an end in sight.

I suspect “Gen X” probably leans towards the “no top sheet” side. A soft lean. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Gen X, they’re another group of adults who had the small misfortune of being born between two much larger generations— the Boomers and their children, the Millennials. Members of Gen X are use to shrugging when caught in the middle of a door-slamming squabble between The Olds and The Kids.

There is a younger generation that is neither of the aforementioned three. I don’t know if marketers have agreed on what to call these little customers yet. All I know is that they’re humanity’s only hope and I pray they can save us from all these tribal skirmishes about utterly pointless things.

Millennials aren’t “killing” the top sheet. No one is stopping Baby Boomers from sleeping with one. If Millennials want to sleep with just a dirty duvet then, by god, they have every right to do so. This is my answer to the top sheet donnybrook. Do what you want.

You see, I am complicated. I sleep with a top sheet because I enjoy sliding into a cool bed. But then I almost always kick off the top sheet AND the duvet and curl up like some giant, freakish, featherless bird. If the weather is warm I will not sleep with a blanket the entire night. If it’s warm, but the air conditioner is on full blast, I will pull the top sheet over me. When it is cold I will oftentimes, in the dead of night, choose the duvet. I will have kicked off both, again, before the sun rises. I have to be free. This is my personal truth.

I don’t know why it’s important to have to choose one or the other. Unless we’re talking hot dogs. Do not mix mustard and ketchup on a hot dog. The only condiment that belongs on a hot dog is mustard. This is another personal truth.

It's more complicated than you'd think.
A guide for people who don’t like to run with other people.
A popular internet experiment, debunked.

About Woolly

A curious exploration of comfort, wellness, and modern life — emotionally supported by Casper. It’s a beautiful magazine published by a mattress. Come on, you know it’s not the weirdest thing to happen this year. The first issue includes a love letter to comfort pants, a skeptic's guide to crystals, and an adulting coloring book.