Flat Sheet vs Fitted Sheet: Differences, Pros & Cons, Recommendations


I can remember how my grandma would tell me the stories of how they maintained their bedroom in the olden days. Whenever we go shopping for beddings, she would lament and cringe at the sight of what she calls the “modern bed sheets.”

Flat Sheet vs Fitted Sheet

Bed [/bɛd/] noun
Life without a bed is like life without internet… but worse.

According to her, there was nothing like a set of bed sheets when she was young, and this sheet set seems overwhelming and unnecessary. She said all they needed to make sleeping sweet and bedroom luxurious was only a piece of flat white sheets made from cotton material. Oh! Did I tell you she still sleeps in the old ones she has with her? She would never sleep on the new sheets we got her. She is such a picky sleeper.

I almost got carried away with her points that I wished there were nothing like different sheets such as fitted and flat sheets-really, are they necessary?. Being a curious and meticulous individual, I wouldn’t succumb to her points just like that; I needed to find out if her generation missed out or we are the ones missing out in the bed linen industry.

Finally, I carried out quick but in-depth research, and I realized many things about the flat sheet vs. fitted sheet: differences, pros, and cons. I also found a few best bed sheets fitted and flat sheets in them during my research.

Are you worried about the necessity of the flat sheet and fitted sheet, or you don’t know the right one to purchase? I have prepared this article to help you make your decision faster. Follow this article keenly to the end.

Get straight into the flat and fitted sheet recommendations by clicking here!

What is a Flat Sheet?

Top Sheet vs Fitted Sheet Comparison

Flat sheets are wide, simple, flat, plain fabrics with rectangular shape, just like any typical bedspread you use to cover your bed. This piece of cloth lies flat and drapes onto the mattress surface.

Flat sheets are also regarded as top sheets; they are traditionally meant to be on the fitted sheet but under the blankets or duvets. Flat sheets are intended to make the bed more conducive and secure the blankets or duvets from dirt. The point is to relieve the stress of washing your duvet or blanket frequently since the flat sheets are lighter and more comfortable to wash.

While a flat sheet contours to the body, providing it with extra warmth, the duvet or blanket is less likely to get dirtied quickly.

This sheet doesn’t have elastic to fit down over the corners of the mattress. Instead, they have a stitched seam around the edges to keep the material from loosening when you are using it. Most bed sheets are made from threads that have been woven together to make a large panel of fabric. Thus the need for a seam on the edges.

The Flat bed sheets can be left loose on the bed or tucked underneath the mattress for a tighter fit. However, while you are on it, any serious movement can untuck the sheet, untangling it around your legs and feet. This can create discomfort for light sleepers. Some of the pros and cons of using a flat sheet are:

Pros of flat sheets

Protection

Flat sheets rest beneath the comforter or blanket of your bed and are the material that will cover your body while you are sleeping. It gives your fitted sheet protection from stains or rips. A flat sheet can also offer protection for the main covering on your bed, regardless if it is a comforter, duvet, or blanket. If you have an injury or suffer from a skin ailment that causes discharge, a flat sheet can protect the most luxurious top covering from stains or rips.

Barrier

A flat sheet can also function as a barrier for your skin against usual irritants like dust, mites, bacteria, or parasites that can live up to five years in the dark corners of your mattress (gasp!). Specific irritants can irritate your skin to the point of itchy, rash-covered sections or even compromise your respiratory system. If you suffer from skin ailments, like eczema or psoriasis, a flat sheet made from a soft material like cotton or linen, or silk can help soothe the skin with its natural moisture repellants.

Temperature Control

A flat sheet can provide you with temperature control. Using a flat sheet during the hot summer months can let the body naturally adjust its core temperature to a cooler one. Depending on the atmosphere that you find yourself living in, a flat sheet could be the only thing protecting you from irritants during those warm, humid nights. With specific materials offering natural moisture repellent, a flat sheet can be a savior and prevent you from waking up soaked in sweat. During cold winter months, a flat sheet can also add warmth and comforting layers to your bed.
Furthermore, you can cover yourself with a flat sheet without using a duvet during summer. You may not feel the heat, especially if the sheet is breathable. Likewise, the flat sheet will be suitable for winter, as it will enhance the duvet’s thickness to keep you warm at night.
If you put on the air conditioner during hot weather, a flat sheet will trap the cooler air and disperse it into your body.

Durable

Flat sheets do not pass through heavy use, which makes them last longer. You are likely to use a flat sheet longer than you would use a fitted sheet.

Affordable

Flat sheets are cheaper than fitted sheets. It won’t cost you much cash to get a quality flat sheet. Although the sheet’s brand and material determine the price, still, they don’t cost much.

Cons of flat sheets

A bit stressful

The flat sheet can be challenging to sleep in, especially for restless sleepers. They can quickly get off the bed and the body or gather at the edge of the bed, which would require readjustment from time to time while sleeping. That is also applicable to using it on the mattress in place of a fitted sheet.

Takes time to fit

You may find it challenging to fit a flat sheet on the mattress since they don’t have elastic like the fitted sheet, making fitting faster.

See my top flat sheets right now!

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What is a Fitted Sheet?

Differences Between Flat Sheets and Fitted Sheets

A fitted sheet features elasticized corners that can give you a snug and exact fit on the mattress. Because it is tucked in on each corner, the sheet stays firm and fit even when you sleep roughly. Fitted sheets are better than flat sheets on the mattress for anybody since they won’t have to wake up to adjust the sheets.

Traditionally, a fitted sheet is also called a bottom sheet, and it is meant to cover and secure the mattress from dirt. The fitted sheet is what you lay on directly instead of the mattress. Some people prefer to use another mattress protector (optional), which always stays under the fitted sheet.

It can also provide warmth, but its main goal is to cover the mattress for a smooth and soft surface. The elastic lets the sheet hug the corners of your mattress tightly, so no matter how you move around during sleep, the sheet will not get detached. Some of the pros and cons of using a fitted sheet include:

Pros of fitted sheets

Protection

A fitted sheet can give protection for your mattress from normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear can come from stains (bodily fluids, liquids, food, etc.), rips, or tears. There is no question that mattresses are the most expensive part of your bed, and when maintained the right way, it could serve you for a decade or even more than that. Hence the importance of a fitted sheet.

Snug, Tight Fit for a Smooth Sleeping Surface

When fitted for your mattress, the fitted sheet will not be easily dislodged from each corner. Instead, it will fit snugly without popping out. Using the correct measurements for your fitted sheet, you should be able to pull the sheet snugly over each corner of the mattress to make a flat and smooth sleeping surface.

Easy to fit

When you are about to lay your mattress with a fitted sheet, you will realize they are effortless to fit. The sheet comes with an elastic feature that only requires a quick tuck, and the bed is set for sleeping.

Comfort

Fitted sheets make sleeping on the bed more comfortable. No matter how you love to sleep, the sheets won’t pop off the mattress all through the night, provided the elastic is strong.

Suitable for all seasons

You can sleep on a fitted sheet in winter or summer, provided the sheet is confirmed breathable.

Cons of fitted sheets

They are not easy to remove

Since a fitted sheet fits snugly on your mattress, you need to be careful while removing them should the need arise. If care is not taken while taking it off the bed, the sheet may get ripped or torn, making it less easy to remove them. When you are about to pull a fitted sheet to avoid damaging them, pluck off each of those corners one after the other from their hold to loosen and remove the sheet. This method is perfect when you need to take your sheets to the laundry and a lot safer than trying to remove it hurriedly.

A bit expensive

Fitted sheets are more expensive to purchase since they are generally regarded as the main bed sheet. The material and brand also determine their prices. You need to identify your budget and expectations before shopping for a fitted sheet.

See my fitted sheet recommendations by clicking here

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How to select a perfect flat and fitted sheet for your mattress

The first important thing is to know your bed size, as you wouldn’t want to purchase a fitted sheet that will either be bigger or smaller. Also, the size of your mattress is another essential thing to know. The deepness of your mattress will determine the type of deep pocket fitted sheet you will need.
As for selecting a flat sheet, you don’t need much information about the size. If your bed is king size, you can purchase a flat sheet that can fit a double bed; that way; you will have excess fabrics to tuck into your bed. Likewise, if your mattress is very deep, a more massive flat sheet will be the best option.

When you want to work with your budget, some sheets are generally cheap such as polyester and bamboo sheets. You may be lucky to find other cheap materials too, which depends on how best you can search for them.

Are you a person who doesn’t work with budget but quality and other necessary factors like comfort, breathability, care, and eco friendly? You may find it stressful to make the right choice due to the market’s plethora of options. To save your energy, explore our website to see the different types of materials we have reviewed for you to make the best choice.

The least of the things that some people pay attention to is the choice of color. Meanwhile, colors are meant to give meaning and beauty to your bedroom.

White happens to be the most common choice as they are versatile and gives the room a reserved definition. You can blend them with any other color for a brighter tone. The cream color is almost the same as white; if you don’t want to go with white, you can make cream the next choice. Grey can give your room a vibe, while rich colors such as red, burgundy, and the likes can make your room sensuous or enticing.
Above all, your color should be determined by your personality, preference, or your room’s theme.

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What are the Differences Between Flat Sheet and Fitted Sheet?

Pros and Cons of Flat and Fitted Sheets

The primary difference between fitted and flat sheets is the fit. If you put up two mattresses side by side, with the first one covered with a flat sheet and the other one with a fitted sheet, the contrasting features between the two will be quite noticeable.

While a fitted sheet features stretchable sides that cover the mattress with a snug fit, a flat sheet is just a simple and plain rectangular cloth that lays flat on the bed.

However, there are some people that find it a waste of time and money to purchase a flat sheet. They think it’s just another sheet to fold and another addition to their laundry list.

As a flat sheet safeguards the fitted sheet, duvet, and blanket and helps keep the dirt off, a fitted sheet does the same for the mattress. That’s why flat sheets are more susceptible to dirt and thus, need to be washed on a consistent basis. But one thing’s for sure: they both can give you extra warmth to keep you comfortable when you sleep.

But if you’re still wondering what the differences are between these two kinds of bed sheets, I have listed down a detailed comparison of their most prominent characteristics, which are appearance, fit, versatility, storage, and cost. This comparison can hopefully give you a better view of their differences so that you can conclusively decide which one to buy.

Maintenance

Flat sheet

Flat sheets are the easiest to maintain. They are not as heavy as duvets or blankets. Likewise, flat sheets are simple to wash, iron, fold, and store flat.

Fitted sheet

On the other hand, the fitted sheets are quite stressful to care for due to the elastic feature on their edges. They are a bit stressful to wash, iron, and fold. Also, they don’t stack well, making them uneasy about transporting or handling.

Durability

Flat sheet

Flat sheets last longer than a fitted sheet since they are not heavily used. They rarely get damaged during use and laundry, which is another reason for their long life span.

Fitted sheet

Fitted sheets often get washed more than flat sheets because they regularly contact the skin, which exposes them to dirt. Their elastic bands lose on time with frequent washing, which may render them useless after a while.
F

Appearance

Flat Sheet

The name pretty much gives away what a flat sheet looks like. A flat sheet is flat, rectangular, and plain. It just looks like any other blanket or sheet that just lies flat on the bed. You can get these in a wide range of colors, designs, material, and sizes.

Fitted Sheet

A fitted sheet has four stretchable corners that give the mattress a tight fit. The elasticized corners highlight the edges of the mattress that can give it a smoother surface and a neat look.

Fit

Flat Sheet

Whether you possess a single, twin, queen, or king-sized bed, there is always an available flat sheet that would suit your preference. No elasticized corners. And if by any chance, you end up with a wrong length and width, it doesn’t really matter all that much as it just lays flat on the bed and drapes along the trails of the duvet and blanket.

Fitted Sheet

Getting the right size is of the utmost importance when buying a fitted sheet. If you need to dress up your mattress for a queen-sized bed or whatever size you have, make sure to consult the labels first for the dimensions before you head out to the store. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it on your mattress and you may have to go through all the trouble (and expense) of having it replaced or worse, buying another one. If you have a thick mattress at home, you can go for deep fitted sheets for better folding and tucking in.

Versatility

Flat Sheet

Flat sheets are more versatile compared to that of fitted sheets. It is often layered on top of the fitted sheet and in between the duvet and blanket. But you can also use it as a blanket to keep yourself warm during the colder months of the year or you can just layer it along with your other blanket for extra warmth. Also called a top sheet, you’re less likely to wash more frequently as it keeps the duvet and the fitted sheet from the dirt and dust.

Fitted Sheet

The very purpose of a fitted sheet is to cover the mattress and nothing else. It isn’t as versatile as flat sheets but it does give you extra warmth on your bed. It can also protect the mattress from the dirt and dust. And because it gives off a smooth and soft surface on your bed, you get to enjoy a comfy sleep all day.

Storage

Flat Sheet

After folding a flat sheet a few times, you can easily keep the flat sheet away for storage. It folds flat and does not at all take up a lot of space in your cabinet.

And since it isn’t bulky, it does not bulge out of your other folded sheets and helps keeps your storage orderly and organized.

Fitted Sheet

Putting away a fitted sheet for storage is not much of a hassle, either. Just a few folds and it is good to go for keeping away in your cabinet or closet. However, you’ve got to be a bit careful folding it in due to its elasticized corners. Unlike flat sheets, a fitted sheet may not lay very flat and can come out a little bulky.

Cost

Flat Sheet

There are a few aspects that can influence the price of the flat sheet. This includes the kind of material used, its length or size, the brand, and the design.

Hence, there isn’t a set price range. The prices can go higher or cheaper than most. However, there are some that can also be affordable.

Fitted Sheet

Fitted sheets are very much alike to flat sheets when it comes to price. You may come across expensive and affordable choices based on the material, design, brand, and size.

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Top Rated and Recommended Flat Bed Sheets

9.2/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: ZIMASILK 4 Pcs 100% Mulberry Silk Bed Sheet Set,All Side 19 Momme Silk(Queen Space Grey) - $449.00
Last Amazon price update was: 7 October 2021 05:21
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This sheet set is the big game-changer you need in your bedroom. Because these high-end sheets are worth the price if you cherish your comfort on the bed, they are 100% mulberry silk. The sheets have a very silky soft feeling on the body, which will leave you sleeping for longer hours.

The ZIMASILK is very cool in summer and warm in winter; you do not need another sheet for winter or summer. As for the durability of these sheets, so far, you can maintain them as stated by the manufacturer; you will use them for many years to come.

The fitted sheet is made for deep mattresses, while the flat sheet is produced with anti-rip proof that will keep them in good condition for several years of use. This set also includes two matching pillowcases.

The fabrics help prevent the skin and hair from getting dry and rough while lowering the appearance of facial wrinkles.

8.6/10 Read review
86 %
Last Amazon price update was: 7 October 2021 21:31
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The real luxury Egyptian cotton 1000 bed sheets are the luxurious sheet you should have in your home. Even though they are a bit expensive, that’s because they are embedded with everything you need in a sheet.

They are made with 100% Egyptian cotton of the long-staple to make them durable and soft on the body.
The sateen weave and 1000 thread count they enjoy is the reason for their great soft feel and slight sheen, making them comfortable.

The flat sheet is fully elasticized and perfect for thick mattresses that are up to 18-inch.
Likewise, the flat sheet is deep enough for you to tuck extra fabrics into your bed. There are two pillowcases in the set to complement your bedsheets.

The product is durable, as they don’t get damaged soon after frequent washing and they are breathable too, keeping your temperature well in any weather condition.
Maintain them correctly, and you will enjoy them for quite a long time.

8.7/10 Read review
87 %
Last Amazon price update was: 6 September 2021 05:27
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The DAPU pure stonewashed linen sheets are exclusively made from high-quality French flax. The flax was naturally cultivated and harvested in a friendly way and environment. The sheets are confirmed to be free of toxic substances by OEKO-TEX that certified each fabric standard 100. It means the sheets are safe for anybody, including babies and people with sensitive skin.

This linen sheet set is highly breathable since linen is good at absorbing about 20% of moisture before getting wet or damp.

The sheets are durable because they don’t require regular washing, and they get softer after every wash.
The fitted sheet is useful for mattresses up to 16-inch deep. The set also includes two pillowcases.

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Top Rated and Recommended Fitted Sheets

8.8/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: CHATEAU HOME COLLECTION 100% Egyptian Cotton Sheets Queen Size, 800 Thread Count White 4 Piece Sheet Set, Solid Sateen Weave, 16" Deep Pocket (Fits Upto 18" Mattress), Long Staple Cotton Bedsheet Set - $69.99
Last Amazon price update was: 10 October 2021 05:05
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Chateau home collection 500 Pima cotton sheets are like hotel sheets that you would always love to enjoy in your home. They are made from pure and natural Pima cotton. The Pima cotton used is of the highest quality making the sheets durable and soft, even after each washing. The sheets are tightly woven to make them stronger and softer than some other Pima cotton sheets. They are conducive to sleep in as they are suitable for ventilation in summer and winter. The sheets record 500 thread counts making them crisp and softer on the skin while sleeping.

The classic design of the sheet is worthy of note. The fitted sheet is given a head tag for easy identification of the width to make them easy to put on the mattress. Likewise, the flat sheet and the two pillowcases have a beautiful marrow hem styling on them.

8.5/10 Read review
85 %
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Set Alert for Product: LuxClub 6 PC Sheet Set Bamboo Sheets Deep Pockets 18" Eco Friendly Wrinkle Free Sheets Hypoallergenic Anti-Bacteria Machine Washable Hotel Bedding Silky Soft - Cream Queen - $34.95
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Price history for LuxClub 6 PC Sheet Set Bamboo Sheets Deep Pockets 18" Eco Friendly Wrinkle Free Sheets Hypoallergenic Anti-Bacteria Machine Washable Hotel Bedding Silky Soft - Cream Queen
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  • $34.95 - 7 October 2021
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Since: 4 October 2021
  • Highest Price: $39.95 - 4 October 2021
  • Lowest Price: $34.95 - 7 October 2021
Last Amazon price update was: 19 October 2021 19:54
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With these Luxclub bamboo sheets, your search for great sheets would be over. These are luxury bed sheets for you to feel like sleeping on hotel sheets every day in your bedroom. The product is designed with bamboo viscose material blended with microfiber. The sheets are highly cooling due to their ability to control the air that enters them. That makes them fit for all seasons and weather conditions.

The sheets don’t wrinkle much; they don’t shrink or fade after washing. With every wash, they are smoother and softer, making them comfortable for sleeping at all times.

This product’s fitted sheet has elastic over its edges to make the piece stay put on the mattress all night. The flat sheet is also large for two people to cover their bodies. There comes with this sheet set four pillowcases, which makes it a six-piece bed sheet set.

You wouldn’t have to deal with bacteria any longer, so far, you are sleeping on these sheets, and that’s because they are hypoallergenic. Finally, they are eco-friendly, too.

7.8/10 Read review
78 %
Last Amazon price update was: 7 October 2021 21:22
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The Mellanni brushed microfiber bed sheets are the original polyester sheets made from 100% imported polyester. It would be best to get this sheet set for winter to sleep better and wake up with full energy. If you are not a sweaty sleeper, they can be useful for you during summer too.

Each fabric feels so soft on the body and makes sleeping comfortable with the elasticized fitted sheet. The four-set bed sheet has a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. The fitted sheet is deep and can cover a 16-inch deep mattress.

They are easy to maintain, and they don’t retain stain after washing. The product is manufactured in tons of colors that you can pick from. Get these affordable sheets and start enjoying a better sleep time.

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[FAQ’s] Consumer Questions & Answers

Are all fitted sheets fully elasticized?
Different brands with different designs. Some brands make their fitted sheets with full elastic, while some put the elastic at the corners only. In fact, few brands don’t use elastic at all.
If this is a big issue for you, you will need to check out the fitted sheet details you are shopping for before spending on them.

Are fitted sheets necessary than flat sheets?
We have found the two to be necessary, but it boils down to you to decide which you need. You can choose based on the one you think is essential to you. If you don’t want another layer of bed sheet on your bed, then you may have to stick with a fitted sheet only. If you would love to have a complete luxury sheet, then a flat sheet will be crucial. If you stay in a freezing environment, a flat sheet may be very vital to you.

What is non-fitted sheet?
Some people refer to the top sheet, known as a flat sheet, as a non-fitted sheet. That’s because they don’t have elastic around them to indicate they are fitted sheets.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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