Grand Hyatt Muscat bed
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Flat Top Sheets on Beds: This is Actually a Debate?!?

Another article that is full of sheet.

Flat top sheets on beds — whether at home or in a hotel room — has apparently stirred up quite a heated debate between those who passionately support having them when they lay down to sleep and those who staunchly oppose them.

Flat Top Sheets on Beds: This is Actually a Debate?!?

Grand Hyatt Muscat bed
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

When someone had asked the following question on a private group on Facebook: “Question…Is it no longer a thing to use a flat sheet with the fitted sheet? Wondering if I should purchase just the fitted sheet or a full set?”, one person — who is both a member of that private group on Facebook and a reader of The Gate who wishes to remain anonymous — submitted the following reply: “Flat sheets strangle your legs!”

That seemingly innocent response prompted an official warning from Facebook. Was that warning in response to what was mistakenly perceived as a response which contained a reference to a violent act — or was it prompted by someone who is attempting to silence those people who oppose flat top sheets on beds?

“What a joke! The WSJ just did an article on this same topic. What gives?” asked cr, who is also a reader of The Gate.

Sure enough, Rory Satran of The Wall Street Journal actually covered this “raging” controversy in this article on Saturday, August 13, 2022, which is apparently contributing to the very division of the United States:

To its fans, the top sheet is an essential part of a made bed: a crisp, clean buffer between The Body and The Blanket. To its detractors, that same top sheet is a superfluous distraction that is a pain to arrange in the morning and annoyingly bunches around one’s feet at night. Team Top Sheet argues that it’s more hygienic, more proper, just more correctto use one. Team None responds that it’s more efficient to skip it, and if you change your duvet cover regularly it’s just as clean. (Many Europeans just use a duvet cover.)

Since the top sheet has been a fixture in American bedding for decades, the lines are largely drawn generationally. More traditional Gen X and Baby Boomers defend the top sheet; millennials and Gen Z are kicking it off. In my own family this is true: My Boomer parents still make the bed with a top sheet, and I don’t use one.

The controversy has even extended to the point where accidental suffocation is cause of death of as many as 855 people during the year 2014, according to Volume 65, Number 4 of the National Vital Statistics Report, which was published on Thursday, June 30, 2016 by none other than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States. This data only stoked the flames and added fuel to the fire by those people who oppose flat top sheets on beds — never mind that most of the people in that statistic were infants and toddlers who were victims of a phenomenon which is known as bedding entanglement.

Final Boarding Call

Sheraton Bahrain Hotel bed
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I prefer a flat top sheet to protect myself from a potentially filthy duvet or comforter or blanket. I may even at times use a flat top sheet as a blanket of sorts when a room is hot because I prefer to be covered while I sleep. When I am using a duvet, comforter, or blanket which I trust to be clean, I do not necessarily need a flat top sheet…

…but I really do not have a strong opinion either way — although I do not like those times when I try to squeeze my body into a bed at a hotel or resort property on which the flat top sheet is tucked so tightly that my blood cells need passports just to pass through the chokepoints of the veins and arteries in my body which are caused by those aforementioned tight sheets.

What are your thoughts about the case of this pressing topic? Are opinions in this debate just blanket statements which have caused some people to become creased — or are they a form of pillow talk which simply needs to be ironed out and put to bed?

All photographs ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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