Sleep Products

Flat Sheet vs Fitted Sheet: What Are the Differences?

flat vs fitted sheet

If you often shop for bed sheets, you’ve probably wondered how flat sheets and fitted sheets differ from one another. These are popular bedding options that a lot of consumers swear by. But the debate about the quality and comfort preeminence never gets off the spotlight.

What is a flat sheet and a fitted sheet? What are the differences? Flat and fitted sheets may look exactly the same at a first glance. But if you fold them out, you’ll be able to identify the main gaps right on the dot.

The flat sheet (a.k.a. top sheet) is a basic bedroom essential that usually blends with a duvet; it is a plain, simple, and rectangular bed sheet that just lays flat on the bed and can also be tucked in for a more precise fit. Fitted sheet, on the other hand, is elasticized on four corners highlighting the edges of the mattress with a snug fit.

There’s always a vast collection of flat sheets on the market. But I’ve found the brushed microfiber flat sheet from Mellanni a stunning bed cover that’s truly worth a try. If you’re after silky smooth, soft, and luxurious flat sheet, this Mellani flat sheet will adorn your bed with warmth for a comfy and soothing sleep. But if your bed needs a snug cover, I recommend the Utopia Bedding fitted sheet; it is a brushed microfiber sheet that keeps you cool and comfy every time you go for a snooze.

Top Sheet vs Fitted Sheet Comparison Table

Flat SheetFitted Sheet
AppearanceFlat, rectangular, and plainHas elastic corners; stretchable
VersatilityKnown as a top sheet
Covers the fitted sheet and duvet
Can be used as a blanket and cover of the bed
Provides additional warmth
Solely designed to cover the mattress
Gives off a smooth and silky surface
Keeps the mattress protected from dust and dirt
FitDrapes on the bed beautifully
Lays flat on the bed
Elasticized corners that highlight the edges of the mattress
Gives the mattress a snug fit
StorageEasy to fold and put away for storage
Folds flat and not bulky
Easy to put away for storage
Does not fold flat and can be a bit bulky
CostHas affordable and expensive optionsHas affordable and expensive options

What is a Flat Sheet?

best flat sheet

As the namesake implies, flat sheets are flat, simple, plain, and just like any typical bed sheet that covers the bed. This piece of cloth lies completely flat and drapes beautifully on the mattress.

A flat sheet is usually right under the duvet or combined with the blankets. While it embraces the body with extra warmth, the duvet or blanket is less likely to pick up dirt.

What is a Fitted Sheet?

best fitted sheet

Contrary to a top sheet, a fitted sheet has elasticized corners that provide a snug and precise fit on the mattress.

Because it is tucked in on each corner, the sheet stays firm and fit even when you move. It can also provide warmth but its primary goal is to fully cover the mattress for a smooth and soft surface.

Differences Between Flat Sheet and Fitted Sheet

The major gap between fitted and flat sheets is the fit. If you put up two mattresses side by side, the first one covered with a flat sheet and the other one with a fitted sheet, you can already tell the contrasting features.

While a fitted sheet has stretchable sides that wrap the mattress with a snug fit, a flat sheet is a plain rectangular cloth that lays flat on the bed.

When I shop for bed sheets, there’s always a vast array of bed sets that comprise of a fitted sheet and a flat sheet. This just indicates they’re designed for two different purposes: the fitted sheet covers the mattress and the flat sheet goes right on top of the fitted sheet but typically under a duvet or blanket. Others just tuck it right under the mattress to cover the bed.

However, some consumers just find it a waste of time and money to buy a flat sheet. They think it’s just another sheet to fold and an addition to laundry.

As a flat sheet protects the fitted sheet, duvet, and blanket to keep the dirt off, a fitted sheet does the same for the mattress.

That’s why flat sheets are more prone to dirt and hence, need to be washed regularly. But one thing’s for sure: they both provide extra warmth to keep you cozy when you sleep.

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Breaking It Down

If you’re still wondering how you can benefit from these popular types of bed sheets, I’ve come up with a detailed breakdown of their features: appearance, fit, versatility, storage, and cost.

Such comparison provides a clearer view of their differences and similarities which will define what type of sheet really suits your personal needs and preferences.

Appearance

Flat Sheet

The name itself suggests how it looks like. A flat sheet is flat, rectangular, and plain. It looks like any basic blanket or sheet that just lies flat on the bed. It comes in different colors, designs, material, and sizes.

Fitted Sheet

A fitted sheet has four stretchable corners that give the mattress a snug fit. The elasticized corners highlight the edges of the mattress that lends a sleeker and neater look.

Fit

Flat Sheet

Whether you have a single, twin, queen, or king-sized bed, there is always an available flat sheet according to your preference. No elasticized corners.

And if by chance, you end up with a wrong length and width, it doesn’t usually matter as it just lays flat on the bed and drapes beautifully along the trails of the duvet and blanket.

Fitted Sheet

Getting the right size is inevitably vital when buying a fitted sheet. If you need to dress up your mattress for a queen-sized bed or whatever size you have at home, make sure to read the labels for the dimensions.

Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it on your mattress and you may need to purchase a new one or have it replaced.

If you have a thick mattress at home, you can go for deep fitted sheets for better folding and tucking in.

As the name itself suggests, fitted sheets provide a precise fit. It tucks right under the mattress that lends a smoother and seamless surface.

Although it doesn’t drape like how flat sheets do, a fitted sheet gives the mattress a neat and smooth appearance. Even when you move around the bed, it won’t easily fall off.

Versatility

Flat Sheet

Flat sheets are more versatile compared to fitted sheets. It is usually layered on top of the fitted sheet and in between the duvet and blanket.

But you can also use it as a blanket to warm yourself up against the frigid temperatures or you can just layer it along with your other blanket for extra warmth.

Also known as a top sheet, you’re less likely to wash more frequently as it protects the duvet and the fitted sheet from the dirt and dust.

Fitted Sheet

The sole purpose of a fitted sheet is to cover the mattress and nothing more. It isn’t as versatile as flat sheets but it does provide 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

With just a few folds, you can easily keep the flat sheet away for storage. It folds flat and does not take up so much space in your cabinet.

Since it isn’t bulky, it does not bulge out of your other folded sheets and rather keeps your storage neat and organized.

Fitted Sheet

There isn’t much of a hassle putting a fitted sheet away for storage. You can go for a few folds and leave it along with your pile of sheets.

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 factors that can affect the price of the flat sheet. This includes the type of material, the length or size, the brand, and the design.

Hence, there isn’t a constant price range. The prices can go higher or cheaper than usual. Some options can also be affordable.

For those who prefer other options, there are tons of available bed sheet sets that include flat sheets.

Deals such as this become a more practical option for those who don’t have much time to hunt for fitted sheets and pillowcases with compatible sizes and complementary designs.

Fitted Sheet

Just like flat sheets, fitted sheets also vary in price. You may come across expensive and affordable choices based on the material, design, brand, and size.

What Are the Best Flat Sheets in 2018?

Mellanni Flat Sheet Review


If you want to narrow down your options with the best finds on the market, the Mellanni Flat Sheet is definitely the one you shouldn’t miss.

This best-selling and high-rated flat sheet offers a silky and smooth surface that gives off a luxurious vibe on your bed. As it covers the fitted sheet and layers in between your duvet and blanket, it adds warmth giving you the ample insulation you need when it’s cold.

As it is also light and soft, you can also benefit from its coolness and cozy feeling even when the summer season hits.

Made of the highest quality of fiber, it ensures superior comfort that you can revel in any time of the day.

It also wards off allergens and other possible sources that can trigger allergies due to its hypoallergenic properties.

And if you need to clean it up, you can just toss it in the machine for washing. It dries quickly and ready again for use!

Read real reviews on Amazon

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What Are the Best Fitted Sheets in 2018?

Utopia Bedding Fitted Sheet Review


This cozy fitted sheet by Utopia Bedding showcases deep pockets that provide a snug fit to your mattress.

With its smooth and soft surface, you can take delight in a comfortable sleep all day and night.

Tailored to perfection, it features a wide range of sizes that can fit in any bed size whether it is king, queen, twin, or full.

And because it tucks right under the mattress perfectly, it won’t easily fall off even when you roll over the bed or move around.

Made of breathable brushed fiber, this fitted sheet is something you can use all year-round. It doesn’t leave a sticky or hot feeling when you lie on it.

It lends a soft, smooth, and silky surface that furnishes your mattress with a better and more lavish appearance. With its elasticized corners, it provides a firmer grip that tucks in the mattress perfectly.

Read real reviews on Amazon

Click here to see the current price

Pros and Cons of Flat and Fitted Sheets

Top Sheet

Pros

  • Provides a smooth and soft surface.
  • Lays flat on the bed.
  • Easy to put away for storage.
  • Easy folding and tucking in.
  • Provides extra warmth.
  • Protects the fitted sheet and the duvet from dirt and dust.
  • Can be used as a top sheet, a blanket, or another layer of blanket for added warmth.
  • Has affordable options.
  • Drapes beautifully on the bed.

 

Cons

  • It isn’t designed with a snug fit. When you move around or roll over the bed, it may just fall off easily.

 

See flat sheets available on Amazon

Fitted Sheet

Pros

  • Covers the mattress and protects it from dirt and dust.
  • Has deep pockets and elasticized corners for a snug fit.
  • Provides a smooth, silky, and soft surface.
  • Easy to wash and clean.
  • Provides additional warmth against cold temperatures.
  • Easy to put away for storage.
  • Has affordable options.
  • Does not easily fall off even when you move around.

 

Cons

  • Getting the right size is extremely vital. Otherwise, it won’t provide a snug fit in the mattress.
  • May look a bit bulky when folded for storage.

 

See fitted sheets available on Amazon

Final Verdict

It seems as if there’s always a competition between fitted sheets and flat sheets. With all the debate and comparison reviews between the two, some consumers find it a bit difficult which to choose.

There are distinct differences but both fitted sheets and flat sheets are solely designed for specific purposes. The bottom line is: if you want to cover your mattress with a snug fit, go for fitted sheets. But if you need something to cover the fitted sheet or duvet, go for flat sheets. Easy as that.

There are pointers to keep in mind when purchasing either of these sheets, though.

Always consider the size or length, and material to fully benefit from their insulation properties and comfort.

Particularly with fitted sheets, you should never go wrong with the size or else you won’t be able to use it. Go for the ones with deep pockets if you have a thick mattress.

And whatever sheet you choose that complies with your preferences and needs, do not brush off the durability and comfort.

Hi, I’m Liz. I have suffered from insomnia for many years, I created this blog to help you fall asleep faster and to improve your overall quality of sleep. My blog covers everything from the best bedding materials to supplements and everything in between including: snoring, teeth grinding and lucid dreaming.

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or if I can help you out in any way please feel free to contact me at [email protected]

Sleep tight!

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