image of feet sticking out of bed - top sheet tucked vs untucked

The Pros and Cons of a Tight Top Sheet

by
/ September 2, 2019
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As we found out when we polled our readers about top sheets, some people love them and others loathe them. More of you said you sleep with a top sheet than without one, but even within the pro-top sheet camp, there are debates about the right way to sleep with one.

Whether or not you prefer your top sheet tucked or untucked was even a topic of discussion on a recent episode of the Today Show. Hosts Sheinelle Jones and Ellie Kemper chatted about a top sheet that buttons into the fitted sheet below so your bed never comes unmade.

Watch it here:

"This ignited a huge debate in our office," said Jones in the video clip above. Kemper noted that she gets very hot when she sleeps and wants to be able to move her legs freely. Jones, on the other hand, said she likes the feeling of security that comes from tucking in a top sheet.

While Jones's and Kemper's conversation may not have seemed so serious on the surface, the way your bed is made plays a huge role in how well you sleep. So who's right? Well, it turns out there are benefits to both a tucked and untucked top sheet.

A case for the tucked-in top sheet

Those who like to tuck in their top sheet point to these reasons as to why it helps them sleep:

  • A tucked-in top sheet brings a feeling of security. Being tightly hugged by a tucked-in top sheet is comforting. It can help calm you down and lull you to sleep, similar to the feeling a baby has when it's swaddled. That's why weighted blankets are all the rage these days—the pressure that comes from sleeping under one reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) and may even increase serotonin (the calming hormone).
  • A tucked-in top sheet keeps you warm and cozy. When it's cold outside, it feels so good to get under the covers and tuck yourself in for the night. Being too cold can disrupt your sleep, so a tight-fitting sheet can hold in the warmth when it's chilly outside. (You can also do this by sleeping in socks.)

A case against the tucked-in top sheet

On the flip side, here are the main reasons people say they hate tucking in their top sheet:

  • A tucked-in top sheet is too restrictive. When your top sheet is tucked into the corners of your bed, you may find it difficult to move around. So if you tend to get claustrophobic (me!), find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to pee, or shifting from sleep position to sleep position overnight, you'll probably want to opt for an untucked top sheet. Sleeping under too-restrictive bedding can also lead to leg cramps.
  • A tucked-in top sheet will make you feel too hot. Everyone has a different temperature preference when they sleep, but one thing's for certain: When you're too hot, you'll have trouble sleeping. And for some people, tucking in a top sheet can overheat you and leave you a sweaty mess.

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The bottom line: Whether or not you tuck your top sheet in is up to you. While both sides make good points, I'm definitely with Kemper on this one.

Ready to go sheet shopping? Here's everything you need to know before buying new sheets.

christina heiser

Christina Heiser

Christina Heiser is the senior content manager at Saatva. She has held previous positions at Everyday Health, Women's Health, and L'Oréal. When she's not working, you can find Christina checking out the latest boutique fitness classes in New York City, cheering on her college basketball team (go Red Storm!), and trying new beauty and wellness trends.

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