The Pros and Cons of a Tight Top Sheet

A top sheet is a personal preference when it comes to how you prefer your bed to be made. The tucked-in method can give a more polished and tidy look, while the untucked approach can provide more freedom of movement while you sleep. Tucking in the top sheet can also help keep it in place throughout the night. However, if you tend to move around a lot while sleeping, the untucked method may be more comfortable for you. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and finding what works best for your sleeping habits.

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.

“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.

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.

Wrap yourself in cozy comfort with these Saatva sheets

Organic Sateen Sheet Set

It's easy to see why our flagship organic cotton sheet is a bestseller. Its silky-soft, 300 thread count sateen weave is made with 100% certified organic cotton. It's better for the planet and feels indulgently luxurious on you.

Percale Sheet Set

Pamper yourself in deluxe comfort with our breathable percale sheets. They're made from the world's best long-staple cotton that gets softer and better with every wash.

Linen Sheet Set

Sleep in effortless style with our deluxe linen sheets made with responsibly-sourced, all-natural Belgian linen. Stays cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and gets softer with every wash.


Should a fitted sheet tuck under the mattress?

A fitted sheet should definitely tuck under the mattress to ensure it doesn’t slip off as you toss and turn throughout the night. Otherwise, you’d end up sleeping on your bare mattress which can, over time, accumulate oils, dirt, sweat, and saliva that you wouldn’t be able to easily wash out.

How do I keep my sheets from untucking?

There are plenty of ways to keep your sheets from untucking. You can try using sheet suspenders, making sure you’re using the right size sheets, using an under sheet, using non-slip rug corners, and putting on the top corner of your sheet first.

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

Was This Article Helpful?
Yes No

Related Stories