For years, American tourists have been shocked, and possibly even scandalized by the bedding situation in European hotels. If this is news to you and you're trying to guess why... No, there isn't a lowered standard of hygiene. And it has nothing to do with lower thread counts or outdated textiles. The source of this international consternation is the lack of a top sheet.
In the United States, we usually buy our sheets in sets: a fitted sheet, a top (or flat) sheet and two pillow cases. But a traditional European bed features only a fitted sheet and a duvet. And until recently, these continental preferences were almost universal. Enter: Millenials.
A generation of confident trendsetters has apparently deemed top sheets a superfluous waste of time. They claim this layer of linen serves no purpose beyond adding to our laundry loads and getting tangled around our ankles at night. And they make a fair point...
We see some complications in this line of thinking though. The obvious being that without a few layers, your blanket temperature and weight choices are limited to "on or off". Plenty of people begin the night snuggled under all of the blankets but eventually strip down to a single sheet. If you find yourself feeling overheated under a duvet, you'll most likely need to keep something lighter in grabbing distance. And without a top sheet, you have to wash your duvet cover - which is basically two sheets stitched together - once a week. So there would still be an extra layer for laundry.
Team Duvet might also argue that their beds are easier to make. No hospital corners here! Just tug the duvet into place and go. Hard to find counterpoint for this assertion... But some might shrug that taking a few extra minutes to re-tuck a top sheet every morning doesn't exactly make them late for work. Not to mention the fact that some cotton duvets may require ironing after they are laundered - which isn't exactly a time saver!
For many, this may come down to the season. In the winter, a duvet will keep those with set body temperatures warm and cozy all night. Then they can switch to lighter layers for cooler options in spring and summer. One person could easily have more than one preference for outfitting their bed.
We would also point out the matter of styling. Not everyone cares for a fluffy down comforter. Many beautifully appointed beds feature coverlets and quilts. So really, this duvet expectation is rather presumptuous...
For us, it really comes down to personal preferences. Whether you prioritize a streamlined bed making process or multiple layers for body temperature fluctuation...or even if you simply like the look of a certain style, the world of bed linens offers limitless choices. And we love them all! As long as your bed brings you joy, it's all about options.