“That’s just disgusting,” she says, obviously subscribing to the belief that the primary function of the top sheet is to keep our own bodily filth from desecrating our blankets, quilts, or coverlets on a nightly basis.
“Oh, you’re misunderstanding,” I quickly interject. Most people today-myself included-are not sleeping directly against a blanket or quilt or anything. I wash my duvet cover once a week, just the same as the bottom sheet and pillowcases.
Well, then that’s different, she says, retracting the question of hygiene, but it’s still just not right. “A proper bed requires a bottom sheet, a top sheet, a blanket, and actually on top of that, you should put some sort of top sheet as a coverlet. That’s the old fashioned way.”
Pollak grew up in Africa- with many housekeepers around to handle all those layers-but she contends that the linens offer superior temperature adjustment capabilities throughout the night.
“When it’s very hot outside, sleeping with nothing atop you is not actually the best option,” she explains. “A top sheet traps cooler air in-like an air-conditioner.” On the flip side, a top sheet adds another layer of warmth in extremely cold climates by trapping warm air close to the body.
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