Why We Ditched the Top Sheet on the Bunk Bed

published Jul 15, 2022
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Wood IKEA bunk beds
Credit: Ikea

This past spring, we moved our youngest daughter out of her crib, and out of our bedroom! She joined her two older sisters in the NYC bedroom that we’d designed for all three girls. In anticipation of her arrival, we updated the older girls’ bunk bed with a triple bunk. Their triple bunk is a twin-over-twin-over-twin design and helps to maximize floor space in the room. 

While I love that the upper two bunks feature high, 14-inch guard rails, they made the process of making the beds feel like a test of my acrobatic prowess. I’d climb up each ladder and stretch my limbs to place a fitted sheet, a top sheet, a duvet cover, and a duvet insert on each bed. While I’ve perfected the easiest way to get a duvet into a cover, after several weeks of making the triple bunks, I’d find all three top sheets balled up at the bottom of the mattress or completely thrown off the bed.

So, I started thinking of a better way.

Are Zippered Sheets the Answer?

My girls also complained about the top sheet when they made their beds in the mornings. Instead of putting them back on properly, they’d just throw them onto the floor. I found myself crawling into each bunk to rescue the top sheet and remake the girls’ beds, which was not how it was supposed to go.

We looked into several alternative zippered bedding systems. The reviews were glowing. People raved about the zippered bedding systems because they were easy to wash, easy to put on beds, and helped kids independently make their beds. But calculating the cost, we realized that three sets of bedding would be nearly as expensive as the triple bunk bed itself. 

With a bit more careful research, I realized the zippered bedding systems were essentially a combination of a fitted sheet and a duvet. One of the purposes of a top sheet is that it acts as a barrier between our bodies and a duvet or comforter as we sleep. A duvet cover can essentially act as the same barrier. When I wash the girls’ sheets, I would also wash the duvet cover.

I now understood why the girls threw their top sheets off their beds. They essentially didn’t have a purpose.

As a test, I decided to ditch the top sheets on the girls’ beds. I wanted to see if it made the process of making their beds easier and if it helped the girls keep their beds tidy. It totally did. Now I store the girls’ top sheets with our extra bedding and make their beds with only a fitted sheet, a duvet cover, and a duvet insert. When the girls make their beds, they just pull up their duvet cover, smooth it down over the edges of their beds, and put their pillows on top. I have less bedding to wash, less bedding to put on, and the top sheet doesn’t become balled up at the bottom of their bed. I also didn’t spend a small fortune on zippered bedding. 

Their beds look much tidier and my acrobatic bed making skills are no longer needed!

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