Does Your Bed Need A Top Sheet? Here's What HGTV's Nate Berkus Prefers

Whoever had Nate Berkus, lasagna, and an age-old debate about top sheets on their bingo card: This one's for you. The opinion that a bed should feature a top sheet varies from person to person, and despite being a diehard fan, Nate Berkus concedes that everyone's opinion differs. If you've gone back and forth between adding one or leaving your duvet to do the heavy lifting for warmth and comfort, you're not alone. Berkus doesn't give just one answer, so your salvation lies in reading between the lines. A top sheet comes down to personal preference, but there are scientific pros that might help you learn to love a top sheet.

In an Instagram video, Berkus rates certain home trends in the bedroom. When asked about a top sheet, he notes that while he likes to sleep under one, his husband Jeremiah Brent won't climb under that cover, so they end up with a "lasagna" situation. Top sheets have a long history, and their purpose hasn't always encouraged different cultures to use one just because it's what was done as far back as 77,000 years ago. After all, times change — and in this case, quite interestingly. The first top sheet was thought to be made out of foliage and plants and now the highest-quality sheets are also made from greenery (like bamboo), so maybe trends don't shift as much as people think.

Top sheets can help contain bacteria

If you didn't happen to catch a Discovery Channel special on the history of bedding, or you're just not so invested in the humble beginnings of your cozy linens, that makes you part of the majority. However, many people do ponder if they need a top sheet on their bed to complete their set, and others wonder why this piece even exists. The top sheet was originally used to provide a soft, comfortable buffer between sleeping bodies and potentially scratchy wool blankets. Not only that, but it's considered a hygienic solution to bedding in general since it gives another sweat-absorbing layer to protect your duvet. Your bed can accumulate a variety of bacteria and particles when you sleep, creating a petri dish of organisms, which is why you should be washing your sheets once a week.

Your duvet might be large and, in some cases, nearly impossible to fit into a standard washing machine. Because of this, people consider a top sheet a great way to build a barrier between the microorganisms that live on sheets and the actual cover, so it doesn't need to be washed as often. Hygiene is one of the main ideas behind using a top sheet. The surest way to decide if you want or need one is to consider how often you wash your duvet. If only occasionally, and you're worried about bacteria, a top sheet could preserve the freshness of your cover by containing microorganisms between the sheets.

Without a top sheet, expect to wash your duvet more

According to WebMD, most adults will sweat out over 26 gallons in their beds ... in a year. Due to the conditions created by all of this moisture, fungi and spores can accumulate, making your sheets a metaphorical cesspool if not cleaned regularly. Your top sheet won't solve this issue or stop animal dander, allergens, dust, and the cornucopia of other microbes from landing in your linens, but it can protect your duvet, so it doesn't require a weekly wash. Even if you use Nate Berkus' bedding hack to put on a duvet cover, washing and getting it back on the bed requires extra work that not everyone wants to deal with on a weekly basis. Besides reducing your linen laundry loads, many people also like top sheets because they add an extra snuggly layer to tuck underneath one's chin or nestle your toes in.

If you decide to pass on a top sheet for obvious reasons (i.e., getting tangled up in fabric or getting too warm at night), then make sure you're washing your duvet as often as you do your fitted sheet to keep these germs at bay. If it's removable, you only need to wash the duvet cover. If you sweat a lot, you still may want to throw the whole thing in the laundry to diminish the ensemble cast of microorganisms sharing your bed (because, gross). Top sheets might add an extra step or seem pointless, but if they are good enough for Berkus, they might be worth it.