I participated in a spirited and hilarious discourse on a Facebook UK group recently. It all started with a post that “. . . the top sheet on a bed could soon be a thing of the past. . . Top sheet… yes or no?” written as a prompt for discussion. Okay not normally something that would engage me but it went on to say, “. . .using instead what the Americans call a comforter.”
Well, obviously this discourse requires AOWO (American one woman’s opinion) on top sheets as they are indeed NOT an ordinary encounter in UK. In fact I did not encounter one without some diligent search. You can find them but not routinely. It is a general, though not universal, practice in UK to use a duvet within a sheet pocket (duvet cover) instead of a top sheet. Many seem to feel this is sensible, comfortable, and convenient.
Some comments indicated a time of conversion from top sheet and bedspread to duvet only and total satisfaction with the loss of a top sheet. So, they replaced one sheet easily applied to the bed with a bed-sized pocket into which you must stuff and distribute what we Americans would refer to as a quilt (without the patchwork) or a comforter (just a thick duvet with a decorative cover) each and every time you want a clean topping for your sleeping body.
Yep, that makes sense, right!
Apparently some people did not understand the point of the discussion, “Don’t understand the question??? What’s a top sheet?” and thus more discussion. There were some pointed reasons for duvets over top sheets including avoiding top sheets that “are tucked in and restricted you. . .” but generally it seemed a mixed bag for and against the top sheet.
I really wanted to make this post as hilarious as it was in the midst of it happening, because it progressed to pros and cons of top sheets, stuffing the duvet cover techniques, hygiene issues, ironing of bedding, and construction duvet construction materials. Alas the wit necessary to do that justice is missing at the moment.
Let me just sum it this way.
Comforter – As bedding this is a puffy cover for a bed. It is similar to a duvet but it tends to be fat with a decorative covering sewn to the stuffing part. It may be used as a simple decorative top to a made bed or as an integral part of keeping the occupants of the bed warm and toasty.
I would wager that most Americans use a flat sheet (an unfitted sheet used between the sheet covering the mattress and the warming or decorative covers of a bed) with their comforter. And YES, flat sheets are tucked under the mattress so that the moving and kicking and tossing on and off the covers during the sleep cycle does not result in a pile of bedding on the floor and cold toes.
Duvet – Also a cover for a bed. It is typically plain white or similar neutral material but without decorative patterns. It comes in a variety of thicknesses varying the warming effect of the cover. It is used on a bed encased in a cover often made of decoratively printed sheeting forming an envelope.
I would wager that some Americans use a duvet with duvet covers (after all we do have IKEA in America) AND a top sheet on their beds.
I would also wager that some people in UK use duvet and top sheet and some use duvet and no top sheet.
So, with bedding sorted (we will not discuss the different bed sizes and how they differ from both American beds and EU beds) I can continue to think about which place beginning with B (Bravo) that I will post about.