Amidst vociferous feelings on both sides of the debate, many millennials are famously abandoning top sheets. But along with traditionalists and Xennials like me (I'd never do it), the bedding industry mostly hasn't caught up with this probably-here-to-stay trend, because top sheets do serve an important purpose as part of a sheet set. (There are some outliers, of course—Parachute's sheet sets give you an option of "no top sheet" or "with a top sheet" when you buy.)
If you opted to toss aside the top sheet when you first made your bed, there are some things you need to know about keeping your bedding clean, in good shape, and easier to launder.
1. You should use washable blankets or duvet covers
Top sheets can buy you more time between washing bulkier top bedding. For instance, top sheet-users might wash all their sheets once a week or every two weeks, but wash their duvet cover once a month or less. Decorative coverlets or blankets may rarely be used, might live at the foot of the bed during the night, and might be washed even less frequently.
If you're not using a top sheet, your body is (obviously) in contact with whatever you use as covers: blanket, duvet, comforter. Make sure it's washable in the first place and that it will stand up to multiple washings since you'll need to wash it more often than was (probably) intended. Also check to see if you'll be able to use hot water.
2. Consider showering before bed
While waking up with a refreshing shower is appealing, showering before bed can drastically improve the cleanliness of your inner bed. Going to bed post-shower can help stretch the time between when you have to wash your bedding, a plus when you have to wash covers that are bulkier than a top sheet.
3. Keep your bedding simple
Apparently, one of the reasons some millennials abhor the top sheet is that they love duvets and they love them directly against their bodies. I can only assume that these duvets are being used with duvet covers. While I personally think removing a duvet from its cover and then replacing it every one to two weeks is way more trouble than it's worth, keep your other bedding simple so you're not inclined to stretch the time between washings.
We've got to ask: Are you on Team No-Top-Sheet or do you prefer to keep your sheet sets intact?