Sometimes I'm wondering if Americans have any clue about how complicated their system of dressing a bed is. If you're scratching your head going "What is she talking about?", let me help you by taking a closer look to American vs The World.
1. In the US beds and sheets come in sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King and Cal-King (no idea why Jack and Ace got left out). Back where I'm coming from we just have at most 2 different sizes for sheets, and they would fit almost any bed you could find in the country. They are just Standard, so to say.
2. Pillows. In the USA they are rectangular, back home they are square. In America they have square pillows as well, but not for sleeping, they are mostly used as decorative pieces and often called "cushions".
But wait, it gets even more complicated when it comes to a "pillow cover". There are pillow cases that you are supposed to sleep on and shams, that are NOT supposed to be slept on, they are, again, for decorative purposes only and are often matching the duvet cover or comforters, which we'll talk about next.
Now if you think about it, in order to NOT be sleeping on shams, you should either have two sets of pillows on your bed, or you should put a sham on and off every morning/night. Sounds like a little too much work to me...
3. Duvets and Comforters. I'll be honest, to this day I'm trying to figure out why it has to be so complicated. Ok, so the comforter is basically a blanket that you also use as a bed cover. This is where a flat sheet comes into play, when you use it as a bedding, laying between your body and a comforter. Duvets. They are beddings and blankets in one. It is basically a comforter, but much thinner and stuffed with feathers and it comes with a pocket inside, so that you can put in an extra blanket if you'd like.
If you ever wanted to know how we do it European style, I'd tell you that we only have one type of blanket, that is called exactly so, it can be stuffed with polyester, cotton or feathers, and it would still be called "A Blanket". It doesn't have to look pretty because it's dressed in what you call "a quilt", which is not. It is more like your duvet, a simple cotton cover with a pocket inside, but with no additional stuffing. Think of a giant pillowcase for a blanket. That's how we do it!
4. Flat sheet vs Fitted sheet. I'm telling you, there's hardly any foreigner who came to the USA for the first time and didn't have a question "What is a fitted sheet and what do I do with it?" I'm glad at my first job as a housekeeper they taught me all about it, otherwise I'd have to ask people at Target to give me a crush-course or something... Oh, and when it comes to folding it, it's a whole other story! I' glad I found this video at Martha Stuart YouTube channel. It seriously made my life easier. Watch it if you haven't. You'll be forever grateful for Martha Stuart.
How does the rest of the world live without fitted sheets, you ask? Easy, we just use your "flat sheets" to cover a mattress, tucking the ends under it. Takes you about 1 minute, no kidding.
I'm not even starting on all those roll pillows, bed skirts etc. If you follow all the rules of bedding and use every single item in your bedding habits, your bed will end up looking like this:
Seriously, people, how can you enjoy a bed like this unless you are a member of a royal family?