Is It Bad To Sleep On a Mattress Without Sheets?

topless woman lying on a mattress without sheets

After waking up unscathed from a 7 hour sleep on my naked mattress. Now I’m starting to wonder if bedsheets are as important as they’re made out to be.

If you’ve been thinking the same – sleeping without bed sheets, you’re not alone. Millennials consider ditching sheets in favor of sleeping on a bare mattress as the trendy thing to do.

This is in sharp contrast to older people, who generally find the act of sleeping without sheets disgusting.

Is sleeping on a mattress without sheets a bad thing?

The short answer is yes. This is because almost all of us sweat when we sleep, and sheets protect the mattress from coming into contact with your sweat.

Also, sleeping on a mattress without sheets exposes the mattress to dirt, dust mites, grime, and dead skin cells. This can lead to several problems, the least of which is an unpleasant mattress smell.

After extensive research, it is obvious that the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits you can enjoy by sleeping on a sheet-free mattress.

I have a few friends who swear by sleeping on their bare mattresses. And they all claim that sheets are no big deal.

I can’t wait to show them this post so they can see all that’s wrong with leaving sheets off your mattress.

How long have Bed Sheets been around? 

Bed sheets have been around for hundreds of years. Since the oldest bed found is 77,000 years old, it’s safe to assume that bed sheets have been in use for ages.

According to Wikipedia, the term “bed sheet” was coined in the 15th century. Since then, these sheets have evolved from a predominantly cotton base to other materials.

Bamboo, silk, and polyester are some of the common raw materials found in the latest bed sheets. Whatever the material used, a bed sheet should serve as a protective layer between the bare mattress and the sleeper’s skin.

Other types of bed sheets are designed to wrap around the sleeper’s body. They provide warmth in cold weather and several other benefits.

Duvets, quilts, and down comforters are some of the most popular types used around the world.

Our ancestors realized the importance of putting a sheet on the mattress before going to bed. This was despite their limited knowledge and the absence of technology during the Middle Ages.

With the advantage of technology, why would you forgo it when its disadvantages seem to outweigh any advantages?

Why Do you Sleep On a Mattress Without Bed Sheets?

Those who sleep on mattresses without sheets give several reasons why they do so. A few of the most popular excuses are the following:

  • Fatigue: This is the most common reason why people ditch the bedsheet. After a long day at work, you may feel too lazy to cover your bed with fresh sheets and forgo it altogether.
  • Dirty sheets: prolonged use of certain sheets without washing can lead to dirt and unbearable stench. If you only have a single pair of sheets or all of your sheets are dirty at the same time, sleeping on your bare mattress can be an attractive choice.
  • Pop culture: many teens and young adults start sleeping on mattresses without sheets because of depictions on TV. They may also copy this practice from their friends who sleep on naked mattresses.

Is it a bad idea to throw away the sheets?

You may find yourself sleeping on your naked mattress every now and then. This may be due to some unforeseen circumstances. However, if you make it a habit, it will surely not end well for you.

Here are a few reasons why you should never sleep on a mattress without sheets.

Bacteria and Dust Mites thrive on a mattress without bedsheets

image of bacteria under a microscope

Leaving sheets off means that a significant amount of sweat will get onto your mattress. We all sweat regularly while we sleep. This is regardless of your race, age, bodyweight or bank account.

The lack of sheets means there is no protective barrier to absorb the sweat. And that makes your mattress a fertile ground for bacteria, dust mites and allergens to multiply.

Does the thought of literally swimming in millions of bacteria and dust mite droppings for 7-8 hours every night sound interesting to you? If so, then refrain from covering your mattress with sheets before sleeping.

Unbearable Stench from the Mattress That Keeps You Awake

Do you know why no one wears the same clothes for several days or weeks at a time, even during the coldest time of the year when you’re not visibly sweating? It’s the disgusting stench.

Sure, lying on a bare mattress can breed millions of bacteria that may be invisible to the eye. But ​the combination of bacteria and millions of dust mites results in a disgusting stench that you can’t ignore.

You certainly breathe in the smell of a mattress when you sleep on it. This is why it’s so hard to get much sleep on a smelly mattress.

The New York State Department of Health reports that exposure to bad smells can lead to nausea, dizziness, coughing, and various breathing problems.

And that can interrupt your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, day or night

Sacrifice The Coziness of Bed Sheets 

The right sheets make for a comfortable night’s sleep. Luckily, there are so many types on the market, from the super plush Egyptian cotton sheets to the ultra cool bamboo sheets and many more.

Here is an article we wrote that describes everything you need to know to find the best Egyptian cotton sheets.

Sure, the latest mattresses available have covers made of different materials. You can sleep well on most of these models even without sheets.

But that means you’ll miss the genuine warmth that sheets provide, especially on chilly nights.

Also, mattress manufacturers focus on making the covers extra breathable to prevent heat. Therefore, your bare mattress may feel extra cold when temperatures drop.

Skin Shedding

Did you know that the outermost layer of skin is completely replaced every 2-4 weeks? The American Chemical Society reports that the average person sheds about 500 million dead cells every day.

Sleeping on a sheet will protect your mattress from the enormous dead skin cells that the body sheds.

These dead skin cells cause the unpleasant odor you notice when you sleep on the same sheet continuously for days without washing it.

Have you noticed that unwashed sheets feel rough after several days, even if you can’t detect any sand or dirt?

This is due to the presence of dead skin cells, sweat and body oils.

Sex Becomes Less Pleasurable on a naked Mattress

It’s no secret that sex happens in most adult beds. Sex leads to the release of sweat and other body fluids that we can not reveal.

The good news is that most of us get intimate on bed sheets that can be changed quickly if needed.

If you go to bed on a mattress without sheets, the likelihood of having sex on the bare mattress increases. And that can be downright uncomfortable for most people.

I recommend reading this article we wrote that reveals the best sex mattresses to fulfill your fantasies.

Any form of discomfort can be a major turn-off for couples during sex. Nothing kills the mood faster than that.

Sex on bare mattresses often results in sweat and other bodily fluids coming into direct contact with the mattress. This can lead to long-lasting odors that are difficult and time-consuming to eliminate.

Click here to read this article we wrote about freshening things up in the bedroom with sex pillows.

Without bed sheets, You Miss the smell and feel of Newly Washed sheets

After a long day, nothing feels more heavenly than the feel and smell of freshly laundered sheets. Lying on a pair of fresh sheets can feel so good that even an insomniac will fall asleep in no time.

Choosing to remove the sheets from your bed robs you of that feeling. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, why not get a fresh pair of sheets to make your bed?

Can sleeping without bed sheets lead to Itchiness, Discomfort, and Acne Break Off?

teenager sitting in public with facial acne

Do you have sensitive skin? Or do you suffer from severe acne and other skin problems? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, sleeping on a mattress without sheets is one of the worst decisions you can make.

Bed sheets alone won’t work a magic spell to erase your skin problems. But they can at least protect your skin condition from getting worse.

No wonder experts recommend choosing the right bedding for your skin type. Also, make sure your sheets are always clean. After all, changing your sheets daily will keep acne breakouts at bay.

Sleeping on a mattress without sheets not only exposes your skin to dirt, oils, sweat, and allergens. It can also lead to acne breakouts and other skin conditions.

Therefore, sleeping without sheets can be a bad idea for people with sensitive skin.

Shortens The Lifespan Of Your Mattress

The average lifespan of a mattress is 10 years. Experts recommend replacing your mattress after ten years, even if it is still in relatively new condition.

Sleeping on a bare mattress is a sure way to shorten its lifespan. This is because the mattress is exposed to body oils, sweat, dead skin cells and bacteria, giving them the space they need to thrive.

In addition, nightly exposure to dirt, grime, dust mites, and allergens can cause significant wear and tear on the mattress.

The result of not regularly using sheets can only be one thing: a worn mattress that gives off a musty smell that can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.

Most of the mattress models available today come with a multi-year warranty. So can you get a free replacement mattress if your current one gets damaged?

Well, stains are inevitable when you sleep on your bare mattress without sheets.

Unfortunately, the presence of stains voids any warranty on your mattress. This means that your chances of getting a new mattress for free are close to zero.

Are you willing to spend a significant amount of money on a new mattress every few years? If no, then you should reconsider the decision to sleep on your bare mattress.


To say that sleeping on a mattress without sheets is bad is an understatement. It is a terrible practice that offers no real benefits.

It exposes your mattress to all kinds of fluids and harmful organisms. This can range from bacteria and fungus to allergens, dirt, grime, sweat, and other bodily fluids.

It can also lead to a variety of health problems ranging from coughing and wheezing to acne breakouts and skin rashes.

Leaving sheets out before bed can also soil the mattress beyond recognition, significantly reducing its value and lifespan.

This can lead to avoidable expenses for a new mattress and all the inconveniences that come with it. With all of these problems mentioned above, why sleep on a mattress without a sheet at all?

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

Recent Posts