Every US hotel I've stayed in so far sandwiched the blanket between two sheets, instead of putting it inside a duvet cover (example of what I'm talking about) like most people do at home. The first sheet goes between your body and the blanket and the second sheet goes on top of the blanket preventing your arms from touching it. What's the reason behind this? Is it possible to ask the hotel to change it for the duration of my stay?

It's unpleasant because the two sheets are eventually untangled from the blanket and your body touches the unwashed blanket surface. On the other hand a duvet cover guarantees you won't touch the blanket accidentally during your sleep.

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    Your profile says you live in the Czech Republic? Is that what determines your experience of what "most people do at home"? My experience is that people in the US mostly use the sheet system at home, so the hotel is just giving them what they're used to (since most guests are domestic visitors). I think Americans visiting Europe tend to think the "blanket cover, no sheets" system is weird. Just a cultural difference. Aug 10 '18 at 17:47
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    I too live in the US and find it bizarre. Ive never met anyone personally who uses this system at home. My guess is that it's faster for the housekeepers to change two sheets than try to wrestle a blanket cover or comforter cover on/off daily per room. Aug 10 '18 at 18:08
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    I live in Canada. At home we used a duvet (with a duvet cover) and two sheets. The sheets are easier to wash; the duvet cover only needs to be washed occasionally as a result of the second sheet. Aug 10 '18 at 19:04
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    Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but - two sheets between the blanket and your body? The usual American system, as in the question I linked above, has two sheets between the bed and the blanket, but you're meant to sleep between the two, so that there is only one sheet between your body and the blanket. This is what I find most Americans doing at home, and likewise in most American hotels. Is there really an extra sheet at your hotel, or are you perhaps doing it wrong? Aug 10 '18 at 19:59
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    @JonathanReez As Nate said, we sleep between the sheets. The bottom one is fitted to the mattress (usually); the top one is a flat sheet. The bottom is left alone; the top one is lifted and one gets underneath it. Unless the bottom fitted sheet becomes detached from the mattress corners, no adjustments should be needed. Aug 10 '18 at 20:06

I think it's just a cultural difference. The "two sheet" system is commonly used in homes in the US. So US hotels use the same system because it's familiar to most of their guests. (The US is a big country with lots of domestic travel, and most hotel guests would be Americans rather than travelers from abroad.)

(As a clarification, the most common system involves a sheet on the bed, and then one more sheet between the person and the blanket. You've found a bed that has one more sheet over the top, so it's really a "three sheet" system - the third one is not so common in people's homes. You could certainly remove the top one if you don't like it there, since it won't be relevant when you're sleeping under the covers.)

instead of using a proper duvet cover like most people do at home

That's not what most Americans do at home, in my experience (I am one). Even if there is a duvet with a cover, they will usually still have a sheet between the person and the duvet. And many people don't use duvets at all, preferring wool or synthetic blankets or a quilt.

What's the reason behind this?

As I said, I think it's mostly just the way things are. But it has a few benefits that I can see:

  • Duvet covers can be awkward to get on and off; it's easier to just change sheets which are not attached to the blanket or duvet.

  • A duvet cover is twice as much cloth to wash compared to a sheet.

  • A sheet usually extends over the edge of the bed, whereas the blanket usually just reaches the edge. This makes it less likely that you'll come completely uncovered, especially if there are two people in the bed. It's also easier to tuck the sheet under yourself to avoid drafts.

  • With a separate sheet, if you get too warm, you have the option to put the blanket aside and just sleep under a sheet.

Is it possible to ask the hotel to change it for the duration of my stay?

Of course you can ask, but my guess is that most American hotels will not have duvet covers on hand, so they wouldn't be able to accommodate such a request. You may also have a hard time getting them to understand what you mean, since the concept of sleeping directly under a duvet cover may be pretty foreign to them.

It's unpleasant because the two sheets are eventually untangled from the blanket

Well, I don't think everyone has that problem. Maybe you move around more than average when you sleep.

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    This is not just a US cultural thing. I have experienced it in many western countries
    – Peter M
    Aug 10 '18 at 22:21
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    Wow, I would've never thought people actually do this. Although it makes sense if it's your own blanket rather than a greasy hotel blanket touched by a thousand people before.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 10 '18 at 22:23
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    @choster, so when you climb into bed, do you lay perfectly still like a mummy all night? Without fail, every time I've slept on a bed with a top sheet, the sheet ends up pushed to the side or on the floor. I tend to get hot easily and move around a lot. When I was a child, I used to wake up turned around, with my head where my feet were.
    – user76841
    Aug 10 '18 at 22:56
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    @user128216 there's a lot of middle ground between "lays like a mummy"and "thrashes around like a crazy person." If you're too warm, use a lighter or no blanket.
    – Kat
    Aug 10 '18 at 23:55
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    When I was young, the two sheets and blanket was normal here in th UK. I can't remember exactly when but in the 70s or 80s, duvets started to appear. At first, only a few weirdos (e.g. me) used them but now they are the norm. I have not seen the old system for a long time.
    – badjohn
    Feb 15 '19 at 8:30

I am an ex-pat living in Vienna, Austria. I was shocked to find that in most European countries they do NOT sleep under a second sheet, but under a duvet with a cover...and in many cases a double/queen sized bed will have 2 twin sized duvets on the bed...one for each person. I found this really strange since I was a newlywed and sleeping with my own blanket meant that when I wanted to get closer to my husband there was always that open area between us where the duvets separated (we have since fixed this...there are duvets and covers large enough for double/queen sized beds...king sized beds don't seem to be offered anywhere here, nor is there bedding available for a king). You will not find the flat sheet offered here with bedding sets (normally the set includes a fitted sheet and 2 pillow cases for a queen sized set). In staying in hotels here you have a little better felling of cleanliness in the bed, because all the bedding (sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers) are fresh and clean as opposed to the re-used blanket and bedspreads that are normally found on the hotel beds stateside. It's a culture thing and one that you just get used to (lol kinda)...I still miss my top sheet, but not a deal breaker for living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

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    I don't see how this answers the question.
    – Pont
    Aug 11 '18 at 10:36
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    king sized beds don't seem to be offered anywhere here we have beds at usually 70, 90, 120, 140, 160 and 180 cm. The latter is almost equivalent to a California King Size bed, but slightly narrower than a typical King Size (which is 193 cm). You may find 200 cm beds, but bedding can be more difficult to get.
    – WoJ
    Aug 11 '18 at 11:56
  • @WoJ a lot more difficult!
    – jcaron
    Aug 11 '18 at 13:43
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    @jcaron: I just had a look and they are quite common after all: amazon, BUT, cdiscount, gifi, la compagnie du blanc, ...
    – WoJ
    Aug 11 '18 at 15:27

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