sleep week

My White Sheets Stay Free of Self-Tanner Thanks to This Silky Sleeping Bag

Photo-Illustration: Harold M. Lambert/Getty

In my almost ten years of self-tanning, I’ve refined my process so that I’ve successfully banished streakiness, patchiness, and tell-tale ghostly hands. But while I’ve tried every possible iteration from professional spray tanning to gradual tanning lotions and even so-called clear formulas, I’ve yet to find one that’s totally transfer free. Even as a super-informed and meticulously thorough beauty writer, I couldn’t find any hack or trick that would stop those grubby marks from developing.

I accepted this as a by-product of the process, but one day, while ironing my bedding, I was stunned to see just how much staining had accumulated over time, even with weekly washes of my sheets. Unsuccessful experiments with sleeping on a towel (too sweaty, too much wiggle) and in a loose maxi dress (too sweaty, not enough leg room) followed, but finally, Google brought me to the Tannco sheet protector.

The sheet protector is essentially a very slimline sleeping bag made from a kind of silk called habutai, which is a basic light weave. I followed the instructions and washed it once before use, then put it on top of my bedsheet and under my duvet and applied my tan as usual before getting inside the sleeping bag to snooze. The next morning, I gingerly peeled away the sheet protector, unsure if there would be a tell-tale outline stamped on my bedding — but there was no trace that I’d been tanning at all.

I’m a very fussy sleeper and have endless fabric allergies, especially to bedding, but in the few months I’ve been using it, I found the Tannco sheet protector perfectly comfortable and unremarkable to sleep in. It’s capacious enough that you can toss and turn without feeling claustrophobic, and the silk means you don’t get too hot. For the price, it’s also genuinely silky soft. I use it only in that purgatory period between application and showering off the excess, when the tan is still fresh, not all week round. My advice is to wait at least 30 minutes before you get into bed, as a really wet tan could seep through the fabric (or indeed, any fabric).

The sheet protector has a zipper on the side so you can easily slide in and out, and it has a built-in pillow protector, which is genius, as sleeping on a towel rarely protects your pillows or the bedding around your neck and shoulders. As it’s so slimline, if you share a bed with somebody else, it won’t take up any of their space or feel obstructive for either of you. My boyfriend hardly even notices when I’m sleeping in it.

Of course, you have to wash it after every use and before the first one, but it dries incredibly quickly (even without a tumble dryer). I tan every week, once a week, and I’m very pleased to report that the crisp white sheets I treated myself to in tandem with this purchase are still spotless.

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This Silky Sleeping Bag Keeps My Sheets Free of Self-Tanner