How to Fold a Fitted Sheet Properly (and Save Yourself a Headache)

By Hannah Twietmeyer


For those of us who like to stay organized, storing clean bedding is routine maintenance when it comes to housework. However, the vision of securely wrapped, tightly packed linens usually doesn’t turn out due to one perpetrator—the fitted sheet.


Unlike the rest of your bed sheets with sharp rectangular corners, the corners of a fitted sheet are rounded and gathered over an elastic band. This design allows the sheet to grip the bottom of your mattress and stay put throughout the night. Effective? Yes. Easy to fold and store? Not if you’re doing it wrong. We’ll teach you how to fold a fitted sheet correctly for effortless, organized storage. (While you're here, take a look at our guide at the best white bed sheet sets on the market right now!)

hands folding purple fitted sheet

Photo via Shawna Bailey


Why You Should Fold a Fitted Sheet Correctly

Before you give up and shove your messily-gathered fitted sheet in the linen closet, hang on a second. According to Purple, a leading mattress and bedding tech company, there are several benefits that come from folding and storing your fitted sheets the right way.

  • Easy, clean, and compact storage. We already mentioned that folding a fitted sheet correctly will help you save on storage space, but it’s true. Although you might not think there’s much bulk to a bundled-up sheet, you’d be surprised how much room it can take up. Learning to fold and compress a fitted sheet to lay flat with your other bedding is a space saver, especially for tight linen closet shelves.
  • Wrinkle-free fabric. Sure, there will be creases at the folds, but smoothing out a fitted sheet and storing it flat will help prevent wrinkles when it's time to make the bed. Leaving your fitted sheet in a ball, on the other hand, or even partially folded, will create wrinkles.
  • Bed-making made easy. Although tucking sheets under the mattress isn’t the most arduous of tasks, it does take a little work. So when it’s time to lay down the fresh sheets, you want to be able to find what you need with ease and without any extra hassle. A properly stored fitted sheet will be tucked away with the rest of your clean bedding, compressed, lying flat and neatly folded. When it’s time to unfold it and lay it over the mattress, there would be any tangling or knots in the fabric if you’ve stored it correctly.
arms folding white fitted sheet corners

Photo via Linda


How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

You might be surprised to know that there are actually several ways you can fold a fitted sheet, and all of them will keep the piece of bedding tidy and tucked away until you’re ready to use it. All that you need to try out the following methods? Your hands, a fitted sheet, and a flat surface.


Method 1: U-Shape

Step 1: Start by standing up with the fitted sheet and holding it out in front of you, with the elastic facing toward you. Your hands should be at one end of the elastic seam each, at the short corners of the sheet. Put your left hand inside the left corner, under the elastic, and the right hand inside the right corner.


Step 2: Bring your hands together in front of you, palms together like you’re clapping. Using your right hand, slowly flip the right corner of the sheet over your left hand. During this movement, slip your right hand out. Both elastic corners of the fitted sheet should now be draped over your left hand.


Step 3: Now, you’ll want to slip your right hand back under the elastic corners, where your left hand is. Free your left hand, shifting both corners to your right. Run your left hand horizontally along the sheet’s elastic seam until you find the next corner. Tuck your hand under the elastic corner. At this point, you should have the first two corners covering your right hand, and the third corner covering your left. You should also be holding the sheet lengthwise.


Step 4: Hold your hands out in front of you, so that the fabric falls naturally and the elastic seam facing toward you resembles an arch, or upside-down letter “U”. Lay the sheet down on a flat surface, seam still facing toward you. Keep the arch shape, smooth out the fabric, and keep the top corners taut. Then, grab the top corners and fold over towards you, about a third of the way down the length of the fabric. Smooth everything out, then fold the topmost corners down another third, so that the top and bottom edges meet. Your sheet should look like a long, narrow rectangle.


Step 5: Smooth out any wrinkles before flipping the sheet over. Make sure the edges of the fabric line up, and then fold one of the short edges of the rectangle inward a third of the length. To wrap things up, fold the same edge one last third, and line the edges up. You should have a small, compact square in front of you, ready for storage.


Method 2: Roll

Step 1: Lay your fitted sheet down on a flat surface so that the elastic seams are facing up. Use your hands to smooth out the fabric and get rid of any wrinkles as best as you can.


Step 2: Take hold of the bottom-most corners—the long end—and fold them up over the center of the sheet. Smooth out the folded edge, and then grab the topmost corners. Fold them down over the center of the sheet and the folded area you just created. Make sure the edges line up and that elastic is tucked under all the way around the rectangle you’ve created.


Step 3: Press and smooth the rectangle before taking hold of one of the short edges. Bring it over to the other edge, folding the sheet in half. Smooth out the fabric once more, and then start rolling one of the short edges towards the other. Keep a tight pressure until you reach the other edge, and you’ll be left with a small roll that’s easy to store anywhere.


Method 3: Tuck-and-Fold

Step 1: Lay your fitted sheet down on a flat surface, preferably the floor. Start with the sheet lying vertically, and the elastics facing up towards the ceiling.


Step 2: Take hold of the two bottom corners on the short end of the sheet. Fold them upwards so that they meet the two top-most corners. Tuck them into the top corners, under the elastic. Your sheet should be in the shape of a square.


Step 3: Grab the left edge of the sheet and fold it into the center before doing the same with the right. Then, fold the bottom edge up to the top and align the edges. Smooth out the fabric and you’re all set!

stack of white bed linens

Photo via Linda


Tips for Storing a Fitted Sheet

Now that you know the best way to fold it, here are some storage tips for your freshly-pressed fitted sheet:

  • Store it in a pillowcase. This sheet storage hack from Morning Chores is a space saver. Once you’ve folded and compressed your fitted sheet, you can go a step further and slip it into a pillowcase. You can even tuck your bedsheet and other pillowcase in there as well after folding, and you’ll have everything in one place the next time you need to make up your bed.
  • Make use of shelves and storage carts. Don’t have a linen closet? Not a problem. If you fold your sheets correctly, they shouldn’t take up a lot of space and will stack neatly in armoires, laundry carts, or even open shelves. The bedding company Casper also recommends storing bedding in boxes or baskets to further organize shelves, floor and closet space, and under-bed space.
  • Hide some dryer sheets in storage areas. Linens usually need some room to breathe to stay fresh in storage, but tight closets don’t always make that possible. If your storage area is stacked to the brim with bedding, simply tuck some dryer sheets between the fabrics and folds. This will help keep a lasting fresh scent.


Have a tried and true method for folding fitted sheets? Let us know what works for you in the comments!

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 2 comments
  • Dee Dee on Feb 25, 2022

    I hate to say this, but even with these instructions I still cannot fold a king sized sheet. I can do a full size, but the king is too hard to manage. Thanks for making me try again. Great post though.

  • Patricia Whale Patricia Whale on Feb 26, 2022

    Where can I get full size sheets mmfor the new mattresses which seem to be bigger than the older mattresses?

    • Flipturn Flipturn on Feb 28, 2022

      Patricia,

      Yes, many mattresses now are thicker or deeper than older styles.


      You need to shop for fitted sheets that have 'deep pockets' so that the elasticised corners fit all the way around, and stay on the mattress corners.


      The size of the pockets varies with brand names however, just as the thickness of mattresses varies. So measure your mattress depth and check on the description of the sheets to make sure that the pocket size on the sheet is adequate to fit around your mattress corners.


      https://sleepauthorities.com/what-are-deep-pocket-sheets/


      Also look for fitted sheets that have two rows of elastic, rather than the standard one, such as the example shown here.




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