Care Tips

How To Fold A Fitted Sheet

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    Last Updated
    April 11, 2022
    min read

    Folding fitted sheets has long been one of the most frustrating parts of doing laundry. With its elastic corners, a fitted sheet can be difficult to keep smooth and tidy while folding. And if you're like 91% of the population who change their bed sheets every other week, you'll know that this is an unavoidable hassle that can make washing sheets and doing laundry in general a dreaded experience.

    Fortunately, there are several methods for folding a fitted bed sheet that won’t leave you feeling defeated.

    Fold A Fitted Sheet In Three Easy Steps

    First, the basics. If you’re comparing fitted vs. flat sheets, fitted sheets are more challenging to fold due to their unique shape and elastic corners. But there is a way to make folding fitted sheets easier. These simple steps will help you turn your lumpy, messy sheet sets into a crisply-folded fitted sheet in no time.

    Step 1: Lay The Fitted Sheet Out On A Flat Surface

    Folding a fitted sheet properly is even more challenging when you try to do it on a soft surface, like a bed. Instead, practice your fitted-sheet folding on a large, flat surface. A dining table or crafting table often works best when folding fitted sheets.

    Step 2: Tuck Bottom Corners Underneath And Into The Top Corners

    Now, put your hands into the corners of your bed sheet, making sure that the top side of the fabric faces you. With one corner in hand, tuck it into the opposite corner. Take the other end and tuck it into the other corner.

    With your sheet folded in half, you can now place your hands into the corners once more and repeat the tuck again to fold all four corners into each other.

    Step 3: Work In Thirds And Fold To The Center

    Finally, fold the edges inward, making sure to smooth over any creases. Fold the fabric in thirds by pulling the other end of the fabric. Voila, you've folded your fitted sheet.

    Different Methods To Fold A Fitted Sheet

    What is the easiest way to fold a fitted sheet? The answer varies, depending on who you ask.

    Here are some of the most popular methods for folding fitted bed sheets – whether you're using a denser fabric or the softest bed sheets ever. Although some of these methods are similar, they each offer a slightly different approach to folding a fitted bed sheet.

    The Martha Stewart Method

    Before Marie Kondo, there was Martha. She's the OG queen of organization, so you can bet she knows a thing or two about folding sheets.

    To fold your fitted sheet like Martha Stewart, stand up and place your hands inside the corners of one shorter edge of the sheet. Then, bring your right hand to your left hand and drape the right corner over the left.

    Lie the sheet on a flat surface and do the same to the bottom corners, bringing the right corner over the left corner. Straighten the sheet into a rectangle, tucking any elastic pieces in. Then, fold in the edges to hide the elastic and flatten the sheet.

    You can now fold the sheet into a rectangular shape, smoothing out the creases as you go to allow it to lie flat.

    The Real Simple Method

    This method comes from Real Simple magazine and offers a bit of a different take on getting each corner pocket of a fitted sheet tucked neatly, allowing you to fold the sheet flat. These step-by-step instructions can help you practice the Real Simple method for folding sheets with elastic:

    1. Stand with your hands in the pockets of the shorter edge of the sheet. Flip those corners inside out.
    2. Turn the sheet around so that the elastic of those corners faces you, and put your hands back into the pockets.
    3. Bring one hand to the other hand and place the corner over the other pocket.
    4. Take the other end of the sheet, and slip your hand into the upper pocket. You should now be holding the sheet lengthwise.
    5. Again, have both hands meet each other, and flip one pocket over the other.
    6. Lay the sheet on a flat surface and fold down the curve at the top. You’ll now have a tidy rectangle.
    7. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise. Then, fold it into thirds, keeping the creases tight as you fold.

    The Marie Kondo Method

    Marie Kondo is famous for her technical organization methods that promise to keep everything from your kitchen drawers to your linen cupboard neat and tidy. Kondo also offers advice on how to fold a fitted bed sheet to bring order and serenity to your linen closet. This method works great with almost any type of fitted sheet, from deep pocket sheets to king-size sheets.

    To perform Marie Kondo’s method, first, lay your fitted sheet flat on a bed or flat surface with the elastic seams facing up. Make it neat by smoothing out the edges with your hand, keeping the fabric as flat as possible.

    Now, bring the bottom side up over the middle of the sheet and flatten it to create a straight edge. Do the same to the top, bringing it down and over the middle of the sheet and the part you just folded.

    Make sure the edges and elastic are tucked under neatly. You should have a long rectangle. Fold the sheet in half and, using your hand, smooth it out. Flip it over and tightly roll the sheet up. You’ll now have a small roll that you can place in a storage bin in the linen closet.

    The Woman’s Day Method

    Woman’s Day magazine offers a simple way to keep twin sheets, queen sheets, or king sheets nicely folded in the closet with its three-step method:

    1. Lay the fitted sheet lengthwise on a flat surface with the elastic facing up. Place your hand inside a bottom corner and push it out so that the inside seams are showing.
    2. Then, bring that corner over to the other bottom corner and tuck it inside neatly. Do the same for the top corners.
    3. Repeat this process, tucking the corners from one side into the other side, forming a small rectangle with all four corners on one side.
    4. Now, bring the bottom edge up and fold it over the middle, smoothing it out as you go along. Fold the side with all the pockets into the middle, followed by the other side.
    5. Fold the two ends together to create a rectangle, and once more to shape into a tidy square.

    The 30-Second Folding Method

    Blogger Kristina Burn shares a quick method for folding your fitted sheets in only 30 seconds.

    To do it, start with your fitted sheet laying lengthwise. Place both hands into the bottom two pockets inside-out and tuck them into the top two pockets. Lift it up and shake it out a bit to get rid of lumps and bumps.

    Place the sheet elastic side up on a flat surface and smooth it out. Then, fold the top to the middle as you smooth the creases. Fold the bottom up over the middle and the last fold, and run your hands along the sheet to smooth it. Fold the outer edges into the middle of the rectangle so that they meet, followed by another fold in half.

    The U-Shape Method

    The U-Shape folding method is one of the oldest tips and tricks in the book for fitted sheets.

    First, hold your sheet lengthwise with your hands in the two upper pockets. Flip those pockets inside-out and turn the sheet so that each hand holds the opposite corner. Place your hands back in the pockets and bring them together. Bring the right corner over your left-hand corner so that you can tuck the left corner neatly inside.

    Place your right hand inside the pocket you just made and move your left hand down to the next corner. You now should have made a U-shape with the elastics of the sheet. Lay the sheet on a flat surface and smooth it out.

    Starting at the top, fold the sheet three times to form a long rectangle. Then, flip over the sheet and fold it horizontally three times. You’ll now have a compact square to store away.

    The Idiot’s Method

    Here is another popular method for folding fitted sheets, sometimes fondly referred to as the Idiot’s Method. That’s because it’s simple and doesn’t require any pocket tucks or confusing folds.

    Try this method if others aren’t working for you:

    1. Lay the sheet flat with the elastic side up.
    2. Fold the bottom up horizontally.
    3. Fold the left side into the middle. Do it again on the right side, folding it over the left.
    4. Fold the top into the middle and then bring the bottom up and over that fold.

    Be sure to smooth out the seams as you go!

    The Bottom Line

    Whether you're using premium bamboo bed sheets, flannel sheets, or cotton sheets, there are countless ways to up your fitted sheet-folding game and keep a clean and organized linen closet. Try a few of these strategies and see which one seems most natural to you.

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