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How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

folded sheets

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

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

  • The Martha Stewart Method
  • The Real Simple Method
  • The Marie Kondo Method
  • The Woman’s Day Method
  • The 30-Second Folding Method
  • The U-Shape Method
  • The Idiot’s Method

How do bedding manufacturers and store employees get fitted sheets folded flat so well? Believe it or not, there are many tricks to folding sheet sets so they look wrinkle-free and neat in their packaging. If you’ve ever wondered how to fold a queen size fitted sheet without it getting clumped or wrinkled, you can benefit from these techniques.

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.

What is the easiest way to fold a fitted sheet? The answer varies, depending on who you ask. Try a few of these strategies and see which one seems most natural to you. Here are some of the most popular methods for folding fitted bed sheets – regardless of material or thread count. Although some of these methods are similar, they each offer a slightly different approach to folding a fitted bed sheet.

1. The Martha Stewart Method

Martha Stewart is known for her tips on home organization and streamlining your life at home. Keeping your favorite, softest sheets tidy and organized isn’t too challenging when you adopt the Martha Stewart method for folding sheets with an elastic edge.

To fold your fitted sheet like Martha Stewart, you’ll stand up and place your hands inside the corners of one shorter edge of the sheet. Then, you’ll have your right hand come 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.

2. 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 to allow 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 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.

3. 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, you’ll 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.

4. 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. Then, bring that corner over to the other bottom corner and tuck it inside neatly. Do the same for the top corners.
  2. Repeat this process, tucking the corners from one side into the other side, forming a small rectangle with all four corners on one side.
  3. 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. Fold the two ends together to create a rectangle and once more to shape into a tidy square.

5. 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. Fold the outer edges into the middle of the rectangle so that they meet, followed by another fold in half.

6. 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.

7. The Lay-Down-and-Tuck Method

Some people may not like the stand-up methods for folding fitted sheets. An oversized or large sheet size can be especially challenging to fold when standing up. This tip teaches you how to fold a fitted sheet step by step with the sheet lying down on the floor, which is a perfect solution if you don’t have a folding table to use.

First, lay the sheet down on the floor vertically with the elastic facing up. Fold it in half, bringing the bottom two corners up to the top two corners and tucking them in to make a square. Now, fold in the left side, followed by the right. Then, fold in the bottom, followed by the top to make your smaller square.

8. 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 of the pocket tucks or confusing folds that might be confusing for some.

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 the same to 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!

Benefits of Folding Fitted Sheets

From stretchy sheets to flannel sheets, all bedding goes through the laundry and must be folded. Knowing how to fold a fitted sheet properly can come in handy for a few reasons, including:

  • Linen closet organization – When you fold your fitted sheets properly, they’ll not only look neater in your linen closet, but they’ll also save space. Proper folding creates neat creases that keep the sheet flatter, allowing sheets to stack neatly in the closet.
  • Attractiveness – Wrinkly sheets aren’t appealing to you or your guests. Learn to fold them neatly, and your bedding will instantly look more eye-catching in any room.
  • Ease of bed dressing – A neatly folded fitted sheet can also make dressing the bed much easier. You won’t have to worry about wrinkles and lumps as you make the bed.

The Best Ways to Fold a Fitted Sheet

Who knew there were so many ways to fold a fitted sheet? Now you’re armed with several methods that can make your laundry tasks easier when it’s time to wash, dry, and fold bedding.

Working with a flat surface to lay your fitted sheet on as you fold can help you form nice, clean creases to keep your sheet compactly folded. You can use a bed, but a folding table or hard floor is ideal. With a little practice and the right method that works for you, you’ll be on your way to an organized linen closet with perfectly folded fitted sheets.