Folding a fitted sheet is hard…really hard.
At TIDY, our Homekeepers fold hundreds of sheets a day, so we have more data than just about anyone on how to do this correctly. This guide was built with input from Homekeepers, and looking at the data. We threw in some humor because fitted sheets is a bit of a “flat” topic (yes that is a bad joke, but there aren’t exactly millions of sheet-related jokes).
WHY IS FOLDING A SHEET HARDER THAN RYAN REYNOLD’S ABS CIRCA 2004?
Overall, there is a good reason folding a fitted bed sheet is hard, and it is because technically it is folding 5 sheets. What is a fitted sheet and why do we have them at all? It is a solution to what used to be done with hospital corners…tightly made flat sheets folded over a bed. These are easier to fold, but much harder to put on a bed, which is why people don’t like them much.
The parts of the sheet we will call:
- The right “head” side
- The left “head” side
- The right “foot” side
- The left “foot” side
- The main sheet (while not messing up each of the other flaps)
HOW TO FOLD FITTED SHEETS TECHNIQUE 1: THE ULTIMATE WAY
If you are the type of person who likes to make sure that each fold on the towels faces the right way in the towel drawer, then this technique is for you. This technique will give you crisp, tightly folded fitted sheets.
Warning: People will think they are regular sheets and open them up on accident, forcing you to redo them
The key to this technique is to make sure you individually address each side of the sheet. You might call it “layered perfection”. Methodically move through each side until everything is perfect, then tackle the core sheet itself.
phase 1: prepare the sheet.
Like Eisenhower invading Normandy, you must first prepare the sheet.
Eisenhower was known for sheet folding and continent invading.
- Make sure the sheet is flat, not twisted.
- Ensure that the corners of the sheet are INSIDE OUT. This is not intuitive, but it is important as we are going to put all corners together.
- Optional: Since you look like a ghost at this point, try scaring your dog. Just a bit, not too much. Dogs intuitively dislike ghosts and fitted sheets, so they may naturally run away or just look confused.
phase 2: put the corners together
The goal of this phase is to put the corners together in such a way that the corners are securely together, allowing you to fold the rest of the sheet without worrying about them coming undone.
- Put your hands into two corners of the sheet, with the corners inside out. The long side of the sheet should be facing you (not the foot or head of the bed).
- Bring the two corners together, placing one corner over the other, and turning it “right side” out. Both corners should now be draped over one hand.
- Next, reach down to grab the next corner of the sheet. Make sure that the sides do not get twisted as you do this.
- Take this corner and tuck it into the two other corners (in your hand). The right side of the fabric should touch the inside ones.
- Take the final corner, then tuck it into the previous 3 corners. The “inside out” side of the fabric should be touching the rest.
phase 3: smooth and finalize
- All corners are now in one hand, tucked into one another. Grab the loose fabric and pull up then shake it to loosen any wrinkles. The goal is to make the sheet look a flat rectangle.
- Lay the sheet down on a flat surface, such as the bed and smooth any wrinkles until the sheet looks smooth.
- Find the long side of the sheet, then fold that way in either 3 or 4 segments. Try to keep each segment of equal thickness, by lining it up with the sides of the sheet.
- Fold the final way 2 to 4 times, depending on your preferences and the type of sheet.
- Do final flattening. Make sure there are no obvious wrinkles and that everything is neatly tucked in and evenly folded.
You should now have neatly folded bedding, ready to be put away.
Data Fact: We’ve looked at our data. Folding fitted sheets in this way takes a TIDY Homekeeper on average 95 seconds.
More of a visual learner? Buzzfeed did a video of this technique.
Of if you prefer Martha Stewart, she did a video as well.
HOW TO FOLD FITTED SHEETS TECHNIQUE 2: THE EASY WAY (AKA THE “BACHELOR WAY”)
The second way to fold is one that we like to call the “Bachelor Way”. No, I don’t mean this kind of bachelor:
I doubt many of them are folding fitted sheets the ultimate way.
This technique is the most straightforward. It isn’t for the “neat freaks”. It’s for people who want to simply get it done. Speed is the most important. The other advantage to this technique is that you can easily see the type of sheet it it, so that way you can know for sure when you are grabbing the sheet. It is not as attractive as the other method.
The thing to remember here is that if you are going for speed, you simply want to optimize to avoid wrinkles on the main sheet itself. The “flaps” are ultimately going to be stretched over the side of the bed, and hard to see.
Here is how to quickly fold the sheet.
- Make sure the sheet is “upside down”, with the sides underneath the sheet (the top should look pretty smooth.
- Fold the sheet in half, so that after you are done it is half as “long” and now you can see the sides on the top half. This keeps the main sheet smooth and flat, despite the outer appearance.
3. Fold the sheet in half again, the opposite way. This should keep the “sides” together.
4. Place on the bed.
5. Tuck in any excess sides.
6. Smooth the outside by running a hand along the outside to remove any wrinkles.
7. Fold again as needed.
The good thing about this technique is that it is fast, because you are effectively “ignoring” the sides and because you are focusing on the main part of the sheet you should still get very few wrinkles. This method will come undone more easily, but at least you didn’t spend more time on it.
Data Fact: We dove into our data again, and found that. Folding fitted sheets in this way takes a TIDY Homekeeper on average 35 seconds.
We tried to make folding fitted sheets about as fun as possible. What do you think? Do you have tips for how to fold fitted bed sheets? Also, please add what home guide you’d like next by clicking here.