Put a Fitted Sheet on Right the First Time, Every Time

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Photo: World_of_Textiles, Shutterstock
Photo: World_of_Textiles, Shutterstock

There are two absolute certainties in my life: I’ll never be able to insert a USB correctly on the first try, and I’ll always have to rotate my fitted sheet at least once before I manage to affix it to all four corners of my mattress. But I’ve recently come up with a solution to this problem, inspired by bedding designed for toddlers. (No, I’m not proud.)

My youngest child no longer uses a crib but his bed is still made to fit a smaller, crib-sized mattress. Because those things aren’t that much wider than they are tall, many companies label the top and sides of fitted crib sheets so you don’t have to puzzle out which is which while making the bed. I’ve enjoyed this perk of child bed-making for years, but it only just occurred to me I can easily replicate it on my adult-sized sheets.

To do so, I purchased a cheap fabric pen and wrote “top” and “sides” in the appropriate spots on my king-sized fitted sheets (queen-sized beds are easier to make correctly than king-sized ones; the latter mattresses are much closer to square). As the name suggests, fabric pens are designed to mark up fabrics without bleeding or coming out in the wash. Of course, both of these things may and probably will happen — certainly ink on fabric will fade with repeated washings — but as long as you are writing near the elastic on the edges of your sheet, that part should be tucked under the mattress, so it won’t show even if a small amount does bleed through to the outer surface.

Some fitted sheets for grownups do include the top/side tags (it seems more common with cheaper, shapeless, jersey-type bedding sets), and I’ve read elsewhere that you can also orient the sheet correctly by placing the tag in the lower right corner — but not all of my fitted sheets have tags, or at least, the tags have been removed or torn away in the course of their weekly washings.

Regardless, when coupled with this useful hack for keeping the corners of a fitted sheet from popping off while you make the bed, my weekly laundry-related tasks just got that much easier. Now if I could just learn to fold the goddam things.

Comments

  • Decades ago, Home Beautiful Magazine showed how to fold fitted sheets – and it’s exactly the same way the manufacturers do when packaging them. If their records go back that far, look for “Domestic Goddess #01 How to fold a fitted sheet”. Why do I have this info? I cut it out of the actual magazine, laminated it and stuck it on the inside of my laundry door so my (now) teens (and even my hubby!!!) can do for themselves.

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