Buying Guide

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

What is a Fitted Sheet?
A woman folding a fitted sheet.

In case you’re wondering what’s the difference between a “fitted” and a “flat” sheet, it’s pretty much just like it sounds: A flat sheet is a flat, hemmed piece of fabric with no tailoring, while a fitted sheet is tailored piece of fabric designed to fit snugly around your mattress, complete with corner seams and elastic hemming. The best fitted sheets have deep corner pockets, while some even have double ruching intended to fit around your mattress and your box spring.

While a fitted sheet only works as a bottom sheet, a flat sheet can be used for a top or bottom sheet—in fact, some sheet sets include two flat sheets rather than one of each. To learn how to make your bed with hospital corners using flat sheets, see our guide on how to make a bed. 

Is It Worth Folding a Fitted Sheet?
A person smoothing a fitted sheet onto a bed.

While some might say “no,” we certainly think that folding a fitted sheet is worth it. Folding your fitted sheets into neat squares or rectangles will help you keep a clean and tidy linen closet. Your sheets will also feel smoother on your mattress when they’ve been stored folded rather than rolled up, which means a comfier bed. Plus, once you learn the simple technique below, it’s really quite easy to fold a fitted sheet, and it won’t take you much extra time. It will simply become part of your laundry-folding routine.

Practice makes perfect, so the more you do it, the easier folding a fitted sheet will become. If you’re new to the technique, practicing on a smaller sheet such as a twin sheet set will help you get the hang of it before you move onto bigger bedding sets like a queen- or king-size sheet set.

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet
A woman looping a fitted sheet over its own corner.

So—how do you fold a fitted sheet? Follow the five steps below and watch the video to find out.

  • Place your hands inside the top two adjacent corners of the fitted sheet, pinching the inside seam of each corner with your fingers. Flip it so the top two corners are now inside out, then turn the sheet around so the elastic part is facing you.  
  • Bring the corners together, then, pinching both seams with one hand, flip one corner over the other (so one is inside the other). Place one hand inside this pocket.
    Combine the other two corners into a pocket with your other hand. (Just stick your hand inside, shaking it until it matches your other hand). Bring your hands together so that both pockets meet. 
  • Pinching both corners with one hand, flip one pocket of corners over the other. You should know have an oblong rectangle with one elastic corner facing up. Lay the sheet on a flat surface. Straighten out the corners and edges if you need to by sticking one hand inside the pocket and smoothing out with the other. 
  • Fold the curved edge down so you have a straight edge. Fold in half lengthwise, then fold into thirds width-wise (or whatever size you need). 
How to Tidy Up a Linen Closet
A woman finishing a fitted sheet.

Now that you’ve mastered folding fitted sheets, let’s tidy up that linen closet! First things first, remove all your wrinkled bedding and bath linens and re-fold them using the technique above. If they’re extremely wrinkled, you can toss them in the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheet to help release some of the wrinkles. When folding, it’s important to note here that you should fold all sheets—whether they are flat or fitted—into the same size rectangle. That way, when you stack them on top of each other, they will all remain in neat, organized piles in your closet.

When you’re putting your newly folded sheets back in the linen closet, make sure you keep like things with like things. Towels should all go together on one shelf; queen bed sheets, pillow cases and shams should go on another shelf; twin-size bed sheets, pillow cases and shams should go on another shelf; and so on. If you’ve got a great deal of storage space, consider storing bathroom linens such as bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths separately from bed linens, such as sheets, duvet covers, and extra blankets. You’ll be on your way to a tidy closet in no time.  

For an extra neat-looking linen closet, making sure the folded edge of each folded sheet faces outward. This will help you see each individual folded sheet better when you go to grab a set, and creates smoother lines when you look into the closet.

To make sure that your linen closet stays organized now that you’ve put all that hard work into tidying it up, add labels to each shelf where you’d like each type of linen to be stored. This will give a cue to anyone else who shares the housework with you, so everyone is on the same page about putting linens away. It will also make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

If you really want to improve the look of your linen closet, there are a few additional aesthetic tricks you can invest in.

  • Purchase multiples of the same sheet sets and towel sets, or opt for sets that are all in the same color family. This will create a more harmonious look when you open the closet door. 
  • Give your linen closet a face lift before you put the items away. Don’t feel like you need to call in a contractor (unless you want to!). This can be as easy as a fresh coat of paint or a new layer of contact paper.
More Ways to Organize Linens
A linen cabinet with open doors and linens on shelves.

You can opt to stack sheet sets directly on top of each other so they’re together when you grab them or to keep fitted sheets, flat sheets and pillowcases separate—this works especially well if you’ve got several of the same set of sheets or if you like to mix and match patterns.

If you like the idea of storing sheet sets together, here’s a fun trick: Stack the fitted sheet and flat sheet, then wrap them both in the pillow cases, to keep the full set bundled as one unit. For bigger sheet sets, you can even just place the whole thing inside the pillow case.

Another option is to put your linens away organized into square or rectangle baskets. If you have a tendency to rummage through the closet looking for something in particular, this is a great option to help you keep your linens from turning into a big crumpled ball. Even if that’s not a problem you have, storing less attractive linens—older sheets, fluorescent beach towels, and the like—in baskets or cloth storage bins that hide them from the eye is a nice way to create an aesthetically pleasing linen closet. 

Storage bins and baskets can quickly add up, so another option to create visual dividers is to repurpose other household items. Office supplies such as file holders work great for storing small linens like wash clothes or pillow cases. Wall shelf brackets can also be installed as dividers between different types of linens. 

If you’re short on space, another great idea is to install towel racks on the back of your linen closet door. This will allow you to hang some of your towels or other linens rather than storing them stuffed inside the closet shelves.