How do you fold fitted sheets? (Yes, it actually CAN be done)

Folded fitted sheets and pillowcases

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You can handle most of the laundry just fine — and even though you’ve been doing this for more years than you’d like to count, you may be wondering: is it even possible for someone to neatly fold fitted sheets?

For most of us, folded sheets always just end up balled up in the linen closet, looking like they might just as easily be dirty, and they look all wrinkly when you put them on the bed.
Fitted sheets: You gotta know [how] to fold ’em

Fitted sheetsir?t=mypull 20&l=ur2&o=1 are probably the most annoying item any of us — Gen X or not — will ever have to try to fold. Most of us try, get one or two turns in, sigh, roll the rest into a ball, and shove the whole thing in the closet. If you’re clever, you hide it under the flat sheet and pillowcases that you can actually manage to fold fairly well.

But skipping the folding steps and leaping right to the crumple phase leads to wrinkles, takes up more space, and — quite honestly — leads to feelings of inadequacy that we were bested in a battle of wills by a piece of fabric.

As members of the Boomer and Silent Generations will attest, fitted sheet folding snafus didn’t haunt people back when they were young, because the elasticized linens weren’t even invented until about 1950. (Find out more about that housekeeping revolution here: Fitted sheets were a fab 50s fad that never faded.)

Until then, folks just used flat sheets, and folded them neatly around the corners of the bed, and hoped they didn’t slip off. The folding method was typically called making “hospital corners “or “square corners.”

Vintage fitted sheets from 1958
The excitement of fitted sheets, as seen in 1958 (Image courtesy

But when the sheets with the stretchy edges came into common use, housewives (we use that word because, honestly, that’s what a lot of women called themselves) found that the time they saved by not having to make fancy folded corners, and continually rescuing sheets that came undone in the night, more than made up for the hassle of maintaining the newfangled sheets.

How to fold fitted sheets, step by step

Ready to begin the lesson? Well, first, prep for the task by doing some laundry, because this method works best with the sheet fresh out of the dryer. (That will also help you avoid wrinkled linens.)

ALSO SEE: Is there any real difference between HE laundry detergent and regular?

Woman putting a white fitted sheet on a bed
Picture by twenty20photos/Envato
Here is a step-by-step how-to to help you fold fitted sheets the best way

See the illustrations below to guide you through the miracle

To start: Take the sheet and hold it up so the long side is across your body. Usually, the long side is one of the sides where the elastic doesn’t run from corner to corner. Find the very corner of the corners, where the sheet is stitched together and stick your fingertips in there (Fig. 1).

Next, bring the two corners together, keeping your fingertips inside them, as shown in Fig. 2.

Flip one corner up over the other and center the point of the corner inside the point of the other corner (Fig. 3).

You should now have one neatly folded bit as seen in Fig. 4.

How to fold a fitted sheet directions

Lay the sheet down on a flat surface and arrange the corner you just created as seen in Fig. 5. Now repeat steps 1-5 with the remaining two corners.

Once you’ve done that, fold in half as seen in Fig. 6.

Fold in half again (Fig. 7) and then one more time (Fig. 8).

Take the left and right sides, and fold them in to the middle as seen in Fig. 9. It’s not going to be perfect, that’s fine. (I’m not Martha Stewart, and if you’re reading this for help, neither are you.) Smooth out the bumps and bulges as best you can.

Finally, at the point where the two ends meet in the middle from the previous step, fold in half again.

And there you have it! A nicely-folded fitted sheet that fits in your linen closet, and doesn’t look like you just balled it up and shoved it in behind the beach towels and that old tablecloth that you have never once used, but can’t throw it away because it was your grandma’s.

How to fold a fitted sheet directions 2

Now, about those comforters… Find out how to change your duvet cover easily with this quick trick!

Adeline Beckett

Adeline Beckett

Adeline Beckett is a freelance writer who spends the majority of her time in the Pacific time zone.

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