A Short Guide to Bed Sheets

There’s nothing like a set of crisp white bedsheets to make a bed look inviting. That being said… some years ago, the average person wouldn’t have even been able to buy bedsheets. Only rich people could afford them. 

Today is a different story. People can shop for them freely. This short guide will allow you to get the best out of your bedsheets. Read on for tips on how to choose the right sheets, use them and look after them so you can get the most out of them.

Choosing your bed sheets 

Consider not just the thread count but also the quality of the yarn. The sweet spot is 300 to 500. If the thread count is higher than this, it’s not certain that the sheets’ quality will be any better. 

One hundred percent cotton, satin cotton, brushed cotton, and Egyptian cotton are the main materials from which manufacturers make bed sheets. Egyptian cotton is more expensive and more luxurious, but be aware that it’s also more common these days, so don’t let the offers fool you.

There are four main types of bed sheets:

  • Fitted sheets. These fit on top of the mattress directly and have elasticated corners.
  • Deep-fitted sheets. These are elasticated and are like fitted sheets. They have a deeper drop to accommodate deeper beds or beds that have mattress toppers on them.
  • Flat sheets. These lie flat and make the bed look more inviting. They lie between the fitted sheet and the duvet cover.
  • Valance. Valance sheets drape all the way down to the floor. They give the bed a tidy finish and are a useful way to conceal items under the bed.

Once you’ve chosen your bed sheets, it’s time to put them on the bed.

Laying your bed sheets

If you’ve ever been in a hospital or a hotel, you’ll have seen they make beds in a special way. They use flat sheets and create ‘hospital corners’.

How to make a bed with hospital corners

  1. Lay the sheet out on the bed and tuck it in at the end of the bed between the mattress and the box spring, but leave the edges draped over the sides.
  2. Lift the draped edges approximately 16 inches from the foot of the bed to create the hospital corner. 
  3. Now tuck the lower-draped triangular part beneath the mattress and the box spring.
  4. Hold the corner in place with your free and fold the top drape over. You want it to be at a 45º angle.
  5. Tuck the sheet in between the box spring and the mattress. Repeat on the other side of the bed.

How to lay a fitted sheet

When you have a fitted sheet, it’s hard to distinguish between the long side and the short side, but it’s easy enough to lay. Here’s how:

  1. Layout the sheet as flat as possible so you can see which direction it runs. 
  2. Take one corner, slip it over the top right corner of the mattress and tuck it underneath.
  3. Move to the bottom of the same side of the bed and do the same again. 
  4. Repeat this on the other side of the bed.

Washing your bed sheets

Wash your bed sheets at least once every two weeks. Ideally, once per week is better, especially if you sweat heavily during the night, use body lotion, or don’t wear pyjamas. If you’re ill or trying to avoid illness, wash them twice per week.

It’s important to wash bed sheets regularly because dust mites can multiply in unwashed bedding. They feed off dead skin, which builds up easily in your bedsheets. Wash your sheets at 60ºC or more. This will kill mites and wash their droppings out of your linen. Any lower and the mites can still survive.

Bed sheets.
Bed sheets should be washed weekly.

Even if you sleep with a flat sheet, you should still wash your duvet cover. It gets dirtier than you think. Wash the covers of any decorative pillows as well. Check all your covers are machine washable before you put them in the washing machine. 

Folding your bedsheets

Of course, you’ve got to look after your sheets. This includes folding them correctly. A flat sheet is easy to fold. Just fold it up into sections lengthwise, bring the top corners together, meet on the opposite sides, and fold into sections again to create a square or rectangle. 

Folding a fitted sheet is much more of a challenge. Some people dread it! Here’s how to fold a fitted sheet:

  1. Drape the sheet over your hands. Hold the fitted sheet in each top corner. Both corners must be inside out, and the edge must be facing you.
  2. Fold the sheet in half and tuck the corners in. Fold the sheet in half vertically. Create a pocket by flipping the right corner over the left corner. Turn the sheet 180º and create a second pocket at the top.
  3. Fold the sheet in half again. Readjust your hold. You should have two corners over the left hand and two corners over the right. The folded seam and tucked edge should be facing you. Fold the sheet in half again so that all of the corners meet. Flip the right set over the left.
  4. Lay the sheet on a bed. Fold the longer area of the curved edge in a few inches towards the center. This creates a straight edge, and the sheet should form a rectangle. Fold in half lengthwise and then into thirds.

Nice crisp, white bed sheets make a bed look inviting. Choose some good-quality sheets and keep them as clean as possible. It all works towards a good night’s sleep. Enjoy your rest!

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