How to fold a fitted sheet: 4 fail-safe methods to try

Learn how to fold a fitted sheet properly to organize your bedding like never before. Go for the classic tuck, U-fold or Marie Kondo method. Failing that, there's always the lazy roll...

A stack of folded blue bedsheets
(Image credit: Olga Nikiforova / Getty)

Want to know how to fold a fitted sheet? The truth is, folding fitted sheets is hard. For some of us, it's so confusing that we end up just bunching our bed sheets up in a ball and shoving them in the closet... Not ideal, because the next time you want to use said sheet it will be wrinkled. 

Fortunately, there's not just one right way to fold a fitted sheet correctly. There's the way favored by professionals and we'll tackle that first, but there also are several other, dare we say it, easier ways to fold bed sheets. Make these methods part of your closet organization rituals and never be disappointed by a wrinkly sheet again.

A stack of folded sheets in bedroom

(Image credit: © eleonora galli / Getty)

What is the best way to fold a fitted sheet?

In order to learn how to fold a fitted sheet properly, you need to first learn to respect the fact that fitted sheets have those elastic bands on the ends. It's what makes them a dream to put on your bed – and a nightmare to fold when you take them out of your tumble dryer. However, if you fold with those rubber bands always in mind, you'll be fine. 

Here are four different fail-safe methods to try:

1. The classic tuck method

This is the method used by hotel keepers and bedlinen professionals. It has been demonstrated on Martha Stewart and is the method of choice if you want the best bed sheets to lie neatly in a stack together, flat and fitted ones.  

It's a method that will likely take a few gos to properly master, but once you have, you will have perfect, flat parcels that fit neatly into even the smallest of closets. Here's how to master this classic method:

  • Hold the sheet lengthwise, with the two corners you'll be tackling first inside out. The bottom corners should not be turned inside out and will be facing outwards.
  • Put your hands inside the upper corners, so that the seams are clearly visible on the outside. 
  • Put your hands together and take one corner over the other corner. Slide your right hand inside, keep your left hand free. 
  • Slide your left hand down the elastic, finding the bottom corner. Straighten out your hands; your sheet is now folded in half. 
  • Repeat the process – bring your hands together, put one corner over the other. Now, all your elastic will be lined up.
  • Lay the sheet down on a flat surface; you'll see that the elastic has formed an L shape. Your sheet overall will now look like a square and you can fold it in either a rectangle or a smaller square

2. The U-fold method

If the tuck method is making your head hurt (we don't blame you), try the slightly easier method that involves folding the sheet is a similar way to folding a classic flat sheet.

Carl Walsh is the founder of Bed Guru and has perfected the method for folding a fitted sheet over the past 40 years. Walsh explains that 'folding fitted sheets follows the standard procedure of folding in half, then half again, so on and so forth. However, there is a knack to smoothing down those elasticated corners and making the sheets fit neatly into the airing cupboard with the rest of your bedding.' Here's how:

  • Stand holding the fitted sheet lengthwise (so long sides are running horizontally and shorter sides vertically) by the two top corners.
  • Then fold as normal in half by bringing your two arms together
  • When folding make sure that your right hand goes over the left, ensuring that the elasticated corners tuck into one another 
  • The way to then get the sheet to fold flat is to fold the edges inwards that are naturally ruching because of the elasticated corners - this is much easier than trying to flatten out the elasticated corners.
  • Continue to fold the sheet as usual by following this method of folding the edges inwards to flatten the elasticated corners. This will ensure it is able to fold flat.

Essentially, with this method, you're doing half of the tuck method, and then you are just turning the other two corners inwards. If you lay your sheet flat at this point, you'll notice that you have a 'U' shape rather than an 'L' shape. This is easier than tucking all the corners in, and the sheet will still fold flat. 

3. Fold a fitted sheet like Marie Kondo 

The Marie Kondo method has revolutionized home organization, and no wonder. The queen of tidying is so popular in part because her methods are so easy to follow. Her way of folding a fitted sheet is no different. Rather than faffing about with aligning the elastic, Kondo simply positions the sheet on a flat surface, with the elastic gathered in the center, facing her.

Then, Kondo folds the sheet using the rule of thirds, lengthways. First, she folds one end over the elastic, then brings the other end over. The sheet now forms a long, slim rectangle.

Now, she folds it over in half, then halves it again. The result is a neat square. For 'deep drawer storage', Kondo recommends folding this square three times. Or, skip this step and simply roll the folded sheet to fit into a basket for easy retrieval. 

4. The lazy roll way

If you really don't have the time for neat folding, just fold the fitted sheet in half, then in half again, fold the untidy edges into the center of the folded sheet, and roll. It won't look as perfect as when using the tucking or folding methods, but it's very easy and beats just bunching yours up without doing anything at all to it.

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.

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