How to Keep Fitted Sheets on a Bed

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Tired of the struggle to keep sheets on the bed? The name suggests your fitted sheet should fit your mattress perfectly and stay in place. But in reality, not all fitted sheets stay put as they should. A corner of the sheet may pop off the mattress when you move slightly in bed or when you're making it up and attempting to fit the opposite corner in place. No matter how frustrating those ill-fitting sheets are, specialty clips or straps can help keep them in place.

How to Keep Fitted Sheets on a Bed
Image Credit: Paul Strowger/Moment/GettyImages

Fitted Sheet Frustration

Let's start with the basics. Not all sheets are suited to every mattress. Fitted sheets that stay in place need to fit your mattress well. A plush mattress, such as a pillowtop, is significantly taller than a standard mattress, so a sheet designed to fit a standard mattress cannot be pulled all the way down to the bottom of each corner no matter how hard you try. To prevent this sheet-purchase faux pas, measure all the dimensions of the mattress, including the thickness or height of the mattress. Then check the measurements on the sheet packaging before buying another set of sheets to ensure they'll fit.

Since thicker mattresses are popular, you can find deep pocket sheets fairly easily. But you can also have issues the opposite way. If you buy deep pocket sheets for your standard or low-profile mattress, you'll end up with a lot of extra fabric and pockets that are way too big. That can leave your fitted sheet bunchy, and it's more likely to come off at the corners. Bottom line: know your mattress, so you can buy sheets that match.


Bed Suspenders

If the fitted sheet is large enough to fit the bed but still won't stay put, you may need a little help. You can get a specialty item for your bed that's similar to the suspenders you use on pants. But this version keeps all four corners of your fitted sheet in place. Each elastic strap clips onto one corner of the fitted sheet, then attaches to the corner diagonal from it, all between the mattress and box spring. That means you won't feel the straps when you sleep. The straps stay under the mattress when it's time to change the sheets. Simply unclip the current sheet. Then clip the clean sheet in place.


Tiny Strap Solution

If you don't want to lift your mattress to put the bed suspenders in place, you can use a smaller version that you use at each corner. These small elastic straps have clips at each end to help the sheets stay in place. Fit the sheet onto the mattress as you normally would. Then clip one end of the strap several inches from one corner of the mattress, such as along the side near the foot of the bed. Slide the strap under the mattress and out the adjacent side, also near the corner, clipping it to the sheet in that area. Repeat the process with straps on the remaining three corners.


Sew Simple

Looking for a bed sheet straps DIY project? You can sew your own version to help your sheets stay put. Add your own elastic straps, permanently attached to the fitted sheet, to ensure the bedding stays on the mattress. Use 1/2-inch-wide elastic; then sew it so it spans each corner on the diagonal, several inches away from the actual corner on each side, along the open end of the sheet. When fitting the sheet to the bed, stretch the elastic and slide it under the corner of the mattress to keep it secure.

If you've tried new sheets but can't seem to keep them in place, you can choose from a variety of methods to secure the corners. Those simple gadgets and tricks keep everything in place so you can drift off to sleep without fixing the sheets.


references & resources

Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.

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