Like trying to fit a size 8 foot into a size 7 shoe, using full-sized sheets on a queen mattress is not satisfactory. However, there are times when desperate measures are needed. With ingenuity and a bit of luck, you can arrange your full sheets on a queen bed well enough to serve in a pinch. Downsizing your shoes, however, is not recommended.
Mattress and Sheet Dimensions
A full or double mattress is 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. A queen mattress measures 60 inches by 80 inches.
Fitted sheets for all mattress sizes have enough fabric to cover the top of the mattress and down the sides, with several more inches to go under the bottom. Fitted sheets generally do not fit over a larger mattress.
Flat sheets give you more flexibility. A full flat sheet is about 81 inches wide by 96 inches long, while a queen flat sheet measures 90 inches by 102 inches. Mattress sizes are standard, but sheet sizes can vary by several inches in either direction.
Mattress depth, also known as "pocket" depth, can be your saving grace. Standard-depth for all mattress sizes is 7 to 9 inches, but extra-depth mattresses can run up to 24 inches deep. If the full sheets are made for an extra-depth mattress, while your queen mattress is standard depth, the sheets may have enough extra fabric to easily fit the mattress.
Flat sheets on top and bottom are worth a try. Make hospital corners on all four corners of the bottom sheet, tucking as much as you can under the mattress. You might only have an inch or 2 of sheet to tuck, but if necessary you can use sheet straps to secure the sheet.
Fitted sheets can be made from flat sheets. If you're handy with a sewing machine, the project is straightforward: Measure according to these instructions and cut a square out of each corner. Sew the edges of the squares together; then make a casing, and insert elastic around the edge. Naturally, this works better if you use a queen sheet for a queen mattress, but if you're lucky enough to have n extra-depth full sheet, you may be able to pull it off.
Sheet straps can cure a multitude of problems caused by ill-fitting sheets. These "sheet suspenders" come four to a package and consist of adjustable, wide elastic straps with clips on each end. They are designed to secure the sheet corners to the mattress, so they can add extra security to the previous suggestions for fitting your sheets.
As a last resort, you can simply lay the full sheet, either flat or fitted, on top of your queen mattress. Smooth it out and tuck in as much as possible. Fasten one clip of a sheet strap to one edge of the sheet, about 12 to 18 inches from a corner. Stretch the strap under the mattress, cutting across the corner at a 45-degree angle. Bring the strap end with the remaining clip up from beneath the mattress and fasten it to the sheet edge in a similar position as the first clip. Repeat with another strap on the diagonally opposite corner; then fasten the last two corners with the remaining straps.
Go shopping. Quick fixes may work for a while, but the plain truth is that, for a good night's sleep, you need sheets that fit your bed. While you're waiting for a sale, measure the width, length and depth of your mattress to make sure you get the right size this time.