Cleaning

A 'Why Didn't I Think of That?' Way to Fold Fitted Sheets

The best method for mastering your fitted sheets is also the simplest.

August 16, 2019

I've always enjoyed folding laundry—that moment when it's fresh and toasty from the dryer, and you spread it out on your bed (or table), and for a brief moment your room smells like clean mountain air. When I know no one's looking, I burrow my face into that warm pile for a few minutes before I start to sort through the t-shirts, socks (always minus the pair) and sheets. I listen to my favorite podcasts as I organize each article of clothing, ready to fit neatly and securely in my closet. It gives me a feeling of having accomplished something significant.

All of that goes right out the window if I'm folding a fitted sheet. Because, despite my determined efforts to show it who's boss, and the fact that it's really not rocket science, I fail every. single. time.

Exhibits A & B: An able-bodied adult trying her darned best. Photo by Meg Macdonald

After one particularly long and exhausting head-to-head, I decided it was time to finally learn how to conquer a fitted bed sheet. Naturally, I turned to the internet.

Turns out, there are a heck ton of folding tutorials out there, guides from unnamed gentlemen and college kids to the Queen of Joy Sparking herself, Marie Kondo. It's a topic everyone seems to have an opinion on; one lady had three.) So, it took hours of watching and practicing, but I finally discovered this unsung hero—a reassuring, soothing miracle worker offering the kindest instruction.

First, her method is simple. She doesn’t waste time with distinguishing length versus width or inside or outside—it's all the same to her. She walks you through each motion, checking in to see if you’re on the same page, never going into lengthy explanations for every move. I also loved that she was so encouraging. “Do the best that you can,” she says. I’m not ashamed to say I actually said, aloud: “Thank you.”

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Top Comment:
“Slide that stack up into that corner pocket of your partially folded fitted sheet. Continue as she did, folding that last bit along the outline of the stack you'd made. Now all of the sheets and pillowcases are together in a single bundle. Nothing gets lost. When you're ready to change the sheets, you can just grab one packet, and you're ready.”
— Derrick
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But most importantly, by following her lead, I actually folded a fitted sheet on my very first try. What's even better, I tried it on a variety of sheets—twin, queen, cotton and linen—and it's worked on all.

I'm not the only one who walked away impressed. Here are just a few of the comments from fellow relieved folders:

  • “I have tried all of the other videos, but this one really does make it all so simple. Thank you very much for taking the frustration out of folding fitted sheets!”
  • “Who is this lady? Where did she learn her skill? Is it legal to adopt a grandma? All important questions with no answers."
  • “Where has this woman been all my life? I'm 55 and I've never been able to fold a fitted sheet before now!”
  • “Does she have her own channel? I really want to subscribe!”

So, what are you waiting for? Watch the video and solve one of life's greatest mysteries.

Do you have a trick to folding your sheets that we don't know about? Share them in the comments below!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • BerryBaby
    BerryBaby
  • Fran McGinty
    Fran McGinty
  • janet
    janet
  • cosmiccook
    cosmiccook
  • Alynn Renee Dotson
    Alynn Renee Dotson
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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.

80 Comments

BerryBaby August 18, 2019
I LOVE folding fitted sheets..takes very little time and the sheets and pillow cases look exactly how they did when brand new. Towels, table cloths, dish towels, I find folding very relaxing...I know, strange, huh!
BB🍏
 
Fran M. August 18, 2019
It says video not available :(
 
janet August 15, 2019
i do it exactly that way - but using the flat sheet as a base, i add my pillow cases, then the fitted, then fold all of it up together in one package. nothing is ever lost this way.
 
cosmiccook May 28, 2019
I just viewed Marie Kondo's method NOT impressed; it's way too messy; the end result for her method leaves the sheet TOO large to fit in the space I have.
 
Janet C. July 24, 2019
It works for limited space. Just fold it in half again until it fits. I have next to NO space to store sheets, and I made it fit nicely.
 
cosmiccook May 28, 2019
This method doesn't work as well with sheets that have elastic all the way around them. I did photo a new set of sheets I just purchased and this is how the fitted sheet was folded.
 
Alynn R. May 26, 2019
This is EXACTLY how my Grandmere taught me to fold fitted sheets as a child and it's been working perfectly for me ever since. I watched the video curious to learn a new technique but was comforted to see that as usual, my Gran knew best! ♥️
 
Beth January 31, 2019
She is so kind and encouraging, and not at all self-promoting--despite the fact that she shares the best advice I've ever received for doing one of the most mind-boggling household chores. I would love to have her walk me through...well, anything.
 
Susanna January 22, 2019
Marie Kondo has a simpler way. I find it especially hard to fold fitted sheets with elastic all the way around the sheet.

https://youtu.be/0MLE-8U4c2A
 
Matt H. January 20, 2019
This is how i fold a fitted sheet, but i learnt this method from Martha Stewart.
 
DMStenlake January 19, 2019
Video not available. If this is the method my mother used it definitely works. But I have found the best and most efficient way to fold sheets, especially king sized is for our housekeeper to do it!
 
cosmiccook January 14, 2019
This is the way I folded sheets as a youngster, and it works for the most part. I do have some flannel sheets that have elastic all the way around and it's more difficult to fold them w this method. I'll revisit this method again and see if I can make it work.
 
Cynthia January 12, 2019
She's truly brilliant.
 
Linda J. January 11, 2019
Do you know that the NY State Agricultural Extension Service actually created a brochure showing exactly this way of folding in the sixties? Our taxpayer dollars at work. Anyway, I learned it and have used it ever since.
 
Linda J. January 13, 2019
Perhaps it is archived somewhere. You could check with the ag extension service. I was in student housing at Cornell and we got all of these publications. Some were hilarious. I wish I had saved them.
 
Linda J. January 14, 2019
All sorts of homey things. How to save money. Inexpensive recipes. There were things regarding gardening and such, too. I have an amazing brochure that my Grandmother sent me from the California Extension Service. It is called "Whole Wheat Milk Bread." It assumes you know nothing (right where I was) and is well illustrated with what the bread would look like at each stage. I still have it and it is copiously stained with bits of bread dough.
 
Derrick January 11, 2019
I fold mine the same way, but with an added step I learned from our housekeeper. After you have the four corners together, stack the folded pillowcases on top of the folded flat sheet. Slide that stack up into that corner pocket of your partially folded fitted sheet. Continue as she did, folding that last bit along the outline of the stack you'd made. Now all of the sheets and pillowcases are together in a single bundle. Nothing gets lost. When you're ready to change the sheets, you can just grab one packet, and you're ready.
 
Connie January 11, 2019
I like that idea. I sometimes take the folded fitted sheet, flat sheet, and one pillowcase and put all into the remaining pillowcase. You get a similar little package.
 
Connie January 11, 2019
When I was in college in the 70s one dorm mate lectured the rest of us regarding not being able to fold a fitted sheet. She then proceeded show us this method. It has remained with me since then and I have impressed others along the way with my ability to fold a fitted sheet. Something so simple can give one a great feeling of accomplishment.
 
PJplunkett January 11, 2019
Video was unavailable to watch.
 
Mary T. January 11, 2019
Great video! I have always tried this method for my fitted sheets, but lacked the finesse to achieve the nice, flat end results shown here... that first fold after putting the sheet on a flat surface turns out to be the finesse!!! No more stuffing lumpy, uncooperative textiles into the drawer for me!
 
Lillian S. January 11, 2019
Just folded two the same way.
 
Sue J. January 10, 2019
This is the same method I learned from my husband’s grandmother, who took in laundry during the fifties and sixties to earn extra pocket money in the small northern Michigan town where she lived. She was known for the way she folded sheets and other things. Once you learn this method, you’ll always remember. I’ve even shown folks in laundromats how to do it. Best method ever!
 
Kim V. January 10, 2019
That is how I learned to fold fitted sheers!