How to fold fitted sheets – like a pro

Learn how to fold fitted sheets with poise and save space in your linen closet

Fold fitted sheets
(Image credit: Alamy)

Folding any laundry is never especially fun-filled, but folding fitted sheets is a particularly frustrating, not to mention fruitless, endeavor. 

Laundry room ideas that include countertop space assist in achieving the goal of crisply folded sheets that will fit neatly into the linen closet without taking up excessive space. But, when it comes to folding fitted sheets, all too often we resort to roughly rolling them up like a snail before shoving them into the closet with brute force, shutting the door quickly before they come rolling straight back out again.

Fortunately, there is another way. Author Sophie Liard, aka The Folding Lady (opens in new tab), has perfected folding fitted sheets, in less than 60 seconds. In her Instagram videos she makes it look easy and even manages the task standing up. 

We are focusing on her slightly more sedate method. This involves laying the sheet on a bed or other flat surface to fold it, which is more manageable and less energetic, especially when folding fitted sheets that are king size or bigger.

How to fold fitted sheets

Cleaning tips first. Wash bed sheets according to the laundry symbols on the tag first, then dry them. After that you can follow Sophie's six simple steps for neatly folding a fitted sheet that is elasticated all the way around, ie the most notoriously tricky design, which we’re sharing. 

This technique will also work with folding fitted sheets that are only elasticated in the corners. All you need is your fitted sheet ­– in any size, even super-king – and a flat surface. 

1. Lay the fitted sheet flat

Lay the sheet on a flat surface with the underside of the sheet facing upwards. The top of the sheet, ie where the pillows go, will be furthest from you and the four elasticated sides/skirts will be facing the ceiling.

2. Fold once, from bottom to top

Put your hands under the bottom two corners and lift the corners upwards. With your hands still tucked under the bottom corners (like puppet ghosts!) lift the sheet up to meet the top corners. The sheet should fold in half widthways. 

3. Tuck the corners inside each other

Tuck the bottom corners inside the elasticated skirt of the two top corners. You should now have a wide rectangle on the bed, with the elasticated skirts on the left, top, and right-hand sides.

4. Fold into the middle

Next fold the right-hand elasticated skirt towards the middle, then the same on the left, smoothing as you go. Then fold the top elasticated skirt down over both sides, like closing an envelope.

5. Fold into the middle again

Fold the right-hand side into the middle, then the left over the top. You should then have a much smaller rectangle. 

6. Fold twice from the bottom up

Fold into thirds widthways (not lengthways) by folding twice from the bottom up, smoothing as you go. The result should be a neatly folded sheet.

What is the best way to store fitted sheets?

Renowned tidying expert Marie Kondo (opens in new tab) suggests three ways to store fitted sheets to make the most of the available space and ensure easy access when it’s time to make the beds – a must-know for anyone cleaning a bedroom or organizing a linen closet

‘For linen closet storage we recommend storing folded fitted sheets flat in a stack. In deep drawers, fold the sheet into a smaller rectangle and store upright. If your drawers are small, roll the folded rectangle and store upright,’ she advises. 

Labelling the shelf or drawer according to bed size will make your fitted sheets easier to grab without having to check individual sheet labels (and potentially unravelling your hard work). Store in sets, again according to size but also design, including any duvet covers and pillowcases.

Can you iron fitted sheets?

Yes, ironing fitted sheets isn’t essential, but it can make them easier to fold and store ready for changing bedsheets. Also, nothing beats jumping into a bed of crisp, freshly ironed sheets! It helps to iron fitted sheets when they’re still slightly damp so don’t leave them in the dryer too long. Start by ironing the top two corners and top side, before working down the sheet, ironing as you go.  If your sheet is wider than the ironing board, fold in half lengthways before you start ironing. You may choose to iron out the central crease before making the bed but it's really not necessary.

Linda graduated from university with a First in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting. Her career began on a trade title for the kitchen and bathroom industry, and she has worked for Homes & Gardens, and sister-brands Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, since 2006, covering interiors topics, though kitchens and bathrooms are her specialism.