How to keep fitted sheets on a bed – simple solutions for sleep comfort

Fitted sheets not staying put? These are the best ways to stop them wrinkling or coming off the bed

lilac bedroom with mirrored fitted wardrobes
(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

When you’ve opted for bedding for its stay-put qualities, and it’s just not doing so, you’ll be looking for ways to keep fitted sheets on a bed. Wrinkled sheets, or those that become entirely detached from the mattress, don’t make for a good night’s shut-eye.

Dressing a bed requires either a flat or fitted sheet to cover the mattress and the latter is often preferred because it’s easier to put on and should remain taut because of the elastic in its corners or all around. But bed ideas planned in order to make the room a peaceful sanctuary can be compromised by a sheet that doesn’t remain flat despite its design.

There are answers for wandering fitted sheets, though, and we’ve put together the top solutions and advice from experts in this guide to keep fitted sheets on a bed.

How to keep fitted sheets on a bed

The best mattress can keep you feeling comfortable all night long, but a sheet that moves around or doesn’t stay on the bed can detract from its capacity to provide restful sleep. 

Along with the type of bed and the headboard, sheets that don’t move around matter for quality slumber, and that’s why fitted sheets are a favorite since they’re easy to put onto the mattress and should stay there.

If yours aren’t living up to their billing? These are the way to keep fitted sheets on a bed. 

Blue and pale orange bedroom with velvet headboard

(Image credit: Future/Anna Stathaki)

1. Buy the right size fitted sheets

Size is key to whether fitted sheets stay put on a bed. The sheet size must be appropriate to the mattress size – don’t opt for a smaller sheet thinking that the elastic will help it stretch to fit a larger mattress.

What’s also crucial is pocket size: the depth of the corners of the sheet. ‘When shopping for fitted sheets, it’s imperative to understand the thickness, or depth, of your mattress,’ advises Jin Chon, co-founder, of Coop Sleep Goods. ‘While standard mattresses usually range from 7 to 9 inches, more modern mattresses such as the plush or pillow-top designs can be upwards of 15 inches. 

‘The pocket size of a fitted sheet, which refers to the depth of the sheet’s corners, must be adequate to accommodate the mattress thickness. A too small pocket may result in the sheet not staying on the bed, and a too large pocket may cause it to shift or slide off.’

2. Focus on sheet qualities

The fabric a sheet is made from can make a difference in whether it feels more slippery. Silk and satin have a different texture from cotton, for example. But use an undersheet or mattress topper (see more below) and this should ensure that fabric type isn’t an issue. 

Another element of the sheet design is key to whether it stays put, however, according to Jessica Carrington, VP of sales and marketing, Comphy. Keeping fitted sheets on a bed ‘has less to do with the fabric and more to do with elastic around the fitted sheet’, she explains. 

If you’re having trouble keeping fitted sheets on the bed, you might want to swap to those that are designed with elastic all the way around, as Jessica explains Comphy’s have, rather than elastic in the corners only. Look for the use of thick elastic, too, to help keep fitted sheets on the bed.

3. Put the sheet on the best way

How you make your bed also matters so a fitted sheet stays on. Since it’s typically more difficult to put the top corners of a fitted sheet onto the mattress, this is the place to start rather than trying to stretch it towards the trickier top when the bottom corners are already in place.

And Comphy suggests being sure to lift the mattress up high so you can pull the edge of the sheet towards the middle of the bed as much as necessary to make it flat.

4. Use an under sheet

A sheet below the fitted sheet can also help it stay in place even if you’re a restless sleeper. It’s especially advisable if yours are sheets made from silk or satin (see above). Opt for under sheets made from a material such as thick cotton, or flannel or fleece, for example, to help keep sheets made from very smooth fabrics in place on the mattress.

5. Try a mattress topper

The best mattress topper might also solve the problem of sheets that don’t stay on the bed. 

‘A mattress pad or topper can provide extra thickness and a more textured surface to your bed, allowing a fitted sheet to secure more snugly and reducing the chances of slipping,’ says Jin Chon. ‘Additionally, these toppers can offer better edge support to help keep the sheet in place. Remember, though, with this added depth, you might need to consider fitted sheets with deeper pockets.’

6. Add a sheet holder

If the solutions we’ve already suggested don’t solve the problem entirely, there are some nifty devices that can help. The Bed Band from Amazon comes as a pack of four bands that can be tensioned and which clip onto each corner of a sheet to hold it in place. It’s highly rated by its very many users. 

Alternatively, take a look at the Bed Scrunchie from Amazon. This adjustable elastic strap clips onto the edges of the sheet all around and sits below the mattress. It can be tensioned once in place to hold the sheet in position. It’s another popular and well-rated choice. 


How do hotels get sheets so tight?

Hotel beds are made so that the sheets are tight, and much of the secret lies in the technique. Flat sheets are tucked in using hospital corners to keep them in place. To create hospital corners, with the sheet draped evenly across the bed, first, tuck the sheet under the mattress at the foot of the bed. Then, standing at one corner take hold of the lower edge of the sheet around 12 to 16  inches up from the foot of the bed. Lift this edge and fold it on top of the mattress; there will be a fold at a 45º angle to the corner of the mattress. Hold the folded fabric in place and, with your other hand, tuck in the fabric that’s hanging down. Now lower the fabric folded on the top of the bed and tuck it in. Repeat for the other corners.

Fitted sheets are super convenient and with the right size, and good bed-making technique – perhaps along with some nifty gadgets – you can make sure they stay put on the bed. Where they can seem less convenient than flat sheets is when it comes to storing the freshly laundered sheets ready for re-use. The answer is to learn how to fold fitted sheets so they can be neatly stashed.

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.