6 things people who store bed linen properly always do – to keep sheets in pristine condition

Fail-safe tips for effortlessly luxurious bed sheets, every night

bedroom with four poster bed and chest of drawers
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Climbing into sumptuous bedding that cradles you to sleep, beautifully, is indescribable bliss. One perhaps that we take for granted, until that is, that you notice a stark difference in the quality of your sleep and dare we suggest, the luxury finish of your bed sheets and linen. 

Life is busy, and not taking care of bed linen properly is something that you might not even realize you're doing. Or rather, not doing.

You'd be forgiven for not organizing a laundry room at the best of times but when you spend a significant portion of your life in bed, your sheets, pillowcases, and quilts deserve a little special attention. 

6 things people who store bed linen properly always do

We spoke with some professional organizers for their best-kept secrets on how to keep bed linen fresh, organized, and looking just as good as it feels so that it lasts for years to come.

Bedroom with white rug

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

1. Give bed linen the right home

blue linen closet and white chair

(Image credit: Future PLC)

In the wrong part of your home, sheets will not stay as luxurious as the day you bought them. So choosing the perfect location for your bed linen is essential to keep them fresh and in good condition. Nathaly Vieira, owner of InspireClean, tells us that a cool, dry, and well-ventilated space is best to keep bed linen smelling fresh and looking beautiful. 'Avoid areas with high humidity or dampness, as moisture can lead to mold, mildew, and unpleasant odors in your linens,' she says. 

So consider storing linens in a closet where the temperature and humidity levels are consistent, avoiding basements and attics.

You should also choose a space that is protected from sunlight for increased longevity. 'Additionally, direct sunlight can cause colors to fade over time, so it's best to keep bed linen away from prolonged exposure to the sun,' adds Vieira.

To do this efficiently, we would suggest employing some clever bedroom storage ideas. It might mean that you need to expand your current setup with bespoke shelving in your closet. Should you struggle particularly with humidity in your home, a dehumidifier could make a sound addition to help keep laundry fresh. 

Nathaly Vieira

Nathaly Vieira is the owner of the home cleaning and organizing service, InspireClean. This premier agency is a women-owned, local company, serving Southern Ontario.

2. Streamline organization

Blue bedroom closets with wooden drawers in bedroom with neutral sheets

(Image credit: Janis Nicolay)

Second to finding the perfect spot for bed linen is staying on top of organization. 'Organizing your bed linen is key to maintaining its pristine condition,' says Vieira. 

That means grouping, labeling, and paying attention to finer details, for instance, always storing your cooling bed sheets separately from those you use in winter. It's all essential to keep bed linen in good condition and to help you find it far more easily too.

The Monicas of the world will wholeheartedly welcome this first pointer from Shara Kay, a Certified Professional Organizer® and the owner of SK Organizing. Kay also emphasizes the need for proper organization and recommends a clever way of sorting out bed linen which might work particularly well if you don't always keep full sets. 

'Keep bed linen sorted first by type (i.e. pillows, quilts, sheets) and then by bed size (king, queen, standard, twin, crib),' she says.

If you do keep full bed linen sets, it's wise to keep them together. 'If you use sheets in sets, consider storing the full set together. For some households, it’s easier to store each set inside one of its pillowcases,' says Kay. 

Vieira is another advocate of using the pillowcase, advising us to: 'Fold fitted sheets, flat sheets, and pillowcases neatly and place them inside one of the matching pillowcases. This not only keeps everything together but also makes it easier to identify specific sets. You can also label or color-code your storage to further streamline the organization process,' says Vieira.

Kay recommends a fabric-safe marker to note sizes on tags, such as SHARPIE Rub-a-Dub Permanent Marker, which you can find on Amazon.

Certified Professional Organizer®
Shara Kay headshot
Certified Professional Organizer®
Shara Kay

Shara Kay (she/her) is a Certified Professional Organizer® and the owner of SK Organizing, a Los Angeles area company specializing in move management, estate clearing, and helping busy professionals achieve the calm and organized spaces they desire at home and at work. Shara also has over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry where she produced several independent films, won the NATPE Digital Luminary Award for Best Branded Entertainment Series, and served as a senior development and production executive. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Romance languages & literature from Harvard University.

3. Use laundry bags for seasonal bed linen

It's key to give laundry the right space to live in your home, but it could also be a wise idea to further protect bed linen from dust and humidity with laundry bags –especially for anything that only makes an appearance a few times a year.

Vieira advises, 'Consider using breathable storage bags or containers that allow for air circulation while keeping your linens protected.'

If space is at a premium, vacuum-seal storage bags make an excellent space-saving space solution, and they will keep linens well protected from dust and moisture too, Vieira tells us. These make good options for anything you don't use regularly either like out-of-season or guest quilts and blankets. For this, Kay recommends large zippered canvas bags such as the Vailando Large Canvas Comforter Storage Bags, also at Amazon

4. Keep bed linen fresh with cedar and lavender

dried lavender

(Image credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo)

Cedar is well-known for keeping moths out of our closets and lavender is often recommended to help us fall asleep, so this comes as no surprise. 

Vieira notes how these natural fragrances serve the dual purpose of keeping laundry fresh and free from troublesome pests: 'Consider adding cedar sachets or lavender sachets to your storage containers or drawers; these natural options can help deter pests and provide a pleasant, fresh scent to your linens.'

When it comes to washing bed sheets Kay actually starts with a simple detergent but then uses cedar balls too. 'As for keeping sheets fresh, I personally use unscented laundry detergent and dryer balls, plus some cedar balls or rings in the linen closet.' She recommends the Brite Lightingtech Cedar Balls for Clothes Storage, available at Amazon.

For those who want to promote relaxation and perhaps better sleep, you could try refreshing sheets with essential oils like lavender. I am personally fond of this myself and refresh my sheets daily with a homemade spray mixture of water, with a few drops of lavender. ‘Linen sprays made with essential oils are a good way to freshen your sheets when they’re on the bed!’ recommends Ami McKay of PURE Design.

Alternatively, lavender sachets make sound options too. McKay is also an advocate of linen bags to keep dust at bay and tells us that she loves to tuck a lavender sachet into her bed linen bags directly.

Ami McKay headshot
Ami McKay

Ami McKay founded PURE Design in 2000 on the belief that design is found in the art of giving. The work that she puts into each project reflects her personal life experiences and she believes they are at the heart of her business. Today, she is proud to be named one of Canada’s Top Five Interior Designers.

5. Fold consistently

linen cupboard with towels and throws

(Image credit: Future)

Opening your laundry cabinet to find beautifully folded sheets and pristine bed linen is far more inspiring than one that is a little haphazardly put together. Kay tells us that consistency in how you fold your bedding plays an important part in creating a seamless and orderly finish. 'Fold items to a consistent size to fit the depth of your shelf. Place the solid side face-out for a tidier aesthetic,' she says.

So make sure whether you're storing full sets in pillowcases, or bed linen by type and size, that they match up and fit snugly into the cupboard space you have.

6. Keep a capsule bed linen collection

Kay reminds us to purge and declutter our bedlinen collection: 'Aim for a yearly review, plus any time you move houses,' she says.

'We've all held onto that pair of jeans that don't quite fit as we'd hoped, but we know it's a no-no, and the same goes for sheets. You might have to be a little ruthless, Review the contents of your linen closet periodically and declutter bedding that is ripped, stained, or does not fit a mattress you currently own!'

McKay also endorses a more select linen set approach. 'Streamline your linens and only keep what you use in your linen cabinet.' This way it will be far easier to organize bed linen in the first place.

Vieira also notes that frequent rotation is good practice for stored bed linen. 'This helps prevent prolonged creasing or fading in specific areas and ensures that all your linens maintain their quality over time,' she says. 

The worst that will happen is that you will find yourself giving into the temptation of a beautiful new bedlinen set. Last time we checked, there was no harm in that.

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Contributing Editor

Camille is the former deputy editor of Real Homes where she covered a broad range of topics, including house tours, small space design, and gardens. She studied English language and Italian at the University of Manchester and during a year abroad studying linguistics and history of art in Bologna, Italy she started documenting her adventures and observations in a blog. Camille is always creating and spends her downtime painting, taking photos, traveling, and writing short stories.