Which Way Does A Flat Sheet Go?

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Are you trying to figure out the proper way to make a bed? Sheets don’t always offer a clear indication of which way they are supposed to be applied, which can cause confusion. If you want to learn how to make your bed and use your sheets properly, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the research to bring you this guide to using your sheets in the most efficient manner. 

Flat sheets should have the tag and thin seam at the foot of the bed, and the wider hem should be at the head. The faded backside of the flat sheet should face up away from the mattress. The vivid side of the flat sheet will face down towards the mattress.

You may be surprised to learn that flat sheets can be multifunctional. Did you know that flat sheets can be used as fitted sheets if folded properly? To learn all about the different ways to use a flat sheet, keep reading.

An elegant interior of a modern bedroom with hardwood flooring and white curtains, Which Way Does A Flat Sheet Go?

What is the Correct Way to Put on a Flat Sheet?

To put a flat sheet on correctly, the fitted sheet should already be on the mattress.  It’s not too tricky to master, but it does take practice. To correctly put a flat sheet on, read this step-by-step guide and watch the video for a visual example.

  1. Find the top of the flat sheet, which will have the widest hem.
  2. Lay the sheet on the bed with the top towards the head of the bed and the faded side of the flat sheet facing up. 
  3. Tuck the flat sheet between the mattress and box spring at the foot of the bed. Leave the fabric on the sides of the mattress hanging.
  4. Staying at the foot of the bed, take the portion of the sheet hanging from the side and pinch it. Hold it away from the mattress.
  5. Tuck the hanging piece of the sheet under the bed.
  6. Fold the draping fabric into an acute angle and tuck it under the mattress.
  7. Repeat the process with the other side.
  8. Tuck the sides of the flat sheet under the mattress.

What’s the Point of a Flat Sheet?

Flat sheets were designed to extend the cleanliness of your comforter by creating a layer between your body and the blanket. During cold winter months, they serve as additional insulation, preserving more heat. The blanket can be removed altogether in hot summer weather, and the flat sheet can serve as a light layer of comfort.

A perfectly arranged bedroom with white bedsheets, white pillows and gorgeous carpet

Mellanni Queen Sheet Set

This sheet set comes in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find a set that will fit your style. Click here to see this on Amazon.

Do You Sleep Under the Flat Sheet?

The flat sheet is meant to be used between you and your blanket to provide a contact barrier. When people sleep, they shed skin cells, sweat, and leave behind dirt picked up daily. The flat sheet is meant to guard the blanket against these contaminants and keep the cumbersome duvet clean longer.

Since blankets are much larger and heavier than sheets, especially when wet, sheets are easier to maintain, which was a huge benefit before washing machines came about.

When Making a Bed Where Does the Tag Go?

When standing at the foot of your bed facing the mattress, the tags of your fitted sheet and your comforter should both be positioned in the bottom right-hand corner of the mattress.

The flat sheet may differ since it is technically used upside down. Just ensure that the tag is at the foot of the bed and the top hem is at the head. Having the tag in the wrong place could result in irritation during the night if it makes contact with skin.

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Do You Tuck in the Top Sheet?

When done correctly, the top sheet should be tucked in all around the bed, creating a clean, crisp appearance and a tight fit. If you prefer a flowy appearance or don’t like to have your bedding too snug at night, you can ultimately make your bed however you would like.

Tucking using the hospital fold is considered the most professional way to make a bed and is used in the military, hospitals, and hotels. The hospital fold also retains heat better than an unfolded flat sheet, which is beneficial in winter.

Can You Make a Flat Sheet Into a Fitted Sheet?

Yes, a flat sheet can be used as a fitted sheet in a pinch. To do this, you will use the same hospital fold described previously in all four corners of the mattress. Make sure to center the sheet on the bed before you begin folding. Using a hospital fold, the flat sheet will hold on to the mattress tightly, creating a perfect solution when you lack a fitted sheet.

Utopia Bedding 6-Pack Flat Sheets

This six-pack of flat sheets is available in six different colors. Click here to see them on Amazon.

Can You Use a Flat Sheet as a Bed Skirt?

Yes, if the sheet is the right size for the bed, it can be used as a bed skirt. Bed skirts are not a requirement as part of your mattress ensemble.

Adding a bed skirt can help create a neater look by hiding the box spring and the space beneath the bed. Hiding the space under the bed can turn it into an extra storage space while keeping clutter out of sight. Here’s a step by step guide on how to use a flat sheet as a bed skirt:

  1. Iron the flat sheet first, if possible. This will make it easier to fold and manage.
  2. Remove the mattress from the box spring and move it out of the way for now.
  3. Drape the sheet over the box spring with the top of the flat sheet sitting even with the top of the box spring.
  4. Take the draping portion and fold the excess drape back up onto the top of the box spring, so it hangs as low as you like. Pin the extra material in place. 
  5. Replace the mattress.

Can You Use a Flat Sheet as Curtains?

Yes, flat sheets can easily be repurposed curtains. This can be a great way to carry a theme throughout the bedroom and will allow you to match curtains to bedsheets. It will also save a ton of money since single flat sheets are available at very low costs. Here’s a quick how-to guide to tell you how you can accomplish this and a video to help you along:

  1. Lay the sheet out on the floor and find the top hem.
  2. At the top of the sheet, use scissors to cut the edge of the wide hem, creating a pocket for your rod.
  3. Cut the seam at the other end of the sheet.
  4. Insert curtain rod.

Can You Use a Flat Sheet as a Table Cloth?

Yes, a flat sheet could serve as a table cloth without an issue. Remember that most tablecloths are made with a protective coating that allows them to be wiped with a wet washcloth for cleanup. Sheets are more absorbent than tablecloths, making them less convenient for use around food.

Sheets as tablecloths will open up many new decorative possibilities, although this will only work well with rectangular or square tables.

An elegant bedroom with hardwood flooring with blue bed sheets, earthy plants and a huge window on the side

What is the Difference Between a Flat Sheet and a Fitted Sheet?

Fitted sheets have elastic sewed into the corners to create a tight hold on the mattress. This elastic prevents the sheet from slipping off the bed at night when people toss and turn in their sleep. Fitted sheets protect your mattress while you sleep, preventing you from dirtying the mattress itself. Flat sheets are used between people and their duvet.

Fluff and Fold

Now that you know how to fold a fitted sheet properly, you’re ready to impress your latest house guest with a five-star night of sleep. This is a great trick to employ around the holidays or to keep your home in top shape. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t figure it out right away. Take your time and have fun learning.

To learn more about making your bed perfectly, take the time to read our article “Do Fitted Sheets Go First? [What You Need To Know About Bed Linens!]”

For information on how to properly care for your sheets and linens, you may want to read our article “How To Bleach White Sheets And Towels?”

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