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The Best Way to Make a Bed Using a Flat Sheet

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

Have you ever wondered about the use of a flat sheet? Are you of the opinion that they are redundant and that fitted sheets are the way to go? Or maybe you are on the fence and don’t know which bed sheets to get for your new bed. Well, allow The Mattress Warehouse to guide your choice. We have been in the bed industry for a while now and know our way around a bedding set. We’ll give you a brief overview of bed sheets and then we’ll give you the step-by-step guide on how to make your bed with flat sheets.

All you need to know about bed sheets

Bedding consists of a set of sheets, pillow shams and a duvet/comforter. As a rule, your sheets and pillowcases should match (at least the pillows your sleep on). However, sheets aren’t just sheets, if you catch our meaning… There are two different types of sheets. Moreover, those different sheets can be made from a variety of materials. And lastly, the material can be woven in various ways to produce sheets that feel and age distinctly different. That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you:

Types of Sheets

You get fitted- and flat sheets. Fitted bed sheets have an elastic band around the edge to make them cling to your mattress. Whereas the classic flat sheet is… well… flat (rectangular with no elastic around the edge).

Types of Material

The most regular fabrics used to make sheets are:

  • Bamboo Fibres
  • Cotton
  • Synthetic Fibres

Types of Weave

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking at the weave of a bed sheet. Firstly, thread count. Simply put this is the number of threads per square inch of the sheet. Secondly, weave type. There are two weave types, namely Percale (durable and cheap) and Sateen (luxurious and a tad more pricey). To find out everything you need to know about thread count and weave, click here.

Crumpled up white flat sheet.
Woven linen make for great all-rounder sheets as it is both soft and durable

What is a flat sheet and how to choose one?

Flat sheets are rectangular in shape and they don’t have elastic corners, like fitted sheets. This makes for easy folding and storage. Some people also refer to them as top sheets.

Now that you know what a flat sheet is, you might have some questions. Luckily, we have the answers.

What is the use of a flat sheet?

The flat sheet’s most common use is to form an extra layer between the bottom sheet, which covers the mattress, and the blanket or duvet. This serves a dual purpose. Firstly it keeps the duvet/blanket clean because it absorbs bodily material that you shed while you sleep. And secondly, the top sheet adds a layer of warmth and luxury for more restorative sleep. When used as a top sheet, you should place the sheet face down so when you tuck the covers back, the top of the sheet faces up.

Do you sleep under a flat sheet?

In most cases, yes. You can either place the flat sheet between yourself and the blanket/duvet for extra warmth. Or if it is a warm night, you can remove the duvet and sleep under only the sheet.

How to choose the right flat sheets for your bed?

  • Make sure you get the right size. If your flat sheet is smaller than the mattress, it will not stay in place while you sleep. To avoid this, make sure that you know your mattress size before buying new bedding and then get the corresponding size sheets.
  • Choose the right fabric and weave. If you want something durable, get 300 thread count linen with a percale weave. For soft luxury, get Egyptian cotton or silk with a sateen weave.

The great bed debate: do you need to use a flat sheet?

There are two schools of thought. Those for the flat sheet, and those against. We here at The Mattress Warehouse are firm believers in option one. And here’s why:

  • Easy care: Washing, ironing and folding flat sheets are easy. It is easier to wash a sheet than to wash a duvet cover set. You can wash your sheet every week but washing a duvet every week is a mission! Furthermore, folding a fitted sheet can be challenging, whereas folding a flat sheet is easy as pie.
  • Luxurious feel: Having a silky smooth sheet against your skin is a lot better than having a rough blanket irritating you while you try to sleep.
  • Temperature regulation: Having layers of bedding on your bed makes it easier to regulate your body temperature throughout the night. If you only sleep under a duvet and it gets too warm, chances are you’ll get cold if you kick it off. However, if you have a sheet under the duvet you can remove the duvet and still have a layer of protection against the elements.
Made bed with white bedding and a wooden bedside pedestal with a vase of white flowers and a pot of face cream on the pedestal.
White bedding is a popular option because it gives off a crisp, clean air

How to make a bed with a flat sheet

At last, we come to what you’ve all been waiting for. How to make a bed with a flat sheet. As we’ve already mentioned, flat sheets are normally used as a layer (face down, remember) between the bottom sheet and the duvet/blanket. But you can also use flat sheets instead of fitted sheets. We broke our step-by-step instructions into two sections. First, we’ll explain in detail how to use a flat sheet as the bottom sheet and then we expand on how to make your bed as a whole.

How to use a flat sheet instead of a fitted sheet

1. Move your bed away from the wall, so that you have enough space to move around the entire bed with ease.

2. Spread the flat sheet out over the mattress, making sure that the sides hanging down are the same length on opposing sides of the mattress (head and foot should be the same length, right and left side should be the same length).

3. Tightly tuck in the top/head and bottom/foot of the sheet. The sides of your sheet should not be tucked in for the next step.

4. Starting at the bottom left corner of your bed, stand beside the bed, facing the mattress.

  • Keeping your hands shoulder-width apart, use both hands to take the bottom corner of the untucked sheet and gently pull it towards your body. The untucked part of the sheet should now extend horizontally towards you. The sheet should be level with the top of the mattress. Make sure your bottom hand is in line with the foot of the bed and the other hand should be a shoulder-width higher up the mattress.
  • Keeping the sheet taut, bring your bottom hand diagonally down and across your body to where the mattress meets the base of the bed.
  • Keep your bottom hand still where mattress and base meet. Keeping the sheet taut, move your other hand towards the ceiling so that the sheet extends upward (towards the ceiling) in a triangle.
  • Still keeping it taut, fold the triangle over the top of the mattress and leave it there. You can let go of the tip of the triangle for the next step but keep your bottom hand steady.
  • Using both hands, tuck the bottom corner of the sheet (the one that you’ve been holding in place with your bottom hand) under the mattress.
  • Now take the tip of the triangle and gently pull it taut towards your body.
  • Pull the tip of the triangle down towards the floor and firmly tuck it under the mattress.
  • Without knowing it, you just folded a hospital corner!

5. Repeat step 4 at all of the corners. Remember to stand beside the bed and face across the mattress while you repeat these steps.

How to make a bed with a fitted sheet and a top sheet

If you use a flat sheet, revert to the steps above to see how to lay the foundation of your bedding set.

  1. Put the fitted sheet over the mattress and make sure that the elastic corners are squarely over the bottom corners of the mattress.
  2. Place the top sheet on top of the bed (face down). Make sure the top of the sheet is in line with the top of the mattress (at the head of the bed) and that the sides hanging down are roughly of equal length.
  3. Spread out your blanket over the top sheet. The top or head of the blanket should be in line with, but roughly 40cm below the top of the sheet.
  4. At the head of the mattress, fold the 40cm of top sheet that is not covered by the blanket back over it. Note that the bit of top sheet that is visible is now face up.
  5. Starting at the foot of the bed, tightly tuck in the blanket and top sheet as one layer. You can use the “hospital corner” method to ensure that this layer is securely tucked in at the foot of the bed.
  6. Spread your duvet or throw over the blankets so that the top of the duvet is in line with the top of the folder back top sheet.
  7. Starting with the pillow you sleep on, stack your pillows in the 40cm gap between the head of the bed and the top edge of the duvet.

There you have it. A perfectly made bed, with or without fitted sheets.

Well-lit bedroom with an open door leading onto a balcony. Inside the room is an un-neat bed with a flat rumpled flat sheet between the duvet and bottom sheet.
Here you can see that there is a white flat sheet between the duvet and the bottom sheet

Buy bed sheets, linen and bedding online

All this talk about making your bed and tucking in sheets put you in the mood to get some new bedding, yes? The good news is, not only do we know how to use bedding, we also supply it. Browse our online bedding catalogue and find all of your bedding needs in one place. You can get your flat sheet and duvet cover online at The Mattress Warehouse. Then, once you’ve made your pick, we bring it to your doorstep, free* of charge! (*terms & conditions apply)

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