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Article: How to Use Flat Sheet and Fitted Sheet

how to use flat sheet and fitted sheet

How to Use Flat Sheet and Fitted Sheet

Making a bed can be surprisingly tricky. Knowing how each sheet type should be placed can make a difference to your comfort and bedroom aesthetic. In this guide, we'll walk you through how to use flat sheet and fitted sheet.

We'll clarify the differences between the two, talk you through the steps of using each sort, and even discuss if one can substitute for the other. Additionally, we'll provide insights on selecting the perfect sheets and share some handy tips for storing them.

Let's begin!

What this article covers:

Flat Sheet vs Fitted Sheet

When it comes to making your bed, the roles of flat sheets and fitted sheets are distinct yet complementary. Each serves a unique purpose in creating a pleasing bedding ensemble. That said, both types need to be fitted in a particular manner.

How To Use A Flat Sheet

Using a flat sheet properly can enhance your sleeping experience by providing comfort and maintaining the cleanliness of your bedding.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to put a flat sheet on a bed.

Step 1: Position The Flat Sheet

First, lay the flat sheet over your fitted sheet. Ensure the top of the sheet (usually with a wider hem or decorative detail like an embroidery stitch) is at the head of the bed and facing downwards. This way, when you fold it back over your blanket or duvet, the decorative edge is displayed. 

Step 2: Align And (Optional) Tuck

Align the flat sheet evenly on all sides of the bed. The bottom end of the sheet can be tucked between the mattress and the box spring at the foot of the bed. Then, neatly tuck the sides of the sheet under the mattress, creating a smooth and tight surface.

Step 3: Fold Over

Once the sides and bottom of the sheet are tucked in, fold the top part back over your blanket or duvet as a decorative finish.

Step 4: Final Adjustments

Make any final adjustments to ensure the sheet is smooth and wrinkle-free. The flat sheet should lie flat against the bed, free from bunching or loose areas.

For an elevated bedding experience, consider our king size flat sheet at California Design Den. Crafted from pure cotton sateen, these sheets have been tested for pilling, shrinkage, and color fastness, ensuring lasting quality.

how to use flat sheets

What Is A Flat Sheet?

A flat sheet, often called a top sheet, is a simple, flat piece of fabric that lies between the sleeper and the blankets or duvets. Unlike fitted sheets, flat sheets do not have elastic edges.

They are designed to be easily removed and cleaned. They are typically rectangular and can vary in size to match different bed dimensions, as we will touch on later.

But what does a flat sheet do? Based on our observations, flat sheets serve multiple purposes: protecting the duvet or comforter from direct contact with the body, thereby reducing the need for frequent washing, and providing an additional layer of warmth.

Flat sheets can also be used alone in warmer weather as a light blanket.

how to use flat sheet

How To Use A Fitted Sheet

Using a fitted sheet correctly is essential for a comfortable and well-made bed. Fitted sheets, with their elastic corners, are designed to snugly fit and cover the mattress.

Now that you know how to put flat sheet on bed, here's how you should use a fitted sheet.

Step 1: Choose The Right Size

Ensure you have the correct size fitted sheet for your mattress. The sheet should match the dimensions of your mattress for a proper fit (more on sheet dimensions below).

Step 2: Orient The Sheet

Place the fitted sheet on the mattress in the correct orientation. These sheets usually have tags to help you identify the top or bottom.

Step 3: Secure The Corners

Starting at the top of the bed, stretch one corner of the sheet over the mattress corner so that it hooks underneath the mattress. The elasticated seam should stretch the depth of the mattress.

Repeat this process for each corner, ensuring the sheet is evenly stretched and covers the surface of the entire mattress.

Step 4: Smooth Out Wrinkles

Once all corners are secured, smooth out any wrinkles or bunches in the sheet. This creates a clean appearance.

Looking for a premium bedding experience? We suggest our cotton queen fitted sheet. Manufactured in our factory in India, we adhere to world-class manufacturing standards, with certifications from OEKOTex and GOTS.

Plus, these sheets are suitable for 8-16 inch deep pockets, providing a perfect fit for a variety of mattresses.

What Is A Fitted Sheet?

A fitted sheet is a type of bed sheet designed specifically to cover and protect the mattress. Unlike flat sheets, fitted sheets have elasticated corners or, as with our fitted sheets, a full-circumference band.

how to use flat sheet and fitted sheets

This design prevents the sheet from slipping off during the night.

Like a flat sheet, the primary purpose of a fitted sheet is to protect the mattress with the addition of making the mattress more comfortable. It shields from dirt, sweat, and oils that can accumulate from regular use.

Our research indicates that this helps extend the life of the mattress and maintains its cleanliness.

Additionally, fitted sheets are easier to clean compared to the mattress itself, making them a practical and essential bedding component.

Can You Use a Flat Sheet as a Fitted Sheet?

The answer? Yes, you can use a flat sheet as a fitted sheet, although it requires some extra steps to keep it in place. Since a flat sheet is typically larger and, as previously mentioned, lacks the elastic edges of a fitted sheet, it won't hug the mattress.

However, with proper folding and tucking, it can be used as a substitute.

Here's how to use flat sheet as fitted sheet: simply drape it over the mattress and meticulously tuck the excess material under the mattress.

While this method won't provide the same snug fit as a fitted sheet, it can be a practical solution in a pinch.

Flat And Fitted Sheet Dimensions

Bed Size

Fitted Sheet (inches)

Flat Sheet (inches)


38 x 75

66 x 96

Twin XL

39 x 80

66 x 100


54 x 75

84 x 96


60 x 80

90 x 102


78 x 80

112 x 102

California King

72 x 84

108 x 106

How to Choose Sheets

When choosing bed sheets, three critical factors to consider are the weave, fabric, and thread count. Each of these aspects contributes to the overall feel, durability, and quality of the sheets.

how to use flat sheet


The weave of a sheet refers to how the fabric is woven together. Common weaves include percale and sateen. Percale is a crisp, durable plain weave with a matte finish and a cool feel, ideal for those who get hot when sleeping.

Sateen, on the other hand, has a silky feel with a slight sheen. The choice between these weaves depends on personal preference regarding texture and temperature regulation.


The fabric of bed sheets plays a significant role in comfort and longevity. Popular options include cotton, linen, silk, and blends.

Cotton is widely favored for its breathability and softness, with varieties like Egyptian being top-quality choices. Notably, bamboo sheets offer exceptional coolness and are ideal for warmer climates and sleepers.

Thread Count

Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of fabric. Our findings show that a higher thread count often indicates a softer and more lasting sheet.

Good quality percale sheets, for example, typically have a thread count of 180 to 300, while sateen sheets often range from 300 to 600.

How to Store Sheets

Storing bed sheets properly is essential for maintaining their quality. The key is to find a storage method that keeps sheets clean, organized, and easily accessible.

how to use fitted sheet

For effective storage, choose a location that is dry, cool, and away from direct sunlight. Humidity and heat can promote the growth of mold and mildew, while sunlight can cause fading. A linen closet is ideal, but any dry shelf or cupboard will suffice.


From the step-by-step instructions on using flat and fitted sheets to tips on choosing the right sheets based on weave, fabric, and thread count, we've walked you through the essentials of using and caring for flat and fitted sheets.

Whether you're using a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, or both, the key is in the details – the fold, the tuck, and choosing sheets that speak to your comfort and style. And for those times when you need high-quality bedding, look no further than California Design Den.

Explore our collection, and experience the perfect blend of luxury and practicality in your bedding.

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