Key Takeaways
  • A fitted sheet may start sliding up the sides of your bed if it is too small, slippery, or worn out.
  • There are several easy solutions you can try to keep your sheets in place, such as using an under-sheet, sheet bands, and more.

It’s easy to become frustrated if you wake up in the night on a bare mattress with your fitted sheet coiled around you. Sheets that won’t stay in place may even disrupt your sleep, making them more than just a simple annoyance.

There are multiple reasons why your sheet may not stay on your mattress, ranging from improper sizing to excess wear and tear. Thankfully, there are also numerous methods for keeping your sheets on your bed, allowing you to rest easily with your bedding securely in place for the night.

Why Sheets Come Off the Bed

While excessive movement can pull sheets off your mattress, other problems can make sheets susceptible to coming loose even when you aren’t moving around much in bed. 

Sheets Are Small

A fitted sheet that is too small in total size or pocket depth is more likely to pop off. When a sheet’s overall fit is too tight, there is more pressure on the elastic at the corners, which may cause the sheet to come loose. In addition, a fitted sheet may not stay in place if its elastic pockets don’t fully cover the corners of the mattress. 

Standard sheets can usually accommodate mattresses up to 14 inches thick. Deep pocket sheets are constructed for mattresses with a profile over 14 inches. Measuring the height of your mattress can help you know if you need deep pocket sheets.

Sheets Are Slippery

Materials such as silk or satin are sleek and slippery, so they tend to move around more on a mattress. This effect can be amplified if the mattress cover is also smooth. Linen and flannel sheets usually have more friction for a better grip on the mattress, which can minimize the chances of them coming loose.

Sheets Are Old

In old and worn-out fitted sheets, the elastic in the corners loses some of its tension, resulting in a weaker hold on the corners and a higher likelihood of the sheet coming free. If your sheets are more than two years old or are showing signs of wear such as fraying threads or tired elastic, it may be time to consider replacing them.

Tips for Keeping Sheets on the Bed

If you struggle to keep your sheets secured, a handful of different strategies can help you get deep, restful sleep while your sheets stay in place all night long.

1. Sheet Suspenders

Sheet suspenders, also called sheet fasteners or sheet straps, are wide elastic straps with clips on the ends that hold the edges of a fitted sheet in place beneath the mattress. Some have a basic, single-strap design for each corner, and others have a multi-strap system that attaches to several points around the sheet’s edges. 

Sheet suspenders are widely available from online retailers like Amazon as well as from brick-and-mortar stores focused on home accessories. 

2. Zippered Sheets

Zippered sheets consist of a fitted sheet with a top panel that zips on for easy removal and cleaning. Some feature a flat sheet that also zips to the fitted sheet for more security. This design is especially helpful for children who toss and turn throughout the night. 

3. Under-Sheet

An under-sheet is a layer of fabric beneath the fitted sheet that provides extra friction that can keep the fitted sheet from moving. A similar effect can also be achieved with a mattress topper or pad, although these will also add height to your mattress. A mattress protector can be a simple, practical solution that serves as a protective barrier while also acting as an under-sheet to help keep your bedding in place. 

4. Sheet Bands

Sheet bands are essentially extra large rubber bands that stretch around the perimeter of your mattress to hold your sheets in place. They can be placed over just the fitted sheet or both the fitted and flat sheet to avoid having to constantly tuck your sheets under the mattress. Although not the most aesthetic choice, they are usually effective at keeping sheets on the bed.

5. Non-Slippery Sheets

The extra-smooth surface of materials like silk, bamboo viscose, and satin makes them more likely to slide around or come loose. To avoid this, you may want to consider sheets made of materials with more friction, such as linen, flannel, or fleece. When considering cotton sheets, those with a percale weave are less slippery than ones with a sateen weave.

6. Deep Pocket Sheets 

Deep pocket sheets are designed to accommodate and stay on mattresses with profiles over 14 inches. To determine what sheets will fit your bed, measure from the bottom to the top of your mattress at one of the corners. Make sure to also measure any mattress topper or mattress pad that you use. With this measurement, you know the pocket depth that you need from a fitted sheet for it to comfortably go over your mattress. 

7. Make Your Bed Carefully 

How you place a fitted sheet on a mattress can affect the chances it will come out of place. While it can be challenging to secure all four corners, taking care to get this process right can help keep sheets on your bed. To get a snug fit, start with the two corners at the head of the bed and then pull your sheet down taut and secure it at the other corners. 

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