How to Keep Sheets on a Bed: 10 Strategies

Woman putting sheets on a bed

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This article is part of our series, Sleep Week: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Best Sleep Ever. Sleep Week is your destination for whole sleep happiness, curating our very best tips and product recommendations to help you create your coziest, most comfortable sleep environment yet.

Ensuring you get quality, deep sleep is crucial to having a good day after you wake up. However, if your bed sheets won’t stay put, you may find that your sleep is interrupted. A loose fitted sheet or a tangled top sheet can irritate you while you’re sleeping and add more work to your bed-making routine. However, there are easy ways to address this tiresome problem. Borrow one of these 10 strategies for keeping your sheets on the bed to solve your slipping sheet situation for good. 

1. Measure Your Sheet Pockets

First, it is important to take a look at your sheet’s pocket size. Although people generally look at what size mattress a sheet set will fit, such as queen, full, or twin, the pocket size is often overlooked. The pocket of the sheet refers to how deep the sheets are. It will determine how thick of a mattress the sheets can accommodate. So before purchasing sheets, be sure to know what pocket size you need. Standard pockets can accommodate mattresses up to 14 inches thick. Deep pockets fit mattresses between 14 and 15 inches. Sheets with extra deep pockets fit mattresses that measure 15 inches thick or more.  

If your sheet’s pockets are the right size for your mattress and you still are having trouble getting them to stay in place, try adopting the following suggestions.  

2. Start at the Top

How you put the sheets onto the bed can change the way they stay on. For a snug, secure fit, try putting the bottom sheet on at the head of the bed first. These top corners can be hard to reach, making them harder to secure. By starting at the top of the bed, you can more easily tuck the corners under the mattress to ensure a snug fit. Then, at the foot of the bed, you can pull the sheets tight. 

3. Use a Grippy Undersheet

Perhaps it isn’t the size of the sheets or the way you put them on, but simply the material of your sheets. Smooth sheets, like silk or satin, will easily slip and slide due to their lack of friction. If this is the case, try adding a grippy undersheet to the bed before putting your sheets on. By choosing a coarser material, such as fleece, flannel, or thick cotton, you can add a layer of grip and friction that will help keep your luxuriously smooth—yet slippery—sheets in place. 

4. Mattress Pads and Mattress Toppers

Aside from changing the feel of your bed, mattress pads and toppers can add friction and grip underneath the sheets. This may provide a better surface area for the sheets to stick to compared to the material of the mattress itself. This is especially true in the case of mattresses with a smooth fabric cover like what you'll find on many innerspring mattresses. 

Keep in mind that if you plan to use a mattress topper or pad, it will add to the thickness of your mattress. Measure your mattress with the additional cushion or padding in place to ensure the sheet pockets are deep enough to accommodate the adjusted thickness of your bed.

5. Sheet Suspenders

Sheet suspenders are exactly what they sound like: specially-designed suspenders to keep your sheets in place. They consist of elastic straps and clips that are attached to the corners of the bottom sheet in a triangle shape, then pulled tight underneath the edge of the mattress. In doing so, the sheet suspenders keep the corners of the sheet from slipping up or sliding off. 

Some sheet suspenders can actually be placed under the entire mattress, connecting the opposite corners to each other in a large X shape. These kinds of suspenders provide even more security. However, you will need to lift your entire mattress to use them, creating more work every time you change the sheets on your bed. 

6. Non-Slip Rug Corners 

Using non-slip rug corners works well for more than just keeping a rug in place. These non-slip corners can be added to the inner corners of the bottom sheet where the sheet tucks under the mattress. Placing these between the mattress and the sheet provide extra grip and prevents the sheet from slipping out of place.

7. Stretchy Sheet Bands

Stretchy bands for sheets are basically giant rubber bands that fit around the perimeter of your mattress to keep your sheet snuggly wrapped around the mattress. Simply put your sheet on and slide the stretchy band on top. This is an ideal way to keep your sheets in place if you also want to tuck the top sheet in at the foot of the bed since the top sheet can also be tucked into the stretchy band.  

8. Safety Pins

If you are looking for a quick fix, using safety pins to pin the sheet directly to the mattress offers a quick and surefire way to keep your sheet in place. If you are using this method, just be sure the pins lay flat under the mattress, or you risk the pins coming undone. It is also important to note that this method may not be good for someone who moves around a lot at night since too much pressure on the pins can tear the sheets. 

9. DIY Sheet Suspenders

Another quick option for fixing sliding sheets is to create your own sheet suspenders. You can do this with safety pins and thick elastic, about an inch or wider. Simply pull the corners of the sheets to smooth them out as if the sheet were on the bed. Measure six inches down each side and place a safety pin at both spots. Then measure from one safety pin to the other and cut the elastic to fit this space. Attach the elastic with the safety pins to create a handle. Repeat for each corner. Then, use your homemade sheet suspenders tucked underneath the mattress to hold your sheets in place.

10. Replace Your Sheets 

Sometimes, despite trying everything, your sheets just wear out and get old. The elastic in them is no longer serving its purpose and they simply won’t stay on. If this is the case, you may need to look into replacing your sheets. When doing this, be sure to measure your pocket depth, as stated above. 

If you’re buying new sheets and want to avoid the possibility of sliding sheets, consider zip-up sheets. These sheets wrap completely around the mattress and zip on and off around the perimeter. These kinds of enveloping sheets will completely eliminate the possibility of slipping sheets, ensuring an uninterrupted night of rest.