Five Ways to Secure Your Ill-fitting Fitted Sheet to Your Mattress

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Either your sheets fit poorly, or you have the wrong-sized sheets for your mattress. Either way, we have a solution.

Can you use queen sheets on a full-size or double bed?

Or king sheets on a queen? Or queen sheets on a twin?


Obviously, unfitted bedding, such as a top sheet or comforter will simply spill over the edges more than usual.

The king is almost the size of two twins placed next to each other. (In fact, many couples sleep like this.) So king-sized bedding intended for a twin will need to be folded in half lengthwise.

The fitted sheet is a bit more of a challenge but easily addressed.

Bed sizes, reviewed

Twin is the smallest size and is intended for a single person. Children old enough for a “big bed” get a twin.

If you are a tall single person consider a twin XL. The twin XL is as narrow as the twin but is around five inches longer, so hopefully, your feet don’t spill over the end.

The next largest size is a double (sometimes also called a full). It is intended for two people—or rather, two people who don’t mind sleeping very close to each other. Obviously, a single person can also enjoy the extra room of a double.

Although double-sized sheets are available, queen-sized sheets are more common. If your bedroom size can accommodate a larger bed, go with the queen-sized mattress. Likewise, if you’re tall you’ll prefer the queen: the length of a queen is like the twin XL, while the double is only as long as a twin.

A queen-sized mattress is best for the single person who likes a lot of room and is the standard size to comfortably fit two people.

If two people are on the large size or prefer more room, then go with the largest sized mattress, a king.

There is also the California King to consider. This mattress is slightly longer than the regular king by four inches, but also a tad narrower. If the two of you are tall and thin choose the California King. (Short and heavy, choose the regular king.)

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. How do you—or you and your partner—prefer to sleep? If you like to stretch out and you’re tall, pay attention to the length of the mattress. If you prefer to sleep curled up in a ball, focus more on the width of the mattress.

  • The best size mattress for a tall person is the twin XL, queen, or California King

Fitted sheets that don’t fit

Another issue is fitted sheets that simply fit too loosely, especially if your mattress isn’t particularly deep.

Either your sheets were simply designed too loose, or with time and multiple washes, the elastic is stretching or failing altogether.

As a result, you wake up in the middle of the night to find your fitted sheets have come undone from the mattress.

Princess & the Pea Syndrome

Maybe your situation isn’t quite as dire. Your fitted sheet doesn’t come undone, but it’s loose, and as a result, it bunches and wrinkles, which you find bothersome.

The solutions below will not only keep your fitted sheet in place but keep it smooth and tight.

Use straps to attach you fitted sheet more securely

Your favorite online store has several solutions to secure a loose or wrong-sized fitted sheet to your mattress.

These are the most cost-effective as they are available from many different companies. They come in a set of four, one for each corner. Each is a three-way strap with metal or plastic fasteners to attach it to the fitted sheet on the underside of the mattress at each corner.

Bed Bands are a variation on the straps. They also come in a set of four and attach to each corner. They have two, rather than three clips, and a band that can be adjusted.

For both the straps and the bands, if your sheet is simply loose, you don’t necessarily need to lift your mattress. Put your fitted sheet on the mattress as usual, then pull up each corner in turn, attach a strap, and place the corner back.

However, if you are using an overly large fitted sheet, such as a queen on a full-sized mattress, then there will be overlap of the sheet on the corners. This may require that you lift the mattress in order to get everything in place.

The obvious downside is you need to do this every time you change the sheets.

Before placing your fitted sheet on your mattress, attach the scrunchie around the elastic edges. The scrunchie effectively replaces the elastic. Place the fitted sheet on your mattress as usual and tighten the scrunchie so everything stays in place.

The scrunchie is much easier to use than the sheet holder straps, but still requires you to reattach it every time you change your sheets.

The Sheet Lock comes as a pair of large straps, one for each side of your mattress. At the ends of each strap, corresponding to each corner, is a plastic “lock” that keeps the bottom sheet in place.

The advantage is that you leave the straps in place. Changing your sheets doesn’t require a mattress lift as it may with the other solutions.

However, there are reports that the lock may create holes in your sheets. This may be the best solution for those old sheets with the failing elastic that you aren’t ready to toss quite yet. But not for your new sheets.

The Rubber Hugger is one giant elastic band that goes around the outside edge of your mattress keeping both fitted and flat sheets in place

Like the Sheet Lock Pro, above, once in place it can be kept there permanently. However, it wasn’t clear to me how easy it would be to change your fitted sheet. So, I purchased one to see…

Rubber Hugger review

(Photo by author)

At present, I’m sleeping on breathable Eucalyptus Lyocell sheets from Sheets & Giggles. To be clear, these sheets stay on my mattress just fine. However, they are designed to accommodate all mattress sizes, including those much thicker than mine. So, my sheets aren’t particularly taut and are prone to wrinkling.

(Photo by author)

It’s relatively straightforward to stretch the rubber band around your mattress. I initially placed it outside my mattress pad. As my mattress is made of foam, it did scrunch the mattress at the corners. As a result, I believe the band was a tad looser than intended.

(Photo by author)

A bonus of the Rubber Hugger is that you can also secure your fitted sheet under the band at the bottom of the bed. (As I have a BedJet, this band kept my top sheet in place, ensuring that blown air stayed under my covers.)

(Photo by author)

My biggest question was how easy it would be to change out the fitted sheet (and mattress pad) on laundry day. It was easier than I thought. Simply pull the elastic out with one hand and place the corner of your sheet with the other hand. (Note, that even my cat is strong enough to pull on the elastic.)

However, the downside of an easily manipulated elastic band is that it probably isn’t tight enough. Although the four corners were very secure, the sides of my sheet were not. My sheets still wrinkled.

The manufacturer recommends adjusting the tautness of the band by tying a knot, effectively shortening the band. This is something you’ll need to do while the band is off your bed.

However, once the band is tighter, will changing your sheets be as easy? It’s a bit of a trade-off.

This is an excellent solution for corners that come loose but may not work as well for keeping sheets taut.

The good news is that almost all these solutions are relatively inexpensive. Try one or two and see what works best for you.

[turn your phone sideways for better viewing]

Sheet holder straps
Bed Bands
– Inexpensive – Must reattach with sheet changes
– May need to lift mattress
Bed Scrunchie – Easy to adjust once the fitted sheet is in place – Must reattach with sheet changes
Sheet Lock – Inexpensive
– No need to lift the mattress for sheet changes
– Some reports of holes in sheets (best for old sheets)
Rubber Hugger – Inexpensive
– Can also keep flat sheet in place
– May need to knot to get a tighter fit

First photo credit: ©penkanya via

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Liz Baker, PhD

Side sleeper, cat mom. And after many decades of nightly testing, an authority on sleeping in comfort. However, I'm still in search of the good night’s sleep I used to have.

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