Folding a fitted sheet can be a maddening chore.
There's really no other way to say it, because folding a fitted sheet is in no way, shape, or form an intuitive task! But there is a trick to folding a fitted sheet into a perfect square every time, and while it may take a few tries to truly master the technique, once you've got it down, you'll be gleefully folding fitted sheets at every opportunity, ending up with a perfect square each time.
Step-by-step instructions for folding a fitted sheet:
Step 1: Hold the sheet lengthwise and turn it inside out, locating all four corners, so that the opening of the sheet is facing your body.
Step 2: Place your right hand in the top right corner pocket (Corner A), and your left hand in the top left corner pocket (Corner B). Your fingers should be poking the seams of the corners to help give them a more squared shape.
Step 3: Bring your right hand to your left and grasp both Corner A and Corner B with your left hand. Use your right hand to flip Corner A over Corner B, completely tucking the latter corner into the former. . Straighten the corners and elastic edges so that they are aligned.
Step 4: Place the top of the sheet, with Corners A and B tucked together, on a flat surface. Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the bottom of the sheet, bringing Corner C into Corner D.
Step 5: The sheet should now resemble a rectangular shape. Using the same corner marrying technique, bring the bottom corners (Corners C and D, which are tucked into one another) up to the top corners, Corners A and B, and tuck them, adjusting and straightening the sheet as necessary.
Step 6: Lay the sheet on a flat surface, squaring the corners and edges of the sheet as best you can. Then, fold the long side with the elastic a third of the way in, creating a straight edge. Bring the newly created straight edge over the rest of the way to hide the elastic. The new straight edge should align with the other straight edge.
Step 7: Fold the short side with the elastic a third of the way in, creating a short straight edge. Bring the newly created edge up the rest of the way to hide the elastic and meet the straight edge at the top.
For an easy guide, here is a step-by-step graphic chart, with the seven steps to achieving a perfectly folded fitted sheet.
The first few times you perform this operation will probably feel awkward, and that's okay! Don't give up if you find it to be frustrating out of the gate, just take it slow and give yourself a few tries to get the hang of it.
How to fold a fitted sheet: a video
If you prefer to watch someone do this in real time, here is an easy video of the steps, created for Sleep.com by Courtenay Hartford of The Creek Line House.
Review the step-by-step illustration and watch the video to learn. And if you know someone who’s meticulous about their linens, you can try asking them to show you the ropes — folding a fitted sheet is a skill that people typically don't mind showing off when asked nicely to provide instruction.