Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bed Making 101: The Great Debate and The Skinny on Sheets [Which Way Does the Flat Sheet Go?]

Mr. V. is a superstar when it comes to helping out around the house.
He does kitchen floors, he vacuums, he'll do the dishwasher and he also does laundry.  I know I'm lucky to be able to share these duties.

But sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm lucky in this regard, because there are some things I like done a certain way, and sometimes Mr. V. does things a different way.
Making up the bed after washing the sheets is one of those things.
I am ALWAYS grateful he does it.
But he does it wrong. ;)

He and I may or may not have gone rounds about how the flat sheet is supposed to go on the bed.
Mr. V. always puts it on with the patterned or "good" side up, and pulls it straight up to the top of the bed.
He didn't believe me when I told him he was doing it wrong.
I told him the "good" side of the flat sheet should face the fitted sheet, and then you fold back the top cuff, showing the 'good' side.

He asked for my source.
I told him "My Mom Said So."
And he had the AUDACITY to question the teachings of his mother-in-law! ;)

 So of course I had to fact-check.
And prove I was right. [hee]
And sure enough, my Martha corroborates my Mother's story.

So here's the skinny on bed-making, to help you avoid spousal confrontation over sheets. :)

Fitted Sheet: 
If you don't know how to put a fitted sheet on a bed....ah, um. I can't help you.

Tuck the corners under and pull it tight.
Smooth out the wrinkles to make everything feel crisp when you scootch in.

Flat Sheet:
Drape the sheet evenly over the bed, and tuck in the bottom corners.

Martha says:
"When placing the remaining flat sheet on top, keep in mind that the top sheet always goes wrong side up. That way, when you fold it back over the blanket, the right side -- the decorative, printed side -- will show."

Give yourself about 15 inches of turn-down space to accommodate pillows.

Then turn to your spouse, dust off your hands and say "and THAT is how it's done".

OOOOOhhhh, wait... that's just what happened in MY house.
My bad. ;)

And remember, people:
If my Martha says it's so, then it's the LAW. :)


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  1. Hi! Visiting from I heart nap time. Love these tips! I always put the good side down and my hubby says Im doing it wrong. But if Martha said it goes that when.. then Martha is right! :)

    If you get a chance I would love for you to share this (and any other awesome posts you have) at my link party!

  2. I went to a Catholic boarding school in the 1950s and this is the way the nuns taught us AND THEY ARE NEVER WRONG!!! Nuns will trump Martha any day -- at least Martha agreed with the nuns in this case. Sally

    1. Ha! I'd say if you've got Martha AND the Servants of God on your side, it's safe to say you're right... right? :)


    2. My grandmother AND mother taught me to make a bed this way, as well. My grandma went to Catholic boarding school in the 1920s, but had already learned the proper way from her mother. Had to show this to my husband who ALWAYS tries to get me to make the bed the WRONG way! Ha! Thank you for this post... he always thinks he's right and I love to be able to prove him wrong. 😊

  3. Wrong side up?! Hello BRILLIANCE! How come I didn't know that awesome tid-bit of Martha knowledge? Thanks for sharing with me, I am now off to re-make all the beds in my home!


  4. funny post Emily! I'm just happy if I can get the bed changed around here!


  5. Wow! Thank you so much. Me and my other half have been arguing for MONTHS about this. I told him my mother taught me the right way and clearly that is the RIGHT way.
    Silly men.

  6. There's a very easy way to prove you (and Martha) are correct. Just feel expensive, patterned sheets. The patterned side is smoother than the "bad" side. Obviously, this is the side you want next to your skin when you sleep.

  7. Emily, I gotta say, while I was going through basic training and they just used whites, the instructor said exactly the same thing. Also, if the sheet has a larger hemmed end, that goes toward the head of the bed too. Finally if the blanket has a rounded corner you don't tuck it in, but that it goes to the foot of the bed. Of course, rounded corners were not something we saw in basic so we always 45ed the corners and were happy with that. Even the dust cover made sense in Texas. Anyway, the DS (Drill Sergeant - Caps are required for that) said it, so regardless of a nun or even Martha said it, when you training instructor, the guy that will make you march 20 miles with a 75 pound pack on your back, says which way is up, you darned well better make sure it is done that way. He can add 5 miles in a blink of an eye.

  8. This exact situation just happened in our household with my dear husband. That's why I googled this...which lead me here. Thank you for proving me (and my mother, too!) right!! :)

  9. Okay, this has been an ongoing arguement betweeen my husband of 8 years and myself so I thought we could settle it by consulting with our exhange student frrom Germany and low and behold they do not even use a top sheet in Germany! For 6 months she has been wondering what that extra piece to fabric was for that we put on her bed!!! Love proving my husband wrong ....Thanks Martha! Also great learning about the German ways! Happy Slumbering!

    1. Haha - love this! Happy to help, all credit be to Martha :)

  10. i knew it i knew it i knew it . there has been so many disagreements over the"proper way" its not even i was taught the right way..muahahahahahahaha

  11. Just had the same argument with my girlfriend. It seemed obvious to me that the soft side should be next to skin, but she said she had never done it that way in her childhood home, and she wanted to do it the "right way. People, the manufacturer makes the printed side soft for a reason... use sheets as designed for human comfort!

  12. Well! I think it's very helpful article regarding Flat sheets, I think if the sheet has a larger hemmed end, that goes toward the head of the bed too. Finally if the blanket has a rounded corner you don't tuck it in, but that it goes to the foot of the bed. Of course, rounded corners were not something we saw in basic. For 6 months she has been wondering what that extra piece to fabric was for that we put on her bed!!! Love proving my husband wrong.

  13. Yes, You're right that if the sheet has a larger hemmed end, that goes toward the head of the bed too. Finally if the blanket has a rounded corner you don't tuck it in, but that it goes to the foot of the bed. You have done good job.

  14. Oh would have burst a blood vessel when my husband made the bed...striped sheets...fitted sheet horizontal stripes, flat vertical stripes. Who cares,slept like a baby because I did not have to make the bed that day.

  15. Thank you for settling a 33 1/2 year argument with my husband. I showed him this posting to prove to him that I've been right all of these years.

  16. See, now the problem with that is that in the summer, you might throw off the blanket and just have the sheet and then you have the boring side on top, which looks ehh.

    1. Well, yes, you would throw off the blanket to sleep... But then you make the bed in the morning so your sheets aren't exposed. Makes the case for making your bed each day! ;)

  17. Seems debate on this (often) follows gender lines. Why do most of us gents prefer the 'wrong' way. I personally feel that the non printed side of (especially flannelet) sheets look more appealing to have against a sleeping body. I even like the way the non printed side looks when turned over - to me it looks more inviting and snug. Is it a case of guys looking for functionality over aesthetics?

  18. It's all about the presentation. If you are the type that folds the sheet over the duvet/comforter, you should put the flat sheet "pattern-down". My wife prefers this method. For me, I don't care so much about how perfect the bed looks as long as it is made and relatively wrinkle free. I prefer the flat sheet with the print side up. However, after 12 years with my wife (who makes the beds 98% of the time), I have come around to the flat sheet pattern down method and no longer argue this technique. When I make the bed from scratch, I still do the pattern side up.

  19. The reason you put the printed sides together is so that an inviting "lined envelope" is created when the covers are opened for sleeping. There is a very practical reason for turning the sheet down over the blanket at the top of the bed. It protects the blankets from whiskers and body oils. Sheets are less expensive than blankets. My mother taught me that when I was very young. At that time most blankets had a satin binding that would get frayed and ruined if it wasn't protected.

  20. The reason the printed side of the flat sheet should face up is because when you lay in bed you don't want the extra stuff/design that's stitched into the sheet rubbing all over you when you put the sheet back to it's natural state. This is common sense, but of course when it comes to making things look pretty...common sense goes out the window!

  21. If you don't fold the sheet on the bed, which way does it go? I don't prefer a folded sheet...ever.

  22. Funny my wife and I have had the same disagreement for 7 years now. Except I the man of the house said design goes down. She said design has to go up so you can see it. To be fair she is the one who thinks it's a waist to make the bed when your just getting back in it tonight. Guess opposites attract?

  23. I totally agree that the printed side goes toward the fitted sheet for all the appropriate reasons. I wish I could convince MY WIFE of that. She insists on making it the wrong way. She's been away for three weeks and I guess I have the chance to sleep in a "correctly made" bed until she has to wash them and remake the bed "her way". A woman does not always know "everything". A man on the other hand................

  24. I don't see anyone mentioning the tag on the flat sheet. These last years, the good sheets I am buying have the tag on the side of the flat sheet(which is usually on my side of the bed) and it drives me crazy to see the tag up when I make the bed everyday. It always used to be on the bottom edge of the flat sheet but not so much anymore. So because I think that tags should ALWAYS go face down even if they are on the bottom part where I can't see it, I am putting my flat sheet with the printed side face up. Doesn't look as nice when I fold top down but oh well. At least my tag is face down. Thank goodness my husband of 45 years doesn't know or care about this! It's only me. My mom must be rolling over in her grave.