How to Measure for a Fitted Sheet

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Fitted sheets can lend comfort and elegance to just about any mattress or futon cushion--as long as they fit correctly. Gapping, wrinkling and bunching can negatively affect a sleeping or lounging experience. For maximum benefit, you will want to measure the mattress or cushion to be covered in order to get the most accurate picture of its dimensions.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Determine the purpose of the sheet that you'll be measuring for. The point here may seem obvious, but the function of a fitted sheet or covering will ultimately be different depending on the intent. For example, you will need to consider functionality when measuring for a sheet that will be slept on as opposed to one meant solely for decoration.

  • Remove everything from the mattress or cushion to be measured. Every piece of covering should be removed before measuring in order to attain the closest, most accurate measurement. In addition to any sheets or blankets, remove any other pieces of covering that might hinder accurate measurement, such as mattress padding.

  • Measure the width of the mattress or cushion. Twin sheets will measure 39 inches wide; doubles will be 54 inches. Queen-sized sheets are 60 inches and king-sized are 78 inches in width. These measurements are standard and will thus be the same at any retailer.

  • Measure the length of the mattress. Both twin-sized and double-sized mattresses are 75 inches in length, while a queen is 80 inches, and a king is 80 inches long.

  • Measure the depth of the mattress. This measurement can be as significant as any other. While standard named sheet sizes reflect length and width, they don't necessarily take the depth of a mattress into account. Knowing this measurement will ensure a perfect fit when it comes to selecting your sheets at the store.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider thread count when measuring for and ultimately purchasing fitted sheets. The higher the thread count number, the softer and more luxurious the sheet will be.
  • If the dimensions of your king-sized mattress seem to differ from the standard king listings by a few inches, you probably have a mattress known as a "California king." The dimensions of this mattress are 72 by 84 inches.
  • You should check the fit of your sheets once you have purchased them, but note that, at many retail locations, using and then washing sheets may be grounds to deny a refund.
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