Standard beds lay flat, so sheets easily stay on if they’re sufficiently tucked under the mattress. With an adjustable bed, however, the motion can cause an ill-fitting bottom sheet to pop off of the corners of the mattress or bunch up. Along with being annoying, this has the potential to cause injury if you get tangled up in the sheet and fall while trying to get out of bed.
The good news is that there are easy ways to keep your sheets in place and prevent such annoyances and potential injuries.
Use a Properly Fitted Sheet
Generally speaking, fitted sheets are made to stay put with their durable elastic corners (or, in some cases, elastic all the way around the sheet’s edges). If yours aren’t staying put, however, it most likely means that the sheet is either too big or too small for the mattress you have. This could happen if your mattress is overly tall or if you accidentally purchase the wrong sheet size.
If your fitted sheet matches your mattress size, but is still coming off, look for sheets that have deeper pockets. A taller mattress, or one with added toppers, needs a sheet with added depth that will properly wrap all the way underneath. It’s a good idea to measure how tall your mattress is before shopping, otherwise, you might also run the risk of ending up with loose sheets if you get pockets that are too deep.
There are also sheets specially designed for an adjustable bed. They use a more durable weave to stand up to the wear caused by bed movement and are more likely to stay on. Some companies may even have proprietary securing methods to keep the sheets in place, such as straps, strings, or a locking device.
Use Sheet Straps or Suspenders
Sheet straps, or sheet suspenders, are elastic straps with fasteners on either end. They go on the underside of your mattress and attach to the fitted sheet, keeping it pulled tight against the mattress. Most commonly, they clip diagonally across the corners of your fitted sheets. Longer suspenders are also available that go from one side of the bed to the opposite, or diagonally from corner to corner.
Consider a Different Type of Fabric
It may be surprising, but the type of fabric the bed sheets are made of matters, too. This is because some fabrics have a smoother, more “slippery” texture. Sheets made of silk, satin, or bamboo are more likely to slip off of the corners of the bed as it adjusts. If you’re not particular about what your set of sheets are made out of, or are looking for new sheets anyway, consider choosing cotton sheets, which tend to stay in place better.
Use Split Sheets for Split Adjustable Beds
King and split king mattresses have the same dimensions. However, split kings consist of two twin XL mattresses, each of which requires its own fitted sheet. If you put one king size sheet on a split king adjustable bed and move each side to different positions, it will very likely pop off of one of the outer corners.
Remember that you need more than just a fitted bottom sheet for your bed. You also need to consider the top (or flat) sheet, and the overall quality of each.
Raising the foot of your adjustable bed could cause a regular flat sheet to come untucked. There are options for top sheets that have a fitted bottom to help prevent this, as well as combination fitted and flat sheets that are sewn together at the foot. You may also want to get a longer than normal top sheet so that when the bed is adjusted you can still pull the sheet up over your arms if desired.
Sheet Quality and Care
Don’t forget that you should still consider the thread count, material, and washing care for your sheets as well. You may want to invest a little more money at the beginning for higher quality sheets that will last longer, since you may already be spending extra for sheets made especially for an adjustable bed. This will ensure that you get the most life out of your sheets and don’t have to replace them earlier than you may have anticipated.
What if I can’t find a fitted sheet with deep enough pockets to fit my mattress?
If you have an especially tall mattress or an added topper, it can be difficult to find a fitted sheet with deep enough pockets to stay put on your mattress. If this is the case, you can use an oversized flat sheet and secure it with sheet straps or suspenders. It’s a little less convenient than a fitted sheet, but will work.
How much do sheet suspenders cost?
Sheet suspenders are available both in stores and online. You can get a basic set of four corner suspenders starting at five dollars. There are also sheet straps and suspenders available that run from one side of the bed to the other or diagonally from corner to corner. These, of course, will cost a little more since more material is required to make them.
Can I make my own sheet suspenders?
You may have seen instructions for do-it-yourself sheet suspenders online—an elastic band with safety pins on either side. While this would work in a pinch, be aware that it could damage your sheets. Most sheet suspenders have gentle clamps, but a safety pin would have to puncture the sheet fabric. Every time you change the sheets, you’d end up with a new hole, and tension on the sheets could cause the holes to enlarge as the fabric pulls against the pins.
Will a higher thread count prevent my sheets from coming off of my adjustable bed?
Sheets with a higher thread count tend to be more durable, but that won’t change how well they stay on your adjustable mattress. It’s still an important consideration when you’re looking at sheets, though. Since you may have to spend more for sheets that will work on your adjustable bed, you’ll want to get ones that will last as long as possible.
How often should I wash my sheets?
Using straps or suspenders requires a little more time and effort when changing your sheets, but it’s still important to regularly wash them once a week. Your sheets accumulate sweat, dead skin cells, and oils from your skin as you sleep. A weekly refresh will keep your sheets feeling and smelling clean.
Adjustable beds, once relegated to hospitals, are becoming more popular and widely available. Many more accessories are now being made specifically for them, which means more selection at an affordable price so that you can find the best sheets for you. Once you’ve got the right size fitted sheet with deep pockets, or have affixed sheet straps or suspenders to that bottom sheet, you’ll rest easy knowing that it’ll stay in place through every movement of your bed.
Chris was a psychiatrist and neurologist with board certification in sleep medicine Clinical Associate Professor at the University of California. For over 10 years, he served and helped patients at Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital with their sleeping disorders.
After suffered from sleep disorders for years, Chris has been passionate about sleep health ever since. He wants to help others sleep better and wanted to make the world of sleep easy to understand for everyday people.