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How to Buy Deep Pocket Sheets

Updated on January 22, 2010

What Are Deep Pocket Sheets

Buying sheets isn't as easy as it used to be. That's because mattresses have changed dramatically over the past few years. There has been a dramatic rise in popularity of pillow top mattresses, special movement beds and mattresses made of unusual materials like foam or latex. Many people also choose to add a padded cover made of material or foam to add to the comfort of their mattress. This means that standard sheet sizes often don't properly fit today's mattresses. Luckily, deep pocket sheets have been invented to solve this problem.

Standard sheets are designed for mattresses that range from 12-14 inches. If you mattress is more than 14 inches tall, you will soon find yourself in the market for deep pocket sheets. Unfortunately, there is no standard size that is considered deep pocket. Deep pocket sheet sets can range from 15-22 inches. You will need to measure your mattress to ensure you have properly sized sheets. Make sure the fitted sheet will be large enough to comfortably fit around the edges of the mattress with plenty of room to tuck underneath it.

How to Measure for Deep Pocket Sheets

The term "deep pocket" is kind of strange until you realize that it refers to the corners of the sheets. They are considered pockets because your mattress fits into them. So, when it comes to measuring you are primarily going to concentrate on the corners.

  1. Grab your measuring tape and go to one corner of the mattress. Measure from the bottom corner (where it touches the box spring) upwards. If your measuring tape has a metal tip, you can hook it between the mattress and the box spring.
  2. Pull the measuring tape vertically from the bottom of the mattress and see how tall the mattress is. Make sure you are measuring to the top of the pillow top if you have a pillow top mattress.
  3. It's really that simple. Write it down and take it to your home/bedding store of choice. If you hit somewhere between 14-16 inches, you'll be looking for deep pocket sheets. If your measurement is 17 inches or taller you're entering into "extra deep" fitted sheets territory.

How To Make Your Own Deep Pocket Sheets

If you're on a budget and you somehow end up with a mattress that is too thick for your sheets, don't despair. If you're willing to spend a little time and energy, you can transform regular sheets into deep pocket sheets. If you are good with a sewing machine all you need is a little fabric and elastic. Fabric stores often have seasonal promotions where you can pick up a few yards of extra fabric at a great price. 
  1. Make sure you wash, dry and iron both your sheets and your new fabric
  2. Unpick the seams with a seam ripper and take out the elastic in your current sheets. You'll end up with a big rectangle with four squares missing from the corners
  3. Cut off the flaps. Use a straight-edge to get an even cut. Now you've got a rectangle
  4. Using your new fabric, attach it around the outside edge to make a bigger rectangle. Use the measurements to determine how big you need to make it. You'll need about 16 inches to make a standard pocket.
  5. Sew the additional material using a 1/4 seam allowance.
  6. Fold the sheet in half (inside out). Line the corners on top of each other.  Measure a 16-inch square (or  larger depending on the size of your mattress) on the top corners of the sheet. This square will dictate how deep your pocket is. Mark the size and then carefully cut out the corner pieces.
  7. Unfold the sheet and stitch together each set of flaps. This will create four corner pockets. Set your sewing machine to a 1/4 inch seam allowance. To make things a little easier and keep everything aligned, pin the flaps together before sewing.
  8. Now we're going to add the elastic. If you have a king sized bed, you'll want to cut a 45 to 50 inch piece. (queen = 40 inches, twin = 30-35 inches). Place the elastic 10 inches from the corner point on each side. Mark those places and then using a hot iron, iron over it making a 1/2 inch seam. Then roll it inside and iron a second seam 1/4 inch deep. Pin it to secure the seam.
  9. This is where it gets tricky. Line up the elastic with Mark #1 and secure it with a few stitches. Use your sewing machine's edge-stitching foot and sew the seam from corner to corner of each pocket and then the side seam. While you're doing this, gently tug the elastic to create a pucker.

Congratulations! You've just made your own deep pocket sheets. I hope these instructions helped. It's a lot easier when the fabric is in front of you. Try it on a set of sheets that you don't really like before you decide to alter your favorite set.

2 Additional Tips

  1. Don't forget that fitted sheets are a convenience, not a necessity. If you're trying to save a little cash, just get a large regular sheet and tuck it in around the edges of your mattress. This works particularly well on smaller mattresses. For a King-sized bed, it might be a little more difficult to find a size that's big enough. Also, you don't have to deal with the hassle of folding fitted sheets!
  2. If you've got a massive mattress, investigate a low-profile bed frame or box spring. If you pick one that's lower than a standard frame your bed will be a lot lower while still giving you all the benefits of a thick, plush mattress. This means you won't have to literally climb into your bed. It allows you to pick a combination that makes an overall bed height that is comfortable for you.

Mattress Poll

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How to Fold a Fitted Sheet (Because I Always Have Trouble With This)

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    • profile image

      extra deep pocket sheets 8 years ago

      .., i bet this is one of the innovative thing that i can have in my bed.. i am excited to try this...

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