How Do I Know If I Need Deep Pocket Sheets?

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There’s a lot to consider when shopping for bed sheets. Fabric type, thread count, color, basic care requirements. The one thing that people sometimes don’t pay enough attention to is size, and making sure the sheets they buy fit their bed properly.

And the simple fact is that a badly fitting sheet, even a high quality one, is not going to lead to a good night’s sleep, and might result in a really bad one. If you have a larger, or taller bed, it may fall outside those familiar full/queen/king sizings and call for the use of deep pocket sheets.

In this article, we’ll go over whether or not you really need deep pockets bedsheets and other pertinent facts you need to consider.

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What Are Deep Pocket Sheets?

Comfortable big bed in interior of stylish room with botanical and boho theme decor

Quality deep pocket sheets are designed to fit properly and snugly over a deeper mattress.

The depth of a mattress does not always relate to its length or width, and is more about the height of your mattress and any toppers you choose to use with it. This means that you could have a small twin bed, but if you prefer a deeper mattress, or buy one of those comfy mattress toppers you might still need a deep pocket sheet set.

Most standard fitted sheets have a maximum depth of 16 inches, and fitting one securely over a deep mattress can be a serious struggle.

Deep pocket sheets have depths of between 17 and 22 inches and provide a way to get your sheets to fit just right without all that effort, and without that sleep busting middle of the night slippage poorly fitting sheets results in.

What Size Mattress Require Deep Pocket Fitted Sheets?

A clean, bright and new memory foam mattress on a bed frame

As we mentioned, the length and width of your mattress is not an indicator of whether you should buy deep pocket sheets, its depth is

Some mattresses are deeper than others. Often a less expensive mattress will not be as deep as a pricier mattress, although more often it’s a matter of preference. A deep mattress often provides cushier support, or is made up of several layers of bedding material that add to its depth.

You also make a mattress deeper if you add a mattress topper to it. Some people do this to protect the top layer of their pricey new mattress, while others use a mattress topper to add a layer of comfort and support that their older mattress lacks.

As a high quality new mattress is rarely a small investment, a less expensive mattress topper and a set of deep pocket sheets can be a great way to get a better night’s sleep on an older mattress.

What’s The Difference Between Deep and Extra Deep Fitted Sheets?

As you shop for deep pocket sheets, you might find that some are marked as deep while others proclaim themselves to be extra deep.

While there are no industry standard measurements for deep pocket sheets, they usually range, as we mentioned earlier, between 17″ and 22″ in depth, so those on the deeper side, often 20″ and above, might be labeled as extra deep.

So, How Do I Measure a Mattress For Deep Pocket Sheets?

How do I measure bed sheets
Measure the depth of your mattress from the bed frame (or box spring) to the very top. If you use a mattress topper or a pad, make sure to also include it. Photo Credit: Wicked Sheets

Before you head off to shop for deep pocket sheets, you need to measure your unique bed.

Using a tape measure (or even the measure feature on your smartphone) measure from the top seam of your mattress to the top of the box spring.

If you have a pillowtop mattress or a feather bed topper, or use a memory foam mattress topper, measure the depth from the top seam to the bottom seam several times at different points to help ensure the best possible fit.

If there are differences in these measurements, err on the side of caution and choose the largest one so that you don’t buy a deep pocket sheet that is too small to fit properly across the entire bed.

While you are measuring, don’t forget to check the length and width of your mattress too, as a very full mattress topper may change those measurements as well. For example, a fluffy feather mattress topper might have transformed your full bed into a queen, as there are only a few inches of difference between the two.

Can You Use Deep Pocket Sheets on a Regular Mattress?

Couple making a bed with clean white sheets

Using deep pocket sheets on a standard depth mattress is not ideal, as you are going to have to work harder to get that as perfect as possible fit you need to get the best night’s sleep (and make ‘dressing’ your bed easier).

However, there may be times when you need to try.

Perhaps you have a mattress topper that you only use seasonally, and when it’s removed your bed is no longer so deep.

Or a set of deep pocket sheets that were a gift/hand-me-down/amazing price on sale are all you have to work with right now. If that is the case, for a fitted sheet, making use of an inexpensive set of bed sheet straps can be the answer.

These simple elastic straps – that usually cost less than $10 – can be used to hold the sheet in place and will allow you to better fit a deep pocket sheet to a standard mattress in a pinch.

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