How to Buy Sheets to Fit a Pillow-Top Mattress

by Catherine Amo
Published April 29, 2010 | Updated June 11, 2015

Everyone knows that pillow-top mattresses are designed for additional softness and comfort. Due to the padding, pillow-top mattresses have more depth than regular mattresses. The height of the padding varies, but generally, manufacturers make pillow-top mattresses in depths varying from 7 to 22 inches. Specially made deep-pocket sheets for pillow-top mattresses are available; however, it is important to know the depth of your mattress before purchasing sheets. Here's how to buy the best sheets to fit your pillow-top mattress.

Buying Deep-Pocket Sheets:

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  1. Take Measurements

    Place a piece of cardboard between the mattress and the box spring. Place a second piece of cardboard on top of the mattress. Measure the distance between the pieces of cardboard. This is the depth of your pillow-top mattress.

  2. Search for the Sheets

    Search for sheets in the size of your pillow-top mattress. Sheet sizes are available in twin, twin-XL, full, queen, California king, and king. It's important to get the sheets that are meant for your exact mattress; twin-XL mattresses are longer than twin mattresses, and California king mattresses are longer than king mattresses.

  3. Choose a Type of Fabric and Thread Count

    The higher the thread count, the smoother the sheets will be, but that can come with a higher price tag. Bed sheets are available in a variety of fabrics, from cotton to satin. A current trend is microfiber sheets, which have the feel of high-thread-count sheets but at a lower price point.

  4. Shop for Deep-Pocket Sheets

    Deep-pocket sheets are meant for pillow-top mattresses and are available in three depths: 7 inches to 14 inches (standard), 15 inches (deep), and 16 inches to 22 inches (extra deep).

  5. Find Fitted Sheets

    Fitted sheets have elastic on the sides that hold the sheets in place. They're available with elastic on all four sides, elastic on the four corners, or elastic on two sides. Sheets with elastic on all four sides fit pillow-top mattresses better.

  6. Consider Other Options

    If you are unable to find fitted sheets with the appropriate depth, consider using straps with sheets for regular mattresses. Straps on each of the four corners will keep the sheets in place. You can also use flat sheets that are one size larger than your pillow-top mattress and tuck the sides under the mattress.

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