What's the Difference Between Standard & Deep Pocket Bed Sheets?

Slipping beneath the blankets after an exhausting day can be one of the best feelings in the world. When you finally get the chance to lay back and relax, you don’t want anything to disrupt your much-deserved rest. To prevent being disturbed by bunched sheets, your mattress should be topped with ones that fit. Knowing whether you need standard sheets or deep pocket bed sheets is a great way to make sure you have it right.

Standard Sheets vs. Deep Pocket Sheets

There are very few differences between standard sheets and their deep pocket brethren besides the fact that they fit mattresses of different heights. A deep pocket bed sheet set might come with a larger flat sheet so that the mattress is fully covered. Even though this is ideal, it’s not guaranteed. The other difference has to do with pricing. You may find that deep pocket sheets are priced slightly higher than standard sheets since they require more fabric to make.

Sheet sets of the same brand and model are the same in make. For example, deeper sheets aren't made with different materials than standard sheets.

Bedding of any type should be considered an investment. It’s money spent towards improving both the design of your room and your personal comfort. It’s important to take the time to learn more about your bed, mattress and sleeping preferences so you can choose high-quality sheets that promote excellent sleep habits. Putting aside a few minutes to find sheets that best fit your bed can help you enjoy your space more. These extra minutes can also prevent you from wasting time remaking your bed after a long day because your sheets have become untucked.

The Benefits of Deep Pocket Bed Sheets

Deep pocket bed sheets stay put and fit more comfortably when you have a deeper mattress, such as a pillow-top or specialty memory foam option. This proper fit helps you to spend less time making your bed because it's much easier to put the bottom sheet on the mattress.

The bottom sheet serves a purpose other than making you more comfortable; it actually helps keep sweat, skin particles and other unsanitary things from being absorbed into your mattress. This is why it is important to have a fitted bottom sheet that stays in its place to protect your mattress so you don’t end up laying directly on top of it while sleeping.

Plus, when your sheets lay right on your bed, your room has a more appealing visual aesthetic. A bunched sheet can make for a disorderly looking bed with wrinkled layers on top, and a too-big top sheet that overhangs the mattress, collecting on the floor. This sloppy ordeal can be prevented by equipping your bed with sheets that fit properly. After all, a neat room starts with a well-made bed.

Spending just a few minutes to research and prepare for sheet shopping can help you buy sheets in the right size, which in the long run will help you have a better looking, more comfortable bed.

How to Measure Your Mattress for Proper Sheet Size

You probably already know to buy sheets that match your general mattress size: twin, full, queen, king or California king. This designated size only accounts for the mattress’ width and length. For instance, you can have three queen-size mattresses with different depths.

Before you buy sheets, measure the height (or depth) of your mattress. While it's easiest to take this measurement at the edge of the mattress, that's not always the most accurate number. Pillow-top mattresses are higher in the center, which can add an inch or two to the measurement. To accurately measure this type of mattress, have someone else hold a light, straight object (such as a yardstick) horizontally from the center-most point of your bed. You might find that this object is then an inch or two above the edge of the mattress. Measure from the bottom of the mattress to this object to determine the full height of your mattress.

Standard mattresses measure up to about 12 inches in depth, but pillow-top and specialty mattresses can be as deep as 13 to 25 inches.

How to Buy the Right Size Sheet

Once you know the depth of your mattress, you can choose the right sheets. Unfortunately, not all sheet manufacturers mark their sheets the same. Here are some tips for choosing the right sheets from different labeling methods.

Some sheets are simply marked as standard, deep pocket or extra deep pocket. You can typically assume a standard sheet set will fit a mattress up to about 12 inches deep. Deep pocket bed sheets usually fit mattresses with depths of up to 17 inches. If your mattress is deeper than that then you should look for sheets marked "extra deep pocket."

Other manufacturers label sheets with what is known as a pocket depth. This is the measurement from the top part of the fitted sheet, where you lay on top of the mattress, to the elastic edge on each corner. Be sure to choose sheets with a pocket depth that is equal to 2 plus your mattress height so that the sheet can be securely tucked under every corner of your mattress. For example, if your mattress is 16 inches high, you need sheets with a pocket depth of at least 18.

Additionally, some manufacturers label their sheets with mattress depths. In this case, a sheet set labeled with a mattress depth of 14 inches would fit any mattress with a height of 14 inches or less.

Getting settled for bed should be one of the most relaxing parts of your day. You deserve to focus on unwinding and dozing into a deep sleep without having to readjust your sheets or remake your bed. To ensure you have the most comfort, you should measure your bed and find sheets that fit it best.


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