Get on Top of the Bottom Sheet. The fitted bottom sheet, with its gathered corners and unruly proportions, can be very difficult to keep unwrinkled. Ms. Rapinchuk, who prefers a crisp 100 percent cotton, low-thread-count bottom sheet, has a two-pronged strategy for wrangling the chaos.
First, take the sheet out of the dryer about five minutes before it is fully dry. “Take the barely damp sheet, put it on the mattress, and let it air-dry for at least a few minutes,” she said. “The wrinkles will dissipate.”
Second, to prevent the bottom sheet from looking uneven and bunched when folded, Ms. Rapinchuk folds it in half lengthwise (bringing together the diagonal corners), before she tucks one end of the gathered corners into the other, like you would a pocket. She then folds the sheet in thirds, hiding the bunchy corners in the interior of the fold, and then in half. “Then I put it in a pillow case, along with the flat sheet, creating a set that I can stack in my cupboard, giving it a nice, unified look,” she said.
Ditch the Top Sheet. “It can be a contentious topic, but our sales data indicates that 40 percent of Americans don’t sleep with a top sheet,” said Ms. Kaye, who counts herself among them.
Ms. Rapinchuk also skips the top sheet, just making a bed with a fitted sheet, pillows and either a washable quilt or a duvet. She will throw her quilts in the washing machine weekly and do the same with duvet covers every week or two, as needed.
“People fight back on this because they say the washing of the quilts or the restuffing of the duvet into its washed cover makes it more time-consuming,” she said. “But for me it’s worth the battle because every day, all you have to do is pull up your duvet cover and throw your pillows into place and you’re done.”
Bring Back the Top Sheet. “Oh, I have to have a top sheet,” Mr. McRaven said. When he is in Europe and sleeps in beds made without one, “it drives me crazy,” he said. He sees the top sheets as a T-shirt under a sweater — it allows for one layer to be pulled off when you get too hot.
Standing 6-foot-2, he sleeps in a king-size bed with his wife. He makes the bed most days (unless he wakes up before his wife), with the top sheet folded tightly at the bottom of the bed into hospital corners.
“When you are facing big tasks in your life, the little details are…