Why Do Hotels Tuck Bed Sheets Under Mattresses?

In the haze of your Saturday hangover, have you found yourself pondering the question, "Why do hotels tuck sheets under mattresses?"

Us neither. BUT while we're here, we might as well find out the answer to one of the great mysteries of the modern world.

Is it because the managers like knowing their drunk guests are going to struggle to get to bed? Or has it got something to do with those beautiful towel swans?

Credit: Jade Grant
Credit: Jade Grant

Well, according to James Marshall, owner of a boutique hotel in Tasmania, it is none of these things.

He said: "Hotels generally do not use fitted sheets, as fitted sheets are difficult to handle when cleaning, drying and folding. Instead, hotels use flat sheets, which can easy be processed by machinery for automated drying and folding in large numbers.

"However, flat sheets are not as easy to install onto a bed compared with a nice bed-hugging fitted sheet. Hotels usually tuck in the corners of the sheets under the mattress using a method commonly referred to as 'hospital corners', after the style of bed-making employed in many hospitals.

"This ensures the sheets are firmly anchored to the bed so that they do not move around when the guest gets into bed and so they remain free of unsightly wrinkles. The tucked corners also gives the bed a very neat and tidy appearance, akin to a neatly wrapped gift."

So there you have it - hotels tuck their sheets under the mattresses because it looks professional. Duh!

But before you go dusting your hands off, hotel general manager, Bodhi Ench, says that hygiene plays a major part too. He explained that the short answer is that sheets are tucked in so they don't get tangled in the bed.

Credit: Pexels/Pixabay
Credit: Pexels/Pixabay

However, the long answer looks a little different: "We want them firm on the bed to prevent your skin from contacting the mattress, which would transfer oils and salts to the mattress, in effect staining them and shortening mattress life.

"It also offers a small, minute, better protection against critters moving from unsavoury guests and on into the bed itself; minutes after you check out, those sheets are out of the room and on their way to being sanitized."

So there you are. Not only do the hotel staff tuck the sheets because it looks better, but it's also to ensure that the bed bugs don't bite. Literally.

Daisy Phillipson

Daisy is a UK-based freelance journalist with too many opinions. She loves everything film and music-related and has a track record writing for Little White Lies, BWRC, and Film Daily. Contact her at [email protected]

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013