The Surprising History And Future, Of The Fitted Sheet
by: Ruby Russell, founder/CEO befitted bedding
The fitted sheet not only provides comfort but also cleanliness. Since people continually shed skin cells, and sweat, and may have dust or dirt on their bodies, the bed will over time become dirty and accumulate germs and bed mites, or worse. Sheets can be washed regularly; they protect the mattress from accumulating this dirt. They also protect people from any dirt or germs on the mattress.
Before the invention of the fitted sheet, flat sheets were folded around the mattress using techniques such as the hospital corner to keep the sheet snug. These sheets would rarely stay put.
In 1957 Bertha Berman applied for a patent for a fitted sheet. Her idea was that the mattress needed a cover to keep it clean. Ms. Berman’s sheets needed elastic garters to keep the sheet on the bed. With these attachments on the corners only, the fitted sheet still managed to pop off exposing the mattress. Since Bertha Berman’s invention, there have been many other patents for the fitted sheet.
The real game-changer came when Canadian Gisele Jubinville created a fitted sheet with deep corner pockets that grab a mattress and stay put. In 1993 she sold her patent for $1 million.
Today in the 21st century bedding is the new hot thing taking the place of expensive purses and shoes. It has become so popular there are many new startups including the likes of Larry King, Lionel Richie, Ellen DeGeneres, and even Home Depot. It’s a $70 Billion industry with projected growth of 9% annually for the next decade.
Thanks to these innovative women, we’ve come a long way from the early sheets, which were just large amounts of cloth draped and tucked under the bed. The fitted sheet of today has elastic all the way around which keeps it from popping off. However, it is difficult to orient the bed, and folding it is a nightmare.
With that being the case, let me introduce you to the bedding of the future. In 2012 Ruby’s domestic and business partner fell and injured his back. Due to his injury, he would toss and turn to mess the bed up. When Ruby’s partner injured his back and could no longer make his bed, she felt she could no longer leave it for him to make, but she also hated making the bed and wasn’t very good at it either. Feeling guilty she began to think of ideas to make it easier for him to make the bed. Immediately after he left for home Ruby began to think of how she could solve this bed-making problem.
She cut up one sheet and added it to another making a tail leaving the sheet with no corners. The invention worked well. In 2016 Ruby had cataract surgery that went wrong and left her legally blind in her left eye. With a sense of sadness and trying to understand what it would be like to be legally blind, Ruby started doing research on how to simplify bedding. In her research, she found the blind would put objects in the center of the top sheet to mark the center, the same would be for the bedspread, comforter, duvet cover, etc. Ruby and her partner applied for a patent and on March 31, 2016, Ruby Stayput Beddings was officially ‘born’. Stayput is a one-tuck, self-centering top sheet that is guaranteed to stay put.
After the top sheet, she began to study the fitted sheet to see what improvements could be made. She remembers how she hated always getting the corners wrong between the long and the short ends. Realizing that most companies put the care label in the corners which was never any help. Ruby thought the solution was to put the care label in the center/bottom of the fitted sheet. The fitted sheet of today stays put better than ever. With one minor adjustment, it can now be easy to make. When it comes to folding it, it is much beyond Ruby’s expertise in bedding designs.
She began to design a coverlet that was also self-centering. The result is a coverlet that fits like a glove.
Bedding has been a passion of Ruby’s since 1979 when she was pregnant and went seeking comfort. She purchased 4 sets of Oleg Cassini, 250 thread count, percale sheets while pregnant with her daughter, and fell in love with fine linen. That was 42 years ago, she still has pieces of the sets, top sheets, and two pillowcases.
While touring Edinburgh Castle in Scotland she asked the tour guide how old the linen on the beds was, she said 350 years. She knew from those two experiences she wanted a luxury line that’s washable, reversible, solid colors, and luxurious. She got to work and learned about the different kinds of cotton and what made one better than the other. She settled for the best, Egyptian long-staple cotton, soft, durable, and luxurious.
Ruby wants to encourage women to make their bedrooms exciting. She has seen some bedding with bright bold colors that should give anyone a nightmare. Ruby chooses to do solid colors leaving it to women to choose items like new lampshades, curtains, throws, and throw pillows to add color. She discovered that you could change the looks of a complete bedroom for less than $100 US dollars. It’s about time there was a change in bedding. Ruby has made bedding so simple and effortless that it has been named “accessible beddings” by The American Council of the Blind.
Unfortunately, COVID has changed all of our lives. Many of us are not making that trip to the office. Unintentionally, we are spending more time at home. It’s time to give more thought to your home surroundings, especially your bedroom.
Your bedroom really is the most important room in your home. It’s the one room you spend the most time in, so what if you’re the only one to see it. The point is, if you give your bedroom some attention, you will smile each time you walk by.