Who Invented The Fitted Sheet?
by: Ruby Russell, founder/CEO befitted bedding
Necessity is the mother of invention. The meaning is a creative effort to solve a problem. 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 a 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. 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 persons from any dirt or germs on the mattress. 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 in folding it. Necessity is the mother of invention again, so we came up with a solution for getting the ends wrong.
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, Ellan DeGeneres, and even Home Depot. It’s a $70 Billion industry with projected growth of 9% annually for the next decade.
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. Ruby never admitted that she only made her bed when he came for a visit. Feeling guilt Ruby could no longer leave his bed for him to make. “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Immediately after he left for home Ruby begin to think of how she could solve the bed-making problem. She cut up one sheet and added it to another making a tail and a sheet with no corners. The invention worked so well Ruby and her partner discussed and applied for a patent. On March 31, 2016, Ruby received a patent for Stayput Beddings. Stayput is a one-tuck, self-centering top sheet that is guaranteed to stay put.
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, etc. After the top sheet, she begin 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.
She begins to design a coverlet that was also self-centering. The result is a coverlet that fits like a glove.
So now we get to that much-dreaded duvet cover even Oprah found difficult to make. When Ruby and her partner traveled to Europe, they would never sleep under a duvet without a top sheet knowing it was not changed daily. After looking at many videos on how to stuff a duvet cover using the methods burrito, sausage or California rolls we concluded there had to be a better way. One blogger said it was like trying to stuff a dead dog in a pillowcase.
Necessity mother of invention: Ruby has now created an easy-to-make duvet cover with a zipper that opens enough to lay the duvet, and zip it up. A duvet cover is like a bedspread or comforter shifting or ending on the floor. Problem solved; Ruby attached the patented Stayput tail. Imagine a duvet cover easy to make and guaranteed to stay put until time to do laundry.
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 the Edinburg Castle in Scotland she asked the tour guide how old was the linen on the beds, 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 learning about the different kinds of cottons and what made one better than the other. She settled for the best, Egyptian a long-staple cotton soft, durable, and luxurious.
Ruby wanted to encourage women to make their bedrooms exciting. She had seen some bedding with bright bold colors that should give anyone a nightmare. Ruby chose to do solid colors leaving it to women to choose items like new lampshades, curtains, throws, and throw pillows to add color. She found that you can change the looks of a complete bedroom for less than $100 US dollars. Ladies, you change your dress and shoes to impress a man how about impressing him with excitement and a exciting look in the bedroom at least by weekly or monthly. Ruby’s senior boyfriend/partner notices and admire the change up.
Isn’t it about time there was a change in bedding? Ruby has made bedding so simple and effortless it has been named “accessible beddings” by The American Council of the Blind.