How to Dry Sheets So They Don’t Wrinkle – Without Ironing Them

One of the biggest problems with washing and drying bed sheets is that they tend to wrinkle up and require a lot of ironing to smooth out.

The best way to wash and dry bed sheets so they don’t wrinkle with no iron is to wash them separately, read the label so you know the right temperature and cycle to use, avoid using too much detergent, remove the sheets from the drum immediately after washing, and either tumble dry on low heat or hang dry.

The rest of this article provides a step-by-step guide for washing and drying your bed sheets wrinkle-free.

Alternatively: see the best wrinkle-free bed sheets to buy online now.

3 Steps to Wrinkle Free Bed Sheets

Even if you already have a wrinkle-free sheet set then following the steps below is still a great way to reduce maintenance overall.

But if you’re rocking a 100% cotton sheet set that hasn’t been treated with the cross-linking process to protect it from wrinkling, then you’ll definitely want to pay attention to stop your sheets looking like a scrunched up ball of tissue paper on wash day.

Here’s what you need to do.

1: Preparation

The secret to wrinkle free bed sheets begins before you even put them in the washing machine.

The first thing that you need to do is strip your bed and AVOID wrapping your sheets and pillowcases into one big tangled lump because this increases crumpling which is the precursor to wrinkles – since wrinkles are the product of the chemical bonds in the fibers being reconfigured due to external stress such as folding.

Instead, keep your pillow cases, fitted sheet, and flat sheet/duvet cover separate.

2: Washing

Now it’s time to start washing your sheets in a way that can guard against wrinkles.

First, check the label to ensure that you’re washing at the right temperature and on the correct cycle – take note of any extra information such as avoiding bleach or fabric softeners.

Then place your bedding into the washing machine – taking care not to tangle them.

It’s always a good idea to wash your bed linens separately from towels and clothes to avoid abrasion with other fabrics and zippers/buttons which can damage the fibers and lead to pilling.

Take care not to overfill the drum which can lead to crumpling and thus wrinkling.

Avoid using too much detergent and/or softener because this can lead to excess suds and residue which can cause wrinkling [1].

Now, if it doesn’t go against the directions on the label and your washing machine has the appropriate setting – you might also want to select a ‘steam cycle’ [2] (just be aware that this can cause some materials to shrink).

Alternatively, you may want to wash your sheets in warmer water to help reduce wrinkles but again, don’t go hotter than the temperature specified on the label.

Also, use the mildest washing setting – since a heavy cycle can increase tangling and wrinkling.

Fabric softeners can help to reduce wrinkles too – but be sure to check the label because some types of satin sheets and other fabrics may not be compatible with fabric softeners.

If you can’t use a fabric softener, then you could pour 1 cup of white, distilled vinegar into the washing machine because this can apparently help to reduce wrinkles [3] – but be sure to check your washing machine instructions to ensure that it doesn’t stipulate that you can’t use vinegar in the machine.

3: Drying

Do NOT let your washed clothes sit in the drum all wet and creased because this will increase the chance of wrinkling.

Instead, immediately take your clothes out of the washer and untangle them.

Shake and fluff each piece of clothing to reduce crumpling and limit creasing.

Check the instructions on the label to see if you can use the tumble dryer and if so, the appropriate settings.

Look for the wrinkle free or permanent press settings on your dryer because they are specifically designed to limit wrinkling.

Otherwise, tumble dry on a low heat and remove them from the dryer when they are 80-90% dry and put them straight back on the bed – this will allow your sheets to dry without wrinkling.

If tumble drying is not allowed, then hang-dry your sheets – taking care to allow them to hang freely to encourage the creases to drop out.

Again, you can put them back on your bed whilst they are a little bit damp so that they can dry wrinkle free.

Wrinkle Free Sheets FAQs

So there you have it.

The above 3 step process should be enough to deliver wrinkle free sheets every single wash day over and over again.

But here’s the answers to a couple of common questions regarding wrinkle free bed sheets.

How Do Hotels Keep Their Sheets Wrinkle Free?

Many hotels will use sheets that are less prone to wrinkling.

These sheets are often made from 100% microfiber or cotton-polyester blends because synthetic materials tend to repel wrinkles more when compared to 100% cotton sheets.

But there’s also a little trick that hotels use to keep their sheets looking crisp and wrinkle free.

And that’s to spray the made up bedding (the pillow cases, the fitted sheet and your top sheet) with plain old tap water using a spritzer bottle.

Then pull the top sheet tight and tuck it firmly under the mattress.

The combination of the tension and moisture will allow the sheets to dry without wrinkling – basically leveraging the same technique listed above of allowing your sheets to dry on your bed wrinkle-free.

Can Regular Washing Reduce Wrinkles?

Washing your sheets regularly – every 7-14 days – is not only recommended to maintain hygiene and remove allergy causing dust mites, but can also help to reduce wrinkling.

This is because regular washing can cause the fibers to relax and soften up – making them less likely to wrinkle out of the wash.

You’ll also find that bamboo bed sheets tend to get softer and softer with each wash too.

Are Anti-Wrinkle Sheets Worth It?

Some anti-wrinkle sheets can be worth it but you need to understand exactly what you’re buying.

Because there are many sheets that you can buy that are marketed as being ‘wrinkle free’.

But the truth is that for a sheet to be truly ‘no-iron’ or ‘wrinkle free’, the material must have been treated using a specific cross-linking process to stop the chemical bonds reconfiguring as easily.

And because this treatment varies in intensity, you could end up with sheets that still wrinkle to some extent.

Having done a lot of research, I discovered that it’s really hard to find out if a sheet has been treated with the cross-linking process at all – never mind to the degree of application.

But if a sheet has been treated as such, then you’ll also need to look for the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 label to ensure that the sheen doesn’t contain formaldehyde – a potentially harmful byproduct of the chemical cross linking process.

What Materials Are the Best For Reducing Wrinkles?

If you’re looking for a bed sheet that’s naturally resistant to wrinkling then look for 100% microfiber or polyester sheets since they don’t tend to wrinkle as much as sheets made from natural materials like cotton.

Typically, you’ll find that many so-called wrinkle free sheets are made from a 70:30 cotton-polyester blend because this combines the anti-wrinkle properties of polyester with the breathability and softness of cotton.

Just keep in mind that unless these sheets have been specifically treated with the cross linking process then they are simply LESS likely to wrinkle – rather than being 100% wrinkle free.

What Are the Best Wrinkle Free Sheets?

Do you want to limit the chance of your bed sheets wrinkling?

Then click the button below to see the best bed sheets that you can buy online that are less likely to wrinkle.

This could help save you a lot of time when it comes to maintaining your sheets.

Sources and References

[1] LG – Why Does My Clothes Keep Coming Out so Wrinkled when Using my LG Washing Machine/Dryer? Accessed 17/2/20.

[2], [3] WikiHow – How to Reduce Laundry Wrinkles. Accessed 17/2/20.

Image Attribution and Licencing

Main image: ‘Bed With Bed Head’ by Kuzmichs (Getty Images) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.