There is nothing worse than trying to over-stretch your sheets to fit over your mattress. Or waking up in the night with your feet stuck inside the loose ‘fitted’ sheets.
Shrinking of sheets can be avoided if we take good care of our bedding, especially when drying. Make sure to always read the care instructions prior to washing your bedding.
Ideally dry your sheets on an outside clothesline but out of direct sun.
When drying in a tumble dryer note that bedding might take a little longer to dry than a regular load of clothes, but leaving sheets in the dryer too long is what can cause them to shrink.
Over-drying is the main problem for shrinkage, so it best to tumble dry sheets on a lower heat for the shortest time possible. It minimizes shrinkage and helps reduce wrinkling.
And it will prolong the lifetime of your sheets! The average life of sheets should be between two and three years.
Also important to know is that not all linens are created equally, so it is best to keep very different loads separate to avoid over-drying and shrinkage. Keep towels separate from your bed sheets. Sheets generally dry faster than towels, so when the sheets are dry the towels will likely still be wet.
If you're aiming to combine loads put light cotton fabrics in with sheets, not towels!