Does Anyone Iron Their Sheets?

Or is that a complete waste of time?

ironing bed sheets

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I think my mother owns an ironing board. I don't really remember her ever using it. My grandmother certainly had one, and she used it so often she had an entire ironing board cabinet built just for ease of use. She ironed her napkins, her tablecloths, even her placemats. She ironed her clothes, of course, her pillow covers, her doilies, and I remember seeing her steaming the curtains on her sun porch many times. So when I asked my aunt if my grandmother also ironed her bed sheets, though she couldn't recall, she said, "It wouldn't surprise me."

I, like my mother, don't iron much of anything. I bought a fancy dryer that steams the wrinkles right out of my clothes, and my cloth napkins are some blend of fabrics that makes them nearly wrinkle-proof. Like my grandmother, however, I do iron things most people don't, specifically my sheets.

The practice of ironing my sheets started innocently enough: I had purchased some lovely heirloom embroidered pillow cases for my guest bed, and after one cycle in the washing machine and dryer (on delicate, of course), they were wrinkled and tugging around the embroidery. Naturally, I had to iron them—with sizing, not starch.

The crisp coverage of the pillowcases made the wrinkles of the flat sheet look careless and unkempt, so I pulled it off the bed and ironed it, too.

For the longest time, I only ironed the guest bed sheets and pillowcases. After all, as the forward-facing sheets of my house, I wash and iron them infrequently, usually only after guests have left or when I'm changing linens for the season. But I didn't want to deny myself the luxurious experience of slipping into a freshly pressed set of sheets, a hallmark of a stay at a fine resort or a high-star hotel. That's when I started ironing my sheets.

The pillow cases and flat sheet on my own bed are also embroidered, and the way they wrinkle during a wash tugs at my heart. I enjoy seeing the fine stitching when my flat sheet is folded back over my quilt, so not ironing them flat feels like a disservice. After all, I bought them specifically for that sweet detail.

I searched the Internet once to see if anyone else had written about ironing bed sheets, and that led me to some threads of people saying how foolish it was to spend time ironing sheets. That very well may be true. But I just can't deny the pleasure it gives me to tuck myself between perfectly smooth sheets or to stack pillows with crisp covers.

Does anyone else iron their sheets? Or do you have sweet memories of spending the night with grandmothers and aunts and sliding into a bed of fresh, unwrinkled sheets?

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