This Is Your Momma’s Sleep Sheet!.

By Posted in - Featured Post on July 27th, 2011

Editor’s note: This story is part of a travel resource series for Brooke vs. the World’s upcoming free ebook, which will feature a collection of thrifty travel tips from some of today’s top travel bloggers. More information, including how you can get involved in the project , is available at the end of this post.

The mainstream press has put the fear in me.

For years I lived in ignorant bliss of the bacteria levels in hotels and airplanes, but then headlines like “Hotel Not So Grand” and “6 Places Germs Breed on an Airplane” shattered my rose-colored glasses.

To be honest, I’m not really freaked out by the germs. More than anything, the uncleanliness just makes me uncomfortable. For example, when I lived in San Francisco, I rode the BART regularly and really enjoyed resting my head on its cloth seats. Well, guess what? After 40 years, those seats are pretty vile, according to a recent news story. So, next time I ride the BART, I’m not going to get that same warm, fuzzy feeling I used to get; it has been tainted for me.

The same holds true for hostels. Like hotels, some hostels are clean, some are not, and to be honest, I just don’t know anymore. So to counter my uncertainty, I began traveling with a sleep sheet, and I’ve never slept better; it gives me peace of mind, even if it is really only a thin piece of fabric.

Before we left for Europe, Beth and I each bought sleep sheets (also known as sleep sacks), and while ours weren’t that expensive ($15-$35), it was an extra expense. And when you are on a budget, every penny counts. So, we decided to create a How To Guide for making your own, awesome sleep sheet with a spot for a pillow too!

Beth’s Two Cents:
The only thing scarier than a potentially filthy bed is the idea of a dirty pillow. With the built in pillowcase you can slide the pillow in, so your head will always rest on your clean sheet. You can also use the built in pillowcase to stuff in some of your clothing in case you don’t want to use the hostel provided pillow.

Step One: Get yourself a queen or king size flat sheet. For our sleep sheet, we are using a queen. Though, you could use two twin or full sheets sewn together. I highly recommend using an old sheet from your mother’s collection if you can. Not only is it free, but it also gives you a little sense of home when you are abroad.

Here’s our flat Queen sized sheet.


Step Two: Fold the sheet in half.

Step Three: Cut a little over 1/3 of the way down on the folded edge.

Randy hopped in to model the sheet before we sewed it, but Chachy decided to steal the scene. We used the pillow to mark where we would need to sew to make our built in pillowcase.


Step Four: Sew, stitch or fabric glue up the open side and bottom.

If you play your cards right, you might be able to get your mom to sew it – like Beth’s mom did for us. Actually, right after this photo was taken, the sewing machine broke and Beth had to hand stitch the rest of it.
This shows the four places we sewed. Simply stitch up the bottom and the side and then sew the bottom to itself to create the built in pillowcase.


Step Five: Hop in and enjoy! A little slice of home you can take anywhere around the world!

Randy all curled up in his sleep sheet.


Step Six: Remember to pack a piece of yarn or Zip Lock bag so you can wrap up your sheet in the morning!

Brooke vs. the World has asked travel bloggers to put together their best thrifty and resourceful travel tips for a helpful, free ebook. If you think you’re thrifty and would like to participate, check out the official rules so you can be part of the ebook too!

Wondering why some of these photos were taken outside and some inside? We planned on doing the entire shoot outside but we got rained out. Oops!

*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(20) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Raymond @ Man On The Lam -

    July 27, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I lost my sleep sheet somewhere along the way. It was silk and it was fabulous. Now I’m sticking to sheets (and pillows) all over Asia…I may take your excellent photos into a fabric shop and see what they can whip me up!

    • Bethany -

      July 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

      oh yeah – that’s a great idea – you could probably get it done for cheap and it would be perfectly made! I bet they can make one of out silk too! @Raymond @ Man On The Lam,

  • Sheryll -

    July 27, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I love this idea! I’m completely freaked out my gross beds, couches, seats, etc. (I know, weird phobia). Just the thought of sleeping somewhere less than sanitary makes my skin crawl. I’ll definitely be making my own sleep sheet when I set off in November!

    • Bethany -

      July 27, 2011 at 9:22 am

      Oh you’re not alone. With the rise of MRSA & Staph infections you really can’t be too careful. I never cared about that before but now it is always at the front of my mind in public places. I’m going to take this sleep sheet with me on the next leg of our trip. 🙂

  • bridgette -

    July 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    i LOVE this. such a smart and thrifty idea! Love the photos too. I need to make a sleep sheet. STAT. 🙂

    • Bethany -

      July 30, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks Bridge! Mom has a large selection of sheets!

  • Fresh From Twitter -

    July 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    […] always ends at a wise person’s ears. RT @BeersandBeans: Want a free sleep sheet 4 ur travels? @beersandbeans How to guide for making a sleep sheet! @brookeschoenman #travel Working. I live in […]

  • twoOregonians -

    July 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I’ve been (quite prematurely – we’re not leaving ’til January!) mourning the loss of my comfy bed once we hit the road. I might have to make one out of my favorite sheet from home before we leave on our RTW trip… 😉

    • Bethany -

      July 30, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      I think a homemade sleep sheet would be a great reminder of your bed. That’s a really great reason to make one! 🙂

  • Brooke vs. the World -

    July 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I love DIY travel gear, and this is the bomb! Great work, cute photos and commentary – You guys really went above and beyond my expectations. YOU ROCK!!!!!!

    • Bethany -

      July 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      I’m glad you like it Brooke! I think your ebook idea is awesome and it’s going to be full of GREAT tips! @Brooke vs. the World,

  • Diane -

    July 27, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    What a cool idea! and Chachy, little boy, I really miss you!

    • Bethany -

      July 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      He misses you too Diane 🙂 @Diane,

  • ayngelina -

    July 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Did you use your sleepsheet in Europe? I didn’t need it once in Latin America and was going to get rid of mine.

    • Bethany -

      July 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Well we camped a lot so we did use them. Actually came in great use on the farm too because some nights were pretty chilly and it was nice to have an extra little layer. I’m kind of weird though – i get weirded out if I see like a hair or something on a hostel bed and then I don’t even want to use their sheets or blankets. @ayngelina,

  • Michela @rockytravel -

    September 6, 2011 at 5:14 am

    I also love my own travel sleepsheets, (did not sew them myself though). I find them very useful, especially in hostels or when camping. This idea of a “homemade sleep sheet” is really great.

  • Rebecca -

    April 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Hi! Came across your great post and photos of making a sleep sheet. They are so expensive to buy and I worry about the quality of sheets. I thought someone had to have made them they don’t seem too complicated. I found your post. I am going to give it a go and make some for an upcoming trip to Tibet. Thanks for the great sharing!

  • Gaye -

    June 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I have a mummy bag. Was going to fold a twin sheet in half and do about the same thing you’re suggesting to do with a Queen. I used the twin last week in my sleeping bag and it seemed too big. Do you have any suggestions on how to make a sleep sack for a mummy sleeping bag?

  • Jill -

    July 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Measure your mummy bag and add about 4 inches extra in width and length. Go to the fabric store and buy a nice piece of fabric of your choosing. Tell them the width and length you need. (You may need to sew 2 pieces for your width depending on the type f fabric you buy.) You will find that the fabric store employees will be more than helpful 🙂
    Then sew as to the directions above. The extra inches are for you to do a fold-over hem.

  • Eleanor -

    February 22, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I like the idea of sleep sacks, but don’t you have to wash it every time you go to a different place? Otherwise it would defeat the purpose of protecting you from germs if you just transport the germs with your other items.