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Matt:

In hotels and motels, why does the bottom sheet only extend to the end of the mattress? It isn't tucked in, and when you are tall and/or a restless sleeper, the bottom sheet gets all messed up. Going from not enough tucking to too much tucking, these same people who leave the bottom sheet free tuck in the top covers along the side of the bed, so when you fold back the covers to get into bed, the bottom sheet comes out on the side, and you have to tuck it back in. Maybe that's why fancy places have turn-down service, but we tend to stay at more modest establishments. We would love to know if there is a real reason behind these practices, or are they just custom?

-- Sylvia in El Cajon

The closest we could come to a reasonable excuse for all this tucked/untucked business has to do with saving time. But the establishments we checked with were pretty shifty in the explanation department, so there may be some big sheet conspiracy going on that only the FBI can crack. Anyway, if the sheet isn't tucked in at the foot of the bed, it takes less time to make that bed. Pull back the blankets without untucking them from the foot, whip off the sheets, put new sheets on, pull the blankets back up. One usually reliable M.A. mole says that cheap motel sheets are cousins to cheap motel towels -- not quite big enough to do the job. So in some cases, there might not be enough to tuck in fully at the head and the foot, and the feet lose. The side tuck seems to be an option. Some require it, some don't. And with luxury hotels trying to outdo one another in service, the next feature after the turn-down and the pillow mint will be a room-service grandma to read you a bedtime story.

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