How to Make a Bed: A Comprehensive Guide

Making a bed might seem like a simple, mundane task, but doing it properly can significantly impact the look and feel of your bedroom. A well-made bed can create a sense of order and cleanliness, provide a welcoming retreat at the end of a long day, and even contribute to better sleep hygiene. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about making a bed, from the basic steps to advanced techniques, as well as tips for choosing the right bedding and maintaining a neat and comfortable sleeping environment.

Why Making Your Bed Matters

Aesthetic Appeal

A neatly made bed instantly makes a room look tidier and more inviting. It creates a focal point in the bedroom and sets a tone of organization and cleanliness. This simple act can transform the entire ambiance of the room.

Psychological Benefits

Making your bed can have significant psychological benefits. Starting your day with a small, accomplished task can boost your mood and provide a sense of productivity. This can set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Admiral William H. McRaven famously emphasized the importance of this daily habit in his commencement speech at the University of Texas, stating that making your bed can give you a small sense of pride and encourage you to accomplish more tasks.

Improved Sleep Hygiene

A well-made bed contributes to better sleep hygiene by creating a comfortable and inviting sleeping environment. It helps keep your bedding clean and reduces the risk of allergens, dust mites, and other irritants. Moreover, slipping into a neatly made bed can make your bedtime routine more relaxing and enjoyable.

Basic Steps to Making a Bed

Step 1: Clear the Bed

Start by removing any items from the bed, including pillows, blankets, and any decorative elements. This ensures that you have a clean slate to work with and can make the process more efficient.

Step 2: Put on the Fitted Sheet

A fitted sheet has elastic edges that help it stay in place. To put it on:

  1. Identify the corners: Find the two shorter ends and the two longer sides of the sheet.
  2. Fit the corners: Start with one corner at the head of the bed and fit it over the mattress. Repeat this with the opposite corner on the same side.
  3. Stretch and secure: Move to the other end of the bed and fit the remaining two corners over the mattress, ensuring that the sheet is smooth and snug.

Step 3: Lay Down the Flat Sheet

The flat sheet goes over the fitted sheet and can be tucked in for a neater appearance:

  1. Align the sheet: Spread the flat sheet evenly over the bed, making sure that it hangs evenly on both sides.
  2. Tuck the foot of the sheet: Tuck the foot of the sheet under the mattress, creating hospital corners for a crisp look (more on this later).
  3. Fold over the top: Fold the top edge of the flat sheet down to create a neat border.

Step 4: Add the Blanket or Comforter

Next, add a blanket, comforter, or duvet:

  1. Align and spread: Lay the blanket or comforter evenly over the flat sheet, making sure it hangs evenly on all sides.
  2. Tuck if desired: If you prefer a neater look, you can tuck the sides and foot of the blanket or comforter under the mattress.

Step 5: Place Pillows and Decorative Elements

Finally, arrange your pillows and any decorative elements:

  1. Standard pillows: Place your standard sleeping pillows at the head of the bed, either lying flat or propped up against the headboard.
  2. Decorative pillows: Add any decorative pillows or shams in front of your standard pillows.
  3. Throws and blankets: Add any additional throws or blankets for an extra touch of style and comfort.

Advanced Techniques for Making a Bed

Hospital Corners

Hospital corners create a crisp, tailored look and help keep your sheets in place. Here’s how to achieve them:

  1. Tuck in the foot: Tuck the foot of the flat sheet under the mattress.
  2. Create a flap: Lift the side of the sheet about 12 inches from the foot of the bed to create a flap.
  3. Tuck the corner: Tuck the hanging part of the sheet under the mattress, forming a neat corner.
  4. Repeat: Repeat this process on the other side of the bed.

Layering Bedding

Layering your bedding can add texture and depth, creating a luxurious look:

  1. Start with the basics: Begin with the fitted sheet, flat sheet, and primary blanket or comforter.
  2. Add layers: Add additional blankets or quilts for warmth and style. Fold them at the foot of the bed or drape them over the entire bed.
  3. Incorporate textures: Use different textures and fabrics to add visual interest. Combine smooth sheets with knitted throws or velvet blankets.

Decorative Pillows and Throws

Decorative pillows and throws can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your bed:

  1. Pillow arrangement: Arrange pillows in layers, starting with the largest pillows at the back and smaller decorative pillows at the front.
  2. Throw placement: Drape a throw blanket across the foot of the bed or over one corner for a casual, inviting look.

Choosing the Right Bedding


When selecting sheets, consider the following factors:

  1. Material: Common materials include cotton, linen, bamboo, and microfiber. Each material has its own feel and properties.
  2. Thread count: Higher thread counts generally indicate softer and more durable sheets. Aim for a thread count between 200 and 800.
  3. Weave: The weave of the fabric affects its texture and feel. Percale is crisp and cool, while sateen is smooth and silky.

Blankets and Comforters

Choose blankets and comforters based on your climate and personal preferences:

  1. Material: Options include down, down alternative, cotton, wool, and synthetic fibers. Down is lightweight and warm, while cotton is breathable and cool.
  2. Weight: Consider the weight of the blanket or comforter. Heavier options are ideal for colder climates, while lighter options are better for warmer weather.


Selecting the right pillows is crucial for comfort and support:

  1. Fill: Common pillow fills include down, feather, memory foam, and polyester. Each type offers different levels of support and firmness.
  2. Loft: The loft of a pillow refers to its height and thickness. Choose a loft that aligns with your sleeping position (e.g., side sleepers may need a higher loft for neck support).

Decorative Elements

Incorporate decorative elements to enhance the look of your bed:

  1. Pillow shams: Use pillow shams to add color and texture. Match them with your bedding or mix and match for a more eclectic look.
  2. Bed skirts: Bed skirts can hide the space under the bed and add a finished look. Choose a style that complements your bedding.
  3. Throws and blankets: Use throws and blankets to add warmth and style. Choose colors and patterns that coordinate with your bedding.

Tips for Maintaining a Neat and Comfortable Bed

Regular Washing

Keep your bedding clean and fresh by washing it regularly:

  1. Sheets and pillowcases: Wash sheets and pillowcases every one to two weeks to remove dirt, sweat, and allergens.
  2. Blankets and comforters: Wash blankets and comforters every few months, or more frequently if needed. Follow the care instructions on the label.
  3. Pillows: Wash pillows every six months to keep them fresh and free of dust mites.

Rotating Bedding

Rotate your bedding to ensure even wear and prolong its lifespan:

  1. Sheets: Rotate between multiple sets of sheets to reduce wear and tear.
  2. Comforters and blankets: Rotate comforters and blankets seasonally to prevent uneven use.
  3. Pillows: Rotate pillows to maintain their shape and support.

Proper Storage

Store your bedding properly to keep it in good condition:

  1. Fold neatly: Fold sheets, blankets, and pillowcases neatly to prevent wrinkles and creases.
  2. Use storage bags: Store extra bedding in breathable storage bags to protect it from dust and moisture.
  3. Avoid overcrowding: Avoid overcrowding your linen closet to prevent damage and allow air circulation.


Making a bed is a simple yet impactful task that can enhance the look and feel of your bedroom. By following the basic steps, incorporating advanced techniques, and choosing the right bedding, you can create a comfortable and inviting sleeping environment. Regular maintenance and proper storage will ensure that your bed remains neat and cozy, providing a restful retreat at the end of each day. Embrace the art of bed-making and enjoy the benefits of a well-made bed.