Easy Tips To Make Your Bed Like A Pro

And to have the cutest bed on the block (no filter necessary).

There are those of us who make their bed daily and those who do not. Plain and simple.

Those in the “you should definitely make your bed” camp have their reasons, which include productive philosophical notions such as (very easily) achieving a feeling of accomplishment first thing in the morning. If you start your day by making your bed, you’ve already done a thing—congrats! Check one off the ol’ to-do list.

Bedmakers claim that getting into a made bed at the end of the day even helps them to sleep better and relax. Individuals who make their beds are likely to also find immense satisfaction in proper organization (e.g., their closets are probably color coordinated)—therefore their whole vibe is improved by the sight of a neatly made bed.

Video poster

Nonbedmakers aren’t just lazy. They’ve got their own reasons for leaving the sheets in a kicked-off knot at the foot of the bed and the comforter doing its best cumulus cloud impression, pillows unabashedly askew. Studies have shown that unmade beds may help to get rid of dust mites, which tend to thrive in high-moisture environments. If you live someplace with high humidity, making your bed could be trapping the dust mites beneath your tucked in sheets, where they can happily eat, poop and breed without exposure to sun, like vampires. This is definitely not a proven scientific certainty—but if you were looking for an excuse to not make your bed, this seems like a great argument.

Another solid excuse to not make your bed is the notion that bed making is dangerous! You’re much more likely to hurt yourself bending over tucking in those sheets and squatting down low to the floor, and doing all of those tricky maneuvers that could tweak your lower back. Bending over is for the birds! (But hey, you could hurt yourself doing literally anything.)

Well, since you asked…

Hey, we’re not your mama. We can’t make you do anything.

But should you choose to make your bed, we’ve got your covered with this how-to guide. Anybody can just fluff some pillows and straighten out a comforter. But if you’re the type of person inspired by Marie Kondo properly folding fitted sheets and want to achieve a tight tuck a la a Navy SEAL, check out our instructions. Let’s get that bedspread Insta-worthy in 8 layers or less.

How to properly layer your bed coverings

Started at the bottom now we’re here.

Mattress protector

  • You can extend the life of your mattress with a mattress protector, which is sort of like a fitted sheet that goes around your entire mattress. They’re washable and help to create a healthier sleep environment by protecting your (expensive!) mattress from spills, stains, night sweats and other various bodily fluids.
  • Mattress protectors also provide a barrier between your and allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander and potential mildew growth that could occur in your mattress.
  • Mattress protectors also come in waterproof fabric:
    • Polyurethane is a super thin, flexible membrane that is virtually undetectable and totally silent during sleep. It’s breathable and stops liquids from penetrating its cover but still allows for airflow—maintaining a comfortable sleeping temperature at night.
    • Plastic and vinyl may be less expensive options, but more audible as you roll around on them.

Dust ruffle and/or bed skirt (They’re not just for grandmas!)

  • These are perfect for hiding exposed metal frames or underbed storage, so your bedroom doesn’t give off dorm room vibes.
  • Your dust ruffle or bed skirt should just barely graze the floor—no shorter or longer! Who doesn’t love a perfect hem?

Mattress pad or topper

  • This guy adds an extra layer of comfort (and you don’t hate comfort, do you?!). They also come in a variety of cooling fabrics, firmness enhancers or textures, like the beloved egg crate foam. If you opted for a cheaper mattress (or inherited one), a topper or mattress pad can be an effective way to give your mattress a quick makeover.

Fitted/bottom sheet (aka the one that’s impossible to fold correctly)

  • Cotton is king. Cotton is naturally comfy, cozy and keeps you warm and dry by being breathable. Plus it’s durable and long-lasting—actually getting more comfortable the more often it’s washed, versus deteriorating. There are a billion types of cotton to choose from. Here are a few examples:
    • Upland is cheap and widely available, but tends to pill.
    • Egyptian is pretty pricey, but strong and flexible. This is probably the most popular sheet fabric, and there are many variations of it.
    • Pima is strong and soft, but also expensive. It’s similar to Egyptian cotton in its qualities and comfort, but grown in the US.
    • Supima is the most high-end, as it is hypoallergenic, strong and oh so comfy. It also tends to retain its color the best of all the cottons. Supima cotton is a fancy brand of pima cotton.
  • Bamboo has such a unique feel. It’s silky, breathable and soft.
  • Flannel is made of wool, so it obviously keeps you warm, but is not super breathable. It tends to be very affordable, though.
  • Silk sheets are super delicate, naturally hypoallergenic, and very soft (and very expensive).
  • Linen is crazy strong and will gradually become more comfy over many washes (if you’re patient like that). It can be pretty stiff and starchy to begin with, though. But you’ll probably have these sheets forever and ever. Like, they’ll outlive you.
  • Polyester sheets are cheap and stain- and wrinkle-resistant, but they’re less absorbent and therefore don’t stay cool as well. Polyester is man-made and is usually blended with cotton for sheets.

Top sheet

  • Picking out the best sheets is an important decision because you’ll be spending lots of time between them. See the above descriptions for fitted sheet fabrics, and select which one is best for you. Usually, you’ll buy sheets in a set, so your fitted and top sheet will be the same material. Do you want organic or man-made sheets? Is being hypoallergenic an important attribute for you? What’s your budget?
  • The thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the softer the sheet. You’ll probably want to buy sheets that have a thread count in the 200–800 range.
  • Get a good weave.
    • Sateen is soft and polished, but less durable.
    • Combed cotton eliminates all of the short fibers, leaving only the long ones. This creates super soft and durable material, similar to pima and Egyptian cotton.
    • Percale is your standard weave. It is a soft and durable sheet with a minimum thread count of about 180.

Midlayer blanket

  • Wool is a natural fiber that will keep you crazy warm, so it’s best for winter months or colder climates.
  • Synthetic blankets, such as acrylic or polyester, can be super soft, cozy and comfortable, too. They come in a wide variety of weights and materials, so you’ve got lots of options.

Comforter, duvet or quilt

  • Comforters are generally the warmest layer on the bed (and fluffiest!). They are one solid piece of blanket stuffed with a filler. Popular comforter fillers are typically either goose or synthetic down but can also be cotton, wool or silk. Depending on your budget and desired level of warmth, you’ve got tons of options within the comforter fill realm. A comforter is meant to be used without a cover.
  • Quilts are a lighter option than a comforter. And they tend to be adorbs.
  • Duvets + duvet covers are like a fitted sheet/comforter combo deal. Duvet inserts are similar to comforters, but are generally meant to be tucked inside a duvet cover, not used solo. Duvet covers are handy because they’re easy to remove (however annoying they are to put on), making cleaning a breeze, without having to dry-clean an entire comforter.

Pillows, pillows and more pillows

  • How many is too many? That answer does not exist. The more the merrier.
  • Down, foam, latex, gel, silk: pillow options are endless! So are their shapes. Some come with built-in nooks for your arms if you’re a belly sleeper or ear holes for people who sleep with headphones in. Choose one, or choose them all.
  • We like to keep a basket near the bed to store all those decorative pillows when not in use (translation: while you’re actually in the bed). Tossing them on the floor each night and then back onto the bed in the morning is not the best way to keep your sacred bed zone dust- and dirt-free.

How to make your bed

  • Snap on that fitted sheet, making sure the sides and elastic corners are really tucked in well.
  • Lay out the top sheet smoothly across your bed, making sure that it hangs evenly on all sides. (For bonus cute points, try putting your flat sheet pattern-side down so when you fold it back, the pattern shows!)
  • For hospital corners:
    • Start at one corner of the foot of the bed, lift the mattress and tuck the hanging sheet along the foot of the bed. The excess fabric should now be hanging on the side of the mattress.
    • Grab that excess fabric, lift it up and place it on top of the mattress. The edge of the sheet will form a 45-degree angle with the corner of your mattress.
    • Hold the fabric forming a 45-degree angle and tuck in the hanging fabric along the side of the mattress, and let the sheet fall.
    • Adjust the edge of the sheet to the corner of the mattress, and tuck in.
    • Repeat on the opposite corner.
  • Spread out your (optional) midlayer blanket on top of the tucked-in top sheet. You can also do hospital corners on your blanket, or simply tuck it in around the bottom and edges so that it isn’t visibility dangling out from beneath your comforter or quilt.
  • Top the bed off with your comforter, duvet or quilt. Shake it out smooth so it doesn’t wrinkle or bunch.
  • For serious aesthetic vibes, add a throw blanket or additional coverlet at the foot of your bed. This is also a bonus opportunity to add a burst of color or texture to your bed.
  • Fluff those pillows!
    • Arrange the sleeping pillows in the back, with the open sides of the pillow cases facing out.
    • Shams are also the perfect way to add pattern and color to your bed without committing to loud sheets or duvet covers. Shams are #decorativeaf and come in both standard (rectangular) or European (square) sizes.

How often should you wash your bedding?

  • Sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers should be laundered once a week (at least!).
  • Comforters can be dry-cleaned once a year, or washed weekly if you’re not using a comforter with a specialized fill.
  • Mattress covers can be washed monthly.
  • Bed skirts should be washed 1–2 times a year, or every few months to prevent triggering allergies from any collected dust.

Extra credit

  • Treat your bedroom to some aroma therapy by adding some yummy smells to your bedroom. Febreze Light Fabric refreshes the room and adds a light, soothing herbal scent. It also helps eliminate unsavory odors coming from your laundry basket or stinky shoes.

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