How to Make a Bed

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I’ll never forget the first time I met my friend and former roommate, Kristin. (Hi KMS!) We lived in the same dorm during our freshman year of college. “Move in Day” was characterized by parents and students milling about, arms full, carting stuff into dorm rooms.

Kristin and her mom were arguing having an animated discussion about the proper way to make a bed. I won’t tell you who won — or who was right. But, I will share how my mom taught me.

Start with a mattress pad.

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This protects the mattress from spills and excessive sweat.

Secure the fitted sheet.

Make sure the corners fit snugly. (Wondering how to fold fitted sheets when they’re not in use?)

Place the flat sheet.

This may be cause for some debate. But, if you place the right sides (the printed sides) together, then you will see the decoration when you get into bed. Tuck in the sides and foot of the sheet under the mattress.

Spread comforter over flat sheet.

Fold the excess flat sheet over the top of the comforter. This gives it a nice, smooth finish.

Don’t forget to teach your kids!

This little guy, at 6, can’t quite swing the bed making process on his own, but I make him stick around while I “help” him. This works for me.

How do YOU make a bed?

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  1. I love this post! The funny thing is that when I was moving into college myself, my roomie thought my mom was nuts for making my bed with the printed sides of the two seets facing each other “So you can see the print in bed!” (a trick I didn’t learn until…right then…my mom didn’t teach me how to make a bed unti she made my college dorm bed!) I wasn’t sure if she was right, but I’m glad to read here that someone else does it too!

  2. If you like your own covers, speaking of hubby and wife, use two really “soft” thick blankets (or duvets), no top sheet, he won’t take your covers away, you can curl up in your own comfy blanket, not tucked in, wrap your feet up as you like (there always cold), wrap around your head, roll over when you want and still be covered. Easy to make, just straighten out. When company’s coming, put your pretty bedspread over top of your comfy blankets, or daily if you prefer. When you find the soft thick blanket you just love, you will sleep like a baby. After many years of fighting with a top sheet, and hubby taking all the blankets, believe me, this is the way to go.

  3. This is how I was taught to make a bed!

    On a side note — can I ask where you got that adorable bedding? My husband is a pilot..and we love all things aviation : )

  4. oooh, you tuck the ENTIRE side of the flat sheet in? I don’t know if I can take you seriously about anything anymore. 🙂

    My husband and I disagree with how much of the sheet gets tucked in at the side. I tuck only part of the corner (folding it up on top of the bed and then tucking) so that a nice crisp rectangle is formed by all that hangs down. He tucks the entire triangle, creating some odd diagonal off the end of the bed. It makes me very uncomfortable and has taken up far too much time in our marriage. But as far as things go to “argue” about, it’s really not too bad.

    (No, we really don’t take ourselves this seriously.)

    I love your blog.

    1. ya know, I probably don’t do it all the way to the top. But, I don’t like the covers to get stolen. 😉

  5. we’re a “no top sheet” on the kids’ beds family. My husband would go without a top sheet too but i prefer it. But I definitely don’t like excess sheet at the top and if there’s a print it goes on top not face down. However, I am much more obsessive about thread count than anything. Who cares how the bed is made when you’re sleeping on 1000 thread count sheets. Sheer bliss!!

  6. We do pretty side up. But I must say, I have my 5yo making her bed every morning thanks to your morning high five you posted a few months ago. She has a day bed, and likes it pretty and all tucked in with the pillows just so. Sometimes it is a drag to get her started, but she does a good job when she does!

  7. I make my bed similar. I do not tuck in the top sheet on the sides or the bottom . I can’t stand getting in a tight bed! I like it all loose. I just have a king size quilt (our “comforter”) on a queen sized bed so it hangs long enough to cover the sheet on the bottom and sides. I also don’t fold the top sheet down over it. I just cover it all with pillows!

  8. How funny! I just did a blog post over the weekend about how to make a bed. I’m pretty type A when it comes to bedmaking.

    Printed sides together, top hem folded over the quilt, hospital corners. My boys (10, 7, 5) all know how to make a bed the “proper” way.

  9. While we parents use this more traditional method, our son adamently prefers the “no top sheet” approach and loves the texture of his blankets, which of course get washed more often… but there’s usually nothing left to make the bed with, because he usually gets out of bed and wears the blanket wrapped around him through breakfast and the early part of his day. Sometimes even in the car on the way to school! I’ve chosen not to fight this one…

  10. No top sheet for my daughter. It always ended up shoved at the bottom of the bed. She likes it better, too. All she has to do is pull up her duvet cover and she is done. I think we will do that for my son once he gets to the point of having a big boy bed. I personally prefer a top sheet, though.

  11. After a not so fun discussion w/ my 9yr old about how to make a bed and many mornings of finding the top sheet stuffed down to the bottom of my 7yr old’s bed, I am thinking of going to the duvet cover method which I personally loved, but could not convince my husband to love. First, my 9yr old will be reading this tutorial. I think she’ll take it better from Fishmama than me!

  12. Well when I was in my 20’s, I lived in Texas and worked as a certified nursing assistant and to earn m certificate I was tested on how to make a bed. I scored a perfect 10.

  13. I’m going to have to dissagree and say that I put the pretty side up. Sorry but I just like it better and I think that the side without the design is smoother. But, mostly I use solid colored sheets so it’s really not a big deal. Also, I just started making my 3 yr. old make her bed and eventhough it’s not perfect I can live with it and it gives her great confidence.

  14. We are also anti-top sheet. We all have duvets, so all you have to do to make the bed in the morning is smooth the bottom sheet (or the “grippy” sheet as we call it ;-)) and then fluff out the duvet. My kids are getting better about it, but I still have to remind them frequently.

  15. I personally don’t care if the designs go together or not, but CANNOT tolerate the “excess sheet” thing. I do not enjoy having the excess at the top. I sleep with the covers up under my chin and for some reason this irritates me to no end. I’ve even been known to remake a hotel bed that has the flat sheet excess folded down! Obsessive? Who, me? Nah!!

    1. @Laura, I’m laughing… because I am equally compulsive that my sheet has excess to tuck nicely over the blanket, so that the blanket stays clean, and any sweat and drool (it happens occasionally) goes on the sheet. 🙂 I’m always tugging my husbands side over the top, as he doesn’t care, and lets his blanket get exposed. (Eeek! lol.)

  16. We have a big debate here over how it should be tucked at the bottom. I like the tight smooth hospital corners, and hubby likes no tucking at all. The military taught us both, go figure.

  17. I have my kiddos make their bed daily. My 4 year old does pretty good. She wants it to have not bumps on it so I help her with that. My 2 year old just pulls up the sheets. Somedays he does it other days…well, mama does it but he is there too!

    I make my bed just like you explained here!

  18. When I lived in England for a semester we simply had a duvet cover (covering for down comforter that can be taken off relatively easily and washed)…..That acted as our top sheet as well as the covering for the comforter….Making your bed becomes a whole lot easier because it’s all ONE! Every week or so you pull out the comforter leaving just the duvet cover & fitted sheet to wash. Our kids can make their beds easily and so can I! We got our duvet cover cheap through Ikea.

  19. This is exactly how my mom taught me! 🙂 Now, you could discuss how to fold the corners of the flat sheet, if you wanted to cause a little discussion! LOL! I love mine perfectly made w/ “hospital corners”….my husband likes it a little looser….my dad tells of learning to make his bed in the army, so “you could bounce a quarter on it”! Have never tried that trick!!!! LOL!!

  20. As far as I, my mother and grandmother, are concerned, the ONLY way to make a bed is pretty sides together so when you get it or fold the sheets back, the pretty side shows! 🙂

  21. Completely agree about the design going “inside”… that’s how my mama taught me. 😉 (I am, perhaps, even MORE adamant about how I fold my towels, however…)

  22. Making beds is such an essential thing to learn . I so love getting into a well aired and then made bed MM makes me want to go to bed just thinking about it

  23. Our family is emphatically “anti- flat sheet”. Always have been. Never liked the feeling of them against my skin and having it all tangled up by morning was irritating. Our kids make their own beds (5&7) by simply laying their blanket smoothly over the fitted sheet and Pow-Wham-Kazowie! done. Love the tutorial. Very nice.