How to Properly Make a Bed in 8 Easy Steps

A Step-by-Step Tutorial for creating a beautiful bed
Filed Under > Life Skills

How to properly make a bed in 8 easy steps, Waiting On MarthaHow to properly make a bed in 8 easy steps, Waiting On MarthaHow to properly make a bed in 8 easy steps, Waiting On Martha

My bed is my oasis.  It’s as simple as that.  And that oasis doesn’t end in my bedroom.  When I have guests in town, I want them to feel like they have their own little slice of heaven in the guest bedroom, too.  Part of that “slice of heaven” feeling is crisp sheets and covers on a well made bed.  The problem, I’m actually not so great at making the bed.  I keep telling myself it’s because I don’t have my dream machine yet, (the Miele Rotary Iron), and once I have room for that sweet piece of machinery there’s no bed I won’t be able to conquer.  But since it doesn’t look like the Miele will be joining the Rye household anytime soon, I figured it’s probably time I taught myself how to fold hospital corners, and that dang fitted sheet once and for all.  

You may remember this bedroom scene from our recent One Room Challenge final reveal.  Well this gorgeous Pine Cone Hill bedding became the ginny pig for my “how to properly make a bed” challenge.  I Googled, and You Tubed, and tried out about a dozen different techniques to “properly make a bed,” and when it was all said and done, came up with the eight below.  And because we could all use a little refresher now and then (and some added inspo for holiday hosting this weekend!), I’ve outlined those eight easy steps to properly make a bed below.  And I’d love to hear if you’re a bit Type-A when it comes to making the bed, any tips??  Truly, MKR

P.S.  On a side note, this bed made me decide it’s time to do away with duvets; I’m Team Quilt going forward!  I mean it just lays so much nicer then a duvet, does it not??

No. 1…Iron your sheets. There’s no denying the look of crisp, smooth bedding.  The only true way to achieve it, unfortunately, is by pulling out the iron (or the Miele…please Santa)! It’s a pain, yes, but it’s totally worth it to find wrinkle-free sheets come bedtime.  And if you’re considering steaming don’t.  Steaming may release a few wrinkles, but it does nothing for crispness.

No. 2…Place your fitted sheet on the bed. After pulling your mattress pad smooth, tuck the fitted sheet in tightly on top of your mattress and mattress pad.  Also take this moment to flip or turn your mattress…a key tip in making your mattress last longer.  And take a vacuum to it while your at it.  

No. 3…Drape your flat sheet on the bed, pattern side down. By placing the flat sheet pattern side down, you’re saving the full presentation of the properly dressed bed for guests when they climb into it. Oooooh, mystery and intrigue for your guests; I like it!

No. 4…Layer a blanket on top of the flat sheet.  “Hospital corners” are the secret to a perfectly made, crisp bed…that’s all there is to it. To get the look, pull the flat sheet’s long edges and a blanket away from the corners of the bed, forming a 45 degree angle on top of the mattress.  Slide your hand under the mattress and tuck the side edges of the sheet and blanket underneath.  They should form a crisp crease. This video helps demonstrate the steps if you’re a visual learner like I am! 

No. 5…Fold down the blanket with your flat sheet.  Draw the top of both your blanket and flat sheet down about a foot in length.  By tucking the side edges under the mattress, you’ll have a taut fold. 

No. 6…Add a comforter, duvet or quilt.  Spread your topper of choice over the bed.  You can leave the sheet and blanket you just folded in #5 visible. Here, this silky smooth linen and viscose quilt drapes to perfection atop the bed.  Go Team Quilt!

No. 7…Add pillows (the more the merrier). I’m a firm believer that one can never, ever have too many pillows. But when making a bed, I usually stick to having a standard six pillows or more.  I know the 5-pillow combination is popular (with a small throw pillow front and enter), but I prefer an even, stacked look.  I arrange two Euro shams in the back (usually in a print like pictured above), with two standard pillow shams (matching the comforter if possible), and two small throw pillows.  Discover your favorite pillow arrangement with the help of One Kings Lane here

No. 8…Finish with a folded coverlet or throw blanket at the foot of the bed if desired. Lastly, and it’s not pictured here, I like to fold a cozy throw blanket at the foot of the bed.  It gives guests yet another cozy, huggable addition to a heavenly bed.  And think about switching out your throw seasonally.  Might I suggest a faux fur for colder months and a nice light cotton quilt for warmer months.


Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha 

As pictured: bed skirt c/0 | quilt c/o | euro shams c/o | standard shams c/o  | sheets | throw pillows | lamp c/o | headboard | side table c/o | urchin 

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