How to Make a Perfect Bed in 5 Steps

Making the perfect bed so that it looks like a hotel bed may seem difficult at first.

To make your bed look perfect, secure the fitted sheet by tucking each corner diagonally in turn, tuck the top sheet using hospital corners, drape the duvet over the top sheet with the same amount of overhang on each side, fold 6 inches of the top sheet over the duvet, and fluff your pillows.

The rest of this article walks you through the process of making a perfect bed step-by-step.

How to Make Your Bed in 5 Steps

To be totally honest – I hate making my bed.

Whether it be battling with the duvet or watching the corners of the fitted sheet pop up – there’s nothing that I really enjoy about the process.

That’s why I’ve boiled this bed making strategy down to the essential steps to reduce frustration and save time.

I’ve also included a few ‘hacks’ for dealing with the typically problematic fitted sheet and duvet cover to spare you of the anguish.

Here’s how you can make your bed look amazing in 5 steps.

1: Strip the Bed

If it’s wash-day then you don’t need to do this step because your bed will be a blank canvas anyway.

Otherwise, remove all of the bedding except the fitted sheet so that you can make your bed up from scratch.

If you have allergies then be sure not to plonk your bedding on the floor because it may pick up extra allergens like dust or pollen – use a clean wash basket instead.

2: Secure the Fitted Sheet

If the fitted sheet isn’t already attached to the mattress then you’ll need to put it on.

The easiest way to ensure that you’re putting the fitted sheet on the right way is to identify which corner the care tag is sewn into and make a mental note of which corner of the mattress this corresponds to so that you can get the positioning right every time.

Also, having striped sheets can help because you’ll know which direction they’re supposed to run in once the fitted sheet has been secured properly for the first time.

Now, I’m sure that you hate it when the first corner pops off as you try to secure the second corner as much as I do.

So the easiest way to stop this from happening is to secure the second corner that’s diagonal to the first one that you’ve already secured – rather than trying to work around the corners in sequence.

You’ll probably have to lift the mattress slightly so that you can get the elasticated corners to fit far enough under the mattress.

Take care to keep your back flat, your abs tight, and to lift through the knees when working from a low position – since it can be surprisingly easy to hurt your lower back when battling with a mattress.

3: Add the Top Sheet and Duvet

If you don’t use a top sheet then you can skip this step.

Otherwise, spread the top sheet over the mattress evenly and ensure that the large hem goes at the top of the bed.

If you want your top sheet to look tight and crisp like it belongs in a 5 star hotel – then tuck the sheet under the mattress using ‘hospital corners’.

How to Make a Hospital Corner

Here’s how to make hospital corners step-by-step [1].

  • Start at the foot of the bed by tautly folding the top sheet under the bottom of the mattress – this will create a flap on each of the adjacent corners.
  • Take hold of one of the corner flaps and pull it taut – around 15-16 inches away from the bed.
  • Lift this flap on top of the mattress so that the bit that you’re holding creates a line that runs back to the corner of the mattress at a 45 degree angle and hold it in place.
  • Still holding the sheet in place, tuck the bit of the sheet that’s hanging out under the edge of the mattress with your other hand.
  • Now tuck the part of the sheet that you’re holding that’s creating the 45 degree angle under the mattress in the same spot where you just tucked the previous bit to create a tight looking top sheet.
  • Repeat for the other corner.
Learn How to Get the Perfect ‘Hospital Corner’ When Making Your Bed

How to Put on the Duvet Cover

Next, simply place your duvet cover on top of your flat sheet.

Make sure that the duvet is spread evenly across the bed with the same amount of overhang on each side of the bed.

Leave around 6 inches of top sheet showing beneath the duvet at the top of the bed for use in the next step.

If you’ve just washed your sheets and you need to put your duvet cover back on, the easiest way to do this is to turn the duvet inside out, reach through the cover to grab the corners, and then grab the corresponding corners of the duvet.

Still holding on to the corners, begin to shake the duvet until the cover turns itself the right side out and the section where the duvet buttons up meets the corresponding edge of the duvet.

Close up the bottom of the duvet cover and shake the duvet until all 4 corners of the duvet fit snugly into the corners of the duvet cover.

4: Fold the Top Sheet

Take the 6 inches of the top sheet that you left exposed in the last step at the top of the bed and fold it down over the duvet cover.

For that look of extra military precision, tuck the edges of the sheet that you just folded down under the mattress (you’ll need to tuck the duvet/blanket too for it to look right).

5: Apply the Finishing Touches

All that’s left to do now is to add the finishing touches.

To do this, fluff up your pillows by pushing the edges together like an accordion.

If you have any decorative cushions or pillows you can place them artfully over the sleeping pillows.

To get the creases out of your top sheet or duvet you can mist them very lightly with tap water from a spritzer bottle and pull the sheets tight.

The combination of water and tension will help to smooth the wrinkles out.

Bed Making FAQs

The 5 steps above should be enough to give you the perfect looking bed time after time.

But here are the answers to some of the most common questions regarding making your bed.

How Can You Stop the Fitted Sheet From Coming Off?

Earlier on, I explained that if you attach the fitted sheet by tucking the corners that are diagonal from each other in sequence then this should stop them from popping off the mattress.

But what if you’re waking up in the morning with the fitted sheet untucked and strewn across the bed?

Well, if you’re sure that you’ve tucked the corners of the fitted sheet evenly then you may be dealing with a shrinkage problem – especially if your mattress (plus the topper if you’re using one) is more than 14 inches thick and you don’t have deep pocket sheets.

What’s the Easiest Way to Put on a Duvet Cover?

I absolutely HATE putting on a duvet cover.

This is the easiest way to put on a duvet cover that I’ve personally used:

  • Lie the duvet on top of your bed to make sure that it’s the right way around.
  • Turn your duvet cover inside out.
  • Place the duvet cover on top of the duvet to make sure that they line up and that you’re not going to put it on the wrong way around.
  • Reach inside the duvet cover and grab the corners.
  • Now grab the corresponding corners of the duvet.
  • Shake the duvet until the sheet turns itself the right side out.
  • Keep shaking until the corners and edges of the duvet and the duvet cover line up.
  • Button the bottom of the duvet cover up.
  • Shake one last time to ensure the corners of the duvet fit snugly into the cover.

Should You Use a Mattress Pad?

I don’t personally use a mattress pad but they can be useful for protecting your mattress from getting dirty and stained.

This can be especially useful if you have a memory foam mattress since the foam tends to be quite absorbent and can therefore pick up stains quite easily.

How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

You should wash your sheets, duvet, pillow cases and anything else that comes into contact with your skin each night every 7-14 days to keep your bed hygienic.

If you have allergies then you might need to wash your sheets more often to remove allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.

Check out my sheet washing guide for more detailed instructions.

What’s the Best Way to Stop Sheets From Wrinkling?

Wrinkles can ruin the look of your bed.

So as well as following the guidelines in my guide to wrinkle free sheets, the best way to limit wrinkling without ironing your sheets is to buy sheets that are resistant to wrinkling.

Click the button below to see the best wrinkle free sheets that you can buy online – plus a comprehensive buying guide to help you shop with confidence.

Sources and References

[1] WikiHow – How to Make Your Bed. Accessed 18/2/20.

Image Attribution and Licencing

Main image: ‘Modern Stylish Luxury Bedroom With a View Window’ by Stephan Karg – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.