Diving into a super comfy bed at the end of a long day is one thing, but laying down on one that also looks like a page out of a magazine can make bedtime a next-level experience. With the right essentials, a few decorative touches, and some pro-level bed-making tips, yours can look just as good as one you’d find in a luxury hotel.
Why make the bed anyway?
Making your bed is actually one very simple way to set the tone for a productive and successful day. By checking this small task off your list, it’s likely that you’ll gain enough momentum and motivation to continue tackling bigger to-do’s. And with practice, making your bed neatly takes only a few minutes.
What layers belong on your bed?
When it comes to dressing up your bed, it’s safe to say there are infinite ways to do it. Depending on the season and your style preferences, your bed could have multiple layers of sheets, blankets, and pillows; some of them functional, some of them purely ornamental. The key to achieving a bed that’s both comfortable and stylish? Begin with the essentials and add on from there.
Mattress. The cornerstone of your bed and the single most important layer for quality sleep. There’s no amount of fancy bedding that can compensate for a subpar mattress. If you’re not sure how to choose the one for you, check out our How to Choose the Right Mattress guide.
Mattress protector. After taking the time to pick out your perfect mattress, you’ll want to add this protective layer. A mattress protector will help keep your mattress cleaner, defending against dust mites, dead skin, and accidental spills and stains.
Fitted sheet. A fitted sheet (the one with the stretchy elastic band) serves as an added protective layer for your mattress, and also ensures a smooth and comfortable surface for you to rest upon.
Comforter. Available in all kinds of different weights depending on the season, a comforter is meant to be the main warmth layer on your bed. And since it also covers a large portion of the bed, it serves a decorative purpose as well.
Pillow(s). Obviously, sleeping pillows are essential for your comfort (we’ll cover decorative pillows next). The number of sleeping pillows you choose boils down to personal preference, but as a general rule of thumb, keep one sleeping pillow per sleeper on the bed.
How to fold a fitted sheet
Because of the elastic piece, fitted sheets aren’t exactly a perfect rectangle. So folding them takes a little bit of technique. Here’s how to fold a fitted sheet:
1. Find the corners on one side of the sheet and insert your hands into them, holding it up in the air.
2. Fold one corner over the other and repeat this on the other end of the sheet.
3. Turn the sheet so that all four corners are folded over your hands again. The sheet should be folded in half now.
4. Just as you did in step 2, fold one set of corners over the other.
5. All four corners should now be draped over one hand and the elastic part should create an L-shape.
6. Lay your folded sheet on a flat surface and fold the edges inward, creating a rectangle shape.
7. Fold your rectangle in half.
8. Voila! You’ve just neatly folded your fitted sheet!
Additional bed layers
If you enjoy a minimalist, no-frills bedroom, great! You can stick with just the basic five layers we outlined above. But if you prefer, there are a few additional pieces you can add to maximize your comfort, cleanliness, and style points even further.
A mattress topper is a foam layer that rests directly on top of your existing mattress. In addition to enhancing softness, different kinds can help regulate your sleeping temperature or promote freshness.
A flat sheet is intended to act as a barrier between you and your comforter, keeping it cleaner longer. Flat sheets hold up better than comforters to frequent washing and are easier to care for overall, so they’re generally a good idea. Although, many of us struggle with tucking them in while making the bed. By mastering hospital corners, you’ll get perfectly creased corners and a nice, tidy tuck every time.
1. Lay the sheet flat on the bed with equal amounts hanging around the sides and foot of the bed.
2. Tuck the hanging portion at the foot of the bed beneath the mattress.
3. On the side of each corner, there will be a folded panel now hanging down. Pull it up from the bottom edge of the sheet and lay it on the top of the bed, creating a triangular-shaped fold.
4. From here, tuck in the corner portion that’s still hanging below the bottom of the mattress.
5. Pull down the triangular-shaped fold from the top of the mattress and tuck it underneath, smoothing out any wrinkles and creating a clean crease that lines up with the corner of the mattress.
A blanket consists of a single layer of material and is typically placed beneath the comforter for added insulation and warmth. Sometimes, a blanket may take the place of a comforter in warmer climates or seasons.
Similar to a pillowcase in concept, a duvet cover slips over your comforter. Like a flat sheet, it eliminates contact between you and the comforter, preserving your comforter’s cleanliness. It’s a great option, especially for those that tend to get tangled up in a flat sheet. Duvet covers come in all kinds of decorative patterns so you can switch yours up as your tastes change.
Knowing how to put on a duvet cover can be challenging since there’s a lot of fabric to wrestle with. We recommend one of the following methods to make it easier:
Method 1: Traditional way
1. Turn the cover inside out and lay the comforter on your bed. Insert your hands into the two top corners (opposite of the open end) and grasp the bottom corners of your comforter.
2. Holding both the comforter and cover corners, pull the comforter corners through the cover, flipping the cover right side out and pulling the comforter inside while doing so.
3. While still holding the corners, give the whole thing a good shake to entirely cover the comforter insert.
4. Zip or button up the duvet cover and lay it out over your bed. All done!
Method 2: California roll
1. Turn the cover inside out. Lay it evenly over your bed, and lay the comforter on top of it.
2. Starting from the closed end of the cover, roll up the cover and comforter completely.
3. The open end of the cover should be exposed now. Invert it, stuffing the roll inside and wrapping it over the entire thing.
4. Zip or button up the opening.
5. Unroll the bundle, smoothing out any wrinkles or bunched areas along the way.
6. Your comforter is officially covered! Finish making your bed and enjoy.
And on any luxurious looking bed, a fluffy, cloud-like duvet is a must. To achieve a more voluminous effect, try putting two lightweight comforter inserts into one cover, or try using a larger size comforter inside of a smaller size duvet cover (for example, put a king size comforter into a queen size cover).
While some people might use their throw pillows in creative ways for propping themselves up or getting comfy as they sleep, their primary purpose is decoration. And they come in all different shapes and sizes, ranging from Euro to lumbar. When arranging them, a good rule of thumb is to start in the back with the largest ones and decrease the sizes from there.
When it comes to storing pillows or linens, a bed with built-in storage like our Wanda Platform Bed Frame can be a huge help.
There’s no simpler way to style your bed than with a soft, cozy throw strewn casually over the end of the bed. It takes almost no effort, and gives your bed an inviting, homey feel.
Keeping your bed clean
In addition to making it look like a dream, taking regular steps to keep your bed clean can also dramatically improve the way you sleep.
A few times a year, you should clean your mattress to maximize its longevity and your comfort. Regular cleaning can minimize bacteria, dust mites, and odors that can disturb sleep. Aside from a good deep mattress cleaning, here’s how to keep your bed fresh from day to day:
- Spray the top of your (uncovered) mattress with an essential oil mattress spray each time you change your sheets.
- Whenever possible, open windows or doors to let fresh air circulate through your bedroom.
- Keep the rest of your bedroom clean. Deep cleaning the rest of the room with regular vacuuming and dusting will ultimately keep your bed cleaner longer. (And don’t forget to clean underneath your bed frame!)
- Choose a mattress or topper that helps promote long-lasting freshness, like our Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress or Green Tea TorsoTec® Memory Foam Mattress Topper.
How often should you wash your sheets and other bedding?
For best hygiene, it’s recommended that you wash your sheets at least every two weeks. This includes items like fitted sheets, flat sheets, and duvet covers since they come directly in contact with your skin. And since pillowcases tend to retain a lot of the dirt and oil on your face, it’s best to wash them even more often—about once a week.
Comforters, if protected by a duvet or flat sheet underneath, can go much longer between washes. It’s recommended that you clean your comforter 2 - 3 times a year.