8 Bed-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them

well-made bed

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

How to make a bed ultimately comes down to personal preference. But there are some bed-making tips that not only will cause your bed to look neater but also make it more comfortable.

Here are eight common bed-making mistakes and how to set them right.

  • 01 of 08

    Incorrectly Putting on the Fitted Sheet

    putting on a fitted sheet incorrectly

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

    If your fitted sheet refuses to stay put, it usually boils down to one of two things:

    • You're putting it on wrong: Look at the reverse side of your fitted sheet. One of the four corner pockets will have a tag sewn into the inside seam. For the perfect no-slip fit, the pocket with the tag belongs over the bottom left corner of the mattress. "Left" is based on your view when you're lying in bed on your back.
    • The sheet's pocket depth is wrong: These days, mattresses come in a wide range of thicknesses, and the pocket depths of fitted sheets vary accordingly. When a fitted sheet does not have the right pocket depth for your bed, the corners will slip off easily (because the pockets are too shallow for your mattress) or they won't hold the sheet taut (because they're too deep). The solution here is to measure your bed for the right size of fitted sheet and get one that actually fits.
  • 02 of 08

    Buying Low-Quality Sheets

    woman putting sheets on a bed

    The Spruce / Lucianna McIntosh 

    Sheets have the power to improve or ruin your quality of sleep. Here's what you need to know, so you can rest easy:

    • 100% cotton sheets rule: Cotton sheets let your skin breathe and are less likely to stain than synthetic fabrics. They also get softer with time. Sheets with a sateen finish usually feel the softest.
    • Thread, not thread countA high thread count doesn't necessarily mean the cotton used is good quality. Cotton type is a better indicator. The best bets are Pima, long-staple Egyptian, and Supima.
    • Temperature matters: Whether you sleep on a foam mattress that retains heat or you are prone to night sweats, cotton sheets will keep you cooler because they're naturally moisture-wicking. However, if your cotton sheets aren't keeping you dry, try sheets with a cotton blended with Lyocell, an eco-friendly fiber that's known to absorb moisture (one example is IKEA's NATTJASMIN collection).
    • Change your sheets weekly: Dirty sheets can feel yucky. Changing them every seven days is a must for comfort. The rest of your bedding should be cleaned every two to three months.
  • 03 of 08

    Making Your Bed First Thing

    unmade bed

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  

    If your tossing and turning at night is fueled by an allergic reaction to dust mites, then the best time to make your bed is not right after you wake up. Dust mites need two things to survive: your skin flakes to munch on and a moist atmosphere for hydration. Making the bed first thing promotes the latter because it seals in the sweat you left on the bedding. Alternatively, if you leave your bed unmade for an hour or two, air and light will dry up the moisture, which sucks the life out of dust mites.

  • 04 of 08

    Tucking Bedding Too Tightly

    tightly-made bed

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  

    If your bedding is so tightly tucked that your feet get squished when you're under the covers, that can create an uncomfortable sleep environment. Primary Goods carries a line of bedding that offers a solution to this problem. They developed a unique snap system that attaches the top sheet to a duvet cover. The result is bedding that never needs tucking. Not only does this unique design prevent sensitive toes from being smushed, but it also stops covers from slipping off or around the mattress.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Wasting Time Ironing Sheets

    wrinkled bed sheets

    The Spruce / Lucianna McIntosh

    There's really no reason to waste your time ironing sheets—even if you hate wrinkles—for one of two reasons:

    • Wrinkles can be prevented: If you hate wrinkled sheets, don't let them get creased in the first place. Putting them on while they're still hot from the dryer should solve the problem.
    • Crinkled bedding can be beautiful: Stores like West Elm and Restoration Hardware sell purposely crinkled bedding, which can add texture to a bedroom. Using this bedding will also help to mask any wrinkles created in the wash.
  • 06 of 08

    Sharing Covers

    mismatched duvet and pillowcases

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    Even if you share a bed, that doesn't mean you have to share the bedding. That way, you won't have to put up with a blanket hog or sleep under covers that are too hot or too cold for you.

    Opt for individual blankets and sheet sets instead. You can throw a large quilt or duvet over the top to cover the separate bedding when you make your bed in the morning.

  • 07 of 08

    Sleeping With Just a Duvet

    just a duvet on a bed

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  

    If you only use a fitted sheet and a duvet, you won't have many options to adjust the temperature of your bedding throughout the night. You might either be too hot under the duvet or too cold just on the fitted sheet.

    Consider layering instead. First, add a top sheet to the mix, so it's in between you and the duvet. Just remember to tuck the sheet in, so it doesn't slip around while you sleep. Next, keep an extra blanket at the end of your bed, folding it neatly in half so it is easy to unfurl if you get cold.

  • 08 of 08

    Ignoring That Pile of Pillows

    pile of bed pillows

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida  

    Don't forget your pillows when it comes to washing your bedding. Not only do they trap dirt, oil, and bacteria, which can cause acne, but they also can trap allergens that trigger sneezing, asthma, and bloodshot eyes. Here's how you can clean up the mess:

    • Wash pillowcases every week.
    • Keep all of your pillows protected with dust mite covers that you wash every few weeks. Pillowcases go over the dust mite covers.
    • Wash pillows every two months. If you have decorative pillows that can't be washed, ditch them.
    • Consider replacing your regularly cleaned pillows every three years.
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Allergies and Sleep. The Better Sleep Council.

  2. Can Dirty Pillows Make You Sick? Cleveland Clinic.