How to Make Your Bed Like a Pro

beautifully-made bed

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

Make your bed like a professional, so it looks straight out of a professional decorator’s dream. Made neatly enough to win a drill sergeant’s approval, topped with perfectly positioned shams and throw pillows, and finished with a contrasting throw blanket folded just-so at the foot of the bed—your bed will look too good to mess up when it’s time to go to sleep!

Don't fear, it doesn’t take that much time to make your bed up right—with the added benefits of sheets protected from a sleepy pet taking a snooze, plus the enjoyment of entering a bedroom at the end of a long day to find a bed that truly invites you to lie down and relax. With these helpful steps, your bed will always look its best while giving you the comfort you deserve.

Begin With a Bed Skirt

Not every bed needs a bed skirt, but if yours is a mattress atop a foundation with an exposed metal frame, then skirt the bed to conceal the unattractive frame and casters. Plus, when you hide the area underneath your bed, it becomes a great place to store out-of-season clothing, sporting goods, or other bulky items.

white bed skirt
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

Bring in Extra Padding

A mattress topper adds a layer of extra comfort to your bed. It might not show, but you’ll feel the difference at night.

Lay a Fitted Sheet

Smooth, comfortable sheets can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and a night spent trying to get comfortable. Though some purists might insist you need to iron your sheets before making a truly great-looking bed, that won’t be necessary if you remove them from the dryer as soon as they are dry and either fold them for storage or put them right onto the bed.

  1. Start at one of the upper corners of your mattress, and pull the fitted sheet’s elastic down and over the mattress corner. Now smooth the sheet out, and repeat on the other upper mattress corner. Move to the foot of the bed, and finish pulling the fitted sheet into place, smoothing out all the edges and taking care to cover the entire mattress.
  2. Now it’s time for the flat sheet. Lay it over your mattress (if the sheet has a printed design on one side, then face the printed side down), and spread the sheet out, pulling the upper hem to the top edge of your mattress, and centering the sheet so it drapes evenly over both sides of the bed. Smooth away any creases.
  3. Tuck the bottom of the flat sheet under your mattress, and then move to the side. Grab the corner of the sheet that’s hanging out at the foot of the bed, and fold that corner up until it’s against the side of the mattress. Now tuck in the flat sheet, keeping the folded corner tightly in place to create a neat crease. Repeat on the other side. Do your best to achieve a neat fold at the mattress corners, but don’t agonize over it. Leave 12 to 18 inches of flat sheet untucked at the top of the bed.
neatly folded and tucked sheets
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

Add More Comfort

If you use a blanket for extra warmth, lay it on the bed and adjust so that the top hem is roughly a pillows-width below the upper edge of the mattress. Spread the sides of the blanket evenly over the mattress, and tuck the blanket in following the same procedure as with the fitted sheet.

Choose Your Topper

Whether you choose a quilt, bedspread, comforter, or duvet, this piece sets the tone for your bedroom style. Lay your bed topper over the blanket (or fitted sheet if you prefer not to use a blanket) and adjust so the topper is evenly draped over all sides of your mattress. Keep the top of the comforter a pillows-width below the top of the mattress. Now fold the exposed top of the top sheet down over the topper, and tuck the sides in snugly.


The Trick to Putting on a Duvet Cover (Without Going Nuts!)

Place Your Pillows

Fluff your sleeping pillows, and prop them against the headboard with the open side of the pillowcases facing the nearest side of the bed. If you use European shams, these come next. Place your regular shams in front of the European shams, then finish off with no more than three throw pillows—generally, a couple of rectangular or square pillows and a rounded bolster look best. Remember that there is no law saying you have to use shams or throw pillows, but if you want your bed to be truly styled, take the extra few seconds to put pillows in place.

throw pillows arranged on a bed
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Throw Layers on

For a crowning touch, fold a throw blanket, thin quilt, or extra blanket, and layer it across the foot of the bed.

blanket folded at the foot of the bed
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida