I used to be a maid, and this is how to make a bed the right way

I promise it’s easier than you think

A bed with pink bedding and pink pillows next to a coffee table.
(Image credit: Getty)

The reality is that for most of us, changing the sheets is one of those tasks that we (ever-so-slightly) dread. It’s annoying and a lot of work and, to be totally honest, can feel like a mammoth task.

However, when you actually take the time to change your bed and freshen it up with clean, neatly folded bedding, it makes a seriously big impact on not only the look and feel of your bedroom but also on your mood. Just imagine how dreamy it’ll feel to slip into clean, fresh, crisp sheets. 

While the task itself can def feel a little hellish, once you’ve nailed the process it becomes far easier —  promise. How do I know? I’ll let you in on a little secret: I spent my high school years working at a fancy hotel as a chambermaid. So, when it comes to bedding — and how to make a bed (without too much fuss or stress) — I’ve got you covered. 

How to make a bed

Good to know

Time: 10 minutes 

Difficulty: Easy

Helpful hints: Whatever you do, don’t strip your bed before leaving the house with the intention of making it when you get home, because I can promise you that when you walk back into your bedroom (having forgotten you’ve pulled the sheets off before you left) you’re going to seriously regret it. If you’re removing your bedding, always make sure to re-make the bed right away. 

How to make a bed

Step 1: Get your bed linen ready  

Make the process easier by getting everything that you’ll need to make your bed ready. Grab the clean sheets, bedding, and anything else that you’ll need. I like to keep entire bedding sets inside their matching pillowcase to make them easier to spot and so that I don't end up with mismatched pillowcases, because ugh. You can actually buy bed sheet organizer bands, though — these Amazon ones went viral on TikTok and are so handy.

Step 2: Strip the bed 

Next, remove the old bedding from the bed. First, take the duvet cover off the comforter (if there is one). Then, remove each pillowcase, the top sheet, and the fitted sheet. Place the used bedding into your dirty laundry basket, ready to be washed. 

Step 3: Add a fitted sheet 

The great thing about fitted sheets: no need for tucking. All you’ve gotta do is slip the sheet over each corner of the mattress and you're done. To make getting the sheet on the mattress easier, work on hooking one corner of the sheet over one corner of the mattress at a time. Start with the bottom two corners, and then move onto the top two. In order to fit the sheet over the entire mattress, it’s important to make sure that it’s properly spread out. Oh, and FYI, if you’ve got a deep mattress, you may want to opt for a deep fitted sheet (like this one from DeaLuxe at Amazon) or go up a size for ease (and comfort). 

Step 4: Add a flat sheet (optional) 

Whether or not you add a top sheet is a judgement call. Some love it, others hate it. If you’re someone who loves the feel of sliding between two crisp sheets (think: major hotel vibes), then a top sheet is a total must. But how do you add a top sheet to your bed? 

Okay, so you wanna start by spreading the top sheet over the fitted sheet and aligning the hem of the sheet with the top of the mattress, making sure that the sheet is spread evenly over the bed. Oh, and don’t forget to check that there’s the same amount of sheet hanging over both sides. Next, tuck the sheet at the bottom and top of the mattress underneath it, ensuring it’s smoothly tucked and pulled tight. Then, tuck each edge underneath the mattress, again pulling the sheet tight and making sure the material is smoothly tucked and isn’t rumpled up under the mattress. 

You can tuck this sheet in with your hands, obvi, but some people like to use a coat hanger to help. Otherwise, you can actually buy a bed-making tool (like this wooden one from Amazon) which helps you to tuck in your sheets as tight as you can, without risking breaking a nail. IYKYK.

Step 5: Put your comforter cover on  

The next step is to add a new comforter cover (if you're in need of a new duvet insert, don't miss our expert guide). For this, some people opt to simply open the cover and stuff the comforter inside it, slowly pushing each corner of the comforter to the edges of the cover, before shaking it out. 

Others prefer to use the inside-out method. To do so, turn your duvet cover inside out and lay it on top of your comforter, making sure that all the corners and edges are properly aligned. Then, place your hands inside the cover until you reach the top two corners, and grab the matching comforter corners through the material. Once you’ve got hold of the corners of both the comforter and cover, you can then start to pull the cover down over the comforter, turning it back around the right way as you go. Once the entire comforter is encased in the cover and all the edges and corners are aligned, shake it out and lay it on the sheets. 

Step 6: Add your pillowcases 

The next step is to add new pillowcases. To put the pillowcases onto your pillows (if you need new pillows — they only last two years max FYI — our best pillows guide can help) you can either stuff the pillows into the open cases or you can use the inside-out method above. Once you’ve put fresh cases on, add your pillows to the top of the mattress, stacking one on top of the other. 

Step 7: Add a throw blanket

Once the rest of your bed is made, you can then add your throw of choice. Lay the blanket out on the bed and pull it up to just below the pillows, and then carefully tuck the base of the throw under the bottom of the mattress (along with the sheets and the bottom of the comforter). Pull the sides down, making sure that each side of the bed has an equal amount of throw hanging from it. 

Step 8: Turn the bedding down

Finally, take the top of the throw, duvet, and top sheet and carefully fold them over, pulling around five inches of the material down the bed and neatly folding it over. 


How to make a bed quickly?

To make a bed quickly, opt to use a fitted sheet and skip the flat or top sheet. For the comforter and pillows, use the inside-out method to get the covers onto them more quickly. Simply lay the comforter or duvet and pillows on the mattress and straighten them, without taking the time to tuck the duvet under the mattress or fold it down. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.