How to Make a Bed: Layer By Layer in 8 Steps

March 10, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team
illustration of a bed on purple background illustration of a bed on purple background illustration of a bed on purple background

If you’re waking up feeling groggy, your unmade bed from the night before could be the culprit — people who make their bed every morning are 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep each night. Although thinking about how to make a bed probably isn’t on the top of your to-do list in the morning, making your bed can start you off feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. 

Keep reading for our step-by-step guide on how to make your bed, including ways to style your bedding and tips to keep your sheets looking fresh and neat.

Illustration of a bed pointing out each layer

1. Start With a Bed Skirt

While bed skirts aren’t necessary, they’re great for concealing storage boxes or an unsightly bed frame — just be sure to iron it beforehand so you have a clean, wrinkle-free bed skirt. Here’s how you’ll want to put on your bed skirt.

How to Put on a Bed Skirt

  1. Remove your mattress from the bed frame. 
  2. If you have a full-style skirt, lay the bed skirt over your box spring in the same orientation as your frame.
  3. If you have a three-sided elastic skirt, carefully place the bed skirt around your bed, lining up the skirtless side with your headboard. 
  4. Carefully align the stitches of your bed skirt with your bed frame. 
  5. Place your mattress over the bed skirt. 

2. Add the Mattress Topper

A mattress topper is a wallet-friendly way to turn your bed into a cozy sleep haven. Mattress toppers can transform your current mattress by adding a few extra inches of comfort to create a soft and buoyant feel, keeping you cool and cozy through the night. Just be sure to look for a mattress topper with a viscoelastic bottom so it doesn’t slip around during the night.

How to Add a Mattress Topper to Your Bed 

  1. If your mattress topper doesn’t have a non-slip viscoelastic bottom, add non-slip pads to the top of your mattress to keep the topper in place. 
  2. Roll the mattress topper out on top of your mattress, making sure it’s aligned with the four corners of your mattress. 
  3. Add the rest of your bedding as usual. 
CTA for mattress toppers

3. Use a Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors may not be as glamorous as throw pillows or blankets, but they are an essential part of keeping your bed clean for the long-term. A good mattress protector can help you sleep worry-free without affecting the feel or comfort of your sleeping surface. Other benefits of mattress protectors include:

How to Add a Mattress Protector to Your Bed

  1. Starting at the upper corner, pull the mattress protector over the corner of your mattress (and mattress topper if applicable) as you would a fitted sheet.
  2. Repeat this with all four corners, making sure each corner is properly tucked underneath. 
  3. Put on the rest of your bedding as usual. 

4. Put on the Fitted Sheet

Fitted sheets cover your mattress to form the base layer of your bedding. Most fitted sheets are sewn with elastic edges to help keep everything in place, so it’s important to get the correct sheet sizes for your bed size or the edge measurements may be off.

How to Put on a Fitted Sheet

  1. Lay your fitted sheet on top of your mattress, in the same lengthwise orientation. 
  2. Pull one corner of the fitted sheet over the side of your mattress, starting at the most difficult corner to reach. 
  3. Check to make sure that the seam on the corner of your fitted sheet lines up with the top of the mattress. 
  4. Repeat this with each of the four corners, checking to make sure no corner slipped out of place while putting on the next. 

5. Put on a Flat Sheet

Flat sheets form a protective layer between yourself and your comforter or duvet, preventing body oils or dirt from transferring to your top layer. But the need for flat sheets is a debated subject — nearly 6 in 10 Americans think flat sheets are essential, while others opt out of flat sheets altogether. 

Whether you’re team flat sheet or not, you can’t deny that finding the right material  can make all the difference. Whether you prefer breathable percale sheets or irresistibly soft sateen sheets, using the right sheets can help you sleep like a baby.

How to Use a Flat Sheet

  1. Lay the flat sheet across your bed in the same orientation as your bedding. 
  2. Center the flat sheet on your bed, making sure there’s enough of the sheet to fold under on the sides and end of the bed. 
  3. Check that the top edge of your top sheet is aligned with the top of your mattress. 
  4. Fold the bottom of your top sheet underneath your bedding.
  5. Do hospital corners with the sides of your flat sheet (see instructions below). 

How to Do Hospital Corners

Hospital corners are a type of flat sheet fold that makes your bedding look crisp and neat. Here’s how to fold them perfectly. 

  1. Fold the end of the top sheet under the end of your mattress — the sides should still be hanging loose. 
  2. Grab a piece of the top sheet one to two feet away from the end of the bed. Lift this piece up at a 45-degree angle from the corner of the mattress. 
  3. Lay this piece on top of your mattress, it should make a triangular shape at the foot of your bed. Hold this piece in place, and tuck the excess sheet under your mattress. Try to make sure the excess sheet is tucked neatly, rather than crammed underneath for best results. 
  4. Let the triangle-shaped section down and tuck any edges that hang below your bed underneath the mattress. 
4 step illustration of how to do hospital corners

6. Place the Comforter or Duvet

While some might use the term comforter or duvet interchangeably, these two types of top-layer bedding are actually quite different. While a comforter is a single piece of quilted bedding that sits on top of your sheets, a duvet is made of an insert and a cover — similar to a pillow and pillowcases. 

Duvets are typically easier to wash since you can toss them in the laundry, but putting on a duvet cover isn’t always an easy process. While comforters require no assembly, they may require special laundering — although they’re cleaned less often, since most people with comforters use a flat sheet. 

How to Put on a Duvet or Comforter

  1. Lay the duvet or comforter on top of your bedding in the same orientation as your bed. 
  2. Make sure there’s an equal amount of duvet or comforter material hanging over each side of the bed. 
  3. If you prefer tighter sheets, fold the edges of your duvet or comforter under your bed. If you prefer a loose look, leave it as is. 
  4. Take the top sheet and duvet together in your hands, and fold them down so you can see the pattern on the inside of your sheets. 

7. Add Pillows

Once your sheets are in order, you can get started beautifying your bedding. The size and type of pillows you use can make a difference when you’re determining how to make a bed. 

Heavier pillows like memory foam likely make a great base pillow, while lighter materials like down pillows are perfect for using as focal pillows because they are so light and lofty. Whether you prefer the functional look of two standard pillows or love the elevated feel of Euro shams, styling your pillows adds the perfect finishing touch when making your bed. 

How to Arrange Pillows on a Bed

  1. Fluff your sleeping pillows by grabbing both sides and squeezing them together.
  2. Lay the pillows at the head of your bed, in the space between your folded duvet and headboard or wall. You can arrange these pillows in many different ways, including stacked on top of each other, accented with throw pillows, or supplemented with European shams. 
  3. For a trendy lived-in look, “karate chop” your pillows down the middle once they’re in place. 
  4. Add any throw pillows in front of your sleeping pillows.
illustration of 6 ways to style pillows on a bed

8. Finish With Throw Blankets on Your Bed

Throw blankets are perfect for snuggling up at night, but what do you do with them in the morning? You can make throw blankets part of your room decor by styling them on your bed to look trendy and effortless. Whether you use a soft, cozy fleece blanket or a stress-relieving weighted blanket, you can add that special finishing touch when deciding how to make a bed look nice. 

How to Put a Throw Blanket on a Bed

  1. Take your throw blanket and fold it in half (or scrunch it up for that organic lived-in look). 
  2. Style it across the foot of your bed, with the length of the blanket spanning the width of your bed. 
illustration of 3 ways to style blankets on a bed

Getting in the habit of making your bed every day can help you start your day feeling refreshed. Whether you meticulously tuck your hospital corners or just want your duvet to look neat at the end of the day, making your bed is the first step to setting yourself up for a great night’s sleep. 

Ready to hit the hay? Consider getting some cozy sheets to make your sleep just that much better.