Heading Out on Your Own — Day 7: How to Make a Bed

by Brett & Kate McKay on August 7, 2012 · 19 Comments

in Heading Out On Your Own, Visual Guides

Spread out bottom, fitted sheet and fit corners of sheet around corners of mattress. Stand at foot of bed and spread top sheet over fitted sheet. The end of the sheet with the large hem goes at head of bed. Leave a small space between top of sheet and head of bed. At foot of bed, tuck end of sheet between mattress and box springs. Ensure sheet lays smoothly between the two. Make a hospital corner on one side of mattress at foot of bed. Grab and lift the draping sheet from the side about 16 inches from foot of bed. Fold the sheet back over the mattress. (image of hands lifting sheet up from that point. the attached image labeled "nurse1" is a good depiction of this step)  Frame 5: Tuck in triangle-shaped lower drape between mattress and box springs. Hold the corner in place with your free hand and fold the top drape over. You want the fold on the top drape to form a 45-degree angle. Repeat on opposite corner of mattress. Tuck in sheet on both sides of the bed. Repeat process with blanket. Put pillow in case and back on head of bed. Add comforter. Smooth everything down.

Why make your bed? Well, not only does doing it every day build your discipline, which strengthens your willpower, keeping your place looking orderly helps conserve your day-to-day willpower supply as well, so you can channel it into more important tasks. Plus it just looks nice, and it feels really good to get into a made bed when you turn in each night. If you want to learn a military-style method for a tighter result, here’s how to make a bed you can bounce a quarter off of.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leia August 7, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Ahhh….memories of Navy Boot Camp surfaced just now. I have to get back to making my bed this way….with the hospital corners.

2 Zenobius August 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm

This is a nice hotel-like bed you’ve made there. But in reality, and if you don’t want to change your sheets each week, I propose leaving the bed untidy and even getting the sheet and quilt from the bed. We sweat in the night, we leave our epidermis on the pillow and on the quilt, and on the sheets. With moist from our sweat it’s the greatest food for bedworms. The best thing you could do is to leave the bed to dry. Don’t cover it with quilt, just leave it to dry completely. It will be more hygienic for longer time.

3 Patrick August 7, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I just want to know what size bed that is. That’s massive.

4 Airman Wilson August 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm

It’s actually easier to do the hospital corners with the sheet and the blanket at the same time…but I’m not sure why you would want to cover up that work with a comforter.

Protip: To get some really snappy corners, utilize a large straight edge like a binder to tuck the sheet in and pull the angled sheet over. Just like we did in basic.

5 LBN the 3rd August 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm

like a boss, I tell ya’

6 Wes August 8, 2012 at 2:30 am

After living in Europe for several years, I honestly have to say that a duvet is the way to go.

7 Andrew K August 8, 2012 at 4:48 am

I could never make a satisfactory bed.
And at this point in my life, all I have as a blanket is a sleeping bag.

8 Thegoddess August 8, 2012 at 8:28 am

@ zenobius…. You don’t change your sheets weekly?… Really???? Ewwwww

9 Mike B August 8, 2012 at 8:38 am

“and it feels really good to get into a made bed when you turn in each night.”

Going to have to disagree, like in a Seinfeld episode, I don’t like the tuck.
I need freedom, but it does look nicer I agree.

10 Jason Hull August 8, 2012 at 8:46 am

Augh! I’m having flashbacks to morning inspections from plebe year at West Point!

11 Sergey August 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm

For an added touch, fold the pillow side of the blanket over twice maintaining a palm’s width in the fold for its entire length. Then put the pillows flush against the fold. We had to do this in bootcamp, and I gotta say, I always liked how it looked. It makes your rack look like fitted suit.

12 Jordan August 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Don’t parents force you to make the bed, at least a couple times while growing up? To wash dishes? To clean up your room? How to vacuum? Wash yourself? Do laundry? IF this is the case, then parents have really taken a step back in the parenting department.

13 Steve August 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I love sleeping in a bed with tucked sheets, and my wife abhors it. You guessed the compromise – my side is tucked in, hers is not. Martha Stuart would no doubt highly disapprove.

14 Jeff August 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Agree with the others. Flashback to my time at Basic Training. Still a great way to make a bed, but my wife hates it. Sheets are too tight.

15 stefn777 August 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Two tips:
>I have heard that dust mites thrive if the bed is made soon after rising; so I pull off the top sheet/blanket and “fluff” them; then let it sit and air out while I get ready for the day. I then make my bed after breakfast.
> Being almost as tall than my bed is long, I make my hospital corners on the foot of the bed, rather than the side.

16 RAK August 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Yeah, graphic 2 does make the bed out to be unusually long.

I agree with Wes. Toss a duvet on it.
– Sheet, check.
– Duvet, check.
Done.

17 John August 12, 2012 at 6:52 am

Luckily I knew this one. HEaded to BMQ soon so that is at least one think I already know. lol

18 jceyes August 16, 2012 at 9:20 am

As a top-bunk child who never once made a bed until living at college, I think this article overlooks the single biggest benefit of a keeping the bed made:

It is very helpful, perhaps even essential, to the pursuit of having someone join you in that bed.

19 Joe August 20, 2013 at 8:47 am

I haven’t made a bed since I was 12 and I never will again. And that is an awesome feeling.

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