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What is the Best Way to Make a Bed?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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There are many theories on the best way to make a bed. Some homemakers and home experts insist on clean lines and taut angles, while others prefer a comfortable pile of soft fluffy fabrics. Deciding the best way to make a bed depends on the user's personal preference about style, comfort, and neatness.

One of the terms most often used when discussing how to make a bed is hospital corners. These regimented folds ensure that sheets do not slide around or become uneven. Many military organizations, including the United States military, insist that soldiers know how to properly make hospital corners to conform to regulation standards. Although these may be tricky at first, smooth and taut sheets help make a bed look clean and fresh.

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To make perfect hospital corners, begin with an ironed sheet and lay it symmetrically over the bed, so that fabric hangs down equally on all sides. Tuck the short end of the sheet in smoothly, being sure to leave the corner hanging down, as you will need it to make the folds. Grasp the long side of the sheet a few inches from the corner, and fold up over the bed so that the corner of the sheet lays horizontally alongside the mattress. Tuck in any extra fabric below the mattress, then drop the sheet back over the side of the mattress and tuck underneath. Although sticklers will insist that a properly made bed will have corners at an exact 45 degree angle, be aware that mattress pads, bulky fitted sheets, and wrinkled sheets will make this exactness impossible.

Blankets are typically laid over the top sheet and may be tucked in or left to hang free. A quilt, duvet, or coverlet is laid on top of blankets to make the top layer of the bed. Some people like to add a folded blanket at the end of the bed for extra warmth if required, especially in colder climates.

In terms of pillows, there are many schools of thought on the organization and amount needed to make a bed correctly. If using a thin coverlet and only one layer of pillows, fold back the top of the coverlet, place the pillows at the head of the bed, then pull the coverlet neatly over them, with the top edge folded back slightly. For thick comforters or a myriad of pillows, consider piling pillows artfully on top of the completely made bed.

Remember that beds must be practical. While a bed covered in 20 pillows may be attractive in a magazine, it generally means that the floor will be littered with shams, fancy rectangular pillows, and neck rolls before the night is over. In areas with a temperate climate that changes throughout the year, consider getting a lightweight comforter and accenting with less expensive blankets as the year gets cooler.

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