How to make your bed – How to style like a pro

How to make your bed – How to style like a pro

Your bed is the focal point of your room, so you want it to look its best. Everything from decorative pillows to how you lay your top sheet will determine how impressive your bed is in a room. If your current setup has the basics you need for a comfortable sleep, but you want to change up the look, there are a few key elements that can help you make it happen. With these expert-recommended tips, your bed (and room) will look and feel like it was professionally designed.

Materials needed

  • Bed skirt
  • Mattress topper
  • Fitted and flat sheets
  • Comforter or quilt
  • Standard pillow
  • Decorative pillows (optional)
  • Knee blanket


To get the best bed possible, follow these steps:

Step 1: Start with the Bed Skirt

Do you have suitcases, out-of-season clothes, or other items tucked prominently under your bed? Consider hiding these items with a bed skirt. “Bed skirts, also known as dust ruffles, create a tidy look while hiding your box spring and anything stored under your bed,” says Bella Peterson, president of Molly Maids at Neighborly. “Bed skirts come in two styles: a sheet that covers the box spring and hangs over the sides, and a wrap-around style that has elastic to secure it to the box spring.” Not only are bed skirts great for hiding unsightly box springs, they also add a finished look to your bed. Here's how to put a bed skirt on your bed:

  1. Measure the height of your bed frame and the length and width of your box spring to determine the size you need.
  2. If you have a full-size sheet, place it over the box spring just like you would a flat sheet, draping it over all sides and the foot of the bed (if it's too long, gather the excess fabric in the center of the box spring).
  3. If your skirt has elastic on three sides, stretch it around the box spring so that the non-skirted side is at the headboard.
  4. Line up the seams of the bed skirt with the edge of the box spring.
  5. Put the mattress back on top.

Step 2: Add the mattress topper

No one likes a sagging, lumpy mattress (or the look of it). Breathe new life into your bed by adding a mattress topper. While not required, these luxurious additions are a great way to make an older mattress more comfortable or extend the life of a new one. “Mattress toppers are great for adding an extra layer of luxury to a basic mattress for added comfort and pampering, especially on firmer mattresses,” says Malaika Lubega, professional organizer and owner of Huza Home Concepts.

Step 3: Lay the sheets

The impact of beautiful sheets cannot be underestimated. These bedding staples complement your comforter and tie your entire vision together. To prevent wrinkles, place your sheets on the bed as soon as they come out of the dryer (or iron before laying them down). Lay your fitted sheet down first, making sure all four elastic corners fit snugly over the mattress corners. Tuck any excess fabric under the mattress so the fitted sheet will lie flat and wrinkle-free.

Contrary to popular belief, the most beautiful way to lay your top sheet is not patterned side up: “You should take a flat sheet with a pattern, turn it inside out, and fold it over just outside the pillow so the pattern is visible,” says Anna Bauer, organization expert and owner of Sorted by Anna.

Step 4: Create a hospital corner

Grace Cannan

If your flat sheets have a tendency to have messy corners, consider creating hospital-style corners. A neat sheet fold will ensure an even finish every time and keep your top sheet neat and tidy.

  1. Lay the flat sheet on the bed.
  2. Tuck the hanging fabric under the mattress at the foot of the bed.
  3. Pull the fabric that's hanging over one corner of the bed and lift it straight up.
  4. Lay the fabric on the bed so that it is at a 45-degree angle (resembling a triangle).
  5. Hold the triangular piece in place and use your free hand to tuck the hanging sheet under the mattress.
  6. Pull the triangular fold down and tuck it under the mattress.
  7. Repeat the same process on the other corner.

Step 5: Lay out your comforter or quilt

Consider your design aesthetic when deciding what type of topper to put on your bed. Whatever type you choose, the topper should hang evenly on both sides of the bed and be folded so that the fold is just in front of the pillows. “A comforter is a fluffy bedspread made of synthetic material, while a quilt has three layers: a decorative top layer, a filling layer, and a lining,” says Peterson.

Step 6: Place your pillows

Grace Cannan

Pillows are your chance to really elevate the look of your bedding. If you prefer a laid-back feel, place four standard pillows lengthwise (or lengthwise for a hotel-style, upscale look) without any decorative elements. Or you can layer shams, accent pillows, and lumbar pillows on your bed, however suits your design style. As a general rule, though, your standard bedding should always be placed against the headboard, with shams and decorative elements stacked in front.

How you arrange your pillows is up to you, but they should have their openings facing inward and facing each other, so the pillow filling isn't visible. They should also be plump to give them that magazine-style look. “I don't usually karate chop my pillows on my bed because I like them plump and straight,” says Lauren Robbins of Lauren Robbins Interiors. Instead, she tosses them on a hard surface. “This motion is usually just enough force to activate the filling, resulting in a perfectly shaped pillow,” she says.

Step 7: Add a blanket

The final element is adding a throw blanket, which can add depth to your bed and add extra warmth. “Ultimately, how you arrange your throw blanket on your bed will depend on what you think looks beautiful and is comfortable,” says Peterson. But there are a few general ideas you can try:

  • diagonal: A throw blanket draped diagonally across your bed creates a relaxing, cozy feel.
  • Straight: Laying your blanket straight at the foot of your bed will give it a neat look.
  • Folded state: For a neater look, fold the throw blanket and place it at the foot of the bed or next to the bed.

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