These instructions are written to apply to a single bed, although if you are looking at making a bigger bed such as a double or a king-size, you'll just need larger bed linen and a greater amount of pillows.

What you'll need

  • One bed complete with mattress
  • Two bedsheets of relevant size to the bed
  • One duvet of similar size to the sheets
  • A duvet cover
  • A couple of pillows
  • A couple of pillow slips


This is quite often poo-pooed by more amateurish bed-makers, but ironing your sheets makes it so much more easy to apply them neatly to the bed. They're really easy to iron, just make sure your iron is set for its usual setting for whatever material your sheets are made of. (most commonly cotton or linen)

Covering The Duvet

OK, we'll start with the mammoth task of covering your duvet with its cover. This can take an age for those new to bed-making but with the marvels of modern research, the best method has been proved to be the inside-out method, the steps for which are as follows:

  1. Turn the duvet cover inside-out.
  2. Reach inside the cover and grab the two corners on the far end. Use these like a pair of gloves to grab two adjacent corners of the actual duvet.
  3. Lift up the duvet cover, keeping a tight hold on both the cover and the duvet. As you lift, the cover should fall into place over the duvet.

Remember to close the cover by whatever means provided when you've finished these steps, lest the duvet spills out during use causing irritation at bed time.

Covering The Pillows

A surprising amount of people neglect to partake in this most important part of bed-making. Not only does covering your pillows make them match the duvet cover, but it increases the lifetime of your pillows by years. When you sleep, your body temperature tends to be rise because of the fact you are all wrapped up, causing you to sweat. Since your head is a major loser of heat, this sweats, causing the secretion of sebum which gets mixed up with all the oils in your hair, causing an uncovered pillow to go yellow in colour and smelly very quickly, requiring replacement.

Luckily covering your pillow is very much the same process as covering your duvet but on a much smaller scale. Some people like to put two pillows in one slip but personally I like the flexibility that putting one pillow in each slip offers.

Applying The Sheets

Not everyone likes using two sheets, opting instead for for just the sheet covering the mattress and the duvet directly on top of that. If you are one of these folk, only read the next paragraph and then skip ahead to the next sub-heading.

Take one sheet and hold it by two adjacent corners on one of the shorter sides, and lift it over the bed, positioning it on the mattress as you would like it. Then, go around the edges of the sheet and tuck them under the mattress. If you, like me, have a bed that is attached to the wall, do that side first and lift the mattress up to tuck the sheet in. Aim to tuck the sheet in to such a tensity that the sheet doesn't become untucked during the routine tossing and turning of a night's sleep, but not necessarily so tense that a 10p piece will bounce off of it.

Now for my personal favourite, the top sheet. Take a sheet and position it in the same way over the bottom sheet as you did for the bottom sheet. Now, before you tuck, fold the end third of the sheet nearest the headboard down towards the foot of the bed. Now tuck the sheet in, aiming for the same tightness as with the bottom sheet. Hey Presto! you have now applied and tucked in your sheets to the same standard as in any five star hotel!

The Finishing touches

Now that you have your sheet(s) as you like, take the pillows and arrange them how you like them along the headboard. Then, take the duvet and put that across the mattress, ensuring that the fasteners keeping the duvet inside the cover are at the foot of the bed. (not the side or the top) Either bring the top end of the quilt up to partially cover the pillows, or fold one of the top corners diagonally down into the middle, according to your preference.