How to properly make-up a bed

The right way to make a bed including those elusive hospital corners.

Making your bed is something your mother told you was a necessity in life, so for years you didn't do it. Now you're a little older and have decided maybe making your bed wouldn't be so bad after all, maybe you even have someone you'd like to impress. But you're not sure where to start after all the years of rebellion.

First, let's make sure you have the proper bedding and linen. Starting from the bottom: Are there monsters hiding under your bed or just some hidden junk? To give your bed that grown-up look you might want to consider a bed skirt. A bed skirt is the size of your mattress and has ruffles or panels on two or three sides. It fits between your top and bottom mattresses. Your best bet would be a bed skirt in a neutral shade like ivory, blue, or khaki. And guys don't worry; ruffles and lace aren't your only options anymore.

Your next layer on a well-made bed is a mattress pad. These come in various prices and cushion thickness. You can even buy a down-stuffed mattress cover if you've been longing for a pillow top mattress. You can even buy plastic mattress pads if you have youngsters you are likely to wet the bed. You won't believe the difference in your comfort with a mattress pad. After the mattress pad, which fits on your top mattress with elastic corners, comes the fitted sheet.

A note on sheets - you can easily be overwhelmed by the selection out there. Satin, silk, jersey, flannel, thread counts. The higher the thread count the tighter the weave of the fabric and the higher the quality and comfort of the sheets, you'll also notice the price rises in accordance with thread count. Some people swear they can't sleep on less than 400 count sheets. But you'll find that a thread count of 275 to 300 can serve your purposes just fine, with no complaining. Another comfortable sheet set without the high price are those made from t-shirt or jersey knit fabrics. These have the soft feel of your favorite old t-shirt.

Fitted sheets are easy enough to put on your bed, but soon comes the tricky part - those flat sheets with neat hospital corners. First, line your flat sheet up with the top of the bed and make sure the sides are hanging evenly. Next, tuck the end between the top and bottom mattress. Don't be afraid, stick your whole arm in there and make sure the sheep is snug and lying flat. If you do this part right, making your bed everyday will be a breeze. Next you're going to grab the corner of the sheet directly below the end of the mattress and bring it up to the top edge towards the top of the bed forming a taut triangle. Holding your triangle in place, push the remaining fabric between the mattress. Let go, and wah-la, you've got perfect hospital corners.

After a break to call your mother to shock her with your newest accomplishment, you're ready to pile on the blankets and/or comforter that will make up the covers on your bed. If it's winter, you might want to place a thermal blanket between your sheets and the top covers. Bed coverings don't have to be fancy to look great. Color is important though, as well as texture. You can find nice comforters at discount stores. Once again you may want to go for neutral colors if you're having a hard time deciding. If you've got a down comforter, you'll want to cover it with a duvet which is a fabric covering for your comforter. Duvets are open at one end and make taking care of your comforter a easy as you can remove and wash it anytime. Plus they look great.

Now you're ready for pillows. For the most comfort and a polished look you'll want four pillows for a full size bed. Two should be covered in regular pillowcases. Note: you should wash your pillowcases once a week to get rid of all the oils your hair and face leave behind. The other two pillows might be covered in decorative shams, which are large complete casings for your pillows that can bring the look of your bed together. All you need now is a nice throw blanket at the foot of the bed and someone to cuddle with.

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