Hands fluffing pillows to achieve a pristine bed look

Achieve Hotel-Quality Bed-Making: Step-by-Step Guide for Impeccable Guest Room Comfort


Making a bed may seem like a mundane task, but it plays a crucial role in creating a welcoming and comforting environment in any guest room. A well-made bed reflects cleanliness, care, and attention to detail, offering a glimpse of the overall quality of hospitality provided. Whether managing a hotel, an Airbnb, or your own home, perfecting the art of bed-making can transform a guest's experience, providing them with a sense of warmth and luxury.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk through each step to help you master the art of bed-making, ensuring that every guest feels pampered from the moment they step into the room.

Starting with the Basics: Preparing the Bed

Before diving into sheets, duvets, and pillows, it's important to lay the groundwork by properly positioning the bed and ensuring the area is ready for the rest of the setup.

Positioning the Bed

The bed serves as the focal point of any guest room, so its placement is critical for both aesthetics and practicality. Ideally, the bed should be centered within the room, leaving adequate space on each side for nightstands or other furniture. Ensure that there is enough room for guests to move around comfortably and access both sides of the bed.

If you're working with a smaller room or an unconventional layout, consider placing the bed against a wall or in a corner. Just make sure to leave ample space for easy access and for making the bed properly.

Safety Measures

Positioning the bed might require some lifting and shifting, which could strain your back if done incorrectly. To prevent injury:

  • Bend your knees and lift with your legs rather than your back.
  • Ask for assistance if the bed frame is heavy or awkwardly shaped.
  • Avoid twisting your spine while moving heavy furniture.

It's also important to kneel properly while making the bed to reduce back strain. Place a cushion or knee pad on the floor to make kneeling more comfortable.

Home owners positioning the bed

Image by freepik

Laying the Foundation: Sheets and Hospital Corners

A well-made bed starts with crisp, clean sheets that are properly fitted and securely tucked. This creates a comfortable and inviting sleeping surface for guests.

Choosing the Right Sheets

Selecting the right sheets involves considering the fabric, thread count, and fit. Here's what to look for:

  • Fabric: Cotton and linen are popular choices due to their breathability and comfort. Cotton sheets come in various weaves, such as percale (crisp and cool) or sateen (soft and smooth). Linen sheets are known for their durability and moisture-wicking properties.
  • Thread Count: Aim for a thread count between 200 and 400. Anything higher may result in sheets that are too heavy and less breathable.
  • Fit: Choose fitted sheets that snugly cover the mattress without slipping off. For flat sheets, ensure they are large enough to tuck securely under the mattress.

The Technique of Hospital Corners

Hospital corners are essential for keeping the bottom sheet in place and creating a smooth, wrinkle-free surface. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Place the Sheet: Lay the flat sheet on the mattress with the top edge aligned with the head of the bed. Ensure that the sheet hangs evenly on both sides.
  • Tuck the Bottom End: Tuck the bottom end of the sheet tightly under the mattress, ensuring it's smooth and flat.
  • Create a Triangle: On one corner at the foot of the bed, lift the excess sheet hanging over the side to form a 45-degree angle. The sheet should now resemble a triangle.
  • Tuck the Triangle: Tuck the triangular portion of the sheet under the mattress.
  • Fold and Tuck: Bring down the remaining part of the sheet and tuck it under the mattress along the side of the bed.
  • Repeat: Repeat this process for the other corner at the foot of the bed.

This technique ensures that the sheet stays securely in place, providing a neat and professional look.

The Second Layer: Adding the Duvet

The duvet adds warmth, comfort, and an element of luxury to the bed. Choosing and arranging it properly can significantly enhance the bed's overall appearance.

Choosing the Right Duvet and Cover

Selecting the appropriate duvet and cover requires considering the climate and the preferences of your guests. Here's a guide:

  • Duvet Fillings: Down and synthetic fillings are the most common options. Down provides excellent warmth and breathability, while synthetic fillings are hypoallergenic and more affordable.
  • Tog Rating: The tog rating indicates the duvet's warmth. Choose a lightweight duvet (4.5-7.5 tog) for warmer climates, a medium-weight duvet (10.5-12 tog) for mild climates, and a heavy-weight duvet (13.5-15 tog) for colder regions.
  • Duvet Cover Material: Opt for a duvet cover made of breathable materials like cotton or linen. A high-quality cover adds to the bed's overall comfort and aesthetic appeal.

Inserting the Duvet into the Cover

Inserting the duvet into its cover can be tricky, but with the right technique, it becomes manageable. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn the Cover Inside Out: Lay the duvet cover inside out on the bed, with the opening at the foot.
  2. Align the Corners: Place the duvet on top of the cover, aligning the corners.
  3. Roll Together: Roll the duvet and cover together, starting from the head of the bed.
  4. Invert the Cover: Once fully rolled, reach inside the cover and grab the corners of the duvet. Invert the cover over the rolled duvet.
  5. Shake and Adjust: Unroll the duvet and shake it out to ensure an even distribution inside the cover. Secure the opening with buttons, zippers, or ties.

Hygiene and Aesthetics: Final Adjustments

These final adjustments ensure that the bed looks immaculate and remains hygienic throughout the guest's stay.

Person smoothing out wrinkles on a duvet for a polished look

Adjusting the Duvet

Properly positioning the duvet creates a visually pleasing and inviting bed. Here's how to adjust it:

  • Align the top of the duvet with the head of the bed, leaving a slight overhang to cover the pillows.
  • Smooth out any wrinkles or lumps, ensuring the duvet lies evenly across the bed.
  • Tuck the sides of the duvet neatly under the mattress if a more tailored look is desired.

Minimizing Exposure to Dust and Microbes

Maintaining a clean and hygienic bed requires regular laundering and proper protective measures. Here are some tips:

  • Encasing Pillows and Mattresses: Use hypoallergenic pillow and mattress protectors to minimize dust mite exposure.
  • Regular Laundering: Wash sheets and duvet covers at least once a week. Duvets and pillows should be laundered every few months.
  • Sunlight Exposure: Occasionally air out duvets and pillows in direct sunlight to kill bacteria and freshen them up.

Finishing Touches: Pillows and Decorations

The right arrangement of pillows and decorative elements can transform a simple bed into a luxurious retreat.

Pillow Arrangement

The arrangement of pillows depends on the size of the bed and personal preferences. Here are some common pillow arrangements:

  • King-Sized Bed: Use two euro shams at the back, followed by two king-sized pillows, and finally two standard or decorative pillows at the front.
  • Queen-Sized Bed: Arrange two euro shams at the back, followed by two standard pillows, and finally two decorative pillows at the front.
  • Twin-Sized Bed: Use one euro sham at the back, followed by a standard pillow and a decorative pillow at the front.

To achieve a polished look:

  • Fluff the Pillows: Give the pillows a good fluff to restore their shape and ensure they are plump and inviting.
  • Layer from Back to Front: Start with the largest pillows at the back and work your way forward with smaller pillows.
  • Vary Textures and Colors: Mix and match textures and colors to add visual interest without overwhelming the bed.

Adding Decorative Elements

Decorative elements like cushions and bed runners can enhance the bed's visual appeal. Here's how to use them effectively:

  • Cushions: Add one or two decorative cushions in coordinating colors or patterns to complement the room's decor.
  • Bed Runner: Place a bed runner across the foot of the bed to add a finishing touch. Choose a runner that matches the room's color scheme.

The Final Sweep: Dusting the Room

After perfecting the bed, it's time to ensure that the entire room is spotless and welcoming for guests.

Importance of a Clean Room

A clean room is essential for creating a positive first impression. Dust, dirt, and clutter can detract from the overall guest experience, so it's crucial to maintain a high standard of cleanliness.

Techniques for Effective Dusting

Dusting is an important aspect of room cleaning. Follow these tips for effective dusting:

  • Use the Right Tools: Microfiber cloths, dusters, and vacuum cleaners with brush attachments are effective for removing dust from various surfaces.
  • Dust from Top to Bottom: Start dusting from the highest surfaces and work your way down to prevent dust from falling onto already-cleaned areas.
  • Pay Attention to Details: Dust often-overlooked areas such as light fixtures, baseboards, and behind furniture.
  • Vacuum Upholstery and Drapes: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean upholstered furniture and drapes.
Hospitality professional cleaning the guest room.

Image by freepik


Mastering the art of bed-making requires precision, attention to detail, and a commitment to creating a welcoming environment for guests. By following this comprehensive guide, you can transform a simple bed into an impeccably made one that meets high standards of comfort, hygiene, and aesthetics. Remember, a well-made bed not only looks visually appealing but also contributes to the overall comfort and satisfaction of your guests.


What is the best type of sheet to use for making a bed?

The best type of sheets for making a bed are those made from high-quality natural fibers like cotton or linen. Cotton sheets, available in percale or sateen weaves, offer breathability and comfort. Linen sheets, while more expensive, are durable and have moisture-wicking properties. A thread count between 200 and 400 ensures a balance of softness and durability.

How often should bedding be changed in a guest room?

In a guest room, bedding should be changed at least once a week, including sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers. However, if a guest checks out after a single night, all bedding should be replaced before the next guest arrives. Duvets and pillows should be laundered every few months to maintain hygiene.

What are hospital corners, and why are they important?

Hospital corners are a technique used to secure the bottom sheet tightly under the mattress, creating a smooth, wrinkle-free surface. They are important because they keep the sheet in place, preventing it from bunching up or slipping off during the night. Hospital corners also add a touch of elegance to the bed, giving it a neat and professional look.

Can decorative elements on a bed affect sleep quality?

Decorative elements like cushions and bed runners can enhance the visual appeal of a bed, but they should be used sparingly to avoid clutter. Too many decorative cushions can make the bed appear overwhelming and may deter guests from using the bed comfortably. It's best to keep the decorative elements minimal and tasteful, ensuring they enhance rather than hinder sleep quality.

What are some common mistakes when making a bed and how can they be avoided?

Common mistakes when making a bed include:

  • Using Ill-Fitting Sheets: Ill-fitting sheets can slip off or bunch up during the night. Avoid this by choosing fitted sheets that match the mattress size.
  • Failing to Secure the Bottom Sheet: If the bottom sheet isn't properly secured with hospital corners, it can come loose easily. Learn and practice the hospital corner technique to ensure a secure fit.
  • Overloading the Bed with Decorative Pillows: Too many decorative pillows can make the bed look cluttered and uninviting. Keep the arrangement simple and elegant.
  • Not Fluffing Pillows: Flat, misshapen pillows can detract from the bed's appeal. Fluff them up to restore their shape and provide a plump, inviting appearance.
  • Neglecting Final Adjustments: Wrinkles, lumps, or uneven duvet positioning can make the bed look untidy. Smooth out wrinkles, shake out lumps, and align the duvet correctly for a polished finish.

By avoiding these mistakes and following the steps in this guide, you can create a perfectly made bed that enhances the overall guest experience.

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