Do You Make Your Bed Every Day?

do you make your bed every dayHere’s a random lifestyle question – do you make your bed every day? If there was a certain point in your life when you started making your bed, what was it (e.g., marriage, kids, in-home help like a nanny, or other)? Do you make your “full bed” every day (with a mountain of pillows) or just the basics? (Related questions: how often do you change your sheets? What’s the best purchase you’ve made for your bedroom, whether a specific mattress, a pillow, a favorite set of sheets, or something else?)


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Pictured above – highly rated and price-matched at Nordstrom.

Interestingly, there are arguments both for and against this — a Navy SEAL Commander has a very popular YouTube video on how making your bed can change the world (Business Insider; see also Esquire, NerdFitness) — but there are some science-y reasons not to do it because apparently it traps dust mites (Today Show, Huffington Post).

For my $.02: I remember loudly declaiming the stupidity of making your bed every day in my youth, and may have even written a column on it for my middle or high school newspaper. What’s the point, I argued — it’s just going to get unmade at the end of the day. DUH. That attitude continued through a surprising number of one-room living situations like dorm rooms and so forth, where looking back I think, EWWW, and HOW MESSY and “really, Kat, you couldn’t just pull the sheets up?” The tipping point for me was law school, I think, when I had my small desk next to my bed, and I found that I really enjoyed using the extra space on the bed for organization whenever I was working at home — I found that it was a much better work surface if the bed was made. Once I got in the habit, I’ve continued it through the years and now 99% of mornings, as soon as I get out of bed I pull the sheets up and then head to the bathroom. But I will admit: I don’t do the “mountain of pillows,” although it’s such a pretty, relaxing look when our cleaning professionals do it when they change the sheets.

Best purchases we’ve made for the bed: linen sheets (we have Eileen Fisher, although I’ve heard great things about the Restoration Hardware or Brooklinen pairs) in summer, heavy weight flannel (6 oz is best!) for winter (Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer, Garnet Hill). I have a side-sleeping pillow I like, and my husband seems to like the cool-temperature sleeping pillow I got him on Amazon. Weirdest sheeting set we tried (which has since been given away to Goodwill so I’m going on memory here): a weird pair of solid beige sheets that I think were CoolMax ones from Bed Bath & Beyond that my husband and I have since started calling “granny panty sheets” because they were kind of silky and stretchy and beige and, well, like granny panties. (We really, really, really hated them, both because we would get tangled in them at night as well as because they were weird and silky.)

Over to you, readers — do you make your bed every day? When did you start? What’s been your best purchase for your bed? 

Psst: you may want to check out our previous discussions on the best sheets, as well as our discussion on pajamas for grown-ups (reader comments on that one were really fascinating!). Ah yes, and we’ve also talked about the different kinds of insomnia professional women may suffer from.

Comments

  1. I or my husband make it every day, including re tucking in any sheets and all of my “necessary” decorative pillows. Started making it every day when I was in college – I had some sloppy roommates and this was one way that I felt I could control the mess/clutter. We change the sheets once a week.

    We had a cleaning person one time who took it upon themselves to make our bed. This is something that I am not okay with, it just feels icky to me that someone touched my personal bed at home. The bed was already made, we didn’t ask them to make the bed, and it wasn’t like we left sheets our or anything suggesting that they make the bed. So, I guess they “re-made” our bed. I know some people love this benefit but it was not for me.

    • Anonymous :

      So you have aweird hang up anda normal cleaning person.

      • + 1

        OP, I think you’re in the minority on this one. Most (all?) cleaning persons change sheets and make beds. Not weird in the least. But my MIL feels the same way you do about having someone else touch her sheets.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here – yeah, based on a survey of my friends after this happened, I learned that many of them wish this was something their cleaning people did (doesn’t seem to be a norm among the cleaning services that are available in our area unless you specifically request it and people who request it get charged like $10-$15 more for this additional service). I view it the same as asking them to wash dishes or do laundry – an additional service that I am fine doing myself. It wasn’t the norm for the housekeepers we had growing up, and I was more annoyed that I specifically asked them not to do it and then they did it. Then I asked again for them not to do it and they did it again.

        Also, I felt it was weird because the bed was already made. It wasn’t unmade… Why would you remake a bed?

        • Our cleaning lady is a lovely person who has been helping us for ten or so years. I’m fine with her changing our sheets, which she does once a week. My husband and/or I make the bed every day, and we keep it simple — quilt, pillows, shams and a couple of decorative pillows. Takes two minutes and our room looks nice all day.

  2. Calibrachoa :

    I don’t make the bed to lie flat but I change it to a slightly different configuration where the blankets and pillows are all piled up on one side so I can use the bed surface to do things and the pile to lean on; habit that started when i lived in studios with no couches, and I continue even now.

  3. 100% yes. I think I actually read on this site about doing so based on the Gretchen Rubin book. It took a little bit to get my husband on board, but now it is second nature. And it really feels so much nicer in the evenings to come in to a neat room and turn down the bed.

  4. Every day that I can kick DH out of it before I leave for work (which is most). I started in college because it made my dorm room so much neater and have kept it up since then.

    We have 8 pillows (2 king size, 6 standard) across our headboard-less king, along with two decorative king size pillows. The two king size are tempurpedic, 5 of the 6 are casper pillows DH decided he likes and the 6th is my super soft real down pillow that I like to keep my head on. The decorative pillows only make it on the bed when the housekeeper changes the sheets and the rest of the time remain on the floor to cushion any toddler tumbles (we partially cosleep).

    We change the sheets usually weekly (and if not, they get changed every other week by our housekeeper).

    We love our tempurpedic mattress (although I wish it were firmer, not waking up the other getting in and out of bed is huge). We still fight about sheets – I swear by Company Store in a 300-400 thread count and DH likes these suffocatingly heavy 900+ thread count sheets from lord only knows where, but I change the sheets or set out the sheets for the housekeeper so I get to decide which ones go on :). Definitely flannel for the winter and I now have 2 sets of penguin print flannels that make me super happy. We (I) am team 100% duvet so that it can easily and frequently be washed, and we also added a quilted navy coverlet to help reduce the washing of the (white damask stripe, because DH hates patterns) duvet from the smears of sweat, dirt, etc. DH leaves not infrequently because he (irrationally) likes to sit on the bed in dirty things before showering. Something about easier to take his shoes off, sigh.

    If only I’d married a man who didn’t have SO MANY opinions about bedding – but I love the rest of him so I guess I’ll keep him.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have room for a narrow bench at the end of the bed? That seems like a solution to the sitting on the bed to take off shoes, which I totally understand.

    • At least you have a man in your bed. I have NO ONE! FOOEY! The last man I had was Sheketovits, and I also could NOT get him out of bed, and he often pulled me back into bed when I needed to get to work! DOUBEL FOOEY on him!

      I never made the bed b/c of Sheketovits being in there half the day. However, I had the cleaning lady strip the bed to wash the sheets 3x per week, and more when Alan got frisky. He also sweated so she checked each day to see if the cotton was still fluffey or if it was matted, she changed the sheets right away.

      Now that I do NOT have a man, I still do NOT make my own bed, but my cleaning lady changes the sheets 2x per week. Monday and Thursday. I wish I had a man, but do NOT miss the schmutz. Tripel FOOEY!

  5. Anonymous :

    Yes, I definitely make the bed every day! It became an ingrained habit when I lived in a studio apartment for the first time, right after graduating from college. It makes such a difference in the look and feel of the place. And even after moving to larger places with bedrooms I kept up the habit. It takes less than a minute to do. Totally worth it for me.

  6. Senior Attorney :

    Yes every day for as long as I can remember.

    We have the mountain of pillows and most days we make the bed together the minute we get out of it and it only takes a few seconds. Best purchase (besides the California King mattress, which OMG the real estate is divine!) was the linen duvet cover for winter and matching lightweight linen quilt for summer.

    • Anonymous :

      I loooove linen bedding. I have Pottery Barn flax linen quilt that is perfect for summer.

    • Same. As soon as I get up, my kitty gets up, too (after she squeals at me to stay in bed). I sweep off any kitty detritus, then pull up the sheets and blanket and quilt and put all of my silly throw pillows back on the bed. It keeps kitty girl out of the bed after I get up and just makes my room look prettier to have the bed made (plus showing off said pillows).

  7. I grew up in a very impoverished, chaotic household where we were lucky to have bedsheets- and they NEVER matched. I now appreciate a good set of high-quality sheets, but never cared about if the top and bottom sheets matched. I honestly never thought about it. Ex-husband didn’t care either. The first time my boyfriend saw my bed with non-matching sheets, he couldn’t believe that I would make the bed with sheets that weren’t the same pattern or color. I couldn’t believe anyone cares if they match. If the bed is made, nobody knows if there’s a blue sheet on top and a striped flowery fitted sheet.

    We compromise now with boring white sheets, which will always match.

  8. Mrs. Jones :

    I never make the bed, unless company is coming over, but my husband pulls the covers up. We wash sheets every week, sometimes pillowcases more often.

  9. My husband makes it every day (he gets up after I do). He straightens the sheets and pillows as soon as he gets up, but pulls the top sheet and blanket/comforter down about halfway while he gets ready, then goes back into the bedroom at some point and pulls the sheets up again so the bed looks tidy. His argument is that this gives you the best of both worlds – lets the sheets air, but also you have a lovely made-up bed to get into at the end of the day (which I LOVE).

    • Mineallmine :

      Yeah, letting the sheets air wvery day is important since apparently we sweat way more than we realize at night. I leave the bed undone with the sheets thrown back after I get out of bed, then make it after breakfast when I get ready for the day.

  10. Every day. Sheets get changed once a week. Kiddo makes his bed every day as well although he may get a pass on the weekend. I thought I was going to be a rebel in college and never make my bed (ha, mom) but my room was tiny and I didn’t like people/stuff sitting on my sheets.

  11. Anonymous :

    I try to make the bed most days because I like getting into a neat bed at night. We sleep on top of a relatively heavy flat sheet (so easy to pull out the wrinkles), no fitted sheet, and the blanket has a duvet cover. I like changing the pillow cases frequently but the sheet get washed/dried/put back on every 1-2 weeks. I don’t care that the sheets/pillowcases don’t match. No decorative pillows, just the two functional ones.

  12. Aunt Jamesina :

    We make ours every day, but it’s easy since we just have a top sheet and duvet and don’t do any tucking of the sheets. Sheets get washed every week– I love climbing into freshly-washed sheets with a good book on a Sunday night!

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      And Kat, I was also on team Never Make the Bed through my adolescence. My room was a pit of clothes and chaos throughout high school, which I think was also reflective of my issues with depression at the time. That changed in college, when I became clean in retaliation against my roommate with seriously questionable hygiene and cleaning practices (she would leave USED qtips and cotton balls on the floor!). I’ve been a neatnick ever since.

  13. Linda from HR :

    Yes.

    My parents made me do it growing up, and when I got to college my bed was often used as a couch during the daytime so it needed to be “made” for that purpose, especially freshman year. Nowadays, I make my bed because I see it as “closing” the bed for sleep, until it’s time to turn down the sheets and blankets to go to bed at the end of the day. Only time I do that in the middle of the day is when I’m sick, otherwise I take a nap over the comforter with a throw blanket. If I ever leave my bed unmade, I feel like my day never fully “started.”

  14. Ouch! That hurts :

    Where do you find long-length king size sheets? We have had the “hotel” brand from Macy’s for two years now, and they have shrunk … in the length measurement. Sheets are so expensive … wash every other week in cold water and dry on medium heat. TIA.

  15. No, I don’t make the bed. One of the dogs likes to sleep up there during the day and if the bed is made she shoves her nose under the blankets, pushes them back, and then piles them up into a nest for herself. So I quit bothering years ago. One less thing to worry about.

  16. I never used to bother making the bed until I got a cat. Now I always make the bed and put her special blanket on it so she can sleep on the bed (special only in that it already has her fur/scent on it, not that there’s anything special about it). If the bed is messy, she sees it as an invitation to snuggle into the blankets, but if everything is neat she will not mess up the bed during the day.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I also started making mine up every day when we got cats. I just didn’t want them on the sheets.

    • Linda from HR :

      I have a special blanket for my cat too, to help keep the fur shedding to one area.

  17. Yes, I make my bed every day. I love how it makes the room instantly feel fresher and cleaner. It’s a habit ingrained in me since childhood. Also, I enjoy the small ritual of turning down the bed at night.

  18. Anonymous :

    Nope. My mother gave up on forcing me as a child so I never developed the habit. I also get right back into bed when I get home – it’s where I hang out and watch TV. I basically on make it if I have company!

    • Anonymous :

      I should add, I read a tip on here about doing your own “turndown service” before bed so that’s what I do now – I straighten the sheets, pull back the quilt, fluff up the pillows nicely, and get my bed ready before I have a shower at night. It’s simple but feels really nice!

  19. Yes, even though I don’t want to, I highly prefer to come home to a peaceful environment.

    My husband gets up and leaves for work so early that I’m still sleeping, so I always wake up to his half of the bed perfectly made. I just have to do my half. :)

  20. Ginger in Tech Support :

    I always make my bed, but I don’t have a ton of fluff – two pillows we use, blanket, sheets. My husband is anti-duvet because he swears it’s always too hot.

  21. Anonymous :

    My sheets are changed religiously once a week. If I go any longer than that they seem really gross and dirty to me. I have two sets: one in the wash and one on the bed. If I had money/housekeeper, I would have fresh sheets every day.

  22. Anonymous :

    I used to, because I like my house to look tidy, but now I have a baby and am trying not to do anything besides seeing her, work, self-care or chores that absolutely have to get done. So, no more making the bed!

  23. Rebecca T. :

    I make the bed every morning. Its a habit instilled by my mother in my teen years. I love getting into a made bed at the end of the day. We wash our sheets every other week. I love Pottery Barn duvets and covers because of the ties/loops to keep everything in place. As for sheets, I like the Target Fieldcrest brand for quality and cost. For our king size bed, we have four king size pillows and three Euro sized pillows to “style” the bed.

  24. Anonymous :

    Yes – with the duvet cover shown in the photo! But I found cheaper covers on Amazon to put on existing throw pillows.

  25. Never, except on days we change the sheets, which is not as often as I’d like but I’m really lazy. I despise decorative pillows. I’m not that particular about sheets, but I do like flannel in the winter. I think my favorite purchase for my bed has been a quilt from Anthropologie that is 9 years old and still looks good, but with my husband it’s too warm even in the winter so it might get relegated to a picnic blanket soon.

  26. Taysha Riggs :

    Yikes… after reading all the previous comments I hate to admit it but I don’t make the bed everyday. My DH may pull the sheets up or straighten them due to my sleeping like a maniac but that’s us. Washing takes place every other week if we’re lucky, the little ones gets done every week, though with potty training its almost every day. We splurged on a mattress, haven’t found the perfect King sheets yet, I don’t want to spend so much but I feel I prolly will at some point.

    • Housecounsel :

      I don’t, but this thread is making me want to try. Our cleaning lady changes the sheets once a week. I don’t make my kids do it, either. It just seems like a battle I don’t have to fight. My college daughter tells me she makes hers at school because her roommate is super neat. Glad she is considerate!

  27. I make mine every day. As soon as I get up, my kitty gets up, too (after she squeals at me to stay in bed). I sweep off any kitty detritus, then pull up the sheets and blanket and quilt and put all of my silly throw pillows back on the bed. It keeps kitty girl out of the bed after I get up and just makes my room look prettier to have the bed made (plus showing off said pillows).

  28. Two Cents :

    Sort of. I make my bed every day but most of the time I don’t do it before I leave for work. I do it in the evening, before bed. So my bed is made for about 2 hours max every day, but I can’t stand going to bed in a bed that is not made.

  29. Yes. My house is a reflection of my mental health and when my house is a wreck, so is my mind. Messy bed, messy head.

  30. Anonymous :

    Whoever gets up last makes the bed. (My husband normally leaves for work 2 hours before I do, so it’s me 90% of the time.)

    I’ve always done it. I spent much of my childhood with my grandmother, and she always talked about how neat it makes a room feel.

  31. Literally never unless someone is going to see my bedroom. I also sleep like a corpse, though, so it doesn’t look particularly messy.

  32. Anonymous :

    I don’t believe in top sheets, so I just fluff the pillows and fluff the duvet up into a big ball. If I want it to look nicer, I stretch a light bedspread over the top sheet.

  33. Anonymous :

    I straighten the bedding almost every day. That means I don’t really tuck in the top sheet, but the blanket, duvet, and coverlet get put back on and the pillows put in place. My fuzzy dog sits on that bed during the day, and I don’t want him to be in the sheets.
    My bed has a capsule wardrobe, meaning that I have several duvet covers and coordinating sets of sheets, most of which can be intermingled. If there is a patterned set, there is a coordinating plain set, so the items coordinate but may not always all match (on purpose).
    Best purchase is a latex topper and latex pillow. Need to replace the mattress (it is really old) and will probably splurge on latex.

  34. Kat in VA :

    I don’t make the bed. I was visiting a German friend a long time ago, and gently teased her about having an “unmade bed”. In actuality, everything was flipped back over the foot of the bed. She explained that you’re in bed all night, sweating with the sheets and everything close up to you, and she was taught to “air” out the sheets when you get up in the morning. It made sense, I started doing it, and I still do it, 20 years later.

    I’ll make it if we’re having guests or something, but for the most part, our sheets/blankets/duvet are always neatly flipped over the end of the bed.

    • oil in houston :

      that’s what my grandmother taught me to do too!

    • Anonymous :

      My husband “sleeps hot” and sweats (this has been going on for years and isn’t a symptom of anything wrong). I can’t make the bed because I can’t stand the thought of the damp sheets not airing/drying out during the day. So I also do the “flip over the foot of the bed” thing – it doesn’t look messy to me, but the bed’s definitely not “made.” But our sheets don’t smell or get stained between changings, so it works for us.

  35. I make the bed every day, however, I leave it open for a short period of time while I’m getting ready in the morning to air the sheets out. Once sheets are aired out and make it up including rearranging pillows.

    I make it every day because I like the way it looks and also so that the cats do not get bits into the bed. Any sort of bit in the bed grosses me out. Speaking of pets, I have a separate blanket for the dog on top of the bed which he nests himself into. The dog stays on top of the bed while I’m getting ready in the morning so the cats do not get into it while I am airing the sheets out. The dog blanket covers the bed while I am gone for the day so pet hair stays in one place.

    Sheets are religiously washed once a week.

  36. I recently started making my bed and I’m hooked. Nothing like a made bed. While I’m here….any sheet recommendations?

  37. Yes! We ‘make’ the bed everyday and I think it’s a really nice thing to do. I’m convinced that even aside from how nice it is to have a semi-neatly made bed, that making it each morning helps the bed sheets stay in place from day to day, which makes going to bed that much easier and nicer!

    It really only takes a minute, and you can actually do half of the work before getting out of bed! Shimmy to the center, grab the corners and stretch them out into place while still bed. Get out, refold down the linens, adjust the drape as necessary (usually just pull one or two corners into place), VERY infrequently tuck anything in, then replace the one extra pillow. I think having decorative pillows on a bed you use every day is ridiculous. Our bed has 3 pillows – one for him, one for me for sleeping, and one for me for extra support while reading and occasionally as a semi-body pillow.

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