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Do you make your bed properly? (Spoiler: Many don’t.)

Posted On 15 Dec 2023
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I learned something the other day that I didn’t know—but probably should have—because it makes a lot of sense:
I learned the real reason why hotels use white bed sheets.
According to the magazine Travel + Leisure, it basically boils down to humans being imperfect beings who want to be secure in the knowledge that hotel sheets are indeed clean when they look clean:
“Guests wouldn’t really want bed linens that hide stains. After all, how would you know for sure that the sheets were clean if stains could be easily camouflaged? White sheets are one effective way for hotels to prove their standards of cleanliness. Much like how the wealthy used to wear all white to show that they could afford to keep it clean, hotels use all white linens to show luxury. (Although, admittedly, even less luxurious hotels use white sheets.)”
Learning that nugget of wisdom was like pulling a loose thread (pun totally intended) that leads you down a rabbit hole. The next thing I knew, I had embarked on an online hunt for new, affordable (white, of course) bed linens.
And that’s when I encountered a Southern Living magazine article which details why some people put on their top sheets upside down when making their bed.
I was immediately intrigued by this. I also admit to being perplexed. So, I clicked the link, and holy moly, I will never look at making a bed the same way again.
And just to clarify, the following pertains to patterned sheets only. Not white ones.
Now, before I go any further, stop reading, go to your bed and—if it has been made this morning—look at which side of your sheet is facing up: Is it the top side (the side that’s more vibrant-colored) or is it the underside (the side that’s faded and bearing the tag)?
Go ahead and check and continue reading when you’re finished. I’ll wait.
So…what did you discover?
The reason I ask is because, according to Southern Living magazine, the more vibrant-colored side is the one that should actually be facing down, contrary to many people’s beliefs.
Here’s why: When you fold back the top end of the top sheet over the quilt, comforter, or duvet, the colored or patterned side shows.
According to Southern Living, one should fold the top sheet down an inch or two over the top of your quilt, then fold both the top sheet and quilt over one more time for a hotel-quality made bed.
I know. Sounds pretty fancy, right?
But wait. There’s more.
The article then goes on to give a directive on how to really take your bed-making to the next level.
If you want to be “extra,” as the kids say these days—that’s slang for excessive, dramatic behavior; doing the absolute most—you need to up your pillow game.
And here’s how you do that, according to Southern Living’s Sullivan May:
“On all the beds in our home, we have two pillows with pillowcases matching the sheet set, and two pillows with pillowcases matching the quilt or duvet cover. We always add at least one throw pillow and one throw blanket to each bed, so our guests feel comfortable and at home when staying at our house,” May says.
Yeah, I venture to say that most people’s bed pillows don’t look quite like this.
But May insists that this is “an extremely simple housekeeping tip that truly does transform the feel of a bedroom, and particularly, a guest room.”
Well, I guess that’s one way to impress your overnight guests this holiday season.
Just don’t blame my column if they never want to leave.

Courtney Conover is wife, mom, yoga instructor, and Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor who has called Wayne home since 1995.

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