How To Make A Bed Beautiful Every Day: 10 Easy Steps

Saffron Marigold - Updated: May 4, 2021

When you know how to make a bed look beautiful and maintain that habit every day, you can bring more peace into your life. How does that work, exactly? Easy: a made bed literally creates order out of chaos.  And after a long, tiring day, nobody wants to step into a space that’s supposed to serve as a peaceful place of slumber and see a rumpled mess to clean up instead. 

lilac purple bedding (duvet cover and pillows)

Our customers always ask how they can style their beds look just like the pictures they see on our site or in magazines, so we decided to put this post together to help you see how to make your bed look like a magazine stylist came did it. You’ll learn all of the essentials for proper bed making along with ideas for how to style the bed like a designer. In addition to our own line of fair trade, block print linens, you’ll find suggestions for other fair trade, organic, and/or artisan-made products whenever possible, all of which will lead to a well-made bed. Let’s get started!

1. How to make the bed: begin with a bed skirt

Before you go piling up the pillows and fussing with a fitted sheet, you’ll want to add a bed skirt.  This isn’t something you’ll have to do regularly–it’s a one-and-done. Truly, this is the real-life, adult version of a cartoon character’s sweeping messes under a rug: it’s a pretty and functional linen screen that hides everything under the bed.

Clear everything off of the bed, and place a bed skirt in between the mattress and the box spring. A macrame bed skirt like this one is neutral and goes great with boho bedding. Enjoy watching dust bunnies, box springs, and clutter vanish instantaneously. 

2. Make bed better by minding your mattress

A good night’s rest starts with a great mattress. Protect that investment by covering it with a mattress pad or mattress protector. If you’ve already got that covered and you’re not in the market for a new mattress, you can still breathe some new life into your bed with a mattress topper like a feather bed. Again, this isn’t a step you’ll need to fool with every day, so once the mattress pad is on your bed, it’s a fix-it-and-forget-it kind of step. 

Organic mattress pad protector

Choose an organic mattress pad protector if you don’t already have one, or treat yourself to a bedding upgrade with a feather  bed or down alternative for extra cushioning.

3. Select your sheets

Sink into sheets that feel great to the touch and are easy to care for. Ideally, you’ll want fair-trade sheets fashioned from natural fibers–breathability is a must!

Smooth the fitted sheet across your mattress and tuck the elastic corners snugly around the entire corner of the mattress. (In other words, the mattress shouldn’t be visible once the fitted sheet is on it). Next, bring your flat sheet across the bed, patterned side down, and with the largest hemming at the top of the bed. Finally, tuck the flat sheet in with hospital corners if you wish. Or don’t. It’s up to you! 

4. Decide on a duvet cover for a pretty bed

What’s the difference between a duvet and a comforter?  While a comforter is essentially a thick, one-piece quilted blanket that tops your bedding, a duvet is an insulated sewn bag that you wrap with a cover so that the duvet stays clean.  Our reversible duvet covers are a great investment since you’re essentially getting two covers for the price of one.  (Read our post on the best inserts to use with our duvet covers and pillows if you’re in the market for a new duvet.)

blue and white bedding with flower pattern

Before you start, shake out your duvet to make sure it’s nice and fluffy. Wrap the duvet cover over the insert, and place it on the bed. Fold back the top of your duvet cover to reveal its reverse pattern for a designer touch–this is when you’ll be extra grateful you bought yours from Saffron Marigold! And remember, if you’re using a duvet, you might as well doo as the Europeans do and ditch the top sheet. 

orange flower pattern Indian bedspread

A bedspread is a great linen to keep around as a summer linen or as an option for warmer climes. If you happen to love a layered look (or just love to snuggle under a host of sheets and blankets and such), then you could certainly use a lightweight bedspread as a coverlet.

5. Soften your headboard with pillows

Here’s the secret of the pros: Euro shams, which are large square pillows made for European bedding, are the key accessory in styling a bed. This is where fancy bed pillows meet coziness. Euro shams offer lots of cushioning, surface area, and height, so not only do they make your bed look good, but they’re practical, too: envision yourself cozying up with a great book or settling in for a Netflix binge session propped up on a few plush pillows.

navy blue pillows with white stars

If you want to know how to make a bed with pillows, it’s simple:  line a few Euro shams in front of the headboard for a soft base and a sumptuous. On the other hand, you can simply place two Euro shams in front of your standard pillows. 

6. Fluff your bed pillows

Whether you’re a back sleeper, a side sleeper, or a stomach sleeper, you’ll still want lovely shams to cover your pillows. And with pillows this pretty, you’ll want to keep them above the covers instead of tucked beneath the duvet.

orange floral print pillow case persian print

7. Make a beautiful bed with block print accents

Call them cushion covers, pillow covers, throw covers, or accent pillows–pretty pillows pack a lot of punch! Throw pillows give you an easy way to infuse a bit more personality into your bed. These little linens provide a quick and affordable way to change up the look of your decor from season to season.

grey throw pillow with Art Deco pattern

Give one of your current throw pillows a facelift by covering it with a cushion cover.  Our pro tip: keep size in mind.  For example, a twin bed will look sweet with just one accent pillow while you can toss two or three accent pillows on a king-size mattress.

8. Toss on a throw blanket

You’ve seen this before: it’s the look we all covet, the one we see on home design shows, in shelter magazines, and in lifestyle blogs. It’s the carefree toss, and it makes spaces look lived in (in the best way possible).  A soft throw like this one elevates the look of your beautifully made bed. 

It’s an easy and practical look to replicate. Throw blankets always come in handy, and after all, you won’t want to mess up your freshly-made bed just to take a quick power nap. Simply pick up by the corner–pinching it, really–and quickly and gently toss it over the corner. Instant casual elegance and ready for you to cozy up, relax, and unwind.

9. Have pretty storage handy

Yes, having storage nearby really is part of making the bed. Ok, ok, maybe it’s not a technical aspect of bedmaking, but ask yourself: where will the decorative pillows go when you’re sleeping? Throwing them on the floor isn’t the most beautiful option, and the point is to build healthy habits to cultivate a more peaceful bedroom and bring more peace into your life–the beautiful bed part is truly the added bonus.

Elephant Grass Floor Basket

Try a large woven basket or a storage bench at the foot of the bed instead. You’ll be much more likely to make a beautiful bed each morning if you have an easy-to-use, lovely storage solution. Set baskets beside your nightstand or at the footboard to collect your pillows when it’s time to turn down the covers.

10. Simply commit

Another unspoken mantra of Bed Making 101: commit to making the bed every day. Once you have the bed skirt, mattress protector, and fitted sheet in place, it won’t take any time at all to make your bed in the morning. It will just be a matter of straightening your flat sheet, smoothing out the duvet, and tossing on a few pillows.  That’s it! 

how to make a bed with purple bedding and pillows

Looking for more ideas on how to decorate your room? Find inspiration here!