How to Make a Bed in Under Five Minutes


The trick to bed-making efficiency is to reduce movement around the bed and to minimize unnecessary movements that will consume time and possibly tire the housekeeper. Here are steps to making a faster bed:

Stripping the sheets. Start with the pillows and strip the pillowcases, placing them in the center of the bed over the soiled coverlet. Stack the pillows on the night table, credenza, or chair. Never place pillows (or clean linens) on the floor. Pull back the coverlet, duvet, and top sheet to the foot of the bed, looking for any guest items left behind. Grab the four corners of the bottom sheet to create a sack and deposit these in the soiled linen bag on the housekeeping cart. Retrieve one set-up of bed linens and pillowcases from cart and stack items on the bedside table or chair.

Making the bed. Stand at one side of the bed and wave the bottom sheet evenly across it. In a similar fashion, spread out the top sheet so it lies directly over the bottom sheet. Next, smooth the blanket or duvet across the top sheet. Then, spread the coverlet across the bed.


Simultaneously tuck the coverlet, duvet, and top sheet under the foot of the mattress. Move to one side of the bed and pull taut these three bed linens. Fold down approximately 6 inches of the coverlet, duvet, and top sheet from the top of the mattress. Repeat this step on the other side of the bed so the linens are taut and the fold down matches.

Fold back another 12 inches of the three top linens to reveal the bottom sheet. Working around the bed, tuck all four linens simultaneously between the mattress and the box spring, creating hospital corners at the foot of the mattress.

Adding the pillows. One at a time, drop each pillow into a pillowcase. Fold over the excess flap of the case onto one side of the pillow and tuck the opposite flap inward. Place each pillow, standing on its side, in the appropriate configuration over the exposed bottom sheet, as specified by your brand’s requirements.

By eliminating excessive movement around the bed as well as extra trips back to the housekeeping cart, and by tucking sheets all at a time under the mattress, an experienced room attendant can easily make a bed in under five minutes, start to finish.

William D. Frye, Ph.D., CHE, is coauthor of AH&LEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.

Photo Credit: Housekeeping Executive via Bigstock.