How to Make a Bed in 6 Simple Steps

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This simple 6-step formula for how to make a bed beautifully, motivated me start making my bed every morning! Try these easy steps help you make a beautiful bed without going overboard on unnecessary layers or throw pillows!

For years I thought I just wasn’t someone who made her bed every morning. While I could see the benefit of starting out your day with order and beauty, I couldn’t find the motivation to make my bed a daily habit.

How to Make a Bed (Like a Pro!)

When I started our master bedroom makeover last fall (since put on hold until we finish the kitchen & outside makeovers), I finally researched what kind of bedding to put on a bed.

And I invested in beautiful bedding pieces that will last for years to come. (All of the sources for the bedding pieces are at the end of this post.)

Just by building the right layers to a beautiful bed has turned me into a routine bed maker. Ha! Instead of being an internal slob, I just needed the external materials to make a bed beautiful, thus giving me the motivation to make my bed! 🎉

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The Before

For years we just had a duvet and duvet cover and two matching pillow shams. You know, the traditional box set of bedding.

Master Bedroom with a Large Piece of Art over the Bed
This is how our bed looked for years! It didn’t motivate me to make it up each day.

I would see beautifully styled beds in magazines and online and just didn’t want to take the time to figure out how to do that myself. Truthfully, I was overwhelmed by all of the various layers and pillows. I thought all of those pillows would be hard to keep up with and make the art of making my bed complicated.

An Easy Formula was the Solution

But I’ve found the opposite to be true! The pillows and layers actually give the bed a formula for a simple and beautiful bed.

Solid Blue Linen Duvet Cover

If you look the internet over, you’ll find various ideas of “right” ways to make the bed. But I’m going to share a simple formula with you today that will change the feel of your whole bedroom.

And I’d love to hear if you try this and get converted from a non-bed maker to a bed maker in the process!

When we moved into our new house and all of the natural light poured in, I decided to make the bedding a priority. It was time (at almost 40-years-old) to invest in some new bedding. I loved the old paisley duvet cover I had, but it was time for something fresh!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. See my full disclosure policy.

How to Make Bedding Look Like a Pro

The Formula for Bed Making Like a Pro

This is the simplest way I’ve found to make a beautiful bed! I hope this formula helps you make a beautiful bed without going overboard on unnecessary layers or throw pillows!

Layer 1. The Fitted and Flat Sheets

I love these 400-thread count cotton sheets. I have them on all of our mattresses and have been buying them for years! They are cozy in the winter and cooling in the summer.

The set comes with a top sheet, fitted sheet and two pillow cases.

I love that they have multiple elastic bands in the corners to accommodate all mattress sizes. I even love their tags that tell you which way is the top/bottom and which ones go on the sides of the mattress.

Master Bedroom with Blue and White Bedding

Layer 2. A thin, solid quilt or blanket (that works in all seasons)

I love this pick stitch quilt in ivory. It’s not stark white, but will show dirt and let me know when it needs to be washed. It’s the perfect weight to keep you cozy in the winter when you combine it with the next layer, or sleep with it alone in the summer!

Layering your bedding gives you options in the different seasons and I love that!

How to Layer Bedding Like a Pro!

Layer 3. A Duvet or Comforter in a solid or pattern

The next layer is the duvet insert with a duvet cover. You could also use a comforter here, but I prefer the duvet and cover.

How to Make a Bed

This is a perfect spot to add some color and/or pattern to your bedding. I love all of the various duvet styles and covers out there, and buying more than one can allow you to change them out for different seasons. You know I’m a sucker for changing things with the seasons!

After years of having a paisley duvet cover, I went with this solid steel blue linen duvet cover. I love how it pulls some of the color from the coastal art above the bed and how it grounds the bedding as well.

Layer 4. A throw blanket or another quilt

I think the choice between another quilt or a simple throw blanket will depend on the climate you live in. Because we live in Alabama and don’t have super cold winters, I find that a throw blanket works great!

I find that another quilt is too much bedding. So, I like to have a throw blanket on top in case someone (me!) wants to take a nap during the day and not mess up the whole bed. Just pull that throw blanket up and snuggle in.

Cozy Throw Blanket

If you are using a quilt , then you’ll want to pull the duvet cover up to cover two-thirds of the bed and the quilt will be anchored at the end of the bed, like I have my duvet cover in the photos.

Warning! Do not confuse the throw blanket with a bed blanket. A bed blanket will be large enough to cover the entire width and depth of the bed, while a throw blanket is smaller and will be draped over the edge of the bed for decor and texture. You can use either one in this step, but I wanted you to know the difference!

Layer 5. Euro Pillows

A Euro pillow is just a large pillow that is 26″ x 26″. This is a huge piece I was always missing in my previous set up!

Layer Euro Pillows on the Bed

And a simple rule of thumb is that for a king size bed you want to have 3 euro pillows on the bed. And for a queen size bed, you’ll want to have 2 euro pillows. Same goes for a full size bed.

For an easy formula, keep these pillows the same material and color as your 2nd layer – the thin quilt or blanket. I chose the ivory pillow covers in the same pick stitch style as my quilt. I love how repeating the colors and materials make it look cohesive.

Pssst… we just put our sleeping pillows behind the euro pillows and you can’t see them at all!

Layer 6. Decorative pillows

There are so many ways you can do this next bed layer, but to keep things simple, you can just copy what I did!

I used the two standard size pillow shams that came with my duvet cover in front of the euro shams. And then I grabbed a long lumbar pillow to go in front. The fun thing is that you can change out the lumbar pillow easily and give the bed a whole new look!

How to Layer Pillows on a Bed

You really could use any favorite decorative pillow as that last pillow and it would look good, but I love the long lumbar.

Simple Changes for the Holidays

I used the same formula to decorate my bedroom for Christmas. And I simply switched out the blue duvet cover for a plaid duvet cover, pillow covers and added a new decorative pillow on top! The art got swapped out, too!

Plaid Master Bedroom Christmas Decor

You may have noticed that we also got a bed frame since I took the original pictures. It’s the best!

Final Thoughts

This is the easiest way that I’ve found to to pull a bed together. And now it’s soooo easy to make it every morning. I think knowing that it will look put together and beautiful with less than 5 minutes of effort motivate me to keep it looking nice each day.

Bedding Sources


Pick Stitch Quilt & Euro Shams

Pick Stitch Quilt & Euro Shams

Our soft lightweight quilt (in ivory) is perfect for a year-long bedding piece. It’s perfect by itself in summer and paired with a duvet cover in fall, winter and spring! You can purchase the matching euro shams, too!

100% Cotton Sheet Set

100% Cotton Sheet Set

You will only find these 400-count performance sheets in my home! I love the coolness of a cotton sheet and these are high quality without a huge price tag. I especially love the deep corners with double elastic to keep them nice and tight on the beds.

Linen Flax Duvet Cover

Linen Flax Duvet Cover

My solid steel blue linen and flax duvet cover is perfect for our southern winters. It keeps things fresh and cool, yet warm and toasty when we need a little extra warmth at night. This comes in 27 colors, so you can find one that works in your home.

Microfiber Down Alternative Duvet

Microfiber Down Alternative Duvet

This microfiber duvet is great for those of us who are allergic to down comforters, but want the feel of a down duvet. I love this budget-friendly one! Double them up if you want extra fluffiness!

Colossal Hand Knit Blanket

Colossal Hand Knit Blanket

My beautiful, chunky knit blanket comes in a bunch of colors. It’s lovely texture is perfect for any bed or sofa!

Decorative Pillows

Decorative Pillows

Lumbar pillows make a great decorative piece on a bed. It’s the finishing touch and you can bring in a variety of color, pattern and texture with a lumbar pillow. Etsy is a great place to find one!

Other Bedroom Sources


sea glass coast art

Sea Glass Coast Art

This gorgeous canvas print art is a favorite abstract painting reproduction from Lindsay Letters. I chose the gold frame in the 48″ x 16″ size.

Four-Poster Bed

Four-Poster Bed

Get the look of a 4-poster bed with this inexpensive wood bed frame. We have the king size and use our adjustable bed frames inside of it instead of the boards it came with or box springs.

Abbeville Orientale Area Rug

Area Rug

Our beige and charcoal area rug is inexpensive, but has the sophisticated design and muted colors that give a vintage look and feel. Give your home decor an elegant twist on a budget!

Bamboo Woven Wood Shades in Jute Wheat

Woven Bamboo Shades

These Bamboo Blinds in Jute Wheat are my favorite bamboo shades of all time! Yes, they are a little pricey, but I promise they are worth every single penny! I’ve installed 15 times in two different homes and have loved them every time.

Ivory Linen Curtains

Ivory Linen Curtains

These beautiful, high end cotton-linen blend curtains are designed with a soft, luxurious drape. You can get them in light-filtering or black out style curtains.

revere pewter

Wall Color

Revere Pewter has been one of my favorite neutral paint colors for years! This green-beige color was prominently used in my last home, so I had to use it in this home as well! It’s the perfect backdrop for my bedroom.

Brass Curtain Hardware

Brass Curtain Hardware

My exact curtain rod is no longer sold, but you can still get a matching curtain rod set and the curtain rings and standard finials I used. The brass hardware feels elevated and luxurious.

nightstand decor ideas

DIY Nightstand

The nightstands we use were a DIY project from more than a decade ago. But, I have gathered a whole lot of beautiful nightstands with plenty of drawers here.

More Primary Bedroom Posts You’ll Love:

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33 Comments

  1. Hello Laura,
    What a wonderful, helpful, article! I imagine that a lot of your readers will be dashing off to buy the ‘new’ bed sheets, etc.
    I’m looking forward to doing just that!
    Thanks again!
    🙂 Win

  2. Love this post! It’s so helpful and simplifies how to layer your bed! Question about your duvet…did you get it in a size smaller than your bed or is it also a king? Thank you!!

  3. Which blankets are you supposed to sleep under? The quilt and the comforter/duvet? I feel like that’s awfully hot. Or do you just sleep on top of the quilt and use the comforter on top?

    1. Hi Whitney, we sleep under the duvet and quilt in the winter, but only the quilt in the summer. We just leave the duvet folded at the bottom in the summer, or take it off sometimes. Thanks!! Laura

  4. I really enjoyed your post 6 steps to making the perfect bed.
    You mentioned you lie in Alabama & I live in Tuscaloosa. Do you mind sharing where you live???
    Thanks

  5. Beautiful bed, easy directions! Thank you!
    I love your rig but couldn’t get the link to work?
    Suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Melanie

  6. This looks great! Now that I have a taller headboard, I’ve decided I really need to invest in Euro shams for height and found some awesome ones on sale that coordinate with my quilt. Do you have a good source for Euro sham inserts? I know they are available lots of places but wanted to narrow down my options before I went down the rabbit hole of online shopping and reading reviews😬! It’s a real problem for me, as I get decision paralysis. Thanks!

    1. Great article! I’ve always used a comforter on my bed. But I’ve been hearing duvet a lot from all of the bloggers I follow. Your 6 steps do make it look easy to have a pretty bed every day, and mine needs help!
      Thanks!

  7. Very pretty and calming bedroom. I like your simple directions. Thanks!
    P.S. My husband is from Brantley, Alabama.

  8. I’ve always struggled with how to make the bed look put together. I have a question though. Which pillows do you sleep on? Do you have to remove the shams every night or do you have other pillows you sleep on? Thanks.

    1. Hi Cathy, the pillows we sleep on are tucked behind the “pretty pillows.” We just take those off the bed each night and leave our sleeping pillows there!

  9. Love the look of the bed and the colors are what I’ve been thinking of using! Could you say where the ivory quilt and shams are from?
    Thanks!

  10. Hi Laura! I love the look of your bed. So inviting…
    I come from the make-your-bed-every-single-day-before-leaving-your-room camp. My bed looks much like your original one, but with a patchwork bedspread instead of paisley.

    I have a question:
    What on Earth do you do with all those pillows at night? I’ve often wondered about this.
    Do you heap them on the floor (or a chair)? (My room is too small to have a chair in it, and I feel I’d trip over the pillows on my way to the bathroom…..) Seems like so much extra work.

    Regardless, I love the look of your bed!

    1. Hi Lori, We have a large room, so we don’t trip over them. But for right now, the fit perfectly between the column and the wall to the left of our bed, so I just stack them up there. Eventually we will have a bench at the end of our bed, so we’ll put them there. Or once we get a chair in our room, we’ll put them there. With a smaller room, you’ll have to get more creative, but I bet it can be done! 🙂 – Laura

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