Helpful Hacks

We Cracked the Code: Here’s How to Make a Bed Like a Hotel

a step-by-step guide
written by HAILEY BOUCHE
white made bed"
white made bed
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

Picture this: You’ve finally reached the end of a long, exhausting travel day. You’re freshly showered, comfortable in silk PJs and a white hotel robe, cozied up in a king-sized bed and waiting for room service to knock. The feeling is unmatched. Crisp white sheets and fluffy pillows hit different in a hotel, but man oh man, to re-create the same feeling at home… well, that would just be a dream. I’ve searched high and low for bedding that could transport me to the luxury that is a hotel bed, but I’ve learned that it’s more than just the thread count that sets this experience apart.

Learning how to make a bed like a hotel is truly a science—from the sheets to the pillows to the tucking and the washing. There are specific steps to follow if you want to achieve the same result in your own home, but let me tell you, the result is totally worth the time and effort.



How to Make a Bed Like a Hotel

After a recent trip, I was inspired to take on the challenge of learning how to make a bed like a hotel, and now, I’m teaching you the tricks step-by-step:


1. Invest in a good mattress

If you want to truly emulate a luxurious hotel bed, you have to start with the foundation: the mattress. Between its lifespan (around 7-10 years) and the effect that it can have on your sleep, a good mattress is worth investing in. Most hotel room mattresses are medium-firm to accommodate all different types of preferences (firm, soft, medium) and sleep positions (back, side, and stomach). But at home, feel free to invest in one that fits your exact preferences for maximum comfort. If you’re not really sure what type of mattress you sleep the best in, there are online quizzes you can take to find out. And thankfully, mattress companies like Helix, Casper, and Nectar offer risk-free trials in case the one you choose isn’t a perfect fit.


2. Use hotel-quality sheets and pillows

Unlike most of us, hotels don’t use any old sheets and pillows they pull out of their linen closet. Hotel beds use high-quality bedding that’s typically made from lightweight, silky, and breathable materials. For example, hotel sheets are often made from high-thread percale (which contributes to the cool, crisp feeling we know and love) and the pillows are down or feather (which can accommodate multiple sleeping positions).

If you want your bed to feel as comfortable as your last hotel stay, choose your flat sheet, fitted sheet, pillowcases, and pillows based on these materials or similar ones. Hot tip: Sometimes, hotels work directly with certain bedding manufacturers or have signature sheets and pillows that you can purchase for yourself. If you’re wondering how to get bedding like a hotel, it could be as simple as asking at the front desk. 



3. Add layering blankets and quilts

Believe me when I say that layering on a throw blanket or a quilt makes your bedding look and feel a thousand times better. But listen closely: I’m not talking about adding one at the foot of the bed (although interior designers love this trick to add some extra color and texture to beds!). I’m specifically referring to adding layers between your sheets and the comforter or duvet. While you might assume that these extra layers are intended for warmth, they also add weight to the bedding that can help you sleep better (even if you don’t use a weighted blanket). Hotels typically layer a lightweight waffle blanket or quilt in a neutral color like white, gray, or beige. Opt for something similar or add a pop of color to coordinate with your other bedroom decorating ideas.


4. Use a fluffy comforter

The focal point of your bed—and the key to a true hotel-style bedroom—is a fluffy comforter. You know the kind: the ones that create a cloud-like indent the second you flop onto them at the end of the day. Most hotels use extra fluffy down or down-alternative comforters, occasionally with a duvet cover on top. When shopping for your own version, look for baffle-box construction, which has squares sewn throughout the comforter to keep the internal fluff in place. If you own a comforter without stitched squares, you know the dread of having to shake out your comforter to even out the fluff that has all fallen to one side. Ultimately, baffle-box is the way to go for a bed that looks and feels as poofy and perfect as a hotel bed.



5. Keep your bedding crisp and clean

There is one thing that almost every hotel has in common and that is white bedding. Somehow, they manage to keep it crisp and clean (which is mind-blowing to me considering I can’t even figure out how to keep a white T-shirt fresh). But lucky for you, you just need to know a few laundry tricks to keep your bedding looking similarly brand-new. As you would with any clothing you want to keep in tip-top shape, always follow the care instructions on the tag. Typically, you should wash white bedding in hot water for a thorough cleaning. To keep it as bright white as possible, use oxygen bleach or baking soda.


6. Perfect how to make the bed

There are two types of people in the world: those who make their bed every morning and those who can’t remember the last time they did. If you want your master bedroom to look like a bougie boutique hotel, however, you’ve got to make your bed. And you’ve got to learn how to do it just as well as a hotel staff does.

The first step is obviously your fitted sheet—make sure the corners of the mattress are tucked in tight. Then add your flat sheet upside-down (this is key!) so that the decorative trim at the top faces down on the mattress. That way, when you fold over the top part, you’ll see the pretty side of the sheet. Once you’ve added your thin blanket or quilt and folded down the top, it’s time to tuck in the corners.

To create those signature “hospital corners” you’ll see on most hotel beds, fold the layers around the side of the mattress (kind of like you’re wrapping a gift) before tucking them underneath. Then add your duvet and fold it back about halfway down the bed to create that cozy, inviting look. Lastly, fluff the pillows and fold any blankets that live on the end of your bed. If you want to go a step further and really make your room feel luxurious and clean, straighten up your bedside table while you’re at it.