To Make Your Bed… or Not
When it comes to household chores, making your bed is the first decision of the day. Maybe you were required to make your bed as a child. But as an adult, you get the say in whether you'll tackle this daily task or skip it entirely. The question you might ask yourself is, does it make any difference in your life and wellness? The answer is, it depends.
Let's look at some of the pros and cons of making your bed each morning.
Pros of making your bed
- People who make their beds say they sleep better. People who make their bed in the morning were 19% more likely to say they sleep well each night, according to The Bedroom Poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Having a tidy room may be part of it, with 62% reporting that a clean bedroom contributes to a good night's sleep.
- It helps build a foundation for success. “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed." That's the first piece of advice Naval Adm. William H. McRaven gave during a commencement speech at the University of Texas in 2014. "If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right."
- It can make you happier. An unmade bed contributes to visual, and therefore emotional, chaos. “For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm," writes Gretchen Rubin, happiness researcher, and author of The Happiness Project. She swears by making her bed each morning. Her readers say that making their beds is the top resolution that contributes to their feeling of happiness.
- It's a good way to end the day. In that NSF poll, 75% of people said the comfortable feel of bedding was important to a good night's sleep. If your sheets and blankets are all bunched up—or on the floor—you'll still have to make your bed before going to sleep. After a long day, this can add to your exhaustion and stress. With a made bed, you can get in and go off to slumber land. “And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed give you encouragement that tomorrow will be better," said McRaven.
Cons of making your bed
- It adds stress. If making your bed adds too much an already overloaded morning, skip it. Your bedroom is the most private space in your home. Even if you have guests, simply shut the door and no one is the wiser.
- It doesn't bother you. There's no rule that says you can't wait before going to bed to tidy up. You might even prefer a bit of a messy, cocoon-like feel. It's up to you if and when to make your bed.
How to make your bed
How you make your bed is also an individual decision. Want to master the hospital fold, so you your sheets stay tucked under? Check out our video on How to Make a Bed.
Some other things to keep in mind:
- Start with properly sized sheets. Many mattresses come in deeper depths, especially pillow tops. So be sure that the depth of your sheets matches the depth of your mattress. Standard-size fitted sheets may not be deep enough for a thick mattress and may keep popping off, making it a struggle to make your bed. Talk about putting you in a bad mood.
- Decide on when you'll make your bed. This creates a habit that becomes automatic with time. When you get dressed might influence that decision. If you get dressed first, it makes sense to get the bed making out of the way upon waking. That way you can tuck your PJs under your pillow. If you're a wear-the-PJs-down-to-breakfast person, waiting until after you've had your morning coffee might work better.
- Designate a bed maker. If you share your sleep space, you'll have to figure out who makes the bed. Play to your strengths. If one of you cares about it and the other doesn't, the person with the passion should do the work.
- Choose to use a top sheet — or not. Yes, top sheets are optional. Visually, a folded top sheet gives beds that luxury hotel look and feel. For some, a top sheet can be a nuisance that gets tangled between their legs. Bonus: Skipping a top sheet allows you to make your bed in much less time. Smooth out the fitted sheet, pull up the duvet and place the pillows. And, voila! Done.