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An unmade hotel bed.

Bed-making is the act of arranging the bedsheets and other bedding on a bed, to prepare it for use.[1] It is a household chore, but is also performed in establishments including hospitals, hotels, and military or educational residences. Bed-making is also a common childhood chore.[2]


Beds must sometimes be made to exacting standards, demanded by nurses or military personnel.[3] In a hospital or other health-care environment, beds must sometimes be made while occupied by a patient. Specialised techniques are taught to healthcare staff to enable beds to be made efficiently with due care for the patient.[4] Moving the patient out of the bed before remaking it is the preferred option.

There are different bed-making techniques, such as "hospital corners" and "mitred corners". Military recruits are often taught how to make a neat and tidy bed with hospital corners. Military personnel are expected to fold the bed very tightly, in some cases so that a coin can bounce off it.[5]

Since 2012, many self-making beds which automatically rearrange the bedding are in development and in use.[6][7] Innovations in bedding have arisen in recent years (beginning in 2014[8]) that have further simplified bed-making—some claiming that zipper beds can be made in under 10 seconds.


Guinness World Records reports that the record time for two people to make a bed "with one blanket, two sheets, an undersheet, an uncased pillow, one pillowcase, one counterpane and hospital corners" is 14.0 seconds. This feat was achieved by two nurses from the Royal Masonic Hospital in London in 1993.[9]


  1. ^ "Make (v. 1): 62:". Oxford English Dictionary. To prepare (a bed) for sleeping in; to arrange bedclothes on (a bed) for future use.
  2. ^ Aguirre, Sarah. "Make a Bed". Housekeeping. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  3. ^ Curtis, Mike (1997). "Chapter 2". Close Quarter Battle (1998 ed.). London, United Kingdom: Corgi Books. p. 44. ISBN 0-552-14465-7. At the crack of dawn, the screaming started again. Beds had to be made, with the sheets and grey army blankets stacked neatly and perfectly square on top.
  4. ^ "Bed Making". Retrieved 26 June 2012. A sample training document
  5. ^ McKay, Gary (1987). "Chapter 2 - Doing Extras at Scheyville". In Good Company (1998 ed.). Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin. p. 19. ISBN 1-86448-904-9. He stepped into my mess of a room and by dinnertime he had run me through the whole gammut of how to set up the room in inspection order, and how to make the bed properly so the drillies could bounce a 20c coin off the counterpane
  6. ^ Marable, Eileen (8 June 2012). "Yes, yes a million times: Bed makes itself in 50 seconds". Dvice. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  7. ^ "OHEA smart bed". Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Discover Beddy's".
  9. ^ "Fastest time to make a bed by a team of two". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 26 June 2012.