And, yes, you should be using one.
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First of all, I don't understand not using a top sheet. If you don't use one, are you washing your comforter, quilt, coverlet, or duvet weekly? Didn't think so. Listen to Mama and slap that top sheet back on for cleanliness' sake, but when you do, go ahead and heed one more little nugget of advice straight from Mama herself and put that sheet on upside down.

It never dawned on me until just a few years ago that some people do not, in fact, put their top sheets on upside down—or, in my view, right side up. I was lost in conversation while making up our guest bed for a short-notice visitor (short-notice is the reason why I happened to find myself making up a bed in front of said guest—something which any hostess tries to avoid at all costs, naturally) when he interrupted to tell me that I had put the sheet on upside down. I paused my story, figuring I had absentmindedly draped the sheet over the bed the wrong way. Once I surveyed the land, I realized everything was just as it should be.

No, I concluded, this is right. But the patterned side is down, he said. Ah ha! It turns out, he was never schooled in the art of the folded-down sheet, which requires the more vibrant side to be face down, in order to reveal its full glory when the top gets folded over the foremost layer of bedding (i.e. quilt, comforter, duvet, etc.).

You would have thought I just convinced him that the world was flat after all. He was shaken to the core and, I believe, was never quite the same again. I also, never again assumed there was only one way to make a bed (and a right and wrong way at that), but I have been passing down my bed-making knowledge to all that care to listen ever since.

More Helpful Tips for Making the Bed Like a Pro

  • Fold the sheet down an inch or two over the top of your comforter or quilt, then fold over both the sheet and the topper once more so that the sheet is pulled tight underneath.
  • Use a hand steamer to gently remove any wrinkles from the portion of your sheet that shows when folded down.
  • Bed Layering Equation: We prefer a quilt or coverlet paired with a duvet, with the duvet folded at the bottom of the bed.
  • Pillow Equation (from closest to headboard, out): Start with a standard pillow with cotton (or silk) pillowcase, Euro with sham, then standard pillow with sham, and finally a bolster or lumbar pillow. Too many? Skip the standards with sham and follow the Euros with the bolster or lumbar.
  • Whatever you do, make your bed every day, even if your office commute is just down to the den. It’s a major boost for the moral—and another example of Mama always being right.

Now, as long as we're on the topic, let us pass on a bit more of our home economics skills: How To Clean Your Washing Machine and How To Clean Your Dishwasher.