The Ultimate Guide to Bedding Part 2

Part 1 is here.

So now that everyone knows the components of a bed, we can talk about putting it all together into a scrumptious mass of comfort and relaxation.

The first thing you want to remember is that if you always want your bed to be nice and clean and inviting, you have to make it everyday. Nothing makes your bedroom more untidy and stressful than an unmade bed. The inimitable Jolie Kerr runs a bed making challenge every year and every year more people are converted to the joy that is a nicely made bed. This is also great advice for a guest- make the bed everyday and make a marvelous impression on your host.

To make a nice bed, you take your mattress and cover it with either a topper or a mattress pad, or both! Then put your fitted sheet (that’s the one with the elastic in the corners) on top of that. The lay your flat sheet over that (if it’s printed, put the printed side down as that is the “nice” side of the fabric and then you are enveloped in the nice parts of your sheets!) and tuck in the bottom corners (hospital style or whatever is easiest for you). Then put blankets, if you are using them, over that. The next step is to put your pretty comforter/duvet/bedspread/quilt/coverlet on top. There are two main methods of doing this.

  1. Just lay it flat- this is typical for fluffy spreads like comforters and duvets
  2. Lay it flat and then fold the top third backwards, place your sleeping pillows on the fold, and then fold the spread back over the pillows. This is what you frequently see in older motels since it was pretty popular in the 50s/60s/70s. It obviously works better with a flatter spread like a quilt or coverlet. This is a good option if you don’t want to bother with shams or decorative pillows but you still want to disguise your drool-covered and sweat stained sleeping pillows.

This is what this style of covering looks like. [Via]

This is what this style of covering looks like. [Via]

Once your have your covering on, you need to put your pillows on. There are also two methods for this. You can lay your sleeping pillows flat, like you sleep, and put sham pillows (or not) on top of them, like pancakes. Or, you can do what pretty much all bedding stores do and put the sleeping pillows vertical, leaning against the headboard or wall and put the sham pillows in front of them. Then you can put your throw pillows in front of all that.

So, ultimately, it’s not THAT hard to have your bed look like this:



Wash your sheets once a week or at max once every two weeks, as a rule of thumb. Always wash guest sheets between guests.

When you are a guest, ask your host what they want you to do with your sheets at the end of the visit. Don’t assume they want the bed made up with dirty sheets OR that they want you to strip it.

Of course, if you wish to sleep in a rats nest of unwashed, unmade sheets, that’s pretty much your business.

How To Comfort Someone

Snuggies can help

Snuggies can help

It is a truth universally acknowledged that shitty things happen to good people for no reason. We’ve already addressed how to comfort someone when they’re dealing with the death of a loved one, but unfortunately that’s far from the only bad thing that can happen to someone you care about. So how can you best comfort them in these times?

Firstly, make sure you keep the focus on them. Ask if they’re okay and ask what they need, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or someone to make them dinner or to be left alone for a while. It’s really tempting to bring up your own personal thoughts or experiences like you would in other conversations, but you should save those for later, otherwise it comes off as trying to use their trauma to talk about yourself. You don’t want your friend to have to deal with your worries on top of theirs.

As things progress, you should be able to offer advice that comes from personal experience (if applicable), but avoid telling your friend what they should or should not do unless they need to step away from some clearly harmful behavior. Everyone reacts in their own way to traumatic situations. For instance, if your friend is going through a breakup, don’t tell them to get out and start dating immediately even if that worked well for you in the past. But if they ask how you’ve dealt with breakups, mention it, and continue supporting their decisions whether they match yours or not.

I’ve found “being there for someone” is actually incredibly difficult. I’m the type of person prone to wanting to fix things, and give solutions and advice. I mean, hello, you’re reading my etiquette advice right now. But not all people need their problems biggest solved immediately. Sometimes they’re only ready for smaller problems to be solved, or just to mourn a situation before they go about solving it. Pay attention to that, and offer your presence in smaller ways, whether it’s offering to see a movie or help them sell some furniture on Craigslist.

Importantly, avoid “I told you so” and all other iterations of this phrase. Even if you’ve been telling this friend for years that their boyfriend sucks/their roommate is crazy/they need to pay attention at work or they’ll get fired, reminding them of this will only make them feel worse. And if you’re the type of person for whom being right matters more than that, examine yourself. You may have been right all along, but sometimes people need to discover things in their own ways, otherwise they won’t learn the lessons well enough. Focus on helping your friends grow so they don’t make similar mistakes in the future, rather than pointing out all the things they already got wrong.