How to Make a Military Style Bed

Knowing how to make a military style bed is an incredibly useful life skill, even if you’re not planning on shipping out any time soon. A well-made bed, whether in military barracks or a civilian home, can increase order and stability in one’s life.

To make a military style bed, you will need:

  • two equally-sized sheets
  • one blanket
  • pillow
  • sheet stays (optional)
  • a friend
  1. Place the bottom sheet on the mattress. Make sure the excess of the sheet that is hanging off is equal on each side.
  2. Align the bottom sheet. The edge of the sheet should be held to the edge of the foot of the mattress – that is, the side opposite of where your pillow will be placed. One person should hold the sheet there while the person on the other side of the bed pulls the sheet as tight as possible. The excess should be tucked underneath the mattress.
  3. Make hospital corners on the bottom sheet. Although hospital corners may seem daunting, they are simple to make. The hospital corners will be made on the side of the mattress where the sheet is tucked under. Hold the sheet straight across the side of the mattress, so that the end of it is parallel to the ground. Place your hand at the top of the sheet to hold it in place and grab the top part that has not yet been tucked in. Tuck it under the mattress, and voila! A proper hospital corner should be a tight, forty-five degree fold. Repeat this on the other side of the mattress for a total of two hospital corners.
  4. Place the top sheet on the mattress. Align it like you did the first sheet – make sure the excess is even on both sides.
  5. Align the top sheet. The process of the same as it was with the bottom sheet, except that you will now hold the edge of the sheet to the head of the mattress, or where your pillow will be placed. The person on the opposite side will pull the sheet as tight as they can and tuck it underneath the mattress. Tuck the sheet in about half way.
  6. Place the blanket on the mattress. Like with the sheets, ensure that the portion that is hanging off is equal on both sides.
  7. Align the blanket. Hold the blanket at the edge of the head of the mattress while the other person pulls it tight and tucks it underneath the mattress.
  8. Make hospital corners on the blanket. These will be made exactly the same as they were for the bottom sheet. Remember to pull them tight!
  9. Make the fold. Ensuring that the top sheet is over the blanket, fold the two over twice at your desired length. (In my training, it was always supposed to be a six-inch fold – it varies from place to place, however.) Tuck in the sheets and the fold.
  10. Smooth the bed. Get rid of any wrinkles.
  11. Place sheet stays. Although this is optional, I’ve always had much better results with sheet stays. They can be bought for cheap at most stores and really help tighten up the sheets.
  12. Place the pillow. It should be centered on the part of the sheet that is still showing.

Congratulations! You’ve made a military style bed. If you struggled, don’t worry – we all do at first. You’ll get the hang of it with practice.

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