Video: How to Fold Hospital Corners

Though it’s a daily task some of us may dread (or even avoid altogether), making the bed each morning gives us a space that’s all the more inviting come bedtime. In fact, some research suggests that making your bed every day can actually result in a better night’s sleep – it seems those tidier surroundings contribute to an inner peace. Plus, sliding under crisp, smooth sheets just feels so much nicer than rooting around a jumbled pile of linens trying to find the right covers.

As much as we know it needs to be done, though, the last thing we want to do when we’re rushing around getting ready in the morning is spend a lot of time trying to make the bed look perfect. That’s why we like hospital corners. Called that because it’s the method used by hospitals (as well as hotels and the military) to get their beds precisely made in record time, hospital corners is a way of folding and tucking in your top sheet to create a smooth, sharp bed – and to keep it looking that way longer. The process is really fast and easy, but you’d never know it from the results.

Here’s what you do:

Diagram of how to fold hospital corners from Ballard DesignsStep 1: Lay your flat sheet out on top of your bed, unfinished side up, with an equal amount of overhang on both sides and the end, and the top of the sheet folded back to show the finished edge. Beginning at the foot of the bed, tuck the bottom edge of your sheet in neatly underneath the mattress all the way across the end of the bed.

Step 2: Still at the foot of the bed, grab the end of the sheet on one side and pull it straight up and onto the top of the bed. Then take the portion of the sheet that’s left hanging down and tuck it in under the mattress.

Diagram of hospital corners at foot of bed from Ballard Designs

Step 3: Now, drop the side of the sheet that you placed on top of the mattress back down. You’ll notice that the tucking you’ve done has resulted in a 45-degree angled fold in the sheet. Put your hand under that fold and pull it down a little bit so that it’s nice and crisp, then tuck it all in under the mattress. Repeat the process on the other side of the bed. And just like that you’re done and ready to start your day. It’s that easy!

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Stephen Ryan

    December 18, 2021

    The steps we will cover and you will need to take to make a military bed with hospital corners. Step 1: Put the fitted sheet on the mattress Step 2: Place the flat/top sheet on the fitted sheet and align it. Step 3: Tuck the flat/top sheet in at the foot of the bed. Step 4: Make a 45-degree line fold at the corner of one of the bed’s sides. Step 5: Tuck away the excess sheet from the 45-degree line fold. Step 6: Make another diagonal line fold with the 45-degree line fold and tuck the rest in. Step 7: Repeat the previous step for the other side of the bed.