How to Make Hospital Corners

When it comes to making your bed, there is no better way to create a clean, crisp look of a well-made bed than a tidy hospital corner. What’s a hospital corner? The term may sound daunting and trigger visions of well-kept army barracks or neat and tidy hospital rooms. However, when you break it down, making a bed with hospital corners is actually quite easy and not as hard as it sounds.

The bed-making technique of folding hospital corners originates back to the 19th century and the profession of nursing. Nursing is a profession with a long history that was built on war-time and the military. During the 1850s, Florence Nightingale famously organized a group of women to aid the wounded during the Crimean War. Working for and assisting soldiers and doctors demanded nurses to be efficient, clean and organized in the war hospital. With a single sheet, hospital corners were used not only to keep the sheet firmly in place, but also allow nurses to easily change or resize the sheet without causing discomfort to the patient. (Note: The fitted sheet as we know it with its elastic corners would not be invented until the 1990s).

Today, a bed made using hospital corners looks well-made and well-kempt, not disheveled and untidy. You would most likely encounter a bed using hospital corners at your favorite high-end, luxury hotels. Love that look? Here is a video and a step-by-step process on how to make the perfect hospital corners.

  • Step 1: With your fitted sheet already on the mattress, lay the flat sheet on top. Make sure that it hangs evenly on the bed.
  • Step 2: Start at one corner at the foot of the bed. Slightly lift the mattress and tuck hanging fabric along the foot of the bed. The excess fabric should now be hanging on the side of the mattress.
  • Step 3: Grab hold of the excess fabric. Lift it up and place on top of the mattress. The edge of the sheet should form a 45-degree angle with the corner of your mattress.
  • Step 4: Hold the fabric forming a 45-degree angle. Tuck in hanging fabric along the side of the mattress and let the sheet fall.
  • Step 5: Adjust the edge of the sheet to the corner of the mattress and tuck in.
  • Step 6: Repeat steps 2 through 5 on the remaining corner.
  • Step 7: To continue making the perfect bed, layer with a duvet cover and quilt, and style all sleeping pillows and decorative pillows.

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