Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make a Closed Hospital Bed

Updated April 17, 2017

It's vital that hospital staff know the proper way to make a hospital bed. Patients are admitted into a hospital for a variety of reasons, but they all need to have a comfortable bed to rest in. Bunched up sheets and blankets can cause back pain and discomfort in patients, which is not what you want. Additionally, a well-made bed shows patients that the hospital is focused on cleanliness and order, and contributes to the healing environment that patients need to get well.

Place the mattress pad on the mattress. Make sure that the size of the mattress pad fits the size of the bed. Most hospital beds are twin-size, so a twin-size mattress pad should suffice. Many hospital mattress are hard, so a 2-inch or 3-inch mattress pad will add comfort to the bed.

Place the mattress protection sheet over the mattress pad. Pull it tightly over the bottom left corner first, then the top right corner. Then tuck in the bottom right corner, and finally the top left. Tucking in diagonal corners will ensure that the protection sheet fits tightly.

Pick out the correct size sheets for the bed. Sheets that are too large or too small will be uncomfortable for patients. Wash any new sheets before using them. Make sure that all of the sheets are clean and starched.

Place the bottom sheet over the bed and, using the same diagonal method you used with the mattress protection sheet, tuck it in. Ensure that there are no large wrinkles in the sheet, and that the mattress pad or mattress protection sheet hasn't bunched in the process.

Lay the top sheet flat on the bed, pulling it so that its sides hang evenly over the left and right sides of the bed. Pull the top of the sheet all the way up so it rests at the edge of the top of the bed.

Tuck the sheet in, creating folded corners at the bottom of the bed. Mitre the corners by pulling the sheet tight over the rear of the bed and slightly around the corners before tucking it underneath the mattress. This creates a fold in the sheet on each of the long sides of the bed at the back corners. Stand on the right side of the bed, pull the sheet tight, and fold the entire length of the sheet's side underneath the mattress; the folded part of the sheet will create a triangle at the back right corner. Stand on the left side of the bed and repeat the process.

Lay the blanket on top of the top sheet. Pull the top of the blanket all the way up to the top of the bed, so it rests directly on top of the top sheet. Tuck in the remaining three sides, mitring the corners at the back of the bed. A standard hospital bed has one blanket; add more blankets at the patient's request, using the same technique.

Place the first pillow inside a pillowcase, ensuring that the pillow tag end goes in first. Do the same for the second pillow. Place these side by side at the very top of the bed, on top of the blanket.


Be mindful of patient allergies and use an allergy-free detergent to wash the sheets in. If the hospital bed is adjustable, make sure to use adjustable sheets. With each step, ensure that there are no major wrinkles in the sheet's layout. Use gloves when taking used sheets off of a bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Mattress pad
  • Mattress protection sheet
  • Bottom sheet
  • Top sheet
  • 2 pillowcases
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About the Author

Based in Seattle, Francie Kay has been writing professionally since 2005. She has extensive experience writing for health-care publications and websites and her articles have appeared in the "Bellevue Reporter." Kay graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Gonzaga University.