How to Make Your Bed Military Style? – 6 Steps

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

how to make your bed military style

When you first join any military branch, you might want to know how to make your bed military style. Or you are jut curious about the tricks to neatly fold your bed as such.

Fixing your bed military-style requires laying the top sheet first and tucking all sides under the bed into a 45-degree hospital corner. It ends with a blanket about 18 inches from the head of the mattress and is pressed down over the top sheet with the same 45-degree corners.

Continue reading for detailed, step-by-step instruction.

What to Prepare


Keeping your army bed neat and tidy is a part of military training. Basic training beds typically have a set of the following:

  • a fitted sheet,
  • a flat sheet (also called a top sheet),
  • a blanket, and
  • a pillow.

Depending on your duty station, the linen could be provided (or not). For example, the US Coast Guard provides two sheets, 1 bedspread or comforter, 1 pillowcase, and 1 blanket (during cold weather).

Military deployers must bring and use their own linen throughout their stay while undergoing their validation process.

OSUT could sometimes issue a set of linen if you didn’t come prepared. It usually includes the infamous green wool blankets, a white sheet, and a single pillow.

Many experienced service members recommend investing in your own set of sheets and pillows. After all, quality sleep is important for military personnel’s day-to-day performance.

Steps to Make a Bed in the Military

The military fold bed making method is the same across the military.

Step 1: Spread the Fitted Bottom Sheet.


You should stand at the foot of your bed to spreading the bottom sheet. Make sure it is laid out evenly.

Step 2: Tuck the Bottom Sheet

Military corners on a bed, also known as “the hospital corner,” makes military beds different from ordinary citizen bed-making. This method ensures that the sheet doesn’t come untucked quickly.

Tuck the end of the bottom sheet between the box spring and the mattress.

Take time fixing the sheet between them instead of just slipping it into the gap.

Move to the head of the bed. From there, tuck the other side into the mattress and box spring. This is the secret to ensuring the sheets do not move as quickly.

Step 3: Make the Hospital Corner With Your Bottom Sheet


From the foot of your bed, pick your first corner to work on. Estimate about 15 inches from the corner up to the middle of the bed and grab the sheet using one hand. This effectively lifts the sheet and forms a triangle shape with a 45-degree angle.

Tuck the leftover sheet that’s dangling on the corner underneath the mattress. You can straighten the edge of your mattress with your hand.

Repeat on all corners of the bed.

Then, smooth out wrinkles with your hand.

Step 4: Spread the Top Sheet and Blanket

Find the end with the large hem, and align this side to the head of the bed when spreading the top sheet over the bottom fitted sheet

If you have a blanket, place it over the top sheet. Make sure to leave 5-6 inches between the sheet’s top and the blanket’s top.

Step 5: Make the Hospital Corner With Your Top Sheet and Blanket

The sides of both your top sheet and blanket should be loosely on the sides of the bed.

Repeat the hospital corner process above, except this time, do it with your top sheet and blanket.

Finish off by folding the tops of your blanket and sheet near the head of the bed, and tucking them both under the mattress. Make sure to smooth any wrinkles.

Step 6: Place Your Pillow and Comforter


Now, place the pillow neatly at the head of your bed.

If you have a comforter, you can just fold it normally and place it on top of your blanket and sheet.

In some military branches, the true test of a perfectly military tuck bed is when an officer can bounce off a quarter on top of your bed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the military make you make your bed?

Properly making your bed sets the tone for your day and ticks a task off your to-do list effortlessly.

Making your bed correctly first thing in the morning sets you up for good morale. Accomplishing one task makes bigger tasks feel possible.

Also, making the bed instills discipline and trains you to improve attention to detail.

Is military bed sheet folding the same method used for bunk beds?

The step-by-step instructions above are the same, even for bunk beds.

However, the difference is that tidying up a bunk bed is a two-person job. You and your bunkmate must stand on opposite sides and make the beds together.

How much time are trainees given to make their beds in basic training?

The answer to this question varies depending on the drill officer or branch of the military. However, expect you will be given less time in the first few weeks until you’re making your bed on autopilot. Once you’ve mastered this skill, likely, officers would only make a fuss about the beds if they’re unmade or untidy.


Learning how to make your bed military style is one of the skills you’ll master in basic training. Many retired service members claim that they’ve done it hundreds of times and that even years later, they can still do military corners by muscle memory.

You can practice military bed making even before you start your basic training, but this isn’t mandatory.

If you’re a civilian new to adulting or a teen looking for a tutorial on folding sheets a different way, military-style beds would be a good alternative.

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