How To Make a Bed at Home Like a 5-Star Hotel

updated Sep 21, 2022
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(Image credit: The Marlton)

Traveling has its ups and downs (and we don’t just mean your plane’s take-off and landing.) Last-minute packing, hectic airports, hailing a cab under the duress of language barriers—all those stresses you encounter on the journey, well…they’re worth it when you slide into your hotel’s cloud-like, absolutely heavenly bed. I did some digging and uncovered these six common qualities that make the beds in 5-star hotels so downright delectable.

1. Stick to Predominantly All-White Bedding

(Image credit: Mandarin Oriental)

White is far and wide the most commonly used color for hotel linens and bedding. Sure, it’s easier to clean (hello bleach!), but it also has to do with creating a cloud-like heavenly cocoon.

2. Find the Thread-Count Sweet Spot

(Image credit: JW Venice)

Speaking of heavenly cocoons, those silky yet crisp sheets you slide into at luxury hotels tend to clock in at around the 300-thread-count mark. They are always cotton (specifically Egyptian cotton) because they’re the most breathable and help you stay cool, so make sure to steer clear of cheaper microfiber varieties.

3. Ditch the Fitted Sheet

(Image credit: Miraval Resorts)

This point probably goes against everything already sitting in your linen closet, but study the sheet set-up the next time you’re staying at a hotel, and you’ll notice something missing: the fitted sheet.

Hotels use two flat sheets instead: the bottom flat sheet is usually oversized and tightly tucked around the mattress using hospital corners (this short video shows you how to do them!); the top flat sheet is tucked in on the sides, and the foot of the bed, with the top folded over (and also tucked.) Another tip is to ensure you put the top flat sheet upside down so that when you fold over the top portion, you see the correct side of the sheet.

4. Down Comforter + Cotton Duvet Cover = Bedding Bliss

(Image credit: The Plaza NY)

A bed-in-a-bag can be an easy decor solution, and though it’s by no means the wrong choice when purchasing your bedding, for that ultra-plush, truly heavenly hotel bed feel, it’s all about an extra fluffy down (or down alternative) comforter and cotton duvet cover. Look for an insert that’s 2 inches wider and longer than your duvet cover for an ultra-sumptuous result.

5. Perfect the Pillow Mix

(Image credit: Viceroy)

You’re likely to find a bevy of thick, moan-inducing pillows on a hotel bed, but it doesn’t stop there. Typically, unless you specify a feather allergy, your bed will be equipped with two to four down pillows and two fiber-fill pillows for plenty of options. Euro shams are also common and ideal for propping yourself up while reading in bed.

6. When in Doubt, Add a Feather Bed

(Image credit: Shoreline Hotel)

“This bed is too fluffy,” said no one ever. Sure, the mattress in your hotel room is a large part of the sleep experience, but if you’re not ready to upgrade (or even if you have a killer mattress already), a feather bed/mattress pad is the cherry on top in terms of creating an authentic hotel bed experience.

If you’re serious about your hotel-bed-at-home pursuits, some luxury hotel chains even sell their mattresses, pillows, linens, and robes so you can get the bed of your dreams.

*Re-edited from a post originally published 09.15.16