Making your bed may or may not have been a chore your parents assigned to you as a kid. As adults, we’re very much free to ditch it or keep doing it every day. What difference does it make? Keep reading to find out.

Pros of making a bed

Improves your sleep
Research conducted by the National Sleep Foundation has shown that people who make their beds on most mornings also report having better sleep at night. How does this work? While a made bed might not be the exact reason why people sleep better, there are a lot of ways it can affect the quality of your sleep indirectly. If you make your bed in the morning, there will likely be less clutter in your bedroom and your home overall. In the evening, your bed will look fresh and appealing, so the choice between binge-watching a tv show yet again or going to sleep may be a tiny bit simpler.

Increases productivity

Don’t be put off by a to-do list that starts looming the moment you wake up. Making your bed doesn’t require a lot of mental effort once you’ve figured out the process step-by-step. Accomplishing a small task will give you a much-needed dopamine boost so that you can continue to build upon this small success. If you’ve made your bed first thing or very soon after you get up, you’re less likely to return to your bed and accidentally snooze for too long, thus making your morning rushed and setting the wrong tone for your entire day. A small chore done early can make your entire day much more productive. To quote Admiral William H. McRaven, the author of the bestselling book Make Your Bed, “if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

Benefits mental health
While many of us see housework as daunting, an extended stressful period in life or mental illness can make the simplest chores seem insurmountable. However, figuring out a way to do just one small thing can give you an instant mood boost and a sense of regaining agency and control of your life. In her book How to Keep House While Drowning, KC Davis explains that you don’t have to do everything at once or do it perfectly. Housework doesn’t require an all-or-nothing approach. You can simply pick a thing to do, attempt as much of it as you like and then stop. Without guilt. As little as throwing a quilt over your bed counts. When you give yourself permission to only do a little bit and nothing else, you may end up accomplishing more things than you could’ve imagined.

Keeps your bedding clean
Your unmade bed will be collecting dust all day when you’re not at home, even more so if you have pets. When it’s time for you to sleep after a long day, you might find yourself fighting with the pet hair that’s taken over your bed instead of relaxing and peacefully drifting off to sleep. What an unpleasant way to wrap up your day. So, make your bed in the morning. The future you will thank you.

Cons of making a bed

Does your lower back hurt?
Making your bed, especially when your bed is low and you need to bend a lot to tuck the sheets, can put unnecessary strain on your lower back. If you have back pain or mobility issues, make adjustments to your posture when making your bed, or opt for a higher bed that doesn’t require continuous lumbar flexion while you’re making it.

Do you have a dust allergy?
Dust mites are known for causing or worsening allergies, cough, runny nose, and wheezing in the more sensitive humans. They want nothing more but to make a warm, damp place their home, and your bed might be just the right place for them. If you’re prone to allergies, and dust is one of the triggers, consider leaving your bed unmade so that it can air out during the day. Dust mites won’t thank you but your airways will.

Are you a hot sleeper?
If you tend to sweat a lot at night, toss and turn trying to find a cooler spot, and wake up frequently feeling overheated, opt for not making your bed and see if that makes a difference. Most of these issues have to do with your body being not-so-great at regulating your temperature, but if you make your warm, sweaty bed in the morning, you might come back to the sheets and pillows being wet and even smelly. Definitely not conducive to good sleep. Unmade sheets also feel cooler, and that’s one of the things that can help you fall asleep.

Do you live in a tropical climate?
If the air tends to be hot and humid where you live, consider not making your bed. First of all, your sheets will feel cooler when you get into your bed, at least in the beginning when you’re trying to fall asleep. Second, lett your bedding air out during the day even though it’s humid. It’s still better than having all of the night’s moisture, sweat, and heat trapped under the sheets for an entire day. If you can manage a bigger task in the morning, remove and hang your sheets and take off the pillowcases from the pillows so that they can all properly dry. And finally, opt for natural fabrics for your bedding that are highly breathable and moisture-wicking. Bamboo bed sheets are an excellent option for warmer climates.

Bottom line
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to housework in general and making your bed in the morning. A made-up bed can have a positive effect on your mood and overall productivity, while an unmade bed can be better for your health if you have an allergy or suffer from bouts of back pain. We hope that our review of reasons for and against making a bed in the morning helps you make a decision that is right for you.
November 21, 2022