A few weeks ago, Americans celebrated National Make Your Bed Day, a random holiday commemorating exactly what you think: the thrills, joys and benefits of making your bed.
But around the same time, a number of publications urged readers to do exactly the opposite: “Why NOT making your bed could make you healthier.” “Your mom was wrong, here’s why you should never make your bed.” “Why it’s dangerous to make your bed every morning.” “This is why you should never make your bed again.”
Despite the hyperbolic headlines, many make a fair point: There are benefits to keeping the sheets untidy. But are they enough to abandon the chore entirely? Here’s the argument for and against it.
Regular morning routines positively influence your mental health and can lower the risk of depression. Several therapists vouch that, once their clients started making the beds, they enjoyed more satisfaction with their lives. Many said the feeling of coming home to a clean, made bed contributed to a healthier state of mind.
An unmade bed kills off dust mites, those tiny pests that feed off human skin and can contribute to asthma and other allergies. According to a 2005 study from Kingston University, which tracked the number of dust mites in made beds versus unmade beds, the latter removes moisture from the sheets and mattress, thus causing the mites to dehydrate and die.
Making your bed creates discipline. Bedmaking is a ritual in several different military institutions, and top Navy SEAL and head of the U.S. Special Operations Command Adm. Bill McRaven even chose it as the theme of his 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas. Sean Grover, a psychotherapist working with children, says that making the bed inspires kids to be more disciplined in other areas, such as keeping their rooms clean and preparing for school the next day.
It’s a time-suck. To quote one reddit user, “Why the fuck would someone make something only to sleep in it and jumble it up again?” We’re in such a rush in the mornings, and if nobody’s even going to be home during the day to see it, does it really matter all that much?
The verdict? At Van Winkle’s, we’re Team Make Your Goddamn Bed. The positive effects on mental health, self-discipline and productivity go a long way. Although we acknowledge dust mites can be an issue, we suggest simply washing your sheets more often.