1. Hang string lights above your bed to add a little magic.
Hanging the lights behind a sheet or thin curtain helps make your room feel less like a Christmas display and more like a FaiRy WoNDeRLanD. You can use normal tree lights or get these delicate ones at Urban Outfitters.
2. Dress your bed in a giant sweater with a cable-knit blanket.
Knit your own blanket if you’re looking for a project; if not, you could buy this throw (or this cheaper Ikea version), order a handmade one on Etsy (for example here, here, or here), or check out these cool chunky wool options.
3. Get a real down comforter.
It’s just one of those things that makes more a difference than you think it will. Sleeping under a beautiful weightless cloud of bird-warmth feels so much better than wrapping yourself in, like, endless layers of swampy padding made out of recycled plastic bottles. Good Housekeeping has recommendations for the very best in feathers.
That said, if you’re allergic to down (or how much it costs), there are still plenty of feather-free and budget-friendly alternatives that will give you the BIG, FLUFFY FEELING you’re looking for.
4. Skip the top sheet and just put a nice washable duvet cover on your comforter.
Europeans know this, and so should you: Sleeping top-sheetless feels LUXURIOUS AS HECK. It also means making the bed is basically zero work, and you’ll never again wake up with a dumb, useless piece of fabric tangled around your legs. Look for an easy-to-wash duvet cover made of soft, natural fiber (flannel, cotton, linen, etc).
5. Throw down an extra fuzzy bedside rug to make things easier for your feet in the morning.
When it comes to rugs, you can NEVER HAVE ENOUGH. You can get this white sheepskin at Ikea.
6. A plushy faux-fur throw on top of the covers will add Hollywood glam to your all-day Netflix sessions.
Check out Apartment Therapy’s list of throws to make your own.
7. Learn how to tuck in your covers neatly.
It seems like a small thing, but the nicer your bed looks, the happier you’ll be to get into it. Check out this quick tutorial video on folding sheets with a tidy “hospital corner.”
8. Make your bed every (!) day (!).
It doesn’t have to be perfect, but see above re: nice beds and wanting to get into them. You’ll feel like you’re in a hotel, but the hotel is free, and you’re the only guest! If you’re not feeling motivated, you can reward yourself with an Andes mint every time you make the bed.
9. When in doubt, add pillows.
Don’t go CRAZY here, but at least two pillows per side is a minimum for baseline coziness. And anything beyond that will increase your cozy factor significantly, especially if you use pillows with a bunch of different shapes and cover textures.
10. If you have basic sewing skills, it’s easy to turn cheap bath mats or accent rugs into cuddly throw pillow covers.
11. Invest in a nice bedside lamp so you never again have to get up to turn off the overhead light.
This DIY pulley lantern is super cool, but you’re also definitely allowed to just buy one.
12. You can save money on a fancy tufted headboard by making your own.
You’ll need a board, padding, fabric, and buttons. Get the full tutorial here.
13. If you’re ready to upgrade your sheets, try linen instead of cotton.
This will make a much bigger difference than upping your thread count, which is basically a scam anyway. Linen is textured enough to be cozy in winter and light enough to keep you cool in summer. And it’s always (artfully, elegantly) wrinkly, so you don’t have to worry about getting out every little bump when you’re making the bed.
Rough Linen sells these old-fashioned unfitted linen sheets, or you can find more traditional ones at Restoration Hardware or Garnet Hill. They’re not cheap, but these get even better and softer over time, so they’ll probably earn out over the years.
14. DIY a cozy canopy by hanging fabric from the ceiling.
Option 1: Buy wooden dowels for just a few cents at a craft store and attach them to the ceilings with hooks or thumbtacks. Option 2: Rig up two short curtain rods on either side of the bed.
15. Add a foam or feather pillow-top pad to your mattress to make it softer.
You can get foam pads at IKEA or toppers filled with down at other home stores.
16. If your bed is in a nook or very small room, you can turn it into a ship-shape hideaway with some curtains.
Adding a wall mirror and light will keep it extra cozy and make sure it’s not too dark. Get more info on this cool small-space DIY at Apartment Therapy.
17. When all else fails: Find someone furry to share your bed with.
Dogs are basically just everlasting hot water bottles.