How to say "to prepare a place for sleeping"?
I mean "to put a sheet, blanket and pillow on the surface where someone will sleep (usually it's a bed)".

For example:

The host of a house says to his friend who wants to stay overnight at his house:
(1) I "prepared a place to sleep" for you on the floor because unfortunately all beds are already occupied.

A small child says to her mother:
(2) Can you "prepare a place to sleep" for me in another room because mine is very cold?

  • Much further discussion will be wholly valid but on the basic level Asked in that Question, no; never. Sorry, and English has no direct equivalent. The closest you could get would be to 'make (up) a bed' or to 'make a bed (up)' but neither comes close. To 'prepare a place for sleeping' would always seem odd, but never be much misunderstood. Wouldn't it be at least as interesting to learn what language this comes from and whether in that tongue, such a form would be common, or unusual? Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


to make a bed/the bed for you: the general case

to make a bed for you on the couch or sofa OR
to make up a bed for you on the couch
to make or make up a bed for you on the floor [with cushions or an air mattress for example]
to put sheets, a blanket and a pillow [with a pillow case] on an air mattress [the floor is implied]

  • Thanks. I thought "to make the bed" had the only meaning "to put the bed in order after sleeping".
    – Loviii
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 19:56
  • 7
    @Loviii No, it can be both depending on context. Sometimes we also say: I will make up a bed for you on the couch or air mattress or on the floor.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 20:08
  • 14
    +1 for 'make up a bed', often in a place where a bed is not usually to be found. Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 21:25
  • 4
    @lovii - "make the bed" to these ears is what you expected as far as neatening an already existing bed. "Make a bed..." would suggest to me preparing a new place for sleeping.
    – rebusB
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 16:31
  • 1
    @Loviii If you wanted to reassure someone that the sheets have been changed and not only neatened after sleeping you could say that explicitly, e.g. "I changed the sheets for you on the bed downstairs"; at least in the midwest US this would be a common way to invite someone to stay there (or even pressure them slightly, like a parent trying to get an adult child to stay longer). However, the assumption would also be that whenever you're talking about a new person sleeping somewhere, it would have be polite to change the sheets so it's implied when you add a "for you" to "made the bed". Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 17:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .