23 Tips for Creating a Calming Bedroom
Your bedroom is your sanctuary. When you walk through the door, work, chores and everything else should fall away. It's a place to rest and recharge.
Relaxing can be easier said than done, but there are some things you can do to design a bedroom that's instantly calming. Soft colors, low light and the best-weighted blanket ever invented are just a few of the ways to create an environment filled with good vibes conducive to deep, restorative sleep.
Here are 23 tips for creating a calming bedroom.
If Your Pillow Is Worn Out, Pick Up a New One
Why it helps: People have very personal preferences when it comes to pillows, but having a supportive pillow free from mold and mildew is a requirement for literally everyone. Since you can't really wash the inside of a pillow, sleep experts recommend replacing your pillows every year or two.
There are pros and cons of every type of pillow, but the Coop pillow is one of our favorites. A sort of hybrid between a traditional pillow and a memory foam one, you can adjust how much shredded foam is inside it to make it more or less firm.
Our top choice: The Original Coop Pillow, $59.99
Check Out This Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Why it helps: Before you go out and order a premium mattress topper, take note: Not even a Tempur-Pedic topper can fix everything. If your mattress is too soft, or if it's lost support and sags in the middle, forget the mattress topper and spring for a whole new mattress.
If your mattress is too firm, however, a memory foam topper can relieve pressure and eliminate pain, leading to a much more comfortable night of sleep.
Our top choice: Tempur-Pedic Tempur Supreme 3-Inch Mattress Topper, Medium Firm, Queen, White, $229.99
Side Sleepers Can Benefit From a Body Pillow
Why it helps: A bedroom isn't very restful if you're in pain. There's nothing wrong with sleeping on your side, but it can throw your back and hips out of alignment without the right support.
A body pillow is ultra-cozy, and snuggling up to one helps keep your spine in a neutral position. Body pillows are also helpful to fold behind you while you're reading in bed.
Our top choice: Snuggle-Pedic Full Body Pillow With Shredded Memory Foam, $59.99
Choose Climate-Appropriate Bedding
Why it helps: Being too hot or cold is a good way to disrupt your own sleep. Start with a nice set of sheets and pillowcases, plus an extra for when that one is due for a wash.
From there, try layering. Use a thin quilt in warmer months, and either add on blankets or replace them with a down comforter in winter.
Our top choice: Lbro2m 100 Percent Bamboo Bed Sheet King Size 4 Piece Set, $72.99
Wash Your Bedding Using Allergen-Free Detergent
Why it helps: When you're spending eight hours straight in bed, what you wash your sheets with makes a difference. Some detergents have strong, added scents that can irritate skin and aggravate allergies in sensitive individuals.
Swap out standard detergent with one free from dyes and perfumes.
Our top choice: Tide Pods Free and Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, 81 count, $19.99
Clear the Air for Fewer Allergies and Better Sleep
Why it helps: Even if you're not worried about germs, the air in your home can have a lot of other nasties floating around, like pet dander, dust and air pollution from outside. All of these pesky particles can cause allergies in some individuals, leading to snoring and even sleep apnea.
A HEPA-certified air purifier can remove harmful particles, helping you breathe easy all through the night.
Our top choice: Toppin HEPA Air Purifiers, $67.56
Choose a Soothing Color Scheme
Why it helps: Statistically speaking, some colors are better at promoting a good night of sleep than others. Red and bright purple bedrooms are the worst, because they boost alertness, along with dark gray and dark brown, which promote alertness.
Blue, yellow or green all induce calm and are excellent choices for relaxation. Silver and light orange colors (including tan and beige) also give off a tranquil feeling.
Soft shades are good as well, particularly shades of blue. Blush pink is another popular choice that's calming.
Our top choice: Intelligent Design Felicia Luxe Comforter Set, $68.99
Use Aromatherapy to Set the Mood
Why it helps: Aromatherapy has been around for centuries, and many people still swear by it. Aromatherapy proponents believe that certain essential oils can improve focus, reduce stress and even relieve cold and allergy symptoms.
A diffuser with a few drops of lavender, eucalyptus and clary sage essential oils can help you drift off to sleep. If there are other essential oil blends you prefer, go for it. Any scent you find relaxing will do.
Our top choice: Vitruvi Stone Diffuser, Ceramic Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser, $119
Knock Out Disruptive Blue Light Waves
Why it helps: Blue light is the nemesis of a good night of sleep. Blue light is emitted by pretty much all devices, including laptops and smartphones. It's like telling your brain that it's daytime, even when you're supposed to be winding down for bed.
Putting your devices on night mode is a good start, but you can also give yourself a leg up by picking reading lamps with adjustable color temperatures. That way, you can read by softer, warm light before bed instead of harsh, bright-white light.
Our top choice: Set of 2 Fully Dimmable Industrial Table Lamps with 2 USB Ports & AC Outlet, $64.99
Darken Your Space for Better Sleep
Why it helps: Natural circadian rhythms rely on light to stay in sync. When you're exposed to too much light during evening hours, your sleep-wake cycle can get out of whack.
Blackout curtains block out street lights and headlights to keep your room completely dark until morning. They're also great for creating calming bedrooms for babies and toddlers.
Hello, longer daytime naps.
Our top choice: Nicetown Window Blackout Curtains for Bedroom, $20.95
Try an Alarm Clock That Wakes You With Light
Why it helps: Alarm clocks are amazing, said no one ever. The loud, jarring sound of an alarm going off at 6 a.m. is universally hated. Fortunately, there's a much gentler alternative.
This sunrise alarm clock gradually gets lighter, reaching full brightness at your chosen wake-up time. It also doubles as a unique lamp with multiple color options, and as a sound machine to soothe you to sleep at bedtime.
Our top choice: Hatch Restore — Sound Machine, Smart Light and Sunrise Alarm Clock, $129.99
Reduce Clutter With Under Bed Storage Options
Why it helps: Shoving things under the bed usually adds clutter, not subtracts from it. Adding storage drawers, however, has the opposite effect.
Under bed storage containers like this one make use of all that amazing floor space, while keeping the contents neat. Store your shoe collection, bathing suits or out-of-season clothes under there.
Our top choice: Under Bed Storage with Wheels, $61.99
Keep Cords Out of Sight
Why it helps: Cords aren't very attractive, and seeing a pile of ugly black cords will probably remind you of work. That's not very calming, is it? Since keeping your bedroom tech-free is a longshot, we recommend picking up a cable organizer box.
Each box fits a power strip that hides all your chargers and cords. The box looks way nicer than the usual, tangled cord web, and your chargers are still right where you need them.
Our top choice: Chouky 2 Pack Large Cable Management Box — Wooden Style Cord Organizer Box, $29.99
Keep Decor Simple and Practical
Why it helps: The smaller your bedroom, the more important it is to keep things simple. Avoid busy decorations and loud colors and go with a cohesive theme. Whether you pick all white furniture, mirrored furniture or rustic wood, choose pieces that go together.
Make sure they're functional, too. Consider how you typically use your bedroom. Do you need a chair to sit in? A simple night table? A small bookcase? Only buy items you'll really use.
Our top choice: Kinbor White Wooden End Tables Set of 2, Nightstand with Storage Drawer, $129.99
A Trashcan in Your Bedroom Can Actually Help You Sleep Better
Why it helps: It might sound silly, but there's a good reason for this one. Keeping a trash can in your bedroom makes it way easier to keep your space tidy.
Without it, water bottles, tissues, mail and tags from new clothes end up scattered everywhere. A small trash can is a cheap and easy fix.
Our top choice: Whitmor Split Rattique Waste Basket with Wood Handles — Gray Wash, $24.99
Try a White Noise Machine
Why it helps: Noise pollution can significantly impact your quality of sleep, especially if you live in the city or in an apartment. Trash trucks, annoying neighbors and sirens can easily disrupt your sleep, even if you don't realize it.
A white noise machine is an inexpensive way to drown out startling outside sounds, blanketing them with more calming sounds.
Our top choice: Magicteam White Noise Machine with 20 Non-Looping Natural Sounds, $19.99
Snuggle Up Under a Weighted Blanket
Why it helps: Research has proven that weighted blankets help reduce anxiety, leading to deeper, more restful sleep. Weighted blankets are nothing new, but there are now knit versions that are much softer and more breathable.
The gentle pressure is like being hugged by your bed all night long.
Our top choice: Bearaby Cotton Napper, $249
Keep a Journal Handy
Why it helps: Whether you have anxiety or you're just plain busy, racing thoughts before bed can make falling asleep a challenge. A helpful hack is to keep a notebook nearby to write down your thoughts so you don't forget them.
Jot down reminders, a to-do list for tomorrow, worries or whatever else is on your mind.
Our top choice: Paperage Lined Journal Notebook, Hard Cover, Medium 5.7 X 8 inches, $9.95
Keep All Your Bedtime Essentials Within Reach
Why it helps: These days, most of us have a lot of knick-knacks laying around. Our phones and wireless earphones, plus reading glasses, charging cables, lip balm and who knows what else.
As we've discussed, clutter is the exact opposite of calm. Shoving all your stuff in a drawer is an option, but keeping it neatly organized on your nightstand is a better option.
This convenient tray charges your phone and makes it easy to check how much time is left before your alarm goes off.
Our top choice: Valet Tray, Built-in Wireless Charging Pad, Nightstand Organizer, $29.99
Add a Cozy Rug to Set the Mood
Why it helps: Part of creating a cozy, relaxing bedroom is choosing items that up the comfort factor without adding clutter. If you have hardwood or laminate flooring, a soft rug warms the room.
It also makes getting out of bed in the morning a little less painful.
Our top choice: Rainlin Shaggy 6x9 Area Rug, $76.99