As children, it’s the most important thing to decorate our bedrooms. As adults, we can fill our bedroom with whatever furniture and décor we want. But . . . we seldom do.
Maybe you have no time; maybe you no longer see the point. But the bedroom should be your refuge from the outside world.
So, squeeze some time out of your schedule to give your bedroom a makeover. Fill it with comfortable, scientifically-proven furniture. Create a safe and personal space for yourself.
The most essential part of your bedroom is the bed. It’s all in the name.
The most important thing you’ll do in your bedroom is sleep. (Let’s keep it PG.)
The type of mattress depends on your preferences for comfort. However, some are scientifically proven to be better for sleep than others.
Blood flow can be reduced in the part of your body that you lie on. This deprives that area of oxygen and nutrients. The ideal mattress should reduce pressure points of your body.
These are your average mattress. Innerspring mattresses contain built in coil springs. Each spring is enclosed individually to prevent the coils from popping out from the mattress.
Experts say that the optimal number of springs is 390. Anything more than that is unnecessary as you won’t feel the difference.
The best thing about innerspring mattresses is that you can pair them with the others on the list. You can place a layer of pillow, latex or memory foam on top of the coils.
Spring-based mattresses are suitable for just about anyone. Hence the reason why they’re popular. But the firmer support is great for those who are overweight or suffering from back pain.
However, don’t choose the cheapest one. You need enough springs and padding to cushion you.
Best for: firmer support, easier to get on and off
Memory foam mattress
Memory foam made big news when they first came out. A mattress that could mold around your form was never heard of before.
The multiple layers of foam respond to your weight and temperature. By molding to your shape, the foam reduces pressure points. This is great if you have muscle pain or suffer from chronic fatigue.
Some other conditions that memory foam can relieve:
Sleeping disorders (such as insomnia)
The foam also absorbs movement, which means tosses and turns won’t be as disturbing to others. This provides better sleep quality for everyone
There are still some things you should take note of though. The memory foam mattress is sensitive to temperature. Your body heat can soften it. This makes things feel even hotter and more uncomfortable. Especially in the summer.
Best for: reducing pressure points, best in colder temperatures
Latex mattresses have the best of both worlds. It can be made of synthetic rubber. However, natural organic rubber may be better for you. The material provides a firm and slightly bouncy support.
The memory foam gives in to your weight. But the latex mattress pushes back against you.
This helps with natural spine alignment. Your heavier body parts (ex: shoulders and hip) sink into the latex. But the lighter areas can still be supported. This promotes the natural curvature of the spine.
It can relieve pain and improve blood circulation.
In addition, the rubber is naturally resistant to mold and dust. You don’t have to worry about these allergens, no matter the sleeping environment.
Best for: relieving back pain and allergies
Soft combination mattress
Combo mattresses give the best of both worlds for those who need it. The traditional springs give you the support. But a top layer gives you more comfort and ease.
These mattresses are the best for side sleepers. Also known as sleeping in the fetal position.
This position usually results in a numb arm in the morning. However, it can help pregnant women and those suffering from heartburn.
The softness of the top layer of combination mattresses will help your pressure points. They cushion your body, but still allow you to sink in.
If you’re a side sleeper, you can also use a thick pillow. This keeps your head from tilting down. Which can strain your neck. Place a pillow between your knees if your lower back hurts as well.
Best for: comfortable mattress for side sleepers
When you hear air mattress, you’ll probably think of the temporary blow-up ones. But higher-end air beds are actually quite similar to innerspring beds.
Rather than coils, you have chambers filled with air. Most have foam as the top layer as well.
The biggest benefit to the air bed is its ability to be customized. Just add some more air for a firmer bed. Release some air if you need something softer.
Larger beds (full size and up) include two independent chambers too. This is great if you’re sharing with someone who has different preferences. Just pump enough air for yourself.
And since it’s inflatable, you don’t have to worry about sagging mattresses. Just add more air if needed. High quality PVC material can last for a good decade as well.
The only problem would be if the mattress is inflated incorrectly. Or it is of cheap quality.
Best for: sleeping with partners with different needs
Similar to the air mattress is the water variety.
You may think it is just fun and games. But its original purpose was for medical therapy. Heated waterbeds do a lot for relieving pain and relaxing muscles.
It can increase blood flow and stimulate blood circulation. All areas of your body will be supported evenly. It is like a posture-pedic bed, but much more affordable. Some joint, bone and muscle conditions the waterbed can help with:
There are two main types of waterbeds. The hard-sided variation contains the water chamber(s) in a rectangular wood frame. On the other hand, the soft-sided is inside rigid foam and fabric casing. However, both are padded with foam or fiber.
Water chambers can be free flow. This means nothing obstructs the water flow inside and it can move around. Waveless water chambers means there is fiber inside which obstructs the flow.
The amount of water and temperature can also be adjusted to your needs.
Best for: economic alternative to heat therapeutic beds
Bamboo mattress cover
Another option for mattresses is one made with bamboo fibers.
Pesticides and herbicides are not used in bamboo’s growth process. This means there is no chemical treatment that can irritate your skin. Most people are not allergic to bamboo either.
Bamboo fabric is great at wicking away moisture as well. For liquid, it can absorb up to three times its weight. This mattress cover will help you if you sweat easily at night. It may even be good for children who wet their beds.
And if you’re green, it should be great to know that bamboo fabric is very eco-friendly. Bamboo grows quickly and is sustainable.
Best for: moisture-wicking mattress cover
The size of bed depends entirely on the space you have in the room. And the space you want for spreading out.
Twin: these are for single sleepers with a smaller room. Bunkbeds and those that double as couches are usually twin sized too.
Twin-XL: this is the same width as the standard twin, but longer by a few inches. It’s suitable for taller youths and adults.
Full: it is also known as the double bed. It’s great for a single sleeper who likes more room to stretch.
Queen: this is the most popular choice for couples. However, singles like the extra room too.
King: this bed gives you the most room. And if you have children or pets who like to steal a snooze with you, this bed size would be best.
California king: this is the biggest size you can get. It tops at 72” by 84”. If you need something bigger, you’ll have to get a custom-made bed frame.
As for the type of bed frame, it can be affected by the room size as well. But the design and style is most important.
While there are different variations (half poster, low poster, pencil poster etc.), the basic design has four vertical columns from each corner.
This elegant design gives off a vintage feeling. It’s best for bigger beds, such as queen and king sizes. They usually come with a headboard as well.
For something more, you can also drape a canopy over the posts.
The posts can be pointed, round or square. Pencil posts are pointed while the others offer more variety.
Best for: vintage bedroom aesthetic
The poster and canopy bed is almost interchangeable. Since many will drape curtains across the posts to form a canopy.
However, canopy beds can also feature sleek metal frames. Or you can simply hang fabric from the ceiling. The fabric can be changed easily as well. This allows you to switch around styles and always giving your room a fresh look.
Canopies are mostly for the aesthetics nowadays. However, there are still many benefits to having them.
The surrounding curtains give you the privacy needed. In the winter, they can keep the heat in. In the summer, they’ll keep mosquitoes and other bugs out. If you like taking naps, or work the night shift, the drapes also keep out the light.
Do note that canopy beds require rooms with higher ceilings. There should be at least 6 inches of space above the frame as well.
Best for: creating an enclosed sleeping area
The shape of the sleigh bed is in the name. The headboard and footboard curl outwards, like a sleigh. However, many modern versions feature a flat headboard instead. This helps save some space.
Sleigh beds are usually made of solid wood. The best wood used are: pine, oak or plywood. It provides much support for your back while sleeping.
The solid wood should be stronger than a metal frame, since metal can warp and rust. Maintain the wood by wiping it down periodically with soapy water. You can also re-varnish it. Then it can last for ages.
These beds are both elegant and minimalist. Choose the sleigh bed if you would like a sturdy but sophisticated model. Just be aware that the outward curl will require more room than a simple head and footboard.
Best for: bed with an elegant but simple design
The daybed and the futon are very closely related.
Couch by day, bed by night, they are multipurpose and economical pieces of furniture. If you are limited with space, the advantages are obvious. If you have a larger home, you can also place these beds in the guest room.
The day bed is a twin sized bed. The headboard and footboard double as the sofa arms. There may be a side rail for the sofa back. But they are usually meant to be placed against a wall. When it’s bedtime, remove the cushions (if any are too thick) and catch some Z’s.
For the futon, you must fold it back into a couch when needed. You may change the mattress between each to suit your needs.
The daybed and futon may not be the most comfortable beds. However, they are your number one choice if you don’t have enough space. Or if you need a backup bed for the occasional guest.
Best for: small rooms or guest rooms
The trundle bed is another great option for guests. They are essentially 2 in 1 beds. Some daybeds are also in the form of a trundle bed. Others include pull out drawers rather than a second bed.
The main bed can be slept in regularly. But when needed, you can pull the bottom bed out. The frame can be made from a variety of materials. They range from wood to cast iron to upholstered fabric.
It is mainly for children. However, this doesn’t mean adults can’t benefit from it. The lower bed is mostly a twin sized bed. But the main bed can be any size, even a king sized.
The trundle bed is great for:
Children who need to spend the night with their parents
As it is made to minimize space, you can only have thinner mattresses. This may be problematic for those with back pains. And should be taken note of.
The trundle bed is not as bulky as the bunk bed. But if you’d like a more permanent 2 bed option, the bunk bed should be your choice. For the bunk bed, you can also include more comfortable mattresses.
Best for: an extra temporary bed
The loft bed is similar to the bunk bed. But instead of a bed, you get space for a desk, a couch or just storage. This is another good choice for rooms that are low on space.
It can give you more room if you are living by yourself. It’s also an option for roommates without going for bunk beds.
They are great for children, students, or even the workaholic. Although discouraged against for better sleep quality, the loft bed lets you work and sleep in the same area.
Filling the lower space with shelves also help with de-cluttering. You can shove things under the bed. But in a much more organized way.
The loft bed can also be decorated and customized. Go for a more cozy, vintage or minimalist style if you’d like.
Best for: incorporating workspace in a small room
As the name suggests, the angle of these beds can be adjusted. You can lower it to sleep. Then raise it to eat breakfast or watch TV. This is a great option for bedridden folks, or those with difficulty getting in and out of bed.
Some conditions can also be relieved by sleeping at an elevated angle. For example, if you have sleep apnea, avoid sleeping fat. Doing so can cut off airways and make things worse.
If you suffer from acid reflux (also known as heartburn), the elevation can help too.
Experts also suggest adjustable beds for those with hip or back pain. It makes the transformation from lying to sitting much easier.
Adjustable beds require flexible mattresses. Such as memory foam or latex. (Innerspring mattresses can’t bend as easily.)
Best for: relieving conditions such as sleep apnea and acid reflux
Bedroom furniture: mattress support
Box spring bed
The box spring bed is the most traditional type of bed. As the name implies, it consists of metal springs inside a rectangular box. The mattress is then placed above it.
The springs move together with the springs of the mattress. This is helpful if you have a firm mattress but would prefer something softer. The springs absorb the shocks and your weight as you move around. It helps conform the mattress to your body, similar to a memory foam mattress.
You will also get a higher up mattress with the box spring. As well as a flat and firm base for the mattress.
Best for: making firm mattresses feel softer
Similar to the box spring, the mattress is placed on top of the foundation. It is more budget-friendly than the box spring and gives you a firmer sleep. The foundation is most commonly made of wooden slats. It provides a flat and solid surface.
While the box spring absorbs shock, the foundation is more for support. It is thick and strong, absorbing your weight. In addition, it helps distribute your weight more evenly. This takes pressure off both your back and bed.
The best type of mattress for the foundation bed is the no-flip pillow top mattress. Memory foam mattresses are suitable as well.
But if you do not like the foundation bed for whatever reason (such as the mattress being raised), there is still another option.
Best for: lessen back pressure while sleeping
Modern platform bed
The platform bed is a newer style. The low-slung profile gives you a sleek aesthetic. It is commonly seen in European and Asian interior design.
Made of sturdy slatted wood, there is no need for a box spring or foundation. Even the heaviest mattress can be supported by the raised platform. This design can also help with ventilation and prevention of mold.
While the previous two help soften mattresses, this one does the opposite. Placing the mattress directly onto the platform helps firm it up. It provides just enough support for your back.
Plus, there is no box spring, so the mattress is lower to the ground. It can give the illusion of higher ceilings and complements other low furniture.
However, you can also opt for a lofted model. If your room is smaller, you can utilize the space for storage. It is great for apartment and dorm room dwellers.
Best for: economic and modern style for smaller rooms
Bedroom furniture: pillows
For whatever reason, the importance of choosing a good pillow is often forgotten. But the thing you rest your head on is extremely crucial to getting a good night’s sleep.
You’ll be able to find pillows with the same material as your mattress. Such as latex and memory foam. There are some special pillows though.
Down is a delicate but durable filling for pillows, comforters and other objects. They are made from what covers geese under their feathers. While feathers are flat, down is fluffier and soft.
The higher the fill power (a.k.a. fluffiness), the higher quality the down.
The pillows are soft and moldable. You can mold them into the most comfortable shape. They’re also easy to fluff back and look as good as new. It might not give as much support for those with big, heavy heads though.
Best for: comfortable and luxurious pillow
Make sure you have enough comfy pillows and quilts. What’s better than throwing yourself onto a bed of softness after a long day?
It doesn’t hurt to have plush pillows solely for decoration either. Just the sight of fluffed pillows can make a room look more put together. And an organized room can lift your moods too.
For children, you can also add some stuffed animals. These toys actually provide educational benefits. So it’s not all play and fluff. Even older children can benefit.
Best for: making the bedroom more comfortable
Even if you have a partner, you may want a body pillow to hug while sleeping too.
A body pillow can do a lot to ease physical pain. Its benefits include (but aren’t limited to):
Alleviating strains (leg, hip, shoulder, spinal)
Supporting your neck
Helping you sleep in therapeutic positions
All of this works to relax your muscles, improving blood circulation. And helping you sleep easier.
Different shapes, such as C or candy cane, are better for different situations. You can also choose between a variety of materials. They range from memory foam to entirely organic stuffing.
As with mattresses, you can also choose bamboo body pillows. These are especially great if you tend to sweat during sleep. With bamboo, you won’t have to be hugging a damp pillow all night!
Best for: comforting and supportive pillow for aching bodies
A comforter is the typical blanket or cover. It is essentially a stitched bag with some sort of filling. They are sold according to bed size. But they are larger than the bed, hanging down the sides.
Comforters are low maintenance because you can just throw them into the wash. They usually come as a coordinated set with sheets and pillow covers. This can help you decorate and organize your room.
For the filling, you can choose between down or synthetic fibers.
As aforementioned, down is an extremely soft and fluffy material. Several types of down are available. They offer different weights and warmth. Down can give you comfort in warm weather and warmth in cool climates.
Best for: low-maintenance comforter all year round
But while down is a great addition to your life, you might find yourself allergic to it. And that is where down alternative comes in.
Down alternatives include:
Because they don’t contain any of that goose fluff, you won’t get any allergic reactions (if that’s what is causing the problem.)
And while down is fluffy, the alternatives are firmer. In pillows, the thicker material may provide more support for the neck and back. For comforters, they may be heavier as well.
Best for: pillows and comforters for those allergic to down
Many people are concerned about the safety of electric blankets. It can’t be good to be around electricity all night long, right?
Old electric blankets use the currents straight from the outlet. But modern ones use low-voltage wiring. Newer blankets also work to prevent the release of electromagnetic fields. It is much safer (but should still be used with care.)
To save energy, you can turn down the thermostat at night. Then use the electric blanket for localized heat.
In addition, the blanket can provide warmth uniformly across your body. Without adding heavy layers of bedding.
However, do not use these blankets if you have a pet. Chewing can damage the wires. It’s not recommended for children and incapacitated people either.
Best for: localized heat in bed at night
Fabric made from bamboo is gaining popularity, despite some controversy.
Though considered rayon (man-made) fabric, bamboo is very green. No pesticides or herbicides are used. It is also one of the fastest growing plants. Compared to cotton, it requires less water and contributes more oxygen.
Studies from China and India have also showed that bamboo has anti-bacterial properties too. Though results vary, both agree that bamboo rayon has a positive effect against E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
In addition to that, the most important thing is that bamboo fabric is comfortable. It’s soft and lightweight. It’s great for all temperatures and also helps absorb bad odor.
Bamboo fabric can be used for pillows, duvet covers, pajamas and more.
While it is more expensive than cotton, bamboo rayon is a great addition to your bedroom ensemble.
Best for: anti-bacterial bed set
Duvet and cover
A duvet is usually confused with comforters. A comforter is essentially a stitched up bag of filling. The duvet is that, but with a cover separate from the insert.
Instead of having a bedsheet and blanket, you can just have a duvet with a cover. This saves you time when making your bed. It’s also easier to change up the style—just change the cover!
However, the duvet is a little more high-maintenance. It should be dry-cleaned.
As with comforters, you can choose between down or synthetic fibers (down alternatives) for duvets. The material comes with all the same benefits, regardless of the style it’s in.
Best for: time-saving and customizable bedding
Bamboo duvet cover
The duvet must be dry-cleaned. This is the big reason why you should have a duvet cover. Other than just stylizing your duvet.
The cover protects the duvet from being dirtied. It’s easily removed and easily washed. And if you have a down duvet, the feathers may poke through as time wears on. A duvet cover can protect you from it.
As always, there are many different materials you can choose from. Bamboo is a good choice as it offers wick protection. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-mold.
Some brands also claim that their bamboo duvet covers are temperature-minded. It may help you if you suffer from hot flashes or night sweat.
Best for: protecting you and your duvet
Bedsheets are quite important. They are what you lay on every night, providing you with insulation, warmth and comfort. But, just like pillows, they are often overlooked.
There are two main types: fitted and flat sheets. The fitted is held down onto the bed. Usually with elastic. The flat, or top, sheet goes on the fitted.
For the summer, you can go with cotton sheets. Of course, the quality depends on the type of cotton. But they are breathable and durable, giving you a cool summer night’s sleep.
Flannel sheets come into play for the winter. The cotton gives you the fluff, while the wool keeps you warm. However, flannel is not breathable. If you think you’ll find it too warm, you can choose thicker cotton instead.
Best for: insulation and support during sleep
So you have a bed to put yourself in. Now where do you put the rest of your things?
There are many options to choose from: dressers, chests, wardrobes and more. There are different styles and variations to each as well. And of course, all are versatile. They have original functions, but you can stuff anything that fits into them.
Take a look and choose the best for you. Remember to take into consideration the space available.
The dresser is one of the most commonly seen. You can use it to store clothing, extra bedsheets and more.
The original, full name of this furniture is actually “dressing table.” Thus, it is lower, around waist level. And it runs horizontally. This means it will take up more room. But to save space, you can place organizers, decorations and other objects on the dresser.
Almost all dressers are made of wood. The type of wood determines the quality and price of the dresser. The most durable are made of solid wood. Such as oak or mahogany. However, you can also choose veneer and composite wood.
When choosing dressers, you will have to consider how many drawers you’d like.
Single dressers only contain one column of drawers. Doubles contain two. Drawer dressers are comprised entirely of drawers. And lastly, door dressers have a cabinet area in the middle.
Best for: low and horizontal storage for larger rooms
If you add a mirror to the dresser, you get a vanity.
Vanities are categorized either as bathroom or bedroom vanities. Of course, we’ll focus on the latter.
This piece of furniture adds a touch of elegance and sophistication. It provides a place for personal care.
Use the drawers to store makeup, jewelry and accessories. Then use the mirror to make yourself even more beautiful. There is also space underneath to place a bench or stool.
Having a vanity in your bedroom helps with morning and night routines. You can have everything set out and ready to use. Without the worry of a family member messing things up in the bathroom.
There are also many features that can aid in the grooming. Such as lighted mirrors, like in professional makeup rooms.
Best for: easy access to beauty products
A chest is usually a box with a hinged lid. Think treasure chest. It is a great place to store toys and extra blankets.
But in modern times, “chest” may also refer to “chest of drawers.” This is essentially a few drawers stacked on top of each other. It is like a dresser that runs vertically.
The use is still the same. You can store folded clothing and other objects in the chest of drawers. However, it is more suitable for rooms that are lower in space.
Best for: tall and vertical storage for smaller rooms
The wardrobe can also be known as an armoire. It is basically a combination of a dresser and closet. A few meters tall, the wardrobe utilizes space efficiently.
When you open the wardrobe, you’ll see shelves, drawers and space to hang clothing. These are great because you can organize your clothing in different ways. There is also something to hang clothing so they can be free of wrinkles and creases.
If you don’t want to store clothing, you can also fill it with personal care items, books and more.
While the wardrobe is more modern, the armoire is more vintage. The design can be more ornate as well.
Best for: storing and organizing clothing
Here is another option for your clothes.
While closets and wardrobes hide your clothes, racks put it all on display. It may not be the best for dusty environments.
A clothing rack allows you to have a visual image of your style. It also reminds you of what you have. So you don’t buy repetitive things.
The racks are usually made of steel or plastic. Some are like the ones you see in stores. Others may also come with a shoe rack. Tri-pod designs are usually the most stable.
But other than just displaying your wardrobe, you can also air-dry clothing on the rack. Some pressed garments need to be hung as well.
Choose one that gives you a large storage capacity. And also gives you room to show of your individual style.
Best for: hanging clothing on display
Well, you need somewhere to put the dirty clothes.
Laundry hampers and baskets help you keep your room tidy. It also helps children get into the habit of not leaving socks strewn across the floor. And you can easily take everything to the laundry room.
Plastic laundry basket
These baskets help with air ventilation of your dirty clothes.
This aids in prevention of the spread of germs and bacteria. If the clothes are thrown all over the bedroom or bathroom floor, the dampness makes for great reproduction grounds. But you can curtail it with a hamper.
Of course, this means that the smelly odors may spread through your room. But if the clothes really do smell that bad, it may be time for the laundry.
Why choose plastic rather than wicker?
The material is lightweight but strong and durable. It won’t warp when wet and resists mold. When buying, choose a basket that has a smooth finish. This makes sure you clothes won’t get snagged. Strong handles are extremely important too.
Best for: air ventilation to prevent spread of germs
Upright laundry hamper
A hamper usually comes with a lid. This does wonders to keeping the odor contained.
Many hampers are made of fabric or heavy duty canvas. They can come in different colors to match the style of your room. Upright and smaller, they take up less space. Some can even be disguised to look like other furniture.
There a few types of hampers.
The most common is the upright closed hamper. Like a chest, it’s a simple box with a lid. A tilt out hamper can look like a dresser. But open the front, and you see a collection bin for dirty clothes.
Some fancier hampers come with different compartments. This allows you to sort your clothes and wash better. Keep the whites apart!
Best for: odor-containing, aesthetic laundry storage
For better sleep quality, you shouldn’t work in the bedroom. But if you must, make sure there’s a good desk! Bedside tables can also come in hand.
The nightstand, or bedside table, is placed next to your bed. Of course.
You can use it to keep items that help you sleep.
Stack a few of your favorite books (or a boring book) for a nighttime read. You can also put your diary there, if you keep one. Choose a good lamp and add some decorations too!
In addition, it’s a great place to put a mug of hot water or warm milk.
If you have trouble sleeping, warm milk can help! According to experts, the milk can raise levels of certain hormones. But more importantly, it lulls you to sleep by reminding you of warm memories.
You can also place a clock on the nightstand. But keep your phone away from there! Not only is it unhealthy, the temptation to use your phone can keep you up at night.
When choosing a bedside table, make sure it’s the right height. This sounds like common sense. But you’ll be surprised by how many people that overlook it.
Best for: keeping items nearby to help with sleep
If you have to work or study in your room, make sure you have a good table.
Before going out to the store, measure the amount of space you have. Next is the comfort and ergonomics. It should be at a comfortable height and suitable for your chair. You should be able to place your laptop an arm’s length away. This is best for your eye health.
Remember, you’ll be at this table for hours. And probably doing boring things. Don’t make things even worse!
Unless you’re into the minimalist style, invest in a desk with shelves. It utilizes the space and allows you to stay more organized.
And depending on your room and preferences, there are many styles to choose from. A U- and L-shaped desk gives you space to stretch and move around. But they require more space too. On the other hand, a corner desk saves space. A straight desk is the most common and versatile.
Best for: working and studying in the bedroom
Every room needs lights. But lights are specified for different niches too!
For the overall lighting, you need an ambient light. It’s the room’s natural light. Some examples include chandeliers and track lighting.
Task lighting is for work or reading areas. They’re brighter and focused, such as lamps. Accent lighting highlights something for a dramatic effect.
The type and combination of lighting you choose ultimately depends on your style. But here are some basics to get you started.
As you may know, LED is one of the most loved types of lightbulb. They are much more efficient than the traditional incandescent lightbulb. They also last up to three times as long as CFLs.
LEDs may be slightly more expensive than other lightbulbs. But they make up for the price in the long run.
When purchasing the lightbulb, look at the lumen and Kelvin ratings.
The more lumens, the brighter it is. (Which is often confused with the watt count.) How many you need depends on the size and color of your room and the intensity you need. Like for ambience or task lighting.
For bedrooms, experts recommend the range 2,000 to 4,000 total lumens.
Kelvins tell you the color temperature of the light. A warm or soft white is better for sleeping. It gives you a cozy feeling. That would take around 2700 Kelvin.
Best for: efficient lightbulb for ambient lighting
Motion sensor lightbulb
Your LED lightbulb can also be motion sensor.
This is even more energy and time efficient.
There is no need for a switch—you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the lights off when you leave the room. You don’t have to drag yourself out after getting cozy in bed because you forgot the lights. You also don’t have to fumble in the darkness for the switch.
Experts also suggest motion sensor lights for home security purposes. If someone tries breaking in, the lights will flash on. You’ll be alerted and the burglar will hopefully be shocked.
But how sensitive are motion sensor lightbulbs? What if you stay still but need light? What if you toss and turn in your sleep?
When choosing a lightbulb, consider its customizability. For many, you can set the sensitivity level and time.
Best for: time-saving lightbulb in the bedroom
Desk lamps for your work or study desk is a prime example of task lighting.
As aforementioned, task lighting is focused light. It provides the right amount of light exactly where you need it for the task. Which, in this case, is probably reading, writing and using the computer.
For a more controlled beam of light, look with a lamp with a 30 degree beam spread. This way, stray light won’t spread to the rest of the room. And disrupt other activities that may be happening. Being controlled also takes away from pressure if your eyes are sensitive to glare.
The amount of light you get is crucial. Generally, the older you get, the more light you need. A 50 year old needs twice as much as a 25 year old.
In addition, look for a lamp with an adjustable arm. The bulb should be above your head. Out of your eyes.
Best for: task lighting at the work table
It’s a bit trickier to choose the right light for your nightstand. It should be a mix of ambience lighting and task lighting. Especially if you plan on doing some reading right before snoozing.
The American Lighting Association warns against shades on lamps that are too opaque. This can make your bedroom too dark.
When choosing a lamp, don’t forget to look at the power switch either. It should be easy to turn on and off, so you don’t need to get in and out of your covers!
Experts also recommend angling the nightstand light away from the bed. It’s best to be aimed toward the dressing area.
Usually, you only need one bedside lamp. But if your bed is large, then you’ll get better balance with two lamps. And the wider your bed and nightstand are, the wider the lamp should be. You can also choose a tall lamp to set on the floor beside your bed.
After all that is taken into consideration, then you can look at the aesthetics. Make sure your bedside lamp matches your style!
Best for: ambient lighting for reading in bed
A sconce is a lighting fixture that only uses the wall for support. It needs to be installed with an electrical box.
Because they’re on the wall, you can save a lot of space on the floor. And also add more unique environment lighting.
Decorative sconces range from vintage to modern aesthetics. Here are a few commonly seen styles:
Half-moon wall washer sconce
Lantern wall sconce
Swing arm wall light sconce
Picture light sconce
Sign light sconce
You can also choose between up light and down light sconces. The most common is the up light. This is when light is cast upwards. It can make a room feel larger. Great if your room is small and/or cramped!
A down light is the opposite. It makes a room appear warm and cozy. If your room is sparsely furnished, this will make it appear less empty. You can also place sconces by your bed to get the dreamy atmosphere.
Best for: decorative ambient lighting on walls
Recessed ceiling lighting
Recessed means that the lights are only partially visible. Most times, these types of lights require your bedroom to have a false ceiling.
Like up lights, recessed lights make a room feel bigger. They take up less space and nothing hangs down to disturb the visual space.
Recessed lighting also has an effect called “wall washing.” This means that more light is cast around the room using a kind of trim. There’s a directional reflector that focuses the light onto the wall. Put together, this also makes a room look more spacious.
Each individual light is task lighting, so you’ll definitely need more than one. How many you have and how far apart they’re spaced depends on your ceiling height. The higher the ceiling, the more spaced out.
But if you have a low ceiling, the lights will make it seem like the opposite! They’re indispensable for low ceilings. Other lights with hanging fixtures will make everything cramped. And maybe even knock some heads.
Best for: ceiling lights in small rooms or low ceilings
But if you have a ceiling that’s high enough, you can include some pendant lights. These lights hang down from the top by a wire.
Of course, the shape and design they come in are endless. Many interior designers use it to achieve a contemporary and stylish look. But regardless the style, the basic function is all the same.
Pendant lights are usually used for task lighting. Though the fixture usually gives off a soft light.
Shining a wide pool of light, it illuminates a large area. It doesn’t take up a lot of space though. So if you perform an important task somewhere limited in horizontal space, pendant lights would be handy. You can place one above your desk or over your reading area.
In addition, the hanging lights can bridge high ceilings in larger homes.
Best for: soft task lighting in smaller space
Set the mood of your room with candles.
But candles have more functions than just making things romantic. The bright light from your electronics and other lights will keep you up. But candles are gentle enough to lull you to sleep.
Scented candles and incense also play major roles in aromatherapy.
Lavender slows down your nervous system. This relaxes your body and mind, calming anxiety and agitation. And improving your sleep quality.
Vanilla is another relaxer. In one study, participants who smelled vanilla had more stable heart rates and blood pressure readings.
Jasmine is less well known. But its effects can be more powerful than even lavender! Smelling this scent while sleeping improves overall sleep quality. You have less tosses and turns, with higher sleep efficiency.
Best for: light and scent to improve sleep quality
Using electronics will make it harder to sleep. We all know that, but most of us do it anyway. If you must, at least use an amber light or lamp.
The blue light from phones, TV screens and other electronics messes with your melatonin production. That is the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycle. You can wear amber glasses to block the blue light.
Plus, internet browsing has been proven to worsen insomnia. An alternative is to read a book using an amber reading lamp. Amber light is similar to candlelight in that it doesn’t disrupt melatonin production.
Best for: preventing disruption of melatonin production
The importance of somewhere to sit should go without saying. You can furnish your bedroom with simple chairs. They can help you create a comfortable or modern style.
But here are some other variations of the seat that you can also consider.
A chair for your work desk should be comfortable and sturdy.
You can go for the most basic wooden chair. Maybe it will help you stay alert and focus on your work. Or maybe you’d like a classy executive chair.
Some other features to think about:
Do you want to roll around on the wheels?
What about leaning back or swiveling around?
And what about arms?
Wood, plastic or leather?
How much padding does your tush need?
But no matter what chair you get, remember to get out of it every now and then. Researchers at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, studied the relationship between studying and exercising.
The participants first took a standard test on visual and spatial learning. Then they did other tasks, such as watching documentaries. Some exercised right after. Others waited 4 hours to exercise.
Those that waited before exercising had more consistent patterns of neural activity. So, make sure to get the exercise in!
Best for: comfortable seat while working
Ergonomic office chair
In addition to everything above, you may need more if you suffer from back pain. Or would like to prevent future back pain.
An ergonomic office chair should include a pneumatic adjustment lever for the seat height. The best position is to have your feet flat on the floor. Thighs should be horizontal and your arms even with the desk.
In addition, you should slouch just a tiny bit. Being too straight or too slouched can both put pressure on your spinal cord. A lumbar support will help with this. A lumbar spine curves inward. Sitting for long periods without support for it flattens out your natural curve.
The backrest should be adjustable. But it’s best if there’s a locking mechanism to stop it from going too far backward. And a great ergonomic chair would have a swivel feature. This way, you can reach different areas without straining.
Best for: relieving back pain when working
Now, let’s leave the work and move on to more fun stuff.
If you have a daybed or futon, you probably won’t need another sofa. But if otherwise, a loveseat is a great option for sofas. Sure it’s made for two, and two will enjoy the seat greatly. But if you’re a bachelor or bachelorette, you can still benefit from it!
Simply place it at the end of your bed and you get yourself a nice sitting area. And it looks fancy.
The most common type of loveseat is the S-shaped loveseat. However, you can also find loveseats in the forms of settees and sleeper sofas. Use it to minimize space without giving up comfort and style.
Of course, if you want something more affordable and simple, go for the bench. You don’t even need a cushioned seat for a minimalist look!
Best for: tasteful sitting area for two (or one)
The ottoman is a padded or upholstered piece of furniture. It is usually used as a footrest.
And footrests are important. Not just because they’re comfy.
For maximum ergonomic benefits, you need both feet on a flat surface. A footrest helps you distribute your weight evenly. This helps if you’re taller or shorter than average.
Keeping your feet up improves blood circulation too. This reduces risk of developing circulatory conditions. When you sit in that relaxed posture, you take pressure off your back too.
As great as that is, the ottoman is much more than just a footrest! You can use it as an extra seat or even a coffee table. The tops of some ottomans are actually hinged lids. So it can double as a disguised storage box too!
Best for: versatile furniture for comfortable sitting
If you have the space, upgrade the bench and ottoman to a chaise lounge. Or add it to the loveseat sofa.
The chaise is a like a chair and footrest in one. It may be less versatile than a chair-and-ottoman duo, but a chaise lounge definitely has its benefits too. It’s a variation from the traditional room setup.
As a single piece of furniture, it takes up less visual space too. Plus these lounges are comfortable. Which is always a must.
Choose from different styles. Traditional chaises come with a rolled arm. But modern designs with straight lines are also available. They can be romantic, contemporary, elegant, chic and more.
Best for: relaxing seat for larger rooms
Bean bags are pretty awesome. They’re definitely not just for kids or stressed out students. There are many medical benefits to be found.
We all know how comfortable they can be. This is partly due to the “beans” and shredded memory foam that fills the bean bags. Like with the memory foam mattress, the bag shifts around you and supports your body.
If you suffer from aching joints, go and relax on the bean bag. It eliminates tension from your body and mind. It will prevent back pain and chronic headaches.
In addition, bean bags are furniture with very low maintenance costs. There’s no need for assembly and you can just toss it wherever. And bean bags are more environmentally friendly.
We can dream about having these great things in our office or classroom. But there’s nothing stopping you from having one in your bedroom!
Best for: relaxing and unique solo chair
Bedroom Decorative Rugs
Regardless of whether you have carpet, wood or tile, it won’t hurt to add some decorative rugs.
In addition to being pretty, rugs help with soundproofing. Sounds bounce off of hard surfaces. But the fibers of the rug can absorb sound. These fibers also insulate the room. They keep the heat in during the winter. And maintains the cool temperature for hotter days.
Place rugs wherever you’d like. But if your space is smaller, you can try putting a 5’ x 8’ rug under your bed.
Oriental rugs are, and probably will always be, expensive. But worth it.
The fibers (usually silk, thread or wool) are intricately woven into detailed patterns. There are different varieties though, so you can look deeper into them before deciding on one. The material will affect the price.
An Oriental rug will immediately give your room an elegant or exotic look. However, it might not mix well with minimalist or contemporary furniture.
Best for: decorating ornate rooms
As you can imply from the name, the border rug has a border around a base color at the center. The border can be of many styles and colors.
This type of rug is extremely versatile. You can probably find one to fit any style. But make sure it is easy to clean (or hides stains well.) This is especially important if you have kids or pets.
Bordered rugs can be made from different materials as well. Some natural fibers include those from plants such as: hemp, jute, seagrass and sisal.
Rugs for the bedroom should feel pleasant underfoot. If you can, definitely try it out before purchasing.
Best for: stylish floor piece in bedrooms
Other types of rugs
Knotted pile rugs are made with the thread pulled through the backing material.
Tufted rugs are most often mass produced. The tufted material is injected into a backing material. For strength, it is then bonded to hessian, or another material.
Woven rugs are created with a loom. It is the most traditional way of creating rugs. Many different colored yarns can be used to create detailed designs.
Hooked rugs are simple but still charming. To make, the material is drawn through a burlap backing. These rugs are also less expensive.
You can DIY a flat weave rug. Just cut an old piece of clothing into strips. Then weave it in and out of cotton. And you get a personalized rug!
Bedroom Air Quality
The air we breathe in the place we call home is surprisingly dirty. Indoor air pollutants are among the top five environmental risks for public health!
This is all due to stagnant indoor environments. Most homes don’t have adequate ventilation. This can cause “sick building syndrome,” where you suffer from headaches, nausea and more.
How do you clean the air? Or prevent things from getting worse? A good air conditioner goes a long way, along with the below devices.
Compared with other allergens, there is still limited knowledge about mold allergens. But it’s clear that moisture control is the necessary first step in reducing it.
In a single-blind study, effectiveness of low-cost home intervention was tested. The products included dehumidifiers, air filtration and furnace filters.
The results showed that when dehumidifiers were used, there were significant improvements for coughing and breathing problems. Total dust allergen and mold spore counts were reduced too.
The researchers noted that when paired with healthy home education, dehumidifiers can improve the health of children with asthma too.
The refrigerant dehumidifier works better for higher temperatures and humidity levels. If you live in a super muggy environment, this is the one for you.
On the other hand, the desiccant dehumidifier works most efficiently in colder environments.
Best for: removing mold in a variety of temperatures
But if you live in a very dry place, you may want a humidifier instead.
In a dry environment, 70 to 77 percent of airborne flu viruses can transmit the infection through coughs. But just increase the humidity level to 43 percent or above. And the percentage of viruses drops down to only 14. The difference is more than 50 percent!
Multiple studies show that this product can relieve congestion as well.
In one, the researchers evaluated the effects of humidifiers on nasal symptoms and sleep apnea. When heated humidity was used, the participants felt more refreshed waking up in the morning. There were less dry mouths, throats or noses as side effects.
In another, heated humidifiers have been found to alleviate sore throats and coughs. The improved quality of sleep and overall life was proved in another similar study.
For the humidifier, use demineralized or distilled water. The minerals in regular tap water will build up and create bacterial growth. Distilled or demineralized water will save you time while cleaning the machine.
Best for: preventing flu viruses and improving sleep quality
There are tons of air fresheners out there. Aerosol sprays, electrical wall plug-ins, solid and liquid fresheners . . .
They all work by masking the smelly odors. They cover the odor with a nicer fragrance. But there’s a stinky side to it.
The Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs found that many air fresheners emit allergens. Toxic air pollutants, such as benzene and formaldehyde, are also sprayed out. They can aggravate allergies and asthma.
A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that many air fresheners don’t list certain toxic chemicals on their labels. Even if they say they’re “all natural.”
What’s a truly natural and non-toxic deodorizer? Try bamboo charcoal, or activated charcoal. As an air purifier, it is usually packed in a linen bag.
Bamboo charcoal works by absorbing the odor. Studies also show that it absorbs bacteria, moisture, pollutants and radiation. It is a much safer option!
Best for: eliminating odors without toxic effects
Add some green life into your home with a few potted plants!
NASA calls them “nature’s life support system.” And for good reason too. Some plants contribute to the allergen problem (like, you know, pollen). But potted plants also clean the air and can be a natural air purifier.
As they take in carbon dioxide, they also absorb some of the particulates and toxins. Then they process the CO2 into clean oxygen.
And there’s more! The microorganisms in potting soil help with the cleaning effect too. Plus, indoor plants help you stay alert and reduce mental fatigue. It has been found that plants lower stress levels and make you more positive too.
In the NASA research, the garden mum was found to be the air-purifying champion. It can remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene.
If you have a “black thumb,” you can also try spider plants. They can remove formaldehyde and xylene. And they’re one of the easiest houseplants to tend to.
Some other air-purifying potted plants for the bedroom include:
Ficus (Weeping Fig)
Best for: purifying bedroom air and raising spirits
Heaters for the bedroom helps you save on energy. It’s much more efficient than heating the entire home. If you have a small home, you can save money as well.
If you have a large room, you can consider the convection heater.
This type of heater is filled with heat transfer oils. The heat then radiates from the external surface to warm up your room.
Regulate the heat with a thermostat. The natural airflow should be enough to disperse the heat equally through the room. However, some come with a fan to help with the movement.
The convection heater is very low maintenance. You don’t have to worry about refilling it. It’s easy to clean too.
They are great when you have the time to heat a room slowly. And where you need absolute silence. However, the convection heaters are hot to the touch. So please be cautious, if you have children or pets.
Best for: large bedrooms without children or pets
Ceramic fan-forced heater
Fan-forced heaters are the most popular in the heater market. That may be due to their versatility.
They are available with many options for shape and size. Smaller units are perfect beside your bed. Larger units can heat up an entire bedroom with ease.
Because they are cool to the touch, fan-forced heaters are safer too. However, the fan can be a bit noisy for some.
Best for: bedrooms with children or pets, heavy sleepers
Infrared panel heater
The infrared heaters are getting more and more popular these days. They are more affordable, but definitely not less powerful.
Infrared heat can be emitted almost instantly from the panel. It doesn’t take that long for the room to get toasty. It gets distributed more evenly too. You won’t get any cold spots!
If you have mold problems, infrared panels can help too. By directing them toward walls, the dampness will get dried up.
Also, the panels can be hung from ceiling or attached to walls. This allows you to maximize living space.
Best for: heating up rooms low on space
Bedroom Coolers and Fans
Now, moving on to the warmer days. To cool down, you can choose between coolers and fans.
The first is evaporative cooling. It is a simple and cost efficient method. However, this type of cooling is the most effective when in a hot and dry climate. Such as a desert area.
In fact, the evaporative cooler is best in an environment with humidity levels below 50 percent.
Why? The cooling effect works by having dry air pass over water. As it passes, the air absorbs some water. The water molecules turn into gas molecules. The heat also lowers to the temperature of the water.
As air circulates naturally, the area becomes cooled.
A breeze is formed because the air continues to circulate. This helps your ambient temperature feel even cooler than the actual room temperature.
Best for: cooling arid environments, humidity levels under 50
Don’t fret if you live in a more humid place. You have swamp coolers to the rescue. They can be used in practically any environment.
These coolers work best when fresh air is available. You can keep a window or door for ventilation. But you won’t lose out on the cool air.
And different from traditional AC units, swamp coolers are friendlier to the environment. They use the natural process of motion and water to lower temperatures. Unlike traditional ACs with refrigerants.
The swamp cooler also comes with a lower overall price point. It’s less expensive and you get more for the buck.
Best for: low cost and efficient cooler
Window air conditioner
Before buying, use a BTU calculator to find the capacity you need for your room size. This will determine the brand, features and total price.
Also look for a unit with a high energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating. For obvious reasons. The higher the rating, the more you can save on energy.
In addition, a window air conditioner in your room uses supplemental cooling. This strategy means you’ll only be cooling the room you need. Rather than waste a bunch of money and energy with a central system.
And plus, being in your window means it takes up no floor space. A window air conditioner unit is great for both small and large homes.
Just put some time into maintenance for your unit. Clean and replace the air filters. Inspect and clean the coils. And your summers will be much cooler!
Best for: supplemental cooling of rooms with limited floor space
Fans are generally less expensive, but also less powerful. But they are also more versatile, with many features to choose from. Such as:
Integrated lights (for ceiling fans)
You can place a small desk fan on your worktable to keep you cool-headed while working. Put a soundless one by your bed for easier sleep.
Pedestal fans are larger than desk fans. They can cover a larger surface area. But if you have less floor room, go for a tower fan. Tall and narrow, they don’t take up much space.
Or you can have ceiling fans that hang from . . . the ceiling. From their position, these fans can cool the entire room.
For best results though, pair fans with AC units and coolers. Fans help create air movement to disperse the coolness equally throughout the room.
Best for: gentle cooling through air movement
Other Bedroom Furniture / Decorations
A lot of us probably hate alarm clocks. But we do need something to wake us up.
It helps us stay on society’s time. Because without an alarm clock, many of us would oversleep. In order for life to go on smoothly, you have to be on time.
Following an alarm clock also helps normalize sleep schedules. Waking up at the same time each day keeps our internal biological clocks consistent. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to recover from jet lag. Or something similar.
While waking up early can be stressful, alarm clocks also give you a peace of mind. Experts add that alarm clocks allow you to sleep easier. You don’t have to keep waking up to check the clock.
A digital alarm clock is a great choice. Regular clocks have ticking that many find annoying. If you do wake up in the middle of the night, the digital time is easier to see. Some want to save money and stick to using your phone. But if you do, make sure to put your phone far away from the bed!
Best for: waking you up in the morning
Full length mirror
Whether you carefully pick out your outfit of the day or not, a full length mirror is indispensable.
You can prop it against the wall. Mounting it on the wall will save you floor space. You can also choose to attach it to the back of the door.
Then you can see your entire outfit before leaving the home.
You should never underestimate the importance of dressing sharply either. Just like with produce packaging, first impressions are crucial. Every relationship, including professional business ones, begin with a first impression.
Develop a style. And take advantage of the mirror to look impeccable.
Best for: seeing a full body image
Blackout curtain shades
As you can guess from the name, blackout curtains block out light. It gives a blackout appearance.
Light is what stimulates your brain to keep you awake. With blackout curtains, up to 99 percent of outside light can be blocked. This is great if you have unusual sleep habits or schedules. Such as working the night shift and needing to sleep during the day.
You can also use these for a fun movie night in your room!
Not only that, some brands of blackout curtains can block noise. If that’s what you’re interested in, be sure to look into that.
You can save money and energy too. Around 10 to 25 percent of thermal energy is loss through the windows. But these curtains can trap heat in during the winter. And keep the hot light out during the summer.
Best for: blocking light and sound for better sleep
Not many people know what an acupressure mat is yet, but it is quite popular with yogis and health gurus. Also called “bed of nails,” it’s a foam mat with thousands of pointy plastic needles. This sounds like torture, but fans say it’s relaxing.
According to a study posted in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, people felt relaxed sitting on the mat. (After they got used to the pain.) A parasympathetic response was stimulated. That’s what calms you down.
Another study from the European Journal of Integrative Medicine found that a bit of chronic back pain went away after using the mat. Although more medical treatment was needed to improve overall back pain.
An acupressure mat is like a condensed teaser of acupressure and acupuncture. These practices help you:
Relax your body and relieve stress
Soothe pain and headaches
Alleviate digestive issues
For ultimate benefits, you will need to find a professional acupuncturist. However, the acupressure mat is a great thing to keep in your bedroom. Use it to relax (and increase your pain tolerance) whenever needed.
Best for: quick relaxation and pain alleviation tool
Keeping the room temperature low but your extremities warm helps you sleep. More on that later (or scroll down to the tips section.)
Wearing socks can be annoying though. Especially if your feet sweat easily. Which is why bamboo is brought up again.
Bamboo socks provide 60 percent better wick protection than cotton socks. This means your feet stay dry, reducing the risk of fungus and athlete’s foot. And as aforementioned, bamboo is odor resistant and anti-bacterial.
In addition, bamboo socks are recommended for diabetics. People with diabetes are prone to have dryer and more sensitive skin. But bamboo is hypoallergenic and non-irritating. Even for sensitive skin.
Best for: keeping feet warm for better sleep
Massages aren’t just for that one day every blue moon when you treat yourself. With a foot massager machine, you can enjoy it in your bedroom. And it will help improve your sleep quality too.
It does so by improving blood circulation and relaxing your nerves. Our sedentary lifestyles and improper footwear can all mess with circulation.
By stimulating the muscles, it can reduce stiffness and pain. Edema is swelling of the feet and ankles. It is very common during pregnancy. But it can be alleviated with the aid of foot massages.
Better circulation also helps transport more oxygen to the right cells, improving overall health.
According to the Journal of Clinical Nursing, a foot massage can help fight depression too. It was found that hand or foot massages can help with stressful grieving periods.
All of this can mean a better night’s sleep for you.
Best for: improving feet health, relaxing before sleep
A sound machine produces white noise, which may help you sleep. Other sound machines can also have the option of pink noise.
White noise, technically, is a consistent and even noise from all frequencies. Or background sounds that keep going. This noise creates a masking effect. You get used to it and it blocks out sudden noises. Which wake up light sleepers.
There is also pink noise. It’s lower and recommended for those with tinnitus.
The colors don’t stop there. Your sound machine may also offer Brown noise, violet noise, and much more.
White noise is the most basic and easily found. But different sounds are more suitable for different kinds of sleepers. If you can, experiment and find the one best for you!
Best for: blocking out noises while sleeping
Pajamas deserve more thought than just you throwing on an oversized tee.
Most importantly is the type of fabric.
Cotton is the typical material, but it’s not the best at insulation. It’s also bad at wicking away moisture. So if you’re in a cold climate or experience night sweat, don’t go for cotton.
Flannel is great if you need to get toasty. But wool and fleece may cause you to overheat.
Silk will keep you warm and cool as needed. But it’s expensive. And any cheap ones are probably fake.
But lastly is bamboo. This fabric is recommended for bedding, but it’s great as clothing too. It feels like silk on skin and naturally wicks away moisture. You’re kept at a comfortable temperature and bacteria and allergy free.
Best for: comfortable pajamas for all temperatures
17 Science-Backed Tips for Better Sleep
Now that your bedroom is well-furnished, it’s time for the important task: sleep.
In addition to all the sleep tips sprinkled throughout the article up above (keep electronics away, keep lights off, etc.), here are some more tips.
Some can only be done if you have sufficient time. Try to make room in your schedule at least once a week to wind down and fully relax. If you lead a very stressful and hectic lifestyle.
The other tips are best to be made into a habits and incorporated into everyday life.
1. Put on some socks
Part of your pajama outfit should include socks. And maybe some gloves or mittens too. Having warm extremities (hands and feet) is linked with falling asleep quickly.
So slip on a pair of clean socks before going to bed to speed up the process of falling asleep.
If you’d like to keep your hands hydrated, apply lotion at the end of your night routine. Then put on your gloves or mittens. It’ll keep your hands moisturized through the night.
2. But don’t get too warm
Your hands and feet should be warm. At least, not cold.
But the room temperature has to be just right for optimal sleeping conditions. Not too hot, not too cold.
According to experts, that’s somewhere around 60 and 67 degrees F. Just a bit below average room temperature.
3. More tips on cooling down
If lowering the room temperature and all that aren’t helping, try something else.
Splash your face with cold water You may think that it’ll just wake you up. But sometimes, you have to wake up first to fall asleep better.
Flipping the pillow to the other side works too. Having the coolness of the previously unused side to your cheeks can refresh you.
4. Switch out your pillow
Or it’s time to change your pillow entirely. You love it, but dust mites might love it more than you.
The buildup of dust mites can trigger allergic reactions. For some, they can be intense enough that it gets in the way of sleep. If you think that’s the problem, then it’s time to get a new pillow. But generally, pillows should be replaced every year.
In addition, make sure the pillow is right for you. It’s just as important as your mattress. Stomach sleepers do better with thin and flat pillows. Side sleepers need something firmer.
5. And your mattress
Yes, maybe it’s time for a new mattress too.
An uncomfortable mattress can definitely be the culprit behind your sleepless nights. That may be due to the fact that it has lost its cushioning. It’s old and can’t support you like it did before.
Or it’s possible that it’s just too small. Consumer Reports recommends switching your mattress every 5 to 10 years.
If you need a new mattress, scroll up and look through the suggestions for them.
6. Just the right amount of noise
Like with the temperature, your room can’t be too loud. Or too quiet.
It’s pretty obvious why the bedroom shouldn’t have too much noise. Invest in some blackout curtains, carpets or even soundproof walls. Turn off the electronics and get soundless appliances.
If you can’t avoid snoring roommates or other noises, try some earplugs.
But don’t keep your room so silent you can hear a pin drop. Otherwise, every little sound will be even more disruptive. To remedy that, consider a white noise machine. It’s noise, but easily ignored.
7. Power off
It’s time to nag again.
Turn off your electronics before sleeping. And experts say it’s best to power off at least 1 hour before bedtime.
As aforementioned, the bright blue light is one of the biggest disruptions. It messes with the production with melatonin. That’s why all devices, even smartphones, should be left outside the bedroom.
It’s hard to do. But if you’re desperate for sleep, it requires desperate measures.
8. Exercise regularly
Something else you should do is exercise during the day.
A survey by the National Sleep Foundation showed that regular vigorous exercise is associated with the best sleep.
And it doesn’t have to be hours each day. Just a few minutes of physical activity per day can make a difference.
But don’t do it too close to your bedtime. Otherwise, you’ll override the sleep-promoting benefits. You’ll activate your senses way too much. And it’ll actually get harder to sleep.
So try to get your sweat sessions in a couple of hours before you snooze.
9. Avoid late night snacks
Something else to avoid close to bed is snacks. Or heavy meals.
Your body can't really digest that well while you’re asleep. Protein is especially hard to digest. So a big and late meal can be the thing that’s keeping you up.
If you can’t avoid it, at least try something lighter. Light on the proteins and light on the oil will help.
Some other things to avoid: alcohol and caffeine.
The caffeine should be quite obvious why. As for your alcohol, you’ll wake up more frequently when the buzz wears off. Giving you even more of a headache the next day.
10. Nap wisely during the day
You can definitely sneak some sleep in during the day. Not only do naps let you rest, they can also boost memory and job performance.
But for best results, make the naps in increments of 1.5 hours. That’s roughly how long a sleep cycle is. If you wake up in the middle of a cycle, you’ll feel the opposite of refreshed.
And don’t sleep too close to your scheduled bedtime!
11. A tranquil color for the walls
If you are thinking of redoing your entire room, maybe repaint the walls too. That is, if it isn’t a tranquil color already.
According to experts, a matte finish is better than a high-gloss finish for sleep. Colors matter too.
For example, people sleep longer in rooms painted blue. But other relaxing colors, such as gray and pale yellow work too. They’ve been found to lower blood pressure and heart rates.
12. Wind down with a bath
If you have the time, relax with a warm bath before bed.
The soak will relieve stress from your muscles and probably your mind too. But the main reason it helps you sleep is because the warm water will raise your body temperature a bit.
When you hop out, you’ll cool down. This drop in temperature mimics what happens naturally as your brain gets your body ready for sleep. (Also why keeping your room cool helps with sleep!)
This was supported by findings in a 1985 study. Not only does a warm bath help you sleep more quickly, you also get higher quality sleep.
13. Try aromatherapy
Scented candles were mentioned earlier in the article. That’s not the only nice smelling thing you can use to help you sleep easier.
Just taking a sniff of lavender before bed can lead to deeper sleep. Lavender has even been found to relieve insomnia.
Other than candles, you can try essence oils or incense. Infuse your bath with these scents. You can also keep a sachet of the petals near your pillow.
14. Summarize your day
Some people lay in bed and stare up at the ceiling as their mind races. If that’s you, your racing mind won’t be taking you anywhere close to sleep.
You can try taking some time before bed to process the day first. Experts on behavioral sleep medicine recommends working through your mental tasks first.
Write down what happened through the day. Make a to-do list for tomorrow. Clear away the things you still have to think about.
And then, go to bed.
15. Take deep breaths
You can summarize and think through your day while meditating or doing quite reflections.
But if that’s not really your style, you can simply try breathing exercises. By breathing deeply, you stimulate your body’s parasympathetic system. This is the opposite of the sympathetic system, which is responsible for the “fight or flight” thoughts.
The parasympathetic system calms you down, slowly your heart rate.
After a few rounds of inhales and exhales, you’ll be much more prepared for sleep.
16. Progressive muscle relaxation
There are some exercises you can practice in bed, if you’re struggling to fall asleep.
With progressive muscle relaxation, first tense your muscles. Then relax them.
Start at an extremity and gradually move throughout the body. Direct your attention to each muscle group as you go.
Feel the tension and fatigue leave your body. This will improve sleep quality as well.
17. Get out of bed
If all else fails (hopefully not) and you really can’t sleep, then just stop.
Stop stressing out over sleep and just get out of bed. Experts recommend doing something else. But make sure it doesn’t involve a lot of bright light and mental activity.
Then when you’re truly tired, you can climb back into bed.
And enjoy the sweet dreams!
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.