15 bedroom design tips for better sleep – wake fresh for the day

These simple design ideas can make the difference between waking up groggy or good to go

Neutral coloured double bedroom
(Image credit: Colin Poole/Future PLC)

We all know that sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, but did you know that your bedroom setting is vital to getting a good night of shut eye? 

From the furniture, bedding and accessories we choose, to the temperature we keep things at, there are plenty of bedroom design tips for better sleep – and plenty of bedroom ideas that'll transform it into a calming sanctuary, too.

In fact, plenty of sleep experts can agree that, when figuring out how to sleep better, the first thing we should consider is our bedroom layout. Go figure. With that in mind, then, which type of boudoirs are most likely to promote restfulness and relaxation? 

Bedroom design tips for better sleep

'Think of your bedroom as a sanctuary, it's where you go to relax and unwind after a long day, therefore the space needs to be tranquil and soothing,' says Adam Black, founder of Button & Sprung

'Not only will a relaxing bedroom design tips reduce overall stress levels, they will enhance your quality of sleep.'

1. Choose your colour palette carefully

Purple bedroom, double bed with large brown headboard, pendants, dark bedside tables

(Image credit: Blackmore Photography Ltd/Future PLC)

One of the easiest bedroom design tips for better sleep is, as you've likely guessed, making sure all of your favourite bedroom colour ideas are carefully tailored to promote a sense of calm.

'A carefully considered bedroom scheme can make the world of difference when it comes to maximising the feeling of space,' says Natalie Mudd, creative director of The Wood Flooring Co

'Contrary to belief, steer away from stark white walls as although it might make the room feel bigger, it can also make it feel stark and cold. Instead look to inject colour and personality with soft pastel tones for a scheme that feels uplifting.'

2. Consider your flooring

A metal bed frame sits beneath a tapestry in a neutral bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC)

It’s not just the colour of the walls that makes a difference: the flooring choice is equally as important when prioritising bedroom tips for better sleep. 

'Choosing a lighter-toned wooden floor gives the illusion of more footprint. The direction of the flooring makes an immense impact on the flow and spatial feel of a room,' says Natalie.

'It’s recommended to place the planks parallel to the widest wall. This will create an elongated look by drawing attention to the longest portion of the space.'

3. Hang blackout blinds

bedroom with white wall and yellow blinds

(Image credit: Hilarys)

It's lovely waking up with the sunrise,  sure, but light pollution from street lamps means that blackout blinds are a must-have bedroom curtain idea if you want to enjoy all of the benefits of those bedroom design tips for better sleep.

'While exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, can help with waking up, it’s important to create a darker environment to unwind in when going to sleep,' says Joanna Baumard, co-founder of Purlfrost

'By applying a light-blocking or dimming window film, you can create a barrier against external light sources. This is particularly beneficial if you live in an area with street lights, have early morning sunlight beaming in, or if you work night shifts and need to catch up on sleep during the day.'

Joanna adds that blackout blinds 'can work in addition to curtains, promising you a deep, uninterrupted sleep.'

4. Relax to soft lighting

Blue bedroom with two pendant lights and white upholstered headboard

(Image credit: Future PLC / Colin Poole)

Your bedroom lighting ideas can help create a calming space to relax and unwind, not to mention promote great sleep, too. 

'Your bed is the main focal point in your bedroom and you can use lighting stylistically to enhance this focus,' says Adam at Button & Sprung. 

'Low pendants are a beautiful addition to a bedroom and create a design touch which frames the bed. Use them above the bed in addition to bed side lamps as part of a soft lighting design, or hang them either side of the bed to double up as bedside lamps.'

Remember: removing any excess artificial light helps to maintain our natural circadian rhythm, which relies heavily on light and dark to align our sleep with the night and our wakefulness with the day, according to the Sleep Foundation

So keep the big light off and use those hygge lamps whenever and wherever you can!

5. Choose a natural mattress

Bedroom with wooden walls and bare mattress

(Image credit: Naturalmat)

Consider your mattress and mattress topper in with bedroom design tips, and make sure you look for those made with natural materials, which will help you sleep better. This is because wool, cotton and the like regulate body temperature, unlike synthetic materials, such as foam, which cause us to overheat.

'When it comes to bedding, natural materials including coir, flax, cotton and wool are the healthier choice for overall wellbeing and quality of sleep,' says Mark Tremlett, Co-Founder, Naturalmat.

'Changes in your body temperature can often cause disruption to your sleep, particularly in the summer heat. Natural materials are more responsive to body temperature changes, maximising your body's ability to cool down and regulate your body temperature whilst you sleep.'

'Synthetic materials will make this worse, as they tend to absorb heat, increasing your body temperature further, which in turn will lead to more perspiration and discomfort during the night.'

6. And keep bedding all-natural, too

Painted bedroom with pink bedding, bedside table, and dark wood dressers

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Another of those easy bedroom design tips for better sleep every night, spend some time thinking about where to buy bedding – and, if possible, try to make sure yours is made from natural materials wherever possible.

'When it comes to bedding, you may not think it has much of a bearing on your quality of sleep. But often, when we wake up during the night, this is due to temperature changes and feeling overheated or cold,' says the team at Coast Road Furniture.

'Cheaper bedding tends to be made of synthetic fabrics, and your body can’t regulate its temperature as well under these kinds of materials,' the continue, noting that 'natural fabrics such as cotton and wool are therefore a much better choice for your sheets and pillowcases'.

'Not only do they feel softer and more luxurious, but they are also more breathable and cause less temperature fluctuation throughout the night.'

7. Reduce clutter

a neutral bedroom with cream coloured sheets and a black chest of drawers

(Image credit: Future / James French)

The expression 'tidy house, tidy mind' is arguably most applicable to your bedroom. As the place where you go to unwind, recharge, and reflect at the end of every day, if you have a cluttered bedroom this can add to your stress and inevitably disrupt a good night’s sleep.

'Bedrooms should be a tranquil haven where we feel relaxed and able to clear our minds for a deep sleep,' says Adam at Button & Sprung. 'We know that mess and clutter affect our ability to switch off – a busy bedroom equals a busy mind.'

As well as consulting the ultimate decluttering checklist, then, why not 'banish the chaos by choosing an ottoman or divan for extra storage without taking up extra space'?

'It will turn your bedroom into a calming oasis where you feel truly at ease,' says Adam.

8. Line curtains with bump

White bedroom with wall panelling, grey curtains and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Loom & Last / Jon Day)

As well as lining curtains with blackout fabrics as bedroom design tips, it's worth including bump too. Bump, otherwise known as interlining, sits between the surface fabric and the lining. It can not only assist in making your modern bedroom ideas dark enough for sleep, it often has acoustic qualities too.

So, in addition to blocking light, bump-lined curtains will muffle any outside noise, such as traffic or trains too, making your sleep space, darker, quieter and more peaceful.

9. Install solid shutters

White bedroom with paint wall art, twin beds and yellow shutters

(Image credit: Californa Shutters)

Again, blocking out early morning light, or even light at night from street lamps or a particularly bright full moon, will aid sleep. This is as important for adults as it is for little ones, especially when it comes to getting them to sleep through the night.

Solid shutters will not only block light, but they will also often reduce outside noise from disturbing your sleep too.

10. Invest in fitted wardrobes

Green bedroom with built-in wardrobes and feature wall

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

One of the more surprising bedroom design tips for better sleep, this one hinges on the fact that less stress means better sleep – and it's commonly known that clutter equals stress.

Therefore, having plenty of storage means clothes, shoes and accessories are out of sight. As well as being easy to find when you do need them, this will reduce general clutter.

'The big advantage of fitted bedroom wardrobes is of course that they can fill the space and cope with any idiosyncrasies,' says Simon Tcherniak, senior designer at Neville Johnson

'It's amazing how much storage you gain by going high up the wall. And if you make them no deeper than necessary, your room will still feel more spacious, too.'

11. Choose bedside tables with storage

Blue bedroom with wall panelling and white wooden bed

(Image credit: Future PLC / Simon Whitmore)

Another tip that is about reducing clutter build-up, introducing more bedroom storage ideas means that surfaces are more likely to stay tidy. In turn, this will help reduce stress and intrusive thoughts that may keep you awake.

'If you’re sleeping next to a cabinet laden with clutter, the mental weight of that is likely to impact how relaxed you feel,' says Kate Yiannacou, APDO member and founder of Tidy Happy Calm.

'If the last thing you see before closing your eyes is a pile of bills, work documents to read, or a random assortment of items that doesn’t belong there, chances are you’re going to fall asleep thinking “I really need to deal with those”. This is going to affect the quality of your sleep. If you can only tackle one area of clutter, make it your bedside cabinet.'

12. Keep work out of the bedroom

Purple bedroom with wooden bed

(Image credit: Secret Linen Store)

If you work from home, then keeping your bedroom a designated space for relaxation is even more important:it's one of our favourite key bedroom design tips for better sleep. 

'Wherever possible, then, try to keep your desk and computer in another room of the house, as having your work and leisure spaces so close together can make it much harder to switch off at the end of the day,' says Alison Hughes, interiors director at Coast Road Furniture

'If you don’t have a spare room or office, you may want to invest in a set of dividers or a screen that can still give you some sense of separation.'

13. Ditch your phone in favour of an alarm clock

White bedside table with alarm clock and lamp

(Image credit: Future Plc)

We all know the drill: 'keep electronics out of the bedroom'. But it's astonishing how many of us ignore this adage, to the detriment of our sleep quality. Opting for an old school alarm clock, instead of your phone alarm, will not only look charming, it will help you nod off at night too.

'For many, sleeping without your phone on your bedside table may seem like an impossible task,' says Rob Davey from Snoozel Green .'However, the blue light from your mobile can trick your body into thinking it’s still light outside and keep you awake.

'As little as two hours of blue light exposure before bed can slow or stop the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. So it's best to keep your phone out of the bedroom.'

14. Opt for a truly comfortable bed

White bedroom with wall panelling and grey bed

(Image credit: Button & Sprung)

Size matters when it comes to sleep, particularly, if you share a bed with a fidget or a furnace. Being woken by an accidental kick or covers being thrown off is not a recipe for good relations, so it's a good idea to ensure your bed is big enough to keep the peace.

 'One of the best ways to ensure a good night's sleep is to ensure you have plenty of space, especially if you are sleeping with a partner,' says Alexandra Fox, Home Design Stylist, John Lewis & Partners

'A little extra room will never go amiss for those who like to change sleeping positions throughout the night or during the hotter months of the year.'

Stephany Aubrey, brand specialist at Zinus, agrees. 'Your bedroom is your personal sanctuary, and your bed takes centre stage within it. Creating a beautiful bed not only adds aesthetic appeal to your space but also enhances the quality of your sleep,' she says. 

'One of the quickest and most effective ways to enhance the look of your bedroom is by investing in a stylish bed, paying close attention to the headboard. Whether it's a classic wooden design, an elegant, upholstered piece, or even a creative DIY project, a well-chosen headboard sets the tone for the rest of the room.'

15. Embrace biophilia

Green nature patterned bedroom, fitted shelf, black botanical armchair and matching footstool and pillows, round dark wood bedside table.

(Image credit: Blackmore Photography Ltd/Future PLC)

If you're looking for a stylish bedroom design tip for better sleep, it's important to know that houseplants can have a significant impact on our sleep environment – so taking time to choose the best plants for the bedroom is a great way to get more Zzz's.

'There is no greater effect on our wellbeing than when nature is invited into our homes,' says Adam at Button & Sprung. 'Plants add a lovely touch of décor and energy, and importantly help filter and clean the air that we breathe.'


How do I optimise my bedroom for sleep?

The easiest way to ensure your bedroom is optimised for better sleep is to keep your layout clear and uncluttered.

'We all know how important sleep is to our health and wellbeing, but you may you not realise just how much your interior design can impact this,' says Alison Hughes, interiors director at Coast Road Furniture. 

'From choosing natural bedding that keeps you cool to considering colour psychology when you paint your walls, there are plenty of ways you can make your bedroom a more relaxing, calm environment that’s conducive to a good night’s sleep.'

Alison adds that, 'as well as configuring the best layout and light sources in your bedroom, it’s also worth investing in quality, well-made interior items that are built to last'. 

'Mattresses, for example, are such a worthwhile investment for how much use they get and how much they impact your sleep every single night,' she says. 'Making these changes can turn your bedroom into a comfortable, welcoming oasis that will soon become your favourite room in the house.'

What are 3 tips for better sleep?

If you're looking for bedroom design tips to improve your sleep the first step is to make sure your room is as dark and quiet as possible. Blackout blinds and deep pile rugs that will help absorb sound are all your friends when it comes to sleep. 

Limiting electronics usage before bed is another tip, while it might seem convenient to have your phone charging on your bedside table, consider moving your charging point to another room to avoid the temptation to scroll before bed. Finally, make sure you have the best mattress. Nothing will improve your sleep better than a comfy bed, that you can sink into after a long day at work.

What colour helps you sleep?

Various studies claim that blue is the most relaxing colour. Therefore, checking out all of those stunning blue bedroom ideas may help you sleep. However, choose dark tones rather than vibrant ones.

How can I make my bedroom cosy for sleep?

If you're looking for cosy bedroom ideas to transform your sleep space into a calm and cocooning sanctuary, the easiest thing to do is choose softer, warmer colours that promote relaxation.

You could also set up speakers to play comforting music or white noise, if external noise is a problem, and try to keep your bedroom at 15.6 to 22.0 degrees Celsius wherever possible. Blackout blinds and soft lighting, too, are brilliant – and don't forget to play with scent (lavender is proven to aid with relaxation).

'Your bedroom should feel like a cosy sanctuary in the winter and light and airy in the summer. It should be your space to relax, rest and recharge,' says Helen Ashmore, head of design at Laura Ashley, noting that cosy bed sets are also important.

'For a restful night of sleep add  Laura Ashley's sumptuously soft Carriad Spray bed sets to our soft and cosy Duck Feather and Down Duvets, which are available in various togs so you can use them both in the winter and summer seasons. For the full effect add the matching Cariad Spray wallpaper on your walls.'

With so many bedroom design tips for better sleep to choose from, it seems we're all well on our way to more rest and relaxation. If you need us, we'll be scouring the best bedding deals and sourcing a new aromatherapy diffuser for our sleep space.

Sweet dreams, everyone...


Jacky Parker is a freelance interiors & lifestyle journalist, specialising in modern interiors, design and eco living. She has written for Future’s interior magazines and websites including Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home for over fifteen years, both as a freelance contributor and inhouse, with stints as Acting Digital Editor, Livingetc and Acting Style Content Editor, Country Homes & Interiors. Her work also features in national and international publications including Sunday Times Style, Telegraph Stella, The Guardian, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and more. With years of experience in the industry Jacky is privy to the insider view and the go-to places for interior inspiration and design-savvy décor.