How to make a bedroom feel warmer without turning the heating on

Keep cosy when going to sleep with these top money-saving tips

Loft bedroom with panelled walls and orange bedhead
(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

There's nothing worse at this time of year than going up to bed and finding your bedroom is cold. While sticking the heating on for a bit before bed can be tempting, there are a few ways to make your bedroom feel warmer without using the heating.

While there are a few design tricks you can use to make a bedroom feel warmer, there are lots of practical bedroom ideas that can help too, from adding layers and warming textiles to your bed, to preventative measures like tackling draughts.

'Making your home feel toasty is not just about the temperature,' explains Emma Bestley, co-founder of YesColours. 'How you warm up your space visually has an impact on how you feel during the colder months too.'

Armed with these clever tricks and cosy bedroom ideas you'll soon be snuggled up warm in bed without having to use the heating.

How to make a bedroom feel warmer

We've spoken to the experts to round up some of the best and most cost-effective ways to make a bedroom feel warmer. The first thing to consider though is whether you've made any design mistakes making your bedroom feel colder. Once you've tackled these it's time to start heating things up in the bedroom.

1. Use warming colours

Terracotta bedroom scheme

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

One of the easiest ways to make your bedroom feel warmer is by using colour. 

'Using a mix of warm colours like terracotta, ochre and burnt orange on your walls and curtains will help create an earthy, cosy atmosphere, which you can further enhance by painting the ceiling a darker shade than the walls,' explains Nicolene Mausenbaum director of Dezyna Interiors

If you don't want to do a full room redo, updating bedding, curtains and accessories for warmer hues is a great way to make things more cosy.

2. Choose natural materials

Cosy bed with lots of throws

(Image credit: Button & Sprung)

By choosing the right type of materials for your bed, such as the best mattress and best duvet, will make it more comfortable for you to sleep. 

'As soon as you get into bed, natural fillings such as wool start to respond to your body warmth, trapping heat in its clever fibres to keep you at a comfortable temperature. No external heating required,' explains Adam Black, co-founder of Button & Sprung

'By sleeping on sustainable wool you are not only getting the benefit of a clean sleep, free from harmful chemicals, but you are enjoying the natural thermoregulation wool provides, making it a wise choice when the warmer months arrive too.' 

3. Switch to thicker curtains

Scandi-style bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Bedrooms lose a lot of heat through windows, so thicker bedroom curtain ideas can help keep draughts at bay. 

'In winter, swap out blinds or sheer, lightweight curtains for some that are made from a heavier material,' says Melissa Denham, interior design expert at Hammonds Furniture. 'Curtains made from materials such as wool or velvet, or (even better) curtains with a thermal lining, will be able to restrict the airflow in your home and stop your rooms losing heat, saving you money on your energy bills too.' 

4. Cover up any draughts

Blue and pink bedroom scheme

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Spending a little time draught-proofing your sleeping space can make it a more cosy environment. 

'Put draught excluders at the bottom of doors and around the seals of windows – you can even get inflatable ones for chimneys,' says Stephen Hankinson, energy efficiency expert at Electric Radiators Direct. 'They cost very little and are a simple but effective way of ensuring you’re not losing lots of heat from your bedroom, especially as you sleep.' 

5. Check your duvet’s tog rating

Scandi style bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Switching duvets with the season means you can maintain the perfect temperature as you go to sleep. 

'A tog is essentially a measure of how well a duvet holds heat,' explains Lucy Ackroyd, head of design at Christy. 'The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet will be. While it can get chilly in the UK in winter, most cold sleepers will find they get sufficient warmth from a 13.5 tog duvet. If you tend to overheat at night then go for a 10.5 tog duvet and add a blanket or throw on top that you can easily remove if you need to.' 

6. Add rugs for cosiness

Cosy bedroom with throws on the bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Maxwell Attenborough)

While original floorboards or laminate look great, they can be very cold underfoot, so it's a good idea to brainstorm the best bedroom rug ideas to complement them.

'When your floors are left uncovered, they can feel very cold,' says Matthew Jenkins, heating expert at 'This is especially true for stone or hardwood floors. You can lose a lot of your home's heat through these types of floors. Laying a rug can help prevent some of the heat from being lost. Rugs also feel much cosier under the foot, making your home feel warmer and much more comfortable.'

7. Lay carpet to trap heat

White bedroom

(Image credit: Tapi Carpets & Floors /@becshomestyle)

If you're considering replacing your current bedroom flooring, choosing carpet can be a more comfortable option. 

'Carpet is an excellent, natural source of insulation as it increases your home’s ability to retain warmth,' explains the experts at Tapi Carpets & Floors. 'The best type of flooring to help keep your home warm without turning on the heating is a high tog rated carpet combined with the right underlay. Tog ratings are your best indicators of natural insulation, you should aim for a rating of 2.5 – 4 (including underlay), in combination with the right carpet fibre.'

8. Use cotton bedding

French style bedroom

(Image credit: French Bedroom)

It's worth investing in some good-quality duvet sets and buying a duvet larger than your bed frame can help with a warmer night's sleep too.

 'I always recommend choosing a duvet one size larger than the bed frame so that it drapes over the edges of the bed, softening the look of the whole room while offering plenty of warmth,' explains Georgia Metcalfe, founder and creative director at French Bedroom. 'Combine this with higher thread count, and high-quality cotton bedlinen for chillier nights. This will also feel heavier, creating a sense of security and helping towards a great nights’ sleep.' 

9. Warm your bed with an electric blanket

Blue bedroom with wooden bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Getting into a cold bed often makes a bedroom feel colder than it is. Taking time to warm up your bed in the evening, can mean you stay warmer for longer. 

'The secret ingredient for a winter warm night’s sleep is laying an electric blanket over or under your fitted sheet to get your bed toasty warm before lights out,' say the experts at Bensons for Beds. If you don't have an electric blanket, simply placing a hot water bottle on each side of the bed can make things toasty before you climb into bed. 

10. Close doors to lock in heat

A green bedroom with a serene wall mural

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme Photography Ltd)

A lot of heat is lost simply by leaving doors open around the house. 'One of the easiest ways to lose heat in your home is by leaving doors open,' explains Jess Steele, heating technology expert at BestHeating.

'The cosy pre-heated room is wasted and cold within a matter of minutes when the door is left open allowing all the heat to escape. By keeping the door shut this will trap the heat in the room, maintaining its warmth for longer.' 


How do you heat a cold bedroom?

If you want to heat the space quickly without using your heating, an electric blanket or layers of throws on a bed can make it feel warmer. 'Electric blankets are another great option for keeping warm, especially in the evenings and could cost less than you think. At an estimated 4p an hour* they might help to keep you warm when the radiators are turned off,' advises Gareth Kloet, energy spokesperson at Go.Compare

*Estimations based on appliance wattages listed by Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). Energy prices are based on the energy price cap unit rate of 28p/kWh and aren't specific to your household’s energy tariff, usage or region.

How can I heat my room while sleeping?

One of the best ways to retain heat is by choosing temperature-regulating materials. 'Rather than leaving your heating running on full-blast overnight – likely causing you to overheat – we recommend choosing a naturally filled mattress that will help to keep you warm, regulating your temperature while you sleep. A much kinder option for your energy bills,' advises Adam.  

Don't suffer through a chilly winter, try some of these tips and give the warmth in your bedroom a boost.

Amy Hodge

Amy Hodge has been working on interiors magazines for over 11 years. She's a freelance writer and sub editor who has worked for some of the UK's leading interiors magazines including Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors. She started at Style at Home just after it launched as food editor and is now chief sub editor for Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors.