The 7 spots you’re forgetting to clean in the bedroom – but experts say you really shouldn’t

How many are you missing?

A bed with a fabric quilted headboard
(Image credit: John Lewis)

Compared to the likes of the bathroom and the kitchen which get cleaned on a regular basis, the bedroom gets the short end of the stick. It’s often something of an afterthought when it comes to cleaning. This is because the kitchen and bathroom get very obviously dirty all the time, which requires our constant care and attention. But even when we finally get to it, there are several commonly missed areas when cleaning the bedroom.

But according to our experts, both the bedroom and these often forgotten spots deserve and require regular attention and should be part of your cleaning calendar. As not cleaning them can have some dire consequences, other than just dusty-looking surfaces.

There are two main reasons why cleaning of these out-of-sight or hard-to-reach areas should not be skipped – one is that dust and dirt contributes to poor indoor air quality which can lead to respiratory issues, while the other is the fact that these places are the perfect hiding spots for pests. And neither of those sound particularly appealing, thanks very much.

A bed with a curved fabric headboard and floral bed linen

(Image credit: M&S)

7 commonly missed areas when cleaning the bedroom

We’re not judging by any means as we often forget to clean these commonly missed places ourselves, just like we forget the commonly missed areas of the kitchen when cleaning it. We’re all in the same boat here.

‘In bedrooms, there are several commonly overlooked areas when it comes to cleaning,’ says Baqir Khan, owner of Extreme Cleaning. ‘These areas are often neglected for various reasons, including being out of sight and difficult to reach or not being considered as part of regular cleaning routines.’

But getting into the habit of cleaning them is important as you could otherwise be negatively impacting your health or create a breeding ground for pests like dust mites and even bed bugs.

‘Leaving dust to accumulate in bedrooms is bad for your health,’ says Sarah Dempsey, cleaning expert at ‘It can cause breathing problems and act as a trigger for asthma and dust and skin allergies. Leaving dust, dander and dead skin to build up around the bed will increase the level of dust mites. Plus, dark and dusty areas of your bedroom that lie undisturbed are attractive to moths and provide good hiding places for other critters including bed bugs and fleas.’

So to avoid such fate, these are the areas you’re most likely forgetting to clean in your bedroom but you really shouldn’t.

What you'll need

1. The mattress

The Original Bed Co. Juno cashmere mattress

(Image credit: The Original Bed Co.)

If you know how to clean a mattress, then we commend you for it. Because most people forget they should clean it regularly. 

‘You may not give your mattress much thought, but depending on how often you clean your sheets and if you have a mattress protector covering it, it can be a very dirty spot,’ says Petya Holevich, Fantastic Services' cleaning expert. ‘Still, despite the sheets and protector, you still sleep on it every night and dirt and skin cells and oil accumulate on it.’

Petya Holevich
Petya Holevich

Petya Holevich is an experienced housecleaning and laundry expert with over 5 years of dedicated time at Fantastic Services. Her journey with the company not only contributed to the maintenance of immaculately clean domestic spaces but has also put her at the forefront of training new teams, honing her leadership skills and elevating her communication abilities. This, in turn, has enhanced her communication with clients as well, ensuring an exceptional level of service and fostering positive relationships and friendly attitude.

2. Underneath the bed and bedside tables

‘If something is out of sight, then it’s out of mind. That’s why we commonly forget to clean under the bed,’ Sarah says. And the same goes for underneath the bedside tables, too.

‘The nightstand accumulates a lot of dirt and dust around it and that's why you'll need to give it a thorough dusting and wiping. You can also pull it out from the sides and front. If you can't pull it out from the back to reach those tricky corners, use a handheld vacuum cleaner under it,’ Petya says.

Baqir agrees, ‘Periodically move furniture away from the walls to clean underneath and behind them. Use a hoover with a crevice attachment to reach tight spaces and remove dust and debris.’

3. Behind the dresser and headboard

A patterned green chest of drawers in a white-painted room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

Speaking of underneath furniture, people also often forget to clean behind it as well, like behind the headboard or chest of drawers.

‘When you're cleaning behind the headboard, use a dusting cloth before cleaning again with a damp cloth and cleaning spray. To prevent dust fall-off from sticking, wipe the surface with a dry cloth one last time,’ Petya explains.

And the same goes for cleaning behind your dresser. Or you can move the furniture and simply vacuum the area behind with your best vacuum cleaner.

4. The headboard

A bed with a fabric quilted headboard

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

And it’s not just the area behind the headboard that gets dusty. The headboard itself does too, whether it’s a wooden one, a metal one or one covered in fabric.

‘Soft furnishings including fabric headboards collect dust in the same way as carpet does. So, you can clean them by running the vacuum’s brush or lint attachment over them,’ Sarah says. 

‘Your vacuum’s nozzle attachment should help you reach behind, under and over your furniture. But if it won’t fit, use a feather duster or one of those long, thin dusters that are designed for cleaning radiators.’

5. The bedside table drawer

A cane-insert bedside table with a matching headboard

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Your bedside table drawer can become a dumping ground for a lot of small-sized clutter. So a little decluttering session every now and then, finished with a wipe down would be beneficial.

‘Sort the contents of your bedside drawer into three piles labelled "trash", "useful items", and "items that should be stored elsewhere". Once the drawer has been emptied, wipe the inside with a damp cloth,’ Petya recommends.

6. Inside and on top of the wardrobe

A built-in mirror wardrobe in blue reflecting floral curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Due to its interior usually being full to the brim, the inside of the wardrobe rarely ever gets touched when cleaning. But this is one of the perfect hiding spots for moths and other pests so it really should be cleaned regularly.

‘The floor and shelves in wardrobes often go unnoticed during regular cleaning routines but can collect dust, lint, and other debris,’ Baqir says.

He continues with tips on how to clean a wardrobe floor and shelves. ‘Remove items from closet floors and shelves, vacuum or sweep the area to remove dust and debris, and then reorganise belongings.’

And the same goes for the top of the wardrobes.

‘The top of your wardrobe in your bedroom is a spot that's often overlooked but accumulates a lot of dust. It's not a spot you notice unless you're very tall. You can reach this area by using extendable duster kits. Begin by dusting with the dusting head and then cleaning with a cloth head sprayed with a cleaning solution. Finally, dry everything with the microfibre head,’ Petya advises.

A turquoise bedroom with a fireplace, a tonal wardrobe and a floral-print armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

7. Lamp shades and light fixtures

Since we established that lighting is the major focus of 2024, we love a chic bedroom lighting idea. But one needs to take care of the lamp or light in question to keep it in tip-top condition and so that it’s not just another surface to collect dust. 

‘Dust can gather on light fixtures and lamp shades, making them look dingy and affecting the quality of light in the room,’ Baqir warns. ‘Use a microfibre cloth or duster to clean ceiling light fixtures, and lamp shades. These materials are effective at trapping dust without spreading it around.’

And now that you know what’s likely slipping your mind when cleaning the bedroom, you can make sure that you do indeed clean them regularly and diligently to keep your space looking and feeling fresh.

Content Editor

Sara Hesikova has been a Content Editor at Ideal Home since June 2024, starting at the title as a News Writer in July 2023. Sara brings the Ideal Home’s readership features and news stories from the world of homes and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more, focusing on all things room decor, specialising in living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, home offices and dining rooms. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.