How to Choose Bedroom Colors for a Better Night's Sleep

Abstract graphic in pastel colors

 Graphic by Cristina Cianci

Many variables contribute to our quality of sleep, like stress-levels, our diet, and whether or not we exercise. A less obvious factor might also include the bedroom colors we choose to design or paint with. When selecting bedroom paint colors, the first thing to consider is temperature. While warm colors advance toward the eye and appear more active, creating a stimulating effect, cool colors—the hues from blue green through blue violet, most grays included—tend to recede, producing a more calming and relaxing effect.

That said, there's a lot of variation on the cool color spectrum; a bright green and a pale blue can create spaces with drastically different vibes. If cool colors aren't your cup of tea, warm hues that are light and subtle, such as soft yellows or pinks, can also feel soothing. We turned to a few of our favorite interior designers to hear how they go about selecting bedroom paint colors.

Warm colors stimulate, while cooler hues have a calming effect.

As a general rule, active colors tend to be bright and highly saturated, like red or orange (the color of stop signs and traffic cones, mean to grab your attention), so think the opposite.

How to Choose Bedroom Colors for a Calm and Relaxing Space

Stick to Dark Colors

Dark blue painted bedroom
Tali Roth

"For a sexy or romantic bedroom, I like to stick with dark colors like olive, deep violet, navy, or charcoal," says interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn. "For clients interested in calm, tranquil bedrooms, I'm quick to suggest a blue-gray, celery tones, or a layering of white paint with all white furniture and linens. Overall, since bedrooms are meant for relaxation, I try to stay away from high-energy colors like bright greens, deep reds, or bold, tropical hues."

Brian Patrick Flynn's Palette:

Cyberspace paint color by Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams Cyberspace, 1 gal. $35-$82
Rich Navy paint color by Glidden Premium
Glidden Premium Rich Navy, 1 gal. $26
Krypton paint color by Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams Krypton, 1 gal. $35-$82

Opt for Serene Tones

Neutral colored bedroom
Tali Roth

"In the bedroom, I love a room that's both serene and happy," interior designer Kimberly Ayres chimes in. "Go for soft color combinations, like duck-egg blue and champagne, and then add a mix of fresh patterns." Whatever color you choose, make sure it's a muted version of the hue so you'll never go too bold. Then mix in patterns in the form of an area rug (like the one pictured), throw pillows, or interesting wall art. In doing so, think of the textures that evoke comfort: Faux fur, velvet, cashmere, wool, for example.

Kimberly Ayres's Palette:

Simply White paint color by Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore Simply White, 1 gal. $43-$80
Bird's Egg paint color by Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore Bird's Egg, 1 gal. $59-$64
Champagne paint color by Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams Champagne, 1 gal. $38-$97

Keep it Timeless

Simple, timelessly styled bedroom with pale blue comforter
Fantastic Frank

"I love to keep the color of a bedroom simple, timeless, and classic," says Grant K. Gibson. "By keeping things neutral, you avoid trends, and then you're able to have fun with other items in the space like bedding, throw pillows, side tables, and lamps. Then it's fun to add interest and layers with a pop of color." Décor items like house plants, a stack of thoughtfully curated books, and a vignette of objects can help add layers and a pop of color to your space.

Grant K. Gibson's Palette:

Cotton paint color by Jeff Lewis Color
Jeff Lewis Color Cotton, 1 gal. $29
Creamy paint by Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams Creamy, 1 gal. $38-$97

Looking for more bedroom décor ideas? Here's how to get that master bedroom feel no matter how small your space is. Plus, we polled interior designers to give us the scoop on the bedroom décor trends for 2020 and beyond.

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