Bedrooms

Revealed: the color you should never paint your bedroom

Psychologists name the colors that are likely to disrupt your sleep – and the one that will help improve it

Red bedroom: color you should never paint your bedroom
(Image credit: Future / Jon Day)

The color you should never paint your bedroom fall has been revealed. And actually, there is more than one – and they fall into two categories. One is the stimulating, irritating type – the colors in this category are unlikely to surprise you. The second type of color you should never paint your bedroom is the draining type, and the color that fits into this category may be less expected. 

We've asked color psychologists to name the shades you should steer clear of when choosing bedroom ideas. These are their recommendations, including the one color you should paint your bedroom if you struggle to relax. 

1. The color you should never paint your bedroom: red

A bedroom color idea with red walls, white ceilings and a yellow velvet stool

(Image credit: Davide Lovati)

You've probably guessed this one, and Lee Chambers, Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant, confirms that red is a big no when choosing bedroom color ideas

Lee says that 'red as a color promotes energy, social interaction and can even raise our blood pressure. While this might be perfect if you’re feeling a little tired in the morning, it makes it very difficult to get a restful night’s sleep as your body and mind will be racing, stimulated by the intensity of the color.'

If you share a bedroom with a partner, 'red can be so unsettling, it might even make late-night debates become heated, which makes it even harder to get a good night’s sleep.' 

Definitely avoid.

2. The color you should never paint your bedroom: yellow

Bedroom accent wall ideas with yellow wall paint

(Image credit: Future / Mel Yates)

Yellow can be a cheerful and refreshing color in a kitchen, study, or even living room. Yellow living rooms ideas may well be the answer to a room that needs perking up. However, it's not a great choice for a bedroom. 

Karen Haller, Behavioural Color & Design Psychology expert and author of The Little Book of Color, explains that 'this is the color that stimulates the nervous system and you can wake up feeling irritated and that’s not the way you want to start your day.' 

Yellow generally is a tricky color to use all over a room, so we'd keep it for an accent wall.

3. The color you should never paint your bedroom: gray

Gray bedroom in elegant period London townhouse

(Image credit: Future/ Anna Stathaki)

This one is certain to raise a few eyebrows. Aren't gray bedroom ideas a staple of bedroom design? And isn't gray the most relaxing color imaginable? 

According to Karen, the calming effects of gray are short-lived, and it quickly becomes an energy-sapping color: 'Often gray is mistaken as being relaxing, which might be the case for a short while. But spend a long time in gray, even when you are sleeping and it’s likely to start having a draining effect on you where you’ll wake up tired and find yourself reaching for that double expresso to wake up.' 

If you like neutrals, you may choose to stick to white or cream.

The one color you should paint your bedroom

A bedroom with deep blue walls and a bed with blue velvet headboard

(Image credit: Crown)

'So, what color should I paint my bedroom?', you may wonder. The general consensus among psychologists is that blue is amongst the best bedroom colors for promoting relaxation and good sleep. 

Lee explains that blue 'can be soothing and make you feel secure', so long as you don't go for an overly cool or dark blue. Exploring blue bedroom ideas for the shade that's just right for your room will reward you with less stress before bedtime and better sleep. 

Anna Cottrell

Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future Plc Home titles. She has a background in academic research and is the author of London Writing of the 1930s. She writes about interior design, property, and gardening.