Are light or dark bed sheets best for sleep? Experts reveal the best shade

If you struggle with getting to sleep, your bed sheet color could be to blame – here's everything you need to know about whether your bedding should be light or dark

Dark colored bedding styled on bed
(Image credit: Bed Threads)

White bed sheets might be the most common color, but black or dark grey bedding is fast rising in popularity. This raises an obvious but crucial question: are light or dark bed sheets better for sleep? If you find yourself lying awake at night, or struggling to stay asleep for longer than a few hours, then changing the color of your bed sheets could help. 

When it comes to style, whether you choose light or dark sheets depends on your preference. Light sheets work best with the Scandi aesthetic and can inject a clean, freshness into a bedroom. Dark bed sheets, on the other hand, are great for creating a coordinated look. They'll bring a classic timelessness to any scheme.

To confirm which is better for sleep, we've spoken to interior designers and sleep experts for their advice. If you decide to switch out your bed sheets, I've put together a few of tried and tested bedding sets, so you can get back to resting well. 

Are light or dark bed sheets better for sleep?

There may be lots of pros and cons to both light and dark bed sheets, but the truth is: your choice of bed sheet color is down to your personal preference.

Dark colored bedding styled on bed

(Image credit: Bed Threads)

The experts' verdict

There may be lots of pros and cons to both light and dark bed sheets, but the truth is that the choice of bed sheet color is down to your personal preference. 

As Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight, explains, 'Light sheets may reveal dirt and stains more easily but can make a room feel brighter and more spacious.' This makes white bed sheets 'easy to clean, as they can be bleached to remove any stains or discoloration. However, they will require more frequent washing to keep them looking their best.' adds Amelia Jerden, Sleep Product Review Specialist and Certified Sleep Science Coach at Sleepopolis. 

Conversely, dark sheets are better at concealing dirt and stains but can make a room feel more enclosed.' says Artem. Amelia confirms this. 'One potential downside of dark bedding is that it can make a room feel smaller and more cramped, particularly if the room is already on the smaller side.' 

If cleanliness is your top priority, light sheets may be a better option. But, if hiding dirt and stains is more important, and you prefer a deeper shade, then dark sheets may be more preferable.

Artem Kropovinsky headshot
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior designer and founder of Arsight, a NYC-based interior design studio that is specific in its truthful approach to connecting the imperfect with the sleek and innovative workflow. We work on residential and commercial spaces.

The best light color bed sheets

Amelia Jarden explains that 'light bed sheets have a timeless and classic look that can give your bedroom a clean and fresh feel. They are also versatile and can match any decor, making it easy to switch up your bedding without having to worry about clashing colors.'

These are the best light-colored bed sheets I've tested: 

The best dark color bed sheets

As a lover of a clean, masculine and moody aesthetic, I prefer darker bed sheet colors. 'Dark-colored bedding, such as navy blue, deep gray, or black, can create a cozy and intimate atmosphere in the bedroom.' says Amelia. 'Dark bedding can help create a sense of depth and texture in the room, and can also make a bold statement in terms of design.' 

These are the dark colored bedding sets I love: 

Sheet color FAQs

Are darker sheets hotter?

Darker sheets may sleep hotter than lighter colors. This is because dark colors are known to absorb and trap heat quicker. If your bedroom gets significant amounts of sunlight during the day, it's possible it will retain the heat and dissipate it later when you sleep. That being said, the bed sheet type and material will affect how hot you sleep more. If your dark bed sheets are made of a cooling fabric like bamboo, it's likely you'll sleep just fine without overheating. White sheets made of heavy, unbreathable polyester will make you overheat no matter how bright they are.

What color sheets make a room look bigger?

While bed sheet colors may have an effect on your sleep, they'll also impact your bedroom. Certain bed sheet colors will make a room look bigger. Experts suggest warm neutrals will optically expand a room. Beige, ecru, and blush will draw the eye in while not distracting from the rest of the room. Lighter colors will make things feel further away and ceilings higher, whereas darker colors will shorten a room and focus the attention to the bed. 

Where different colors are better and worse for sleep, how they look in your space will also depend on your bedroom scheme. When choosing the color of your bedding, consider your wall colors. Pairing light sheets with white walls will create a cohesive look, and dark sheets with dark walls will add a dramatic effect. 

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is your eCommerce Editor and sleep specialist to help you wind down well. A connoisseur of the mattress world, Louise previously covered sleep and wellness (as well as the occasional organizational buy) at Real Homes, and has tried, tested, and reviewed some of the buys for your bedroom. With an MA in International Journalism and PR experience, Louise brings bags of bedding expertise and enjoys nothing more than helping readers find solutions and products that best suit their sleep needs.