5 bed sheet colors to avoid – experts warn against using these popular colors in the bedroom

From white to red and light blue – these hues may be preventing you from achieving a good night’s sleep

Pandora Taylor yellow shapely headboard with artwork on the walls and yellow bolster cushion
(Image credit: Pandora Taylor )

Color has an impact in every room of the home, but none more so than the bedroom. While it is important that this intimate space looks good, it is even more vital that it does good. And your chosen hues are one of the most influential tools you have over your well-being in this space. 

If you're looking for ways to sleep better, it may feel natural to begin with your paint ideas; however, there is another large surface that is equally as impactful: your bed sheets. And while conventions may point towards using bright white bed sheets, it is among the colors that experts are avoiding in their bedrooms.

5 bed sheet colors to avoid – according to sleep experts 

From light blue to black and white, these are the colors to avoid when investing in the best bed sheets for you. 

However, it is worth noting that if you have any of these colors – don’t worry. There’s always something you can do to work with what you already have – especially if you love how it looks in your space. Because, after all, a home should be personal. Here's what you need to know.  

1. White

neutral bedroom with grasscloth wallpaper, silver bedside chest and artwork

(Image credit: Future/ James Merrell)

White bed sheets, the most controversial choice of all, is a treasured favorite for generations. However, sleep experts warn that this timeless bedroom idea may be impacting your sleep – for all the wrong reasons.

'While white bed sheets may be crisp and clean looking, they can also give off a sterile feeling in your bedroom,' warns Robert Pagano, the co-founder of Sleepline (opens in new tab). He adds that, if you're aiming for a 'warm' aesthetic in your bedroom, this popular choice is not the best option. However, some shades of white are harmful beyond their aesthetic too. 

Certified Sleep Science Coach and the Founder of Sleeping Ocean (opens in new tab), Alex Savy, similarly warns against 'ivory white or any other shade of bright white' can impact your sleep as they hold daylight connotations. 

'It’s better to go with off-white or beige sheets because bright white fabrics may be too stimulating for the brain. It might associate them with daylight, which can lead to decreased levels of a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin,' he says. 

2. Light blue 

vibrant palm botanical leaf wallpaper in bedroom

(Image credit: Jake Curtis / Melinda Ashton Turner)

Light blue may be admired for its therapeutic, sky-like qualities, but experts urge against this natural hue in the bedroom. 

In the same way that Alex avoids white for its stimulation, he explains that light blue is similarly provocative. 'Light blue is a cool color that can also create an illusion of daylight,' he says. 'It's better to choose dark blue and navy bed sheets instead.'

3. Red 

Red bed sheets

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

When deciding on bedroom color ideas, you would be forgiven for thinking that red is a suitable shade for the space. However, as sleep expert and MattressNextDay (opens in new tab) CEO, Martin Seeley, explains, the 'color of love' is too overpowering for bedtime.

'Studies have shown that red has such a powerful pigment that it can even provoke aggression or anger, which is the opposite of what you want when falling asleep,' Martin says. 'Instead, you want feelings of tranquillity and for your heart rate to be slowing down.'

Alex adds that bright colors, such as red, yellow, and orange, may remind the brain of sunlight. 'Naturally, this can lead to reduced melatonin production, causing delayed sleep or other related issues,' he adds. 

4. Brown 

Small bedroom with black and white tropical mural

(Image credit: Future)

'While a neutral brown or beige color can encourage a feeling of calmness at night, the same can't be said for dark brown,' Martin says. According to the expert, brown bed sheets can leave your room feeling dreary and depressing, making it harder for a person to fall asleep at night. 'Brown bed sheets can make a room look dull and uninviting,' Robert adds. 

However, the problems may also continue when the sun rises, too. Martin explains that this dark color can also make it harder for a person to 'find the motivation to leave their bed on a morning.' So, it is a hue to avoid if you're not a morning person. 

5. Black 

Black bed sheets

(Image credit: Tom Leighton)

'Naturally, the same can be said for the darkest color of them all – black. While the tone is reminiscent of nighttime and, therefore, suggests that it'd make the perfect pick for a duvet color, this certainly isn't the case,' Martin says. 

The expert explains that, according to psychology, black provokes negative feelings such as 'sadness, anger, and fear – all of which can keep you up at night.' And Robert agrees. 

'Black bed sheets can give off [an aesthetic] that feels too dark and serious for some bedrooms. If you're looking for a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom, you might want to avoid black bed sheets,' he adds. 

So, you know which colors to avoid, but which are best? These are the bed sheet colors to improve sleep, according to experts. And if you never try, you'll never know.

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.