Bedroom curtain colors to avoid – 5 hues that may be hindering your sleep

Are your curtains interrupting your slumber? Experts urge against these using these tones when dressing your bedroom windows

Red curtian in a traditional bedroom
(Image credit: Almay)

When considering colors – and their impact on sleep – it is understandable to neglect the hues dressing your window. Recent interest in color psychology has focused primarily on large surface areas, from your bedroom walls to your bedsheets. And while decisions are undeniably important, your window dressing is equally significant in achieving a peaceful night's sleep. 

While curating your bedroom curtain ideas to help you sleep better may appear relative in regard to larger factors (such as finding the best mattress for your needs). However, wellness experts and designers alike agree that the color of your curtains influences your psyche in the bedroom – meaning it is reflected in your sleep quality and your overall wellbeing in the morning. 

If you've taken note of the bed sheet colors to avoid, these curtain steps are the next step to improving your sleep quality. 

5 bedroom curtain colors to avoid

'Colors such as red, black, purple, and orange evoke certain emotions which have no place in the bedroom,' cautions Kenny Johnson from Sleepy Review. In his summary of the colors that follow, the expert suggests that these tones can be used as accent pieces, but you should avoid using them as a block color (such as through your curtains) in your room. Here's what you need to know about each one.

1. Red 

Red curtian in a traditional bedroom

(Image credit: Almay)

Red is the color to avoid at the top of every expert's list – but what makes it so problematic in terms of sleep?

'Red colors that are vivid or intense stimulate brain activity and might elicit feelings of excitement or anger,' warns wellness expert Benjamin Rose from Trainer Academy. 'Too much red in your bedroom might elevate your pulse rate and make you more awake, making it difficult to fall asleep.' 

Red is also one of the most energizing colors you can choose. It symbolizes conflict, danger, and power – all of which are unwelcome in a space where you try to unwind and fall asleep. 'Due to its intensity, red curtains are not suggested for use in the bedroom,' Benjamin adds. 

2. Orange 

Red curtian in a traditional bedroom

(Image credit: Almay)

Like red, orange is also avoided for its energizing qualities. Paige Anderson, an interior designer at Nitido Design, reflects Benjamin's argument, adding that the shade will stimulate activity in our brains and bodies and make us feel more alert than we should be in our bedrooms. 

'This makes it harder for us to relax before bedtime. We can't fall asleep easily or stay asleep long enough without waking up throughout the night,' the designer adds.

3. Purple 

Red curtian in a traditional bedroom

(Image credit: Almay)

When it comes to therapeutic bedroom ideas, you would be forgiven for believing purple is one of the best colors you can choose. However, Paige warns that this relaxing tone may, in fact, be hindering your sleep in the long term. 

'If you're using purple as an accent color on your curtains or bedding (or both), be sure that you aren't going too overboard with the amount used in the room,' she warns. 'You don't want any extra drowsiness interfering with your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep.'

4. Yellow

patterned wallpaper with pattern upholstered chair and yellow curtain

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber/ Kate French)

It can feel hard to go wrong with yellow – the joyous color that is known for its ability to fill a space with positivity. However, a recent study by Tapirevealed that yellow is one of the worst colors for promoting slumber after 22% of respondents confessed they achieved a poor night's sleep (every night) with this color in their bedroom. 

While this may be surprising initially, it makes sense when you consider the cheerfulness of this tone – making it hard for the brain to relax while trying to rest. 

5. Black

Red curtian in a traditional bedroom

(Image credit: Almay)

Black may seem like the best color idea you can choose for your curtains, thanks to its ability to block out sunlight that may interrupt your sleep in the morning. However, as Paige warns, this curtain color is 'known to trigger the brain’s alertness signal, making it more difficult to fall asleep.' Therefore, it may be better to look for other colors to hide the light come morning time. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. 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.