The best and worst bedroom colors for sleep – choose or avoid these, urge experts

Knowing the best and worst bedroom colors for sleep will have an impact on your wellbeing – here's what the experts want you to know

Bedroom decorated in Blackthorn by Morris and Co
(Image credit: Project by Zoe Feldman / photograph by Stacy Zarin Goldberg)

Knowing the difference between the best and worst bedroom colors for sleep is essential for promoting your well-being at home and at work. 

Though typically bedroom color ideas are chosen for aesthetic reasons, we are in an era when finding out how to sleep better goes beyond choosing the best mattress and tips into color psychology.

So, knowing what color helps sleep and the colors not to paint a bedroom has never felt more important – whether we're talking the tones on your walls to the bed sheet colors to avoid

But what bedroom colors are most impactful in either helping or preventing you from sleeping?

The best and worst bedroom colors for sleep 

It may feel natural to begin by assessing the colors of your bedroom paint ideas, however, knowing the best and worst bedroom colors for sleep should include your pillows and your best bed sheets, too. Here are the sleep-inducing or -inhibiting tones the experts want you to know about. 

The best colors for sleep

Let's begin with the most relaxing colors that are approved by experts. 

1. Light blue 

blue bedroom with white ceiling, bedding, blue fabric canopy, floral drapes, bedside, taupe and floral cushions, rug on floor

(Image credit: VSP Interiors)

Blue bedroom ideas sit at the pinnacle of the best colors for the bedroom – with sleep experts and designers alike favoring this calming hue. 

'Blue is recognized cross-culturally as being associated with peace because of its association with nature’s skies and calm lakes,' says designer Stephanie Parisi of Stephanie Parisi Studio. 

While all blues benefit sleep, she recommends a soft robin’s egg blue to create a 'sleep sanctuary' that is therapeutic through the daytime and always restful at night. And Suzy Chiazzari, a color psychologist and holistic designer, mirrors these sentiments. She explains that light blue is 'calming and soothing to the conscious mind', so it will encourage you to feel rested long before you fall asleep. 

2. Sage green

sage green bedroom with black and white artwork, upholstered bedhead with wall light attached, natural elements, chocolate and white bedding

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

Similar to light blue, green bedroom ideas, and in particular, sage, are loved for their association with nature's palette – an aesthetic that will never go out of style. But its qualities stretch far beyond its good looks. 

'Sage green often symbolizes nature and is often associated with peace and tranquillity, making it a great color for the bedroom,' says Katherine Hall, a sleep psychologist at Somnus Therapy

And Dr. Rosmy Barrios, a regenerative medicine specialist at Swiss Medica and MD & Medical Content Author at Health Reporter, agrees. She similarly classifies green as a 'relaxing and calming color' that is synonymous with nature – distracting us from our worries when surrounded by its hues. 'For this reason, a combination of green and blue is often used in the bedroom.'

3. Light gray

gray bedroom with black iron bed, artwork, floral cushions, oatmeal throw, tiny wall mounted bedside, wall light

(Image credit: Kitesgrove)

It is no perhaps unsurprising that gray bedroom ideas are admired among designers. The color has (and will continue to) set color trends for several seasons – thanks to its versatility and ageless aesthetic. However, this tone is equally loved beyond the design world. 

'Gray is a fantastic option for those who want quality sleep,' Dr. Rosmy says. 'Although one might think that the color is dull, it is not aggressive and very calming.' 

The worst colors for sleep

Knowing the colors to avoid is equally as important as those that promote a peaceful slumber. The experts urge against these three tones.

1. Red

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

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

The color you should never paint your bedroom? Red. Red bedroom ideas, say sleep experts and color psychologists, should be used with caution. 

'Studies have shown that the color 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,' says Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay. 

According to Martin, red is 'too overpowering for bedtime' when you should, instead, look to slow down and promote feelings of tranquillity.

2. Yellow

Bedroom accent wall ideas with yellow wall paint

(Image credit: Future / Mel Yates)

Yellow bedroom ideas may have joyful connotations – but in all its positivity – it's a color that's best left outside. 

'While it’s perfect for a cheerful wake-up, color psychology has shown that this shade can put you on a state of high alert – meaning you’ll struggle to get to sleep beyond turning off the light. This is because it’s not only an attention-grabbing color but because it evokes feelings of excitement and energy,' Martin explains. 

3. Brown

Bedroom wallpaper ideas featuring a gray tropical print with ochre headboard, cushions and wall lighting.

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

While a beige bedroom ideas will always feel therapeutic, Martin warns against bringing darker brown room ideas into your space. 

'Due to its dark properties, it can leave a person feeling dreary and depressed, which makes it hard for a person to fall asleep at night,' the explains. He adds that when the morning arrives, it may be harder to find motivation, especially on an already-dull day. 

What color promotes deep sleep?

According to sleep experts, the best bedroom color for deep sleep is light blue, which, as we have said before, creates a feeling of calm that promotes restfulness. 

That said, blue light, as emitted by your cell phone's screen, for example, can make it more difficult for you to fall and stay asleep. 

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.