6 things making your bedroom too hot, and what to do instead

Experts reveal why your bedroom is overheating and simple ways to cool things down

bedroom with bed, pillows and nightstand
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Nobody appreciates an overheated bedroom. The bedroom is meant to be a place to relax, get ready, and most importantly sleep, but the hot weather outside can often lead to uncomfortably warm temperatures in this staple room. 

Being able to get a decent night's sleep in a heatwave is almost impossible, restless nights lead to unproductive days and the cycle continues. So it is essential to understand what is making your room so hot and address it, and to avoid making common hot weather sleeping mistakes

Heat can be stored in the most unusual areas in a bedroom and most often we don’t know what is the root cause for the temperature consistently rising. Many things that we have in a bedroom contribute to holding onto the heat, and even when the air conditioning is on, this room can be noticeably warmer than the rest of the house.

Experts share the 6 things that make your bedroom warmer – and what to do instead

We asked experts to share the things that are overheating your bedroom this summer, and how to make this room cool and inviting again.

bedroom with bed, pillows and nightstand

(Image credit: Future PLC)

1. Heavy curtains and drapes

Heavy curtains and drapes contribute significantly to retaining the heat inside your bedroom, by preventing efficient air circulation. 

Although thick drapes look lovely and will definitely keep your room warm in the winter, it is a good idea to make sure these are changed over for the summer months, especially when dealing with extreme heat at home. Instead, opt for light-coloured blinds or shades that provide some insulation, while still allowing the air to circulate.

Andrea Hundley, interior designer and editor-in-chief at Design Morsels, says that choosing the correct curtains and blinds can have a huge effect on how hot your room gets: ‘I normally choose drapes and blinds lined with metallic polymer fibers which reflect heat back out through the window instead of into the room.’

Andrea Hundley
Andrea Hundley

Andrea Hundley is an interior designer and the founder and editor-in-chief of the home decor publication Design Morsels.

2. Unsuitable bedding

bedroom with bed, pillows and nightstand

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Switching to breathable, cooling sheets is key to sleeping better during the heat. If your sheets are made from natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, or bamboo you will be cooler at night, says Jacky Chou, principal designer and founder of Archute.

The summer months often mean sleeping under a sheet instead of having a comforter on top of you, however, it may not be the weighty comforter that is the only problem...

Jacky Chou
Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the principal and director at Laurel & Wolf online interior design agency. Jacky is also the principal and director at Archute, an editorial magazine about architecture, homes and gardens. They have been referenced by The New York Times, Bustle, House & Home, Bloomberg, and Angi.

3. A mattress that retains too much heat

The materials your mattress are made out of contribute to you heating up during the night and can make it feel too hot to sleep. Some mattresses may provide ample comfort but when it comes to hot weather they can also emit a lot of heat. Instead, choose one of the best cooling mattresses that allow proper air circulation so that your body has the ability to breathe throughout the night.

Both hybrid mattresses, like this one from Emma, and innerspring mattresses, at Winkbeds sleep the coolest at night, as they have a layer of pocketed springs and coils that allow air to flow through them easily, as the coils and springs are placed between the layers it stops air getting trapped and reduces the surface heat.

4. Electronics and lighting

Make sure to turn off any electronic devices and lighting when you are not using them in your bedroom, especially at night. Electronics like TVs, computers and lamps produce a lot of heat when they are on or being used, even if you charge your phone by the bed this can produce heat beside you while you sleep.

Instead, limit the amount of electronic devices you use in your bedroom. Make sure that lights are turned off during the day and use them sparingly in the evening for short periods of time as the heat can quickly penetrate into the room.

David Mason, interior designer and founder of Knobs says that he always makes sure to unplug electronics at the wall and also turn the plug off to ensure no heat is being expelled back into the room. David also suggests moving all electronic usage to other areas of the house especially when dealing with unusually high temperatures.

David Mason
David Mason

David Mason an interior designer and the founder of Knobs.co. He has over 10 years of experience in home improvement, architecture, and interior design.

5. Dark colored walls and furniture

bedroom with bed, pillows and nightstand

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Dark colors absorb heat, which can make your bedroom feel warmer. Julia Arco, interior designer and owner of Bark and Chase suggests painting your walls with light reflective shades to help bounce the sunlight off them and reduce the heat absorption.

Additionally, choose light-colored furniture or cover dark furniture with light-colored slipcovers to create a cooler ambiance. ‘Dark colors on the walls, furniture or bedding have a natural tendency to absorb more heat than their lighter counterparts,’ says Julia, ‘this can cause your room to become a heat reservoir on sunny hot days.’ 

The difference will be considerably noticeable when you change to lighter walls, furniture and fabric tones in the bedroom. Instead of it being stuffy, it will be airy and bright, light bedroom color schemes also contribute to making the room look bigger as well. While matte paint is typically used in bedrooms, a satin finish may work well in kids' rooms because it is both durable and reflective.

Julio Arco
Julio Arco

Julio Arco is an architect and interior designer with over 10 years of experience in the industry and the founder of Bark and Chase. He is also a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a Professor of Architecture at ITESM.

6. Lack of ventilation

Poor airflow can contribute to a stuffy and warm bedroom. According to Dave Roberts, HVAC specialist and owner of Northeast Mechanical Services, you should ensure that there is proper ventilation in the bedroom through the use of fans to circulate the air. ‘If you have access to one, a ceiling fan is an excellent addition to enhance air movement and create a refreshing breeze.’ 

Another good tip is to open your bedroom door and windows during the day to make sure that the hot air can leave the bedroom and disperse into other areas of the house or leave through the bedroom window.    

Upright fans, at Amazon, are also great for circulating the air and making the room feel more breezy, they also allow you to fall asleep easier as when positioned right, the cool air can be directed onto your bed.

Why do bedrooms get hotter at night?

If there are a lot of windows in your bedroom, the heat from the sun during the day will create a greenhouse effect. As the sun shines in it warms the air in your bedroom, as the warm air is now trapped inside the room will retain the heat throughout the evening and the night making it overly warm.

Achieving a cool bedroom is a priority when the weather is extremely hot. Utilizing the methods provided by our experts will help you to have a better night's sleep and reinstate this room as the sanctuary it should be.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.