5 Tips for Creating a Cozy Winter Bedroom

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image of winter bedroom with cozy elements including coffee mug and candle

As any of the Starks would tell you, winter is coming. To prep for the coldest months of the year, it’s time to make a few key changes to your bedroom. From painting your walls a different color to swapping your sheets, we’ve got all your winter bedroom needs covered.

How to create a cozy winter bedroom

Here are five tips for making over your bedroom this season so that it looks—and feels—cozier all winter long.

1. Refresh your bedroom colors

Winter is the perfect time to repaint your bedroom. Cool tones, like blue, have been shown to help you relax. It makes sense, given that blue is associated with soothing images like the sky and ocean. Green, which is associated with nature, also promotes zen. Neutral shades like taupe, beige, and gray, muted tones, and pastel hues are calming as well. Once you’ve picked a color scheme, move on to updating the rest of your bedroom.

2. Layer your bedding

The most important aspect of your winter bedroom would, of course, be your bed. Keep in mind that the optimal temperature for sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is 60° and 67° Fahrenheit, so don’t crank up your heat as high as it can go. The best way to ensure you’re comfortable while you sleep is to layer, layer, layer. That way you can add or take things away as needed.

  • Start with a heated mattress pad. A mattress pad is a thin piece of quilted material, placed under a fitted sheet, designed to protect your mattress from stains and wear and tear. If your home gets chilly overnight, consider using a heated mattress pad to stay warm. A heated mattress pad has settings on it so that you can adjust the temperature until it reaches your ideal level.
  • Switch to flannel sheets. Kick things up a notch with flannel sheets. Flannel can be made from wool or cotton, but you should choose cotton flannel over wool. Cotton is breathable, so it’ll keep you warm without overheating you. Bonus if your flannel sheets come in a seasonally on-trend plaid pattern! (Sleeping with a top sheet can help keep you warm overnight, but not everyone prefers one. Take our top sheet poll to let us know if you usually sleep with or without one.)
  • Choose your comforter wisely. Your bed wouldn’t be complete without a comforter this season, but what type of filling is best? Down (the soft inner feathers of a duck or goose) is the gold standard because of how much warmth it provides. There are cheaper synthetic comforter fillings available (they’re usually made from polyester), but keep in mind that this won’t be as long-lasting as a down comforter.
  • Top your bed off with a throw blanket. To turn your bedroom into a winter sanctuary, don’t forget about putting a chunky knit blanket and extra pillows onto your bed. Keep a basket nearby so that you can store your blanket and extra pillows if you don’t actually want to sleep with all of them on your bed.

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3. Add an area rug

A fuzzy rug could be just the element your bedroom needs this winter to make it feel cozier. First, you have to decide where to put your area rug. You could put it under your bed, but you don’t necessarily have to do that. A general rule of thumb to follow is that your rug shouldn’t touch your walls. You should leave at least five inches of space between the rug and a wall (you can leave more space—up to two feet—if your bedroom is larger). Your rug also shouldn’t bunch up against the edges of any furniture in your bedroom.

4. Set the mood with the right lighting

The winter blues are real, and one way to keep your spirits high this time of year is by adjusting the lighting in your bedroom. Since there’s more darkness in the winter, add a couple extra lamps or light sources to make up for lost daylight. You don’t need a fireplace to make your bedroom extra-cozy this winter, though: A bedside lamp that emits a soft glow is perfect for this time of year. Lanterns add another nice seasonal touch. Set lanterns or floor lamps in corners or spots in your bedroom that tend to get very dark.

5. Burn a scented candle

Who doesn’t love the smell of gingerbread cookies, pine trees, and peppermint? Warm up your bedroom and fill the air with your favorite winter scent by using a candle. Look for a candle that comes in a pretty jar so that it works as a decorative item in your room too.

Another way to stay warm while you sleep this winter? Put on a pair of socks. Here, learn about the benefits of sleeping in socks.

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Christina Heiser is the content manager at Saatva. She has held previous positions at Everyday Health, Women's Health, and L'Oréal. When she's not working, you can find Christina checking out the latest boutique fitness classes in New York City, cheering on her college basketball team (go Red Storm!), and trying new beauty and wellness trends.