As far as living spaces go, the bedroom is arguably one of the easiest rooms to furnish. All you need are a few essentials: a comfortable mattress and bed frame, a functional dresser, a pair of nightstands — boom, done. But if your ultimate goal is to create a space that promotes rest and relaxation, you’ll need to go beyond the bare minimum.
Enter: this list of overlooked bedroom essentials. Whether you’re decorating a dorm room, moving into a new home or apartment or giving your current setup a facelift, these bedroom basics can help you transform your sleeping quarters into the ultimate refuge. Scroll on!
- Layered bedding
Designers have long been drawn to the layered bedding look, and it’s not hard to see why. On top of being aesthetically pleasing (who doesn’t want their bed to give off five-star hotel vibes?), layering your bedding can actually help you achieve a better night’s sleep. When you get too hot at night, you can simply peel off the layers until you’re more comfortable.
To achieve the layered look, be sure to include these key items:
- Fitted sheet and top sheet (make sure these are seasonally appropriate)
- Duvet cover/insert
- Throw blankets (for a better night’s snooze, try a cozy weighted blanket)
- Throw pillows
- Storage Baskets
Decorative baskets have an infinite number of uses and come in a range of eye-catching styles to blend effortlessly with your bedroom décor. For instance, instead of tossing your extra throw pillows and blankets on the floor, you might store them in an extra-large wicker basket (as a bonus, it will add a rustic touch to your space). Alternatively, you could use a seagrass basket to hold houseplants or general knick-knacks. Coiled rope baskets have long been a fan favorite among parents and dog owners due to their ability to corral toys stylishly.
- A Bedside Wake-Up Light
Whether you’re in the market for a new bedside table lamp or looking for a gentler alternative to the annoying alarm clock on your phone, a wake-up light (also known as a sunrise alarm clock) is a smart investment. Like its name suggests, wake-up lights are designed to gently rouse you from sleep by mimicking the natural sunrise. Besides being better for your health, they usually offer a range of features to help lull you to sleep at night. For example, many wake-up lights have dimming capabilities to lull you into a restful slumber, and some even come with free subscriptions to meditation, bedtime stories and sounds.
Looking for a basic bedroom lamp that won’t wreck your snooze? Consider a Himalayan salt lamp with a dimmer switch.
- A Functional Laundry Basket
Much like shopping for a kitchen trash can, choosing a laundry basket for your bedroom isn’t the most exciting task in the world. But hey, every bedroom needs a hamper. So, why not get one that makes your life easier and keeps all your dirty clothes off the floor? With a double laundry basket, you can finally get in the habit of sorting your lights and your darks (yes, it really does make a difference). Do you lug your laundry to a laundromat or a college laundry room? Choose a laundry basket with comfortable handles or go for a collapsible option that fits perfectly under your bed.
- A Sleep Mask
If there is one thing sleep experts can agree upon, it’s the need for a dark bedroom. When our bedrooms are dark at night, it sends a signal to the brain to flood the body with melatonin, the sleep hormone that influences our sleep-wake cycle. While you could install blackout curtains, you’re better off wearing a high-quality sleep mask to bed. Blackout curtains only block light coming from your windows, whereas sleep masks block out everything, including the light coming through the crack in your doorway and the glare. Plus, they’re less expensive than blackout curtains, which means you’ll have more money to splurge on other must-have bedroom essentials.
- Aromatherapy Candles and Diffusers
When it comes to curbing nighttime anxiety, don’t underestimate the power of aromatherapy candles and diffusers. While the idea of using scents to transform the mood and energy of a space may sound a little hocus pocus, there’s actually some scientific evidence to suggest that certain essential oils — most notably, lavender — can have a calming effect on the body. Even if you don’t need any help in the sleep department, aromatherapy candles and diffusers can still fill the air with a delicious fragrance — and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to have a good-smelling bedroom?
Note: If you have furry friends at home, make sure the essential oils you choose are safe for them. Some essential oils can be harmful to dogs and cats.
- A Luxurious Robe
If the only time you wear a robe is when you stay at a luxury hotel, you’re missing out on some next-level coziness and self-care. Donning a high-quality robe around the house will make you feel like a million bucks and instantly elevate your loungewear game.
When choosing a robe, consider your lifestyle and how you might use it on a daily basis. For example, if you need to unwind from a stressful job, reach for a weighted robe that delivers gentle pressure to promote stress relief. Prefer to wear a robe right out of the shower? Look for one made with absorbent fabrics, such as terry cloth or Turkish cotton.
If there is one room in your home where you decide to decorate with houseplants, let it be the bedroom. Not only do indoor houseplants add dimension and color to your sleeping quarters, but they also have the ability to detoxify the air, reduce noise levels and promote a sense of calm — all of which can help you catch more Zzzs.
Of course, keep in mind that certain houseplants have different needs when it comes to sunlight. For example, you probably don’t want to put a sun-loving palm plant in a north-facing bedroom. If you prefer to keep your bedroom cool and dark at all hours of the day, consider incorporating ZZ plants, pothos and other low-light plants into your space.
From soothing sleep masks to lush plants, there are likely a plethora of bedroom essentials you’re forgetting in the excitement of moving or redesigning an existing space. Bookmark this list so you can come back to it!