7 ways to make your bedroom smell fresh

ways to make your bedroom smell fresh
7 ways to make your bedroom smell freshCreativaStudio - Getty Images

At the end of a long day, calling it a night in a bedroom that's cosy, welcoming and fresh is a real treat. However, as we spend something like a third of our lives sleeping in our bedrooms, they can easily end up smelling musty and stale.

Luckily, this is one problem that's easily solved. Just follow these seven tips and your bedroom will smell fragrant and inviting in no time.

1. Open windows and doors

Fresh air in the bedroom is essential for a good night's sleep and the fastest way to achieve this is by opening windows and doors to air your bedroom thoroughly. This will help get rid of residual moisture that has build up overnight as well as any musty smells.

That’s why it’s particularly important to ventilate your bedroom for a few hours first thing in the morning. Be sure to turn down your duvet to help release residual moisture from your bed as well.

ways to make your bedroom smell fresh
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2. Invest in an air purifier

Air purifiers do more than remove airborne pollutants. With a carbon layer included as part of the filter, which most models tend to contain, they help deodorise too. That’s why these appliances are particularly useful in the kitchen, but they can come in handy in the bedroom for the same reason.

If you think your pets might be contributing to musty smells in your bedroom, opt for an air purifier that performs well on a range of particle sizes (PM sizes 2.5-10). This will give it the best chance of filtering out pet dander and hair from the atmosphere. Check out our list of the best air purifiers for the top performers.

The CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rating) can also be handy for comparing performance. This shows each model's efficiency rating when filtering dust, smoke and pollen particles, calculated using a lab-based test method. Don’t forget to check its recommended room size is suitable for your bedroom, too.

3. Clean your bedding

No matter how clean you are, your bedding will lose its freshly laundered scent in use. This is unsurprising when you consider how much sweat we secrete each night. You can see the results for yourself; yellow stains on your pillows and duvet, and smells from the growth of mildew and bacteria. That’s why keeping your bedding clean is essential to a fresh-smelling bedroom.

Make sure you wash sheets and duvet covers at least once a fortnight (more often if you have pets or allergies), sticking to 60°C or higher on the washing machine; this will kill any bacteria. Don’t forget about washing the pillows and duvets themselves as well. We recommend doing this at least twice a year. Invest in pillow and mattress protectors as an extra barrier in the future.

ways to make your bedroom smell fresh
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4. Remove traces of dust

A build-up of dust can also contribute to bedroom smells and the solution to this is simple: dust the room thoroughly using a microfibre cloth, followed by vacuuming (this will pick up the particles that are released into the air when you dust and then settle on the floor).

Be sure to target places you’re forgetting to dust. Give beneath the bed a once over and wipe the tops of wall art, for instance. Dust also has a tendency to build up on blinds, too.

5. Declutter to create more space

A crowded room restricts airflow and encourages overheating, both of which contribute to musty smells. Take the time to declutter your bedroom to give it a fresh and open appeal. By getting rid of clutter, which itself could be contributing to the smells in the room, your bedroom will be easier to clean and maintain.

There are plenty of methods you can use to make the process a little easier, such as the ski slope declutter method which divides up the space into zones. Check out our 10 golden rules for decluttering your wardrobe for more tips.

ways to make your bedroom smell fresh
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6. Deal with the source of the smell

If there’s a particular smell coming from your bedroom, you will need to deal with that first to improve things. It’s all well and good opening up the windows and leaving an air purifier out to deodorise the space, but if the source of the smell isn’t removed, it will just return.

It could be that your laundry hamper has old items sitting in the bottom which are contributing to the smell. Or perhaps the hamper itself could do with a refresh; depending on the care label, you may be able to hand or machine wash the liner to improve things. At the very least, you can always sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda in the bottom to help deodorise it. Leave it for 15 minutes then vacuum it up using the upholstery attachment.

If your pet sleeps in the bedroom, its bed could also be a contributing factor. Make sure you wash this regularly according to the care label. Some feature removable covers while others can be thrown straight into the washing machine.

If your storage spaces could do with a refresh, try using a product like Neutradol Gel Power Orbs in drawers or hanging WDEC Wardrobe Fresheners in wardrobes. For a natural alternative, a bowl of bicarbonate of soda can help deodorise too. Bicarb won't harm your pets, but make sure they don't ingest large quantities of it.

7. Use air fresheners and electric diffusers

Freestanding or plug-in air fresheners can make your bedroom smell more pleasant. There’s also the option of using reed diffusers or electric diffusers with essential oils. Make sure you keep these items and those mentioned above out of reach of pets and children.

Don’t overdo the fragrances if you're using an air purifier, as the unit will just have to work harder to purify the air in the bedroom.

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