21 best bedroom paint colors for a restful and serene decor

Color experts share the key bedroom paint colors needed to create a calming retreat for rest and relaxation

Collage of best bedroom paint colors including warm earth tones of brown, blush pink and green
(Image credit: Getty Images | Dulux | Little Greene)

Choosing bedroom paint colors is as much down to personal preference as it is about picking a shade that is both stylish and timeless. It is also important that the space feels calming, decorated in a shade that encourages rest and sleep.

Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries, a place to retreat at the end of a busy day and begin a new one afresh. It’s probably the most personal space in the house, so it needs to strike a balance of showcasing personality while also feeling restful – for which the right paint color is key. 

From classic neutrals for creating a peaceful atmosphere to comforting hues of brown, green and blue to add more character, the colors recommended for decorating bedrooms by our team of experts all offer an unfailing foundation for your decorating scheme with an acknowledging nod to the most recent interior paint color trends as well as the current bedroom trends of 2023.

Best bedroom paint colors of 2023

1. Timeless neutrals

Neutral bedroom paint color paired with neautral bed with padded headboard, white bedlinen and occasion chairs facing the bed

Andrew Martin's 'Great Plains'

(Image credit: Andrew Martin)

Creamy barely-there shades of the best white paint have been with us for years and have always been popular living room paint colors as well as bedroom shades. 

Neutrals have enjoyed a huge resurgence in recent years when we've craved somewhere quiet and soothing to rest and as trends like Japandi bedroom ideas have gained popularity. Neutrals are sometimes seen as a ‘safe’ choice but there is so much you can do with neutrals given the many different shades to choose from. 

Warmer neutrals work well in cooler, north-facing rooms, whereas south-facing light harbors a yellow hue, so cooler whites and creams are better. Layers of similar tones keep a scheme from feeling flat, so choose a palette of your favorite neutral shades to work with. 

"When using colors in a bedroom, it’s best to think about the tone of the color rather than the specific color itself," says Emma Bestley, Creative Director of Yes Colours. "Any color can be used in the bedroom, but softer, paler, or muted versions of the color will work best at creating a soothing setting, ideal for sleeping."

2. Deep sea blues

navy blue painted bedroom with wood bed and blush pink bedding

Crown's 'Into the Blue'

(Image credit: Future)

Blue has always been a popular choice for bedrooms thanks to its calming qualities. In recent years, the deeper, bolder blues inspired by watery seascapes have proved increasingly popular and continue to be key in bedroom trends for 2023.

It is a myth often told that dark colors make a room feel smaller, but deeper shades can be suited to small rooms such as bedrooms to create a cocooning sense of coziness – making a virtue of its darkness. 

"Blue is the new black," says Martin Waller, Founder of design company Andrew Martin. "The boldness and warmth found in blue will continue to be prominent in our homes throughout 2023."

Bold blues are uplifting but still evoke peace and tranquility. "Don’t be afraid to use darker shades, as when used all over, bolder hues such as the blue-black ‘Basalt’ provide a sumptuous depth which creates that cozy, cocooning quality that’s perfect for a bedroom space," says Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director of Little Greene.

3. Serene green

Green bedroom with two-tone bedroom paint colors on the wall behind a rattan bed

Little Greene's 'Aquamarine' (above) and 'Ambleside' (below)

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Green walls are the ideal color to invite nature in and create an earthy, grounding feel in the bedroom where you want to feel safe. As with all colors, there are many variations of green to choose from and all have their own benefits and meaning. Blue-greens like aqua and teal are associated with emotional healing and protection, grey-green shades of sage green and celadon are soft and muted, while olive is the traditional color of peace. 

"We have all seen interior design trends of encouraging the outside world into our interiors, with green shades creating a de-stimulating and calming environment with their biophilic nature," says Tobie Lewis, Senior Brand Manager at Valspar Paint. "Earthier olive tones are ideal for an organic, minimal feel for bedrooms."

"I love a muted palette of greens to create a comforting, soothing scheme - combining a fresh shade like 'Aquamarine' with the tranquillity of 'Ambleside' for a sense of calm and restfulness," says Ruth.

4. soothing gray

grey bedroom paint color

(Image credit: Victory)

Pale gray has become the new neutral. The secret to using it successfully in the bedroom is to pick the right tones for the type of light within the room. Warm grays work well with cool shaded light, whereas cooler grays work best in warmer, sunnier light. 

"A soothing palette is a perfect way to create a restful ambiance. Walls in soft gray, white, or cream will create a cocooning feel that is calm and serene," says Caroline Milns, Head of Interior Design at architectural practice and design specialists Zulufish

"Lighter colors such as these across the walls will gently suffuse the light; gray hues will cool the space, perfect for more sunny rooms, whereas white and cream will warm and bounce the light, ideal for rooms with less natural light. Keeping the main framework of the room more refined and neutral will also create an easy backdrop to layer touches of color and pattern through the choice of accessories."

5. Sophisicated pinks

Pink bedroom paint color with Olive green bedding and houseplant

(Image credit: Dulux)

Pink has become another neutral because it goes with so many other colors. Pink paint colors work particularly well with ochre, green, mulberry, coral, and orange. Depending on which shade you choose, it can be sophisticated and feminine or punchy and vibrant.  

A bedroom painted pink will look inviting no matter how much natural light is present and at night it will look wonderfully cozy, giving a warm, welcoming glow.

"Bedrooms and north-facing rooms are perfect spaces for blush pink," says Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux. "All pinks have become popular in the past few years but none so much as the blush pink shades that capture the essence of what it is to be happy and loved."

6. Fresh lilac

lilac bedroom paint color with green painted furniture

(Image credit: Yes Colours)

Lilac is the shade taking the interior world by surprise as it makes its way firmly back into the top spot, after years of falling out of favor. The once considered dated and old fashioned hue has been given a fresh makeover for 2023 that sees lilac being very much in vogue. 

“Lilac is having a real moment and remains one of our best sellers," explains Emma. "It's an openminded color associated with tranquility," and therefore ideal for bedrooms. For bedrooms this shade hits the sweet spot of being less feminine than pink but more characterful than gray – a blend of both if you will.

"As lilac is generally a cooler tone color, it works best in rooms that get lots of natural light. However, that’s not to say it wouldn’t work in other areas of the home."

When using lilac as a bedroom paint color Emma offers her advice on the perfect accent tones to consider. She says: "If your bedroom is in a north-facing area and is usually cooler, lilac can be complemented with warmer hues like a soft yellow or green. “

7. Earthy brown tones

brown bedroom paint color with abstract cloud wallpaper behind the headboard

(Image credit: Getty Images | Follow The Flow)

Brown is the shade of 2023 when it comes to making our homes feel cozy. Inspired by the pigments found in the natural world this warming shade creates a safe space where we feel grounded and at one with nature, a place to feel nurtured and safe. These comforting qualities are what make brown hues such ideal bedroom paint colors.

"Succulent earth tones are an incredibly important element of this year's bedroom trends," says Laura Burnett from bedroom design specialists Feather & Black. "Particularly when placed alongside colored patterns and textures." 

This rich colorway is also returning thanks to the resurgence of 70s-style fashion and decor. "Warm browns evoke instant nostalgia and pair beautifully with tactile wooden accents such as rattan or shiplap. Combine these warm toasty elements with fringed curtains, cushions, or lampshades, and weave in touches of gold for unbridled 70s flair."

How do I choose a paint color for my bedroom?

The best way to settle on a color choice for your bedroom is to take into account what you already have in the room first. Or, if the room is empty, think about the furniture, textiles and decor you want to have in the room and use that as a starting point. 

"Consider the textiles and finishes you own or are drawn to, as these play a crucial role in setting the mood and color for your bedroom," says Betsy Smith, Color Consultant of eco-paint brand Graphenstone. "Textured fabrics such as linens, textured wools, natural woods, and cane will appear elevated against neutral paint shades. Light tones such as Stone set a calming, serene ambiance. Increase the contrast with a dark neutral such as gray for a moodier atmosphere."

What is the most peaceful color for a bedroom?

The most peaceful colors for a bedroom are soft neutrals that don't stir overwhelming emotions. "If you want to create a subtle scheme, light hues with a pink undertone make for a perfect alternative neutral," says Helen Shaw, UK Director of Benjamin Moore. 

"They can be used from floor to ceiling or combined with crisp whites and soft greys to create a smart Scandi-style scheme. Also, consider natural plaster tones or light terracotta shades as they create a wonderful, earthy, natural feel in a room and look particularly eye-catching in well-lit spaces and when paired with natural materials or painted wood."

Black painted bedroom with black metal bed and side table with lamp

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Should bedrooms be painted dark or light?

Bedrooms can be painted dark and light, depending on your own personal preference. However, Patrick O’Donnell, Color Ambassador for Farrow & Ball offers his advice for making that choice, saying: "The most important thing is to select a color you can relax in - something you can fall asleep in and be happy to wake up to – so that could be dark or light – both work."

"South-facing bedrooms full of natural light are ideal when enhanced with lighter colors on the walls. Whereas north-facing rooms lack natural light. These spaces can often be challenging to decorate, so embrace the light limitations and create a cocooning environment with something dark.

"Deep greens such as Bancha help create a symbiosis between the interior and exterior, especially if you are fortunate to look out over nature. Or even bolder colors, such as Railings, can work very successfully."

Alison Davidson
Interiors and lifestyle journalist

Alison Davidson has been working as an interiors and lifestyle journalist for over 30 years. She has been Homes and Gardens Editor of Woman & Home magazine and Interiors Editor of House Beautiful magazine, she has also freelanced and worked for most of the interiors magazines at one time or another. She is currently embracing the move to digital using the same knowledge and expertise to produce high quality features for an online audience.

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