8 Things People with Nice-Smelling Bedrooms Always Do

published Jul 1, 2023
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After working from home for about five years, I’ve learned to keep my bedroom off-limits to myself during the day so it can simply be a place to rest and relax. In the beginning, I learned that keeping my bedroom closed and confined wasn’t doing it any favors when it came to its scent — I would unknowingly trap musty and stale odors. However, I quickly implemented a handful of habits that I still practice today that leave my bedroom smelling fresh at all times, whether I’m in it or not. 

I’ve combined a few of my tips, along with those from Mark Melton, founder and CEO of Queen’s Carpet Cleaning, and Milan Antonic, air quality and air purifier expert at Air Purifier First, so you can make your bedroom smell and feel like the sanctuary it’s supposed to be. 

Regularly wash bedding and linens.

One of the best ways to keep your bedroom smelling great and looking tidy is to regularly wash your bedding, curtains, and other textiles such as tapestries. Melton says that your sheets, pillowcases, and curtains can trap odors and accumulate dust and dirt within a short amount of time. “Make it a habit to wash your bedding once a week and your curtains every couple of months to keep them clean and fresh,” he says. 

Light a candle.

Candles are truly effective in changing the scent of your bedroom within just a few minutes. I love lighting my favorite summertime candle that fills my bedroom with an invigorating and fresh citrus aroma with notes of verbena and green leaves. When lighting a candle in your bedroom, however, it’s important to keep it away from drafts and flammable things such as curtains; make sure your bedroom is well-ventilated, and never leave a candle burning unattended or while you’re sleeping.

Use an air purifier. 

Antonic recommends investing in an air purifier to both remove unpleasant smells and improve your bedroom’s air quality, which also leads to healthier and more restful sleep. “Some air purifiers have an option to put essential oils inside, which will give your room a pleasant fragrance,” he says.

Remove sources of odor.

Trash bins and hampers are two of the most common sources that retain stinky odors in a bedroom, so I’m extra mindful when it comes to regularly emptying these. Additionally, it’s important to never throw away food or particularly pungent things in your bedroom’s trash bin and wash extra-smelly clothes (particularly gym clothes!) and linens right away instead of storing them in the hamper until the next laundry day. 

Make sure your room is well-ventilated.

Both Melton and Antonic agree that proper airflow and letting in the fresh air are essential to eliminating musty odors in the bedroom. Additionally, Melton recommends turning on a fan for extra ventilation that will leave your room smelling clean and crisp while also keeping it at a cool temperature now that summertime is in full swing. 

Have a couple of plants or flowers. 

While the air purification qualities of certain plants are largely up for debate, several plants and flowers can provide subtle scents to your bedroom. I like to keep a small vase of lavender and eucalyptus stems on my nightstand, but potted rosemary, sage, gardenia, and lemon balm are also great options for your bedroom to give it a botanical look and fragrance. If your pets sleep in your bedroom, too, make sure you are mindful not to have anything toxic to them and instead opt for pet-friendly options.

Incorporate essential oils.

Antonic recommends avoiding aerosol room or fabric fresheners that may contain harmful or irritating chemicals, and instead making your own room spray with natural essential oils. Melton suggests scents like lavender, chamomile, rose, and vanilla, as they contain soothing properties and can help create a more relaxing, sweet-smelling ambiance in your bedroom.

Vacuum your mattress and any rugs.

Vacuuming my mattress and bedroom rug (using my mom’s tried-and-true method) on a weekly to bi-weekly basis has been one of the best ways to keep my bedroom smelling fresh. Vacuuming not only removes musty odors, but also gets rid of any hair, dust bunnies, and other debris that inevitably accumulate so my bedroom can look, feel, and smell clean.