How To Feng Shui Your Bedroom for Better Sleep

Following a few simple feng shui rules in your bedroom can help you create a sanctuary for sleep and serenity.

A graphic of a bed with morning light coming through the window.
Leo Medrano

Feng shui, the Chinese art of arranging objects, has been used for thousands of years to promote harmony and balance in homes. Steeped in history and tradition, this ancient practice can be a surprisingly practical design strategy in our modern lives, too — especially in the bedroom.

“The bedroom is the place where we’re truly at our most vulnerable — it’s where we sleep, and it’s where most intimacy happens,” says Amanda Gibby Peters, author of "Simple Shui for Every Day: 365 Ways to Feng Shui Your Life” and a feng shui practitioner who built the Simple Shui house therapy certification program. “Feng shui in your bedroom can create a nest that signals to the nervous system that it’s a place to shut down and let go.”

Done right, a feng shui bedroom can make your space feel like a sanctuary for sleep and serenity. And the best part? You don’t need to budget for a major renovation to embrace this design strategy.

What is feng shui, and how can it improve a bedroom?

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice of intentionally arranging objects and spaces to create harmony in a room. It’s translated as “the way of wind and water.”

The philosophy is rooted in the Taoist belief that everything has its own qi (energy or life force), which is made up of both yin and yang. According to feng shui, using the correct placement for items in your home can balance yin and yang forces, promote the flow of qi, and help you achieve personal goals like happiness and abundance.

Feng shui classifies all objects into five distinctive elements — water, wood, fire, earth, and metal — each of which symbolizes certain traits. Adding or moving objects associated with specific elements is one of the easiest ways to adjust the feng shui of a room.

This can be an especially powerful tool in the bedroom, says Abby Magill Henry, holistic designersa and feng shui consultant.

“The bedroom is one of our power spots, meaning it’s a place where we spend a lot of time and where our qi gathers,” she explains. “But the bedroom is often an overlooked area that accumulates a lot of clutter, and over time, that can degrade the energy in the space.”

Feng shui elements for the bedroom

Generally speaking, balancing the five elements of feng shui helps make a room feel comfortable and harmonious. If your bedroom feels a little “off,” or you want the space to help promote a very specific goal (such as creativity), you could consider incorporating specific elements more prominently in your room.

Here’s a look at the five elements, what they represent, and the types of objects that can be incorporated into your bedroom from each.

  • Wood. Wood represents creativity and expansiveness. Objects in the wood category include wooden furniture, plants, column shapes, and the colors green and blue.
  • Fire. Fire channels energy, passion, expression, and leadership. Use the colors red or orange, triangular shapes, lamps/lighting, and animal prints to promote the fire element in your bedroom.
  • Water. Water symbolizes wisdom, personal relationships, emotions, and spirituality. It encompasses dark hues, wavy shapes, water elements (like fountains), and reflective surfaces (like mirrors).
  • Earth. Earth harnesses stability, strength, and a feeling of being grounded. This element is channeled through earthy tones (like brown and yellow), square shapes, and low and flat surfaces.
  • Metal. Metal is associated with mental clarity and precision. It can be found in stones (or any other round and oval-shaped objects), metallic colors (like chrome or gray), and anything made of metal.

How to feng shui your bedroom

Here are some ways to use feng shui design in your bedroom.

Reposition your bed

An interior view of a bedroom.
Leo Medrano

The bed is the anchor for the layout of a bedroom. Positioning it in accordance with feng shui rules can make a big difference in the overall feel and energy of the space, experts say.

For starters, think about putting it in the “command position.” Like the desk of a CEO’s office, your bed should be placed in a way that allows you to see anything coming through the door to your bedroom. Place your bed against a solid wall if your space allows.

“In feng shui, command position allows you to see problems or opportunities coming your way,” Peters explains. “It gives your subconsciousness a break from focusing on safety and survival, helps nurture your nervous system, and puts you in a prime spot for rest.”

Remove items that don’t promote rest

A graphic on a nightstand with a plant, lamp and candle on it.
Leo Medrano

If sleep professionals and feng shui are aligned on one thing, it’s keeping tech away from the bedroom. Feng shui emphasizes that the bedroom should be reserved solely for sleep, sensuality, and stillness.

“So, if you have items in the space that aren’t in service of those purposes, let’s see if we can find another place in the home for them,” says Peters.

Start by removing big, high-energy items, like exercise equipment and your computer workstation, and finding a more appropriate location for them, as space allows. For those of us who don’t have much space to work with, Peters says not to stress. “There’s no such thing as bad feng shui, and there’s always a workaround, no matter what,” she said, adding that you can cover your workout equipment when it’s not in use to calm the energy in the space.

The same goes for the TV. “If that’s something you don’t want to remove, I suggest covering it for a few nights to see if that helps you sleep better,” says Henry.

Additionally, pay close attention to what’s on your nightstand; it’s a space where clutter tends to accumulate.

“Our nightstands become a self-improvement hub filled with essential oils, facial rollers, and books. If you’re using it all, that’s totally fine, but if stacks of books or dusty lotions or anything else is there and making you feel like you need to be younger or softer, find another place for them,” says Peters.

Embrace symmetry

A bedroom with symmetrical elements.
Leo Medrano

A feng shui bedroom often has a sense of symmetry. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but a physically balanced room can also help harmonize the energy of the space. Consider this permission to buy a set of matching nightstands, or at least two that are relatively similar in size and style.

Symmetry could also come from having two lamps or sconces on either side of the bed or even through artwork, says Peters.

However you achieve it, the principle of symmetry is particularly important in a feng shui bedroom for couples. “Pairs in feng shui represent relationships,” explains Henry. “You want symmetry in the bedroom so both partners feel equal.”

Allow energy to flow around the bed

A graphic of a bed with a canopy, lifted off the ground.
Leo Medrano

Think having clutter under the bed is no big deal? According to feng shui, it can actually disrupt the flow of qi big time.

“The best-case scenario is having nothing under the bed. Same goes for having our bed directly on the floor or having drawers beneath your bed — it doesn’t let the qi fully circulate while you’re sleeping,” says Peters.

Still, that space under the bed can be critical for storage in small homes, so if you must stash items there, do so thoughtfully. “Focus on softer things, like bedding and seasonal clothing,” says Peters.

Take a look at what’s going on over your bed, too. A beam on your ceiling can be just as troublesome for the qi as old junk under your bed.

“Beams in the bedroom don’t mix. Sleeping under the beam can compress energy, so as a workaround, you can put a canopy over your bed or paint the beam the same color as the ceiling,” says Henry.

Create a meaningful view from your bed

A graphic of a chair and painting.
Leo Medrano

Your bedroom bookends your days, says Peters. It’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you see before drifting off at night, so the items you place in your direct vantage point can influence your mood and energy.

“Let it be something encouraging and uplifting — not a Peloton bike with a bunch of dry cleaning lying over it. It’s an influential spot in your home to set the tone for who you want to be and encourage you to follow through,” says Peters.

She loves the idea of creating a cozy nook that invites you to sit down with a gratitude journal at the beginning and end of each day. But even smaller touches — like a pretty bowl to place your jewelry when you remove it before bed, a simple box with special trinkets, a beloved crystal, or a vase of fresh flowers — can bring a meaningful, intentional view to a critical part of your day.

Blanket your space in serene colors

A graphic of a well made bed.
Leo Medrano

If you’re open to the idea of repainting, the best feng shui colors for the bedroom are typically those that promote serenity. Since colors and the feelings associated with them are deeply personal, you have a lot of room to play with finding a peaceful palette for your bedroom, says Henry.

“We’re seeing a lot of dark, saturated colors lately, which can be representative of water and contemplation. That can be amazing for the bedroom, especially if you’re someone with a lot of active energy,” she suggests.

Yellow hues like buttercup, cream, sand, and amber relate to the earth element, which can be grounding, Henry adds. Neutral tones like white and gray connect with the element of metal, bringing a sense of order and focus to your bedroom. For peace and balance, go for green, which is the color of the wood element.

“In feng shui, there’s no one-size-fits-all color for the bedroom,” Henry explains. “It’s about looking at your space and what works for you.”

Get strategic with plants

A graphic on a nighstand with two different plants on it.
Leo Medrano

House plants can infuse your bedroom with vibrant life energy. But in feng shui, there can be too much of a good thing. Some feng shui experts warn that turning your bedroom into a jungle gives it too much yang — an active, lively energy — that could make it difficult to feel relaxed in your space.

“If you have a hundred plants in your room and sleep great, go for it. But if you’re having trouble sleeping, maybe consider removing some,” says Henry.

She adds that different types of plants bring their own unique energies to the space, too. A prickly cactus doesn’t complement a soothing atmosphere in a bedroom, whereas a “lower plant or one with leaves that spill over a shelf ‘offers’ more water energy,” says Henry.

Set a calm mood with lighting

A graphic of a bedroom with calming light.
Leo Medrano

Lighting can affect the feng shui of a bedroom in big ways. In general, you want to have the option for dim, gentle lighting at night, which can help lower the energy level of space and lull your body into a relaxed state.

“I’m a big fan of having multiple sources of light,” says Peters. “Lamps and candles can help you set a mood that matches what you’re doing in the bedroom.”

When you wake up, open the drapes to maximize natural light exposure; it’s important for setting your circadian rhythm and giving you a boost of energy first thing in the morning.

Personalizing feng shui

Keep in mind that one of the most beautiful parts of feng shui is its flexibility. If a certain rule isn’t working for you for any reason, you can find a workaround or skip it entirely! It’s all about focusing on what makes you feel your best in your space and, over time, starting to pay attention to the positive changes you experience as a result.

“With feng shui, I find that it’s the simple things we do, the small tweaks we make, that make big differences,” says Peters. “It will show up as sleeping so much better or not feeling as groggy in the morning. Feng shui energetically shifts you.”