Ideas + Advice


What Are the Best Colors for Bed Sheets?

Colors are so much more than the reflections of light; they’re also shapers of mood. When it comes to your bedding, wouldn’t you want to be surrounded by the color, the mood, that best encourages a good night’s sleep and best reflects your sleep habits and your bedroom style? Here, we’re outlining the best colors for bed sheets, including three of the most popular colors (white, grey and beige) – their pros, cons and why one color may be better for your personal bedlinens than the others.
When shopping for bed sheets, there is a whole host of qualities to look out for: you’ve got things like thread count, warming tech, cooling tech, size and affordability to consider (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg). There’s also the color factor – which can be a whole conundrum all on its own. When deciding on a color for your bed sheets, the most important factor is how you feel in them! You can’t get a good night’s sleep without first falling asleep, and how you feel can play a direct role on how quickly (and well) you fall asleep. Check out the below recommendations for what they’re worth (we’re going off of classic color associations and laundry do’s and don’t’s), but remember to take into consideration your own preferences and your own associations with each color.

Choosing a Color for Bed Sheets

White Sheets

Pros: (Surprisingly) easiest to maintain
Cons: Looks dirtiest (if not maintained)
Mood: Fresh, clean, airy
Complementing colors: Any!
You know those scenes in the movies where the protagonist wakes up on a bright, fresh sunny day in a bed of bright, fresh white sheets? The entire room seems almost “fake” – because, really, no one’s sheets are that white and clean . . . right? Think again! White sheets are often avoided because stains just don’t look good on white. (Well, stains don’t look good on anything, but they especially stand out on white sheets.) The fact of the matter, though, is that white sheets are easiest to clean, thanks to a handy dandy invention called laundry bleach. (Try pouring laundry bleach in a washer load of grey sheets, and you’ll wind up with white-blotched, ruined sheets!) If white sheets get stained, a bleach stain remover (for spot-cleaning) does the trick – “bleach” being a keyword here. Bleach is one of the most powerful cleaning agents, and unfortunately, can only be used on one color: white.

Being able to pour a few drops of bleach into the washing machine, though, isn’t the only reason to consider white sheets. An all-white sheet load also means that you don’t have to sweat things like color fading from too many washes (or simply from the sun shining into your bedroom). You can also set the washer and dryer to the highest heat settings for a more thorough cleaning and drying; with grey or beige sheets, doing so can damage the color. Finally, and most simply, a white sheet set is gorgeous. Along with a white duvet, it can truly make a room pop and feel brighter, bigger, airier and fresher!

Grey Sheets

Pros: More modern
Cons: Trickier to treat stains
Mood: Cool, contemporary
Complementing colors: Blue, white, yellow
Grey sheets, which are not seen in movies or advertised as much as white sheets, are actually one of the most popular bedding choices among today’s consumers. One of the best things about grey sheets is the way grey can blend into any style, feels edgier and cooler and carries more personality than white or beige. Grey is also the best at hiding stains, meaning: if you tend to stretch the time between washes, you at least won’t have to worry as much about how your sheets look as you would with white sheets. When it comes to treating stains, however, you’ll want to tread lightly; only color-safe stain removers will work, as bleach stain removers will leave behind white marks.

Of course, the color of sheets isn’t just about “cleanability” – it’s also about style. And your sheets aren’t the only things that will be going on your bed; you’ll also have to take into consideration your duvet, throw blankets and throw pillows.

It’s often because of these other things – the duvet, throw blankets and throw pillows – that people choose grey sheets. Dark and bold, grey is a great way to define lighter-colored accent pillows and linens.

Beige Sheets

Pros: Unique
Cons: Harder to match
Mood: Casual
Complementing colors: White, green, red
Beige sheets bring a more casual feel than white and grey; they’re laidback, relaxing and timeless. Beige sheets are perfect choices for kids’ rooms, especially for children who want a little more “fun” than white sheets.

Another reason beige rocks? It’s the color of, like, 99.999% of things in nature. (Rocks, sand, trees, animals, plants? They make up a good chunk of the outside world, if one were to just guesstimate!) Beige is such an innate part of nature, that, in fact, the color “natural” is beige! For these reasons, beige in the bedroom can infuse a breath of fresh air, creating an outdoors-in feel and blending your window’s scenery with your bedroom’s interior.

Stains on beige sheets won’t exactly hide, and they aren’t exactly as easy to clean as white sheets, but there are several tricks you can try to get them out. First, scrub a liquid detergent into the stain before washing it; let it sit for a few minutes, then launder according to the label on the sheets. Another method is to soak the stain in cool water (as soon as the stain occurs – letting a stain go could lead to permanence) overnight, and then pretreating it with stain remover. No matter the stain or treatment method, the main thing to know about beige sheets is that you cannot use bleach detergent and you should avoid washing them with non-beige colors.

Dark Blue Sheets

Pros: Classic
Cons: Can feel a bit masculine in certain styles
Mood: Peaceful
Complementing colors: White, light blue, grey, beige
No matter the color of your sheets, keeping them clean should be more important than “hiding stains.” Sometimes, though, stains can set in and be impossible to remove even after washing, and when that does happen, dark blue sheets can at least help to hide what’s left of the stain. Stains and washing aside, dark blue also brings with it style; blue is especially a great choice for a bedroom, since it’s symbolic of water, sky, flowers and all the other “relaxing” properties of nature.

Light Blue Sheets

Pros: Pop of color
Cons: Youthful (can also be a pro!)
Mood: Fresh
Complementing colors: White, beige, brown
Light blue sheets carry all the properties of dark blue sheets – but with a softer, calmer feel. Light blue does not hide stains as well as dark blue, but the trade-off is that you get a lighter feel, like you’re sleeping on clouds! A light blue sheet can also add some color to the overall bedding set; fold it a few inches over the duvet to show off the hue! Some of the color associations of light blue include: Clear skies, freshwater, bluestar flowers, blue jays, blue roses, butterflies and generally anything to do with nature.

Off White Sheets

Pros: Warmer
Cons: None!
Mood: Cozy
Complementing colors: White, beige, brown, grey, orange

Cream-colored (also known as off white) sheets are white sheets, but not bright white. They often come with the subtlest touch of beige or brown – almost like a champagne color.

While the color associations of blue and beige are plenty, off white doesn’t connote a ton of imagery. This can be to cream sheets’ advantage; as you fall asleep in a bed of warmly-tinted white sheets, your mind is less likely to wander, and you’re more likely to focus on the calming and comforting properties of the sheets themselves.

Cream-colored and off white sheets carry an old-fashioned coziness. Still white, they can brighten up a room – while simultaneously warming it up. Off white sheets also work best in vintage-inspired styles like shabby chic, mid-century modern and rustic. Try pairing a set of off white linens with a lacework pillow or an orange blanket to bring out its tones. As with any color of sheets, certain varieties of off-white sheets come with a slight sheen; combined with sunlight or moonlight, this sheen creates a subtle silvery finish – that can reflect the light from outside and add a magical effect.

When deciding between off white and white sheets, choose off white for its calming properties and white for its easier cleanability. (You can also consider switching colors as seasons turn; white works well in the summer months, and off white in the winter months!)

Psychology of Bed Sheet Colors

Bed sheet color psychology (yes, such a thing exists) can have an enormous effect on not only the way you sleep, but the way you feel going to bed, waking up, and spending time in your room. Color psychology for bed sheets is most noticeable when you choose the wrong colors, which can trigger subconscious feelings associated with unpleasant memories and ideas. As for what to avoid: avoid too many colors, as much going on can weigh on the eye and excite the mind, leading to you feeling exhausted and fatigued. Other colors to avoid for bed sheets: any combination of bright red, black and brown-tinted green.

Bed Sheet Color Combinations

The best color of sheets for black comforters is white or cream. These two shades offer contrast and balance, essential for black comforters, which can easily depress the mood otherwise. While colors don’t belong to one gender or the other, it is common to see the combination of pink and black in modern girls’ rooms; pink sheets with a black comforter is a great way to achieve the aesthetic.

The best color of sheets for white comforters is white in the same exact shade or else light grey. You don’t want to mismatch the white shades, because slightly different versions of the same hue can make it seem like you tried to match but failed – creating an unsettling or off-putting aesthetic. If you want some contrast for a white comforter, the light grey and white color combo blends beautifully and is a classic.

The best color of sheets for blue comforters is white, cream or a matching shade of blue. Grey (and darker) sheets will make the bed look and feel too dark; with blue comforters, stick to white for a fresh and lighter aesthetic. You can also opt for matching blue for a monotone look.

The best color of sheets for gray comforters is white, light beige, or matching grey. White or a light shade of beige will keep the grey calm and light; choose beige for a warmer feel. If you choose matching grey, make sure you choose a lighter color for throw pillows and your top throw blanket for contrast.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.