It’s pretty normal to find yourself asking, why does my room smell bad when I wake up? When we sleep, our breath can become stale, and we may not have opened a window to help air circulate. This alone can cause the room to smell bad when we wake up.
The number of people in the room, and the size of the room can add to the issue, but fortunately, there is plenty you can do to help the air smell fresher when you wake up and even improve your sleep in the process.
What causes a smelly bedroom in the morning?
Perhaps you didn’t notice any smell when you woke up until you went out of the room and came in again. We can get used to our smell, and maybe even like it!
Maybe your partner is complaining or you simply aren’t sleeping very well.
Let’s look at the reasons why your room might smell bad when you wake up in the morning.
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Lack of air circulation
Getting fresh air into the room at night time is important for helping you sleep well and keeping the room fresh.
If air isn’t circulating around your bedroom then smells will linger and there will be no fresh air coming in to replace the stale smells that developed during the night.
Lack of air circulation along with moisture in the air can encourage mold to grow. Mold growth can cause a musty smell which can be bad for your health when you breathe it in.
Mold can damage furniture, carpets, walls and curtains because it can be difficult to remove and may even cause permanent staining or require redecoration.
Increased moisture in the air
Did you know that each night we release at least half a litre of water into the air through our breath and perspiration? That moisture needs somewhere to go!
Where there is moisture there is often condensation too. Condensation is more likely to develop in winter due to moisture hitting a cold surface such as a window or a cold wall and then liquifying. The excess dampness can lead to mold growth.
Unwashed sheets and bedding
Bedclothes and mattresses will start to smell if you don’t wash and air them. Sometimes they can develop a musty smell that is difficult to get rid of even in the wash.
You can remove a musty smell from bedding by soaking your sheets in a solution of vinegar, dish soap and baking soda. Ariel liquid laundry soap is very effective at removing smells. I found that it will even remove dog odor from a dog bed.
If you have pets, such as dogs, their smells can linger in a room especially if you rarely open a window or clean the room.
Don’t allow pets to sleep in the room with you or on your bed. If you do let them in, plan to clean the room more regularly.
Body odor along with unwashed sheets can cause a room to smell bad in the morning. You probably don’t realise how much you sweat at night, especially if the room gets hot.
As the night wears on, our breath can become stale. If you don’t have windows and doors open, the aroma from your breath can intensify which is especially problematic in smaller bedrooms. If you have a partner, you have double the smells developing in the room.
A dirty room
It’s easy to forget about cleaning your bedroom. After all, it’s not a place that guests usually see.
Bedrooms that rarely get dusted and vacuumed can develop a lingering smell. Smells like to cling to dust which can sit there until the room gets cleaned.
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How to stop your room from smelling bad when you wake up
Now we know what causes a smelly room when you wake up, what can be done to fix it? The good news that it isn’t difficult to solve the issue with a bit of cleaning, laundering and time.
If you can get into a routine of cleaning your room regularly and airing it during and after you sleep you will be guaranteed to experience a fresher smelling room when you wake up in the morning.
Keep your room clean
Unfortunately, if you don’t clean your bedroom often enough smells can linger, mold is more likely to develop and it may even affect how well you sleep.
Here is a checklist of bedroom cleaning tasks to get done regularly.
- Vacuum thoroughly, including under and behind furniture and bed.
- Dust everywhere including nightstands, inside lights, on top of wardrobes, blinds and the tops of curtains.
- Strip the bed and launder all bedding.
- Vacuum the mattress.
- Spray windows and soft furnishings with vinegar to disinfect and clean off any mold.
Give your mattress a spring clean by sprinkling it with baking soda to absorb musty odors. Leave it to work for a couple of hours and then vacuum off.
If you don’t have baking soda or prefer not to use it, here are some options for cleaning your mattress without baking soda.
Wash all bedding
Bedding should be washed at least once per week on a hot or warm wash. If you dry your bedding outside on a clothesline it will smell lovely when you put it back on the bed.
Tip: Always use a mattress protector on your bed because it is much easier to clean it than the mattress. You should also find your mattress will last longer and won’t get stained.
Shower or wash before bed
A quick shower or wash before bed and some clean nightclothes will help to reduce the natural body smell that can develop overnight.
Allow air to circulate
Air circulation is the biggest cause of a smelly room. Here are six tips to help air circulate freely in your bedroom and reduce smells.
Tip #1 Open the window
If you can, always open a window at night. If you have insect problems get yourself a flyscreen or some net curtains to stop bugs coming in the room.
Tip #2 Sleep with the bedroom door open
If you can’t open a window make sure you leave the bedroom door open to help the air move around and out of the room.
Tip #3 Use an electric fan
If you find opening a door or a window isn’t enough, try running an electric fan to get the air moving more.
Tip #4 Get a dehumidifier
Moisture in the room can cause mold and mustiness to build up. A dehumidifier can help to dry the air in your bedroom and reduce the chances of mold appearing and windows misting up.
Tip #5 Run an air purifier
Air purifiers can help to reduce allergens, viruses and bacteria in a room. We have this portable air purifier in our home which we move from room to room as needed. It’s perfect for the bedroom too because it has a night mode which reduces the fan noise to virtually silent.
Tip #6 Add some fragrance
An air freshener, potpourri or a fragrant candle can help to freshen up a room and mask smells that naturally build up overnight.
Air your bed
When you wake up, instead of making your bed immediately pull the bedclothes back and allow air to penetrate the mattress and let moisture escape.
Don’t let your dog sleep in your room or bed
The more people and pets you have sleeping in the room, the more bad smells you wake up to in the morning. Pets can have odors and smelly breath too. If you can encourage your pet to sleep outside the room it will help the bedroom to smell fresher in the morning.
Freshen your pillows/duvet
You can usually wash pillows and duvets in your washing machine, even feather pillows duvets can often be laundered. If not send them to be dry cleaned or replace.
Always dry your pillows and duvet thoroughly before you put them back on the bed. Choose a sunny day for washing them so you can air dry them outside in the sun.