Your bedroom is a sanctuary, an at-home retreat and a place to rest and recharge. While there's no right or wrong way to design a bedroom, it's nothing if not comfortable.
Whether you're moving into a new home and starting from scratch or reinventing your current room, you might be wondering what pieces to get. There are a handful of bedroom essentials everyone needs, as well as some optional items that can really enhance the vibe of your space.
The key to styling your most relaxing sleeping chamber is carefully selecting the basics and then complementing them with tasteful, tranquil accents. Consider this your guide to bedroom essentials, including bed layering, styling advice, layout suggestions and curated decor inspiration.
Essential Bedroom Furniture
There's no set formula for the perfect dwelling. However, to create the comfiest, most calming space, you should take your time selecting bedroom must-haves.
You know you need a bed and a mattress, but what other bedroom essentials should you get? In terms of furniture, you may also want to look for a headboard, nightstands, a dresser, a storage bench or ottoman, an accent chair and a vanity. Here's what to consider.
1. Bed Frame
Your mattress is arguably the most critical component of a comfortable night's sleep. Stil, you might be surprised how much weight your bed holds too. Look for a sturdy, hardwood bed frame, like the Handmade Wood Bed Frame from Parachute.
Designed in collaboration with Los Angeles-based furniture builder Chris Earl, it boasts sturdy construction, clean lines and a timeless silhouette. A built-in headboard makes this all-in-one piece all the more practical.
High up on the list of bedroom essentials and vital for restful sleep, a mattress should never be overlooked. But which type is best for you?
From front-sleepers and side-sleepers to back-pain-sufferers and those with chronically stiff necks, the medium-firm Eco Comfort Mattress is thoughtfully engineered to accommodate everyone. Firm in the middle for spinal alignment with softer sections at the feet and head for pressure relief, it's the best of all worlds.
If you get a backless bed frame, you'll likely want to get a headboard as well. Since your bed acts as the centerpiece of your bedroom, it's important to anchor it visually. Oversized pieces can make a bold statement, but low-profile designs lend to a pared-down elegance.
A headboard doesn't just offer visual aesthetics, though. It can also make your bed more comfortable, providing support for your pillows and a backrest for when you want to sit up and read or watch TV.
While there are some exceptions in which rooms simply can't fit them, nightstands are typically considered bedroom essentials. Classic end tables are always a great choice, but if you're short on space, you can install small floating shelves or narrow shelving units.
On the other hand, if you have room to spare, consider picking up some nightstands, short dressers, or a side table. You can always make use of an extra drawer or a small table with a holding tray. Plus, having somewhere to put away your bedside must-haves will help you keep your bedroom free of clutter, which is crucial for creating a peaceful sleeping environment.
Most people have at least one dresser, but the size, style and placement are what matter most in terms of ambiance. With ample square footage, you might be able to fit a large dresser or two. However, if your bedroom is on the smaller side, you might want to snag a compact dresser or place a larger one in the closet.
Though dressers help you stay organized and tidy by providing a place to put things away, the key is to not overcrowd your space. Additionally, a dresser doesn't necessarily have to be, well, a dresser. Depending on the rest of your furnishings and the size of your room, you might consider getting a credenza, chest or hutch instead.
For more ideas on simplifying your sleeping chamber, check out our guide on How to Design a Minimalist Bedroom.
6. Storage Bench or Ottoman
Storage benches and ottomans make great end caps for beds. Whether you choose wood, upholstered, tufted or velvet, a bench or ottoman will elongate the look of your bed while enhancing the rest of your decor.
What's more, a lidded bench or ottoman provides a place to toss extra pillows and blankets, store seasonal bedding and stash anything else you'd like to keep out of the way. You don't have to place it at the foot of the bed, either. Benches look chic against a wall or next to a window, and ottomans can go nearly anywhere — even in the middle of the room.
7. Accent Chair
When you think of accent chairs, living room furniture might come to mind first. While it's not as vital as other pieces, the right design can offer a sophisticated, welcoming appeal in a bedroom too. It could be an armless slipper, a rocking chair, a wingback, a chesterfield, a rounded swivel chair or even a chaise lounge.
Vanities aren't necessarily bedroom essentials, but they have a way of personalizing a space — an important aspect of feeling relaxed and at home. Also, for those with lots of beauty products in their arsenal, a vanity offers an organizational solution. Not only can you keep your cosmetics tidy and out of the way, but you'll also free up vital space in the bathroom.
For more guidance on must-have furnishings for the bedroom, check out our blog, New Home Checklist: Essential Things to Buy or Upgrade When Moving In.
Essential Bed Linens
When it comes to getting restorative shut-eye, high-quality bedding is a must. This includes a duvet, a duvet cover, sheets, pillows, pillowcases and shams. Beyond these bed essentials, you might also want to acquire a quilt, a throw blanket and decorative pillows.
If your mattress is the platform of a good night's rest, your duvet is the pillar. Sometimes referred to as a comforter, this bedding basic is typically filled with light and lofty down or ultra-fluffy down alternative.
The exceedingly comfy duvets from Parachute have baffle-box construction for even distribution of the fill, and the breathable cotton shells have double-stitched seams.
Learn more about the different duvet fill materials in our blog, Down vs. Down Alternative: A Comparison Guide.
10. Duvet Cover
In most cases, a duvet needs a duvet cover. The washable fabric enclosure helps keep your comforter clean while elevating the overall comfort of your bed.
When you consider duvet cover materials, you should consider a range of natural textiles, including buttery brushed cotton fabric, laid-back linen, boho-inspired diamond-stitch cotton, crisp percale, sumptuous sateen and incredibly soft channel cotton.
Whether you sleep hot, cold or somewhere in between, our Guide to Duvets and Duvet Covers can help you choose the perfect material.
Sheets are non-negotiable bedroom essentials, helping to preserve the life of your mattress while keeping you comfy as you doze. When selecting bed sheets, consider how critical sleeping well is to your happiness and well being. You deserve to sleep great every night, so it is worth splurging on the highest quality bedding to ensure you get your beauty sleep.
The Oeko-Tex certified designs from Parachute are available in all the best earth-sourced textiles, and they come in soothing hues like white, cream, sand, grey, blush, slate and putty.
Not sure which fabric is right for you? Read our Fabric and Bedding Materials Guide for more details.
Offering critical support for your head and neck while you catch your Zs, pillows are undeniable bedroom necessities. As you may know, they aren't just for sleeping, either. Pillows also enhance the look of your room by adding lofty dimension and alluring plushness.
What type of pillow suits you best? Get help deciding in our How to Choose a Pillow guide.
13. Pillowcases and Shams
To add some texture, get your hands on some attractive pillowcases and shams. Sheet sets often come with one or two pillowcases, but you may want to pick up extras if you like switching them out more often. Additionally, duvet cover sets typically include matching shams, though you can get a different hue or material for a bit more contrast. For a soft, luxury feel, consider going with a brushed cotton or silk pillowcase. As for shams, consider materials like percale or linen.
See our Pillowcase and Sham Guide for more insights on materials and choosing the right pillowcase.
Providing a decorative layer of warmth, quilts can go in place of — or in addition to duvets. These traditional, medium-weight bed covers have batting fills and distinct stitching throughout.
Consider the comfy, cozy, aesthetically pleasing quilts from Parachute that come in a range of styles and materials, like cloud cotton, boxed linen, loft linen and ribbed cotton.
15. Throw Blanket
For something a little lighter, consider a throw. As its name suggests, you can toss this versatile blanket onto your bed as a finishing touch and is there when you need it for cuddling up. Whether you style them in a neat fold or loosely on the corner of your bed, throws are key to a perfectly layered bed, adding texture, a pop of color and a warm, snuggly appeal.
For more tips on decorating with throws and quilts, check out our Guide to Quilts, Blankets and Coverlets.
16. Decorative Pillows
There's one last thing you'll need to create your most relaxing bed: decorative pillows. Sure, you might toss them aside before crawling in each night, but a few stylized cushions will deliver the fullness and texture your space is missing. Large square Euro pillows, small accent cushions and long lumbars are all excellent options.
For more expert guidance on picking and layering your bed sheets, check out these other Parachute Bedroom Guides:
You might not think lighting is all that important in your sleeping quarters — you turn it off before dozing off, after all. However, it's actually among the most paramount bedroom essentials.
Depending on the placement, color temperature and brightness, lighting fixtures can be a bit harsh. But the right pieces will lend to a relaxing atmosphere, help you wind down after a long day and make your space feel all the more cozy.
17. Overhead Light
An overhead light is one of those bedroom items you need, but that don’t really enhance the ambiance. Having said that, upgrading the fixture can go a long way. Consider a chic pendant light, track lights, a lighted fan or even a vintage chandelier.
Whichever style you choose, you'll probably still want to stick with relatively bright bulbs for better visibility when you're getting dressed, sitting at your vanity or looking for something you misplaced. Better yet, install a dimmer so you can adjust the brightness as needed.
18. Floor Lamp
Once you've decided on an overhead fixture, you can start layering other lighting in your bedroom. A floor lamp offers a decent amount of illumination without being overbearing, making it a great choice to flip on after dark and early in the morning.
19. Bedside Lamps
You'll also want to add a bedside lamp or two, depending on the placement of your bed. With a centered bed, opt for two matching lights, one for each nightstand. If you're looking for basic room ideas for small spaces, consider installing sconces instead of table lamps.
20. Mood Lighting
To add the finishing touch to your bedroom illumination plan, acquire some mood lighting. This could be strategically hung string lights, the subtle hue of a strip light behind your headboard, or the warm glow of a salt rock lamp.
Bedroom Wall Essentials and Decorative Accents
When curating a relaxing oasis, there are a few wall pieces and decorative accents that shouldn't be disregarded. These bedroom essentials include window coverings, a full-length mirror, wall decor, a rug, baskets, plants, candles and diffusers.
21. Window Coverings
To optimize your sleeping environment, you'll want to hang some sort of blackout window treatments, like roller shades or blinds. Then you can add window curtains in a breezier, slightly sheer material to go on top.
22. Full-Length Mirror
A full-length mirror can be installed on the wall like a framed piece of art. You can also lean it for a more casual look or get a free-standing design if you have the available floor space.
23. Wall Decor
Framed art is always lovely, but it’s not your only option. Consider floating shelves, printed wallpaper or a trio of small mirrors.
To learn more about how to decorate your bedroom walls, read on in the Parachute Decorating a Blank Wall Ideas guide.
A basket is one of those bedroom essentials that's both decorative and functional, and you can never have too many. They're ideal for storing extra blankets, decorative pillows, slippers, you name it.
Houseplants can also add a touch of color and a cheery, down-to-earth vibe. Place them on the floor, on a floating shelf, or suspend them from the ceiling.
Check out these blogs for suggestions on which types of plants to get for your bedroom:
27. Candles and Diffusers
Candles and diffusers put the finishing touch on your space, adding to the decor while igniting your senses with a light scent.
Free Styling Support from an Experienced Design Consultant
This bedroom essentials list should give you inspiration for the perfect items to put in your room. But if you're feeling overwhelmed with options or would like personalized guidance, the stylists at Parachute are here to assist. Schedule your free phone or video consultation today.
For more bedroom design inspiration, learn more in Parachute’s interior design guides: