How to make a small bedroom cozy — designers reveal their non-negotiable rules

From layering to lighting, here's how to make a small bedroom cozy, all while keeping it functional

Cozy and beautiful interior in the bedroom in beige tones with a large indoor green flower and a bed
(Image credit: Getty Images/Ekaterina Goncharova)

Figuring out how to make a small bedroom cozy? Believe it or not, "small" and "cozy" are not interchangeable, and there are a few extra steps designers want you to take to ensure the hygge factor feels right. 

Even if you're not working with much space, you can still achieve the style of your dreams and feel well-rested in your sleep sanctuary. It might take some layering and relocating, but we know you'll be able to reach the ultimate cushy feel in no time. 

Without further ado, these small bedroom ideas will help you achieve all the warm and fuzzies.

How to make a small bedroom cozy, according to pros

It's not just about decor — creating a cozy environment requires a few steps, so let's get started. Anyone else have a hankering for a warm cup of tea and a good book?

1. Layer properly

a cozy bed closeup with fuzzy pillows and a throw blanket and a mug at the foot of the bed

(Image credit: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

First and foremost, the key to styling a small bedroom to peak coziness is all about layering with different yet complementary textures. 

"Start by adding a plush rug under or in front of your bed so you have something soft to step on when you first wake up," says Nicole Cullum, interior designer and founder of Color Caravan. "Next is to layer your bedding for a full, cozy feel. Fold a quilt or blanket across the end of your bed over your coverlet. Finish the look with a throw blanket draped on the corner of the bed."

Although the bed is likely the focal point of the space, and understandably so, that doesn't mean that smaller accents should be ignored. Figure out how to style a small bedroom nightstand so that it's functional and blends in with the rest of your aesthetic. Pro tip: styling in threes is most pleasing to the eye.

Nicole Cullum
Nicole Cullum

Nicole Cullum is an interior designer, color expert, and professional organizer in Taos, New Mexico. She is the creative founder of Color Caravan, a charming hand-painted line of wallpaper, textiles, and home decor.

2. Consider textures

a boho bedroom with a white bed and velvet warm colored pillows on a white wall and a rattan hanging lamp

(Image credit: Getty Images/KatarzynaBialasiewicz)

When layering your bed with cozy accents, it's also important to consider the texture of your pieces — velvets and cotton, wools and flannel, whatever makes you feel like you're floating on a cloud. If you ask Beth Diana Smith, HomeGoods style expert, this is where you should be the pickiest.

"Bedrooms are for rest and relaxation so it's important to consider the fabric of your bedding. I find that it’s important to be hands on here and see what feels coziest for your space," she says. "Personally, I always gravitate toward soft materials like cotton, knubby wools, and faux furs."

Beth Diana Smith
Beth Diana Smith

Beth Diana Smith is an interior designer, HomeGoods style expert, and maximalist who loves curating artful interiors infused with pattern and color.

3. Play with lighting

a boho beige bedroom with a natural-styled lamp hanging over the bed

(Image credit: Getty Images/RossHelen)

Of course, you want to figure out how to brighten a small bedroom, but that doesn't mean going overboard. Remember, there's no need for a harsh spotlight — this is not the theater. If you can work with customizable lighting that allows you to set the tone, definitely do so. 

"When it comes to lighting, being able to adjust levels for the activity at hand is key, whether it’s the perfect mood for watching a movie in bed or making sure there’s enough light for a good book," says Erik Smith, interior design leader at IKEA U.S. "IKEA TRÅDFRI bulbs let you pick almost any color, and you can set your preferred brightness, it’s an easy, small win to install."

For additional ways to add a little light in your tiny room, consider a few mirrors and make sure you're layering lighting sources throughout the space instead of relying solely on one overhead fixture.

4. Stay organized

a blue boho bedroom with blue walls and comforter and a small table as a nightstand with flowers on it

(Image credit: Getty Images/JZhuk)

You're going to need to know how to declutter a small bedroom in order to make the most out of the space. Overcrowding doesn't help any bedroom aesthetic, it only makes it more chaotic. 

"A cozy room does not equal a cluttered room," says interior designer Laura Price, founder and director of The Home Organisation. "It’s not about how much furniture or decor you have, but more about the type of textures and materials you use."

Likewise, it's equally important to have an adequate storage system so that there is order (and style) in one. Consider multifunctional dressers, storage ottomans, utility carts, and under-bed storage to keep your goods in check. 

"Having a spot for everything that a bedroom requires is how to make the most out of every inch of space," Smith adds. 

Laura Price
Laura Price

Laura Price is the founder and director at The Home Organisation. After a career in PR for national events and with three young children, she realized that creating organized spaces brought her moments of calm in a busy life. With a vision to help many others experience the benefits of living an organized life, The Home Organisation was born.

5. Avoid anything bulky

minimalist bedroom with wooden nightstand, lamp, wood headboard and white comforter

(Image credit: Getty Images / Woko / 500px)

When configuring small bedroom layout ideas, it's important to think vertically and utilize space upwards. Anything that takes up a lot of floor space will make things more difficult than need be. 

"Avoid bulky pieces that can make the space feel cramped," suggests interior designer Soledad Alzaga

Soledad Alzaga
Soledad Alzaga

Soledad Alzaga is the founder of her eponymous business, a boutique residential and commercial interior company based in San Francisco, which was named one of the top 15 best interior design companies in the city. It assists in all aspects of the design and build process of residential and commercial properties from start to finish including consulting and working with architects, builders, and engineers

6. Incorporate natural elements

a boho scandi-styled bedroom with an orange bedding, wood headboard, and a nightstand filled with plants

(Image credit: Getty Images/Kseniya Ovchinnikova)

Whether it's mirrors to enhance the lighting, rustic wooden elements, or a few of the best plants for apartments, Alzaga insists that it's critical to have a natural feel in the bedroom to complement the hygge inspo you're chasing. 


How can I make my bedroom cozy on a budget?

It doesn't take much to make a bedroom look cozy. If you're looking to amp up the hygge factor, mix textures on your bed — velvet pillows, wool throws, cotton sheets, etc. — add natural elements like plants or mirrors to help play with the natural light, and make sure that your lighting isn't too stark. And, above all, no matter what look you're going for, it's important to stay clean and organized and ensure that all items have a home.

How do you make a cozy aesthetic bedroom?

Layering is involved, starting with a rug. From there, to further create the cozy bedroom aesthetic, make sure you have the right products and textures on your bed. Ensure that your furniture is sufficient and not taking up unnecessary space, and make sure you have enough walking room, even if space is tight. Accents like plants, candles, and other decor pieces can help add the cozy vibe.

Trying to create the perfect, cozy sleep sanctuary? We can't blame you! No matter what look you're going for, designers insist that these small bedroom design mistakes need to be avoided at all costs, so proceed carefully before making any adjustments. 

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.