Why Does My Bedroom Smell in the Morning?

Smells are such a personal thing. There are many times in life when we get to choose our scent. Things like the perfume or cologne we wear, the deodorant we put on, the shampoo, conditioner, and body washes we use in the shower… They’re all things that we specifically choose in order to keep ourselves smelling fresh and lovely.

Then there are times when it feels like it’s out of our hands. If you wake up asking yourself why does my bedroom smell in the morning, then just keep reading and we’ll help you sort that out.

First, you will need to identify what it is making your bedroom smell sour, whether it’s the quality of your air, a lack of hygiene or cleanliness, or a pet causing the bedroom smells. Once we’ve done that, we’ll move on to helping you decide the best option to eliminate bad odors. It may involve air fresheners, deep cleaning, or odor absorbers.

We’ll guide you through the process of finding a solution that works for you. Read on to make sure your bedroom smells lovely all year round!

why does my bedroom smell in the morning

Is it Normal That Your Bedroom Smell in the Morning?

There are times in life when you can’t control the smells around you. These are things like at the end of the day after your deodorant has worn off, or when you’ve forgotten to brush your teeth and your breath has a bad smell. None of us would choose to have bad breath or lingering odors by choice. They’re our natural states of being that we have to rectify.

This means that you don’t have to worry too much about your room being a special, smelly exception. It is actually quite normal to wake up some with less than pleasant odors, but there are plenty of things you can do to get your bedroom smelling fresh.

But first – you need to find out exactly what the sources of the unpleasant smells in your room are.

Reasons Why Your Bedroom Smell When You Wake up

There could be any number of reasons why you wake up to a musty smell in your bedroom. We’ll begin by covering some of the basics of what might be behind your odor issue, then we’ll move on to examining what can be done.

Body Odor

You should start by looking at yourself… or at least at your body.

Morning is a period of time in which our bodies have been at rest for hours. If you’re sleeping under too many blankets or sweating during the night, you might wake up with some body odors. If they’re trapped under layers of cloth, parts of your body particularly prone to unpleasant odors will have no way to air out.

Your breath can also be a factor. Bad breath in the morning is just a fact of life, but if the air you’re breathing out happens to smell bad then it can contribute. The same is true of passing gas – everyone does it! But it doesn’t smell great. Sometimes those natural scents just aren’t what we want to associate our living space with.

Air Quality

The quality of the air in your room is very important. Poor air quality can come from a few different sources, like moisture buildup from ventilation, bacteria feeding on dead skin cells in air conditioning units, or no fresh air being allowed into the room.

Lack of Fresh Air

Any foul smell, no matter where it originates from, it can be magnified if your bedroom has no exposure to fresh air. It’s important to be able to open a window sometimes. Indoor air just has the potential to be tinged with that musty smell you’re trying to avoid.

Air Circulation

But… not all rooms come with windows, right? So if you happen to live in a windowless room, you need to still ensure that you’re getting quality air circulated regularly. Stagnant air means that nothing can get in and nothing can get out, even the stinky air particles that you don’t want hanging around.

This is why, if your bedroom doesn’t have a window, you should consider keeping the door open throughout the night.

Keep reading into the next section and we’ll go over some ways to improve poor air circulation and therefore improve the overall air quality.

Dirty Clothes

dirty clothes causes bad smell in your room

If you smell once you start to get sweaty and dirty, it stands to reason that your clothes will smell, too, right?

So if you have a pile of dirty clothes just hanging out in the corner of your room, give them a sniff test—you may just find out that the funky room smell has been coming from your dirty laundry all along! It’s a good idea to get into the habit of leaving your clothes in the hamper or in the laundry instead of keeping them out in the open in your bedroom.

Pet Odors

Your puppy may be man’s best friend, but they also are known to be particularly fragrant. It makes sense, right? If you accumulate all kinds of funky body odor just as you go about your day, then your favorite pet must do the same.

If you let a dog sleep in your bed, on your carpet, or even on a dog bed in the room, then that particular eau du Fido can soak itself into your living space and leave you with a musty smell. The same applies to cat owners.

Leftover Food

It’s easy to grab a cup of coffee or a late night snack up and retreat to your room, only to subsequently just not feel motivated enough to take it back to the kitchen. It happens to the best of us.

Sometimes bed is really just that comfy, and why not wait until tomorrow morning?

But if you let those dirty dishes sit and accumulate for too long, then the scent of curdling milk or food going off can definitely make your room smell bad.

How Can You Make Your Bedroom Smell Good Naturally?

Luckily for all of us, there are plenty ways to have the morning smell of your bedroom be fresh and appealing instead of ripe with foul odor.

1. Improve Quality of the Air

The first thing you should look at doing is improving the air quality.

Bad air quality comes from a number of things, like dead skin accumulating like a breeding ground in places where bacteria will feed on it. Stale air will also trap scents like pet urine and dander, human body odor from our natural oils, and residual food smells.

Open a Window

open your windows to fix bad smell in your room

If you have a window, the immediate action you can take is to just open it. Letting in fresh air means that you’ll have some circulation. The air moving in and out of the space will definitely help with poor ventilation, especially when paired with keeping the bedroom door open to let the indoor air circulate.

If you don’t have a window, you can always use a fan or an air purifier to try and achieve the same effect. We’ll talk more about what an air purifier specifically does below.

Air Purifiers

Simply put, an air purifier sanitizes the air that you’re breathing.

It sounds magical, right? These devices also have health uses (like for people with asthma) but one major benefit is that they suck in all of the pollutants, toxins, and generally anything in the air that’s making things smell bad, and run it through multiple filters.

This includes microbial volatile organic compounds—a type of compound that is formed by fungi and bacteria. Not only can these lead to bad smells in your bedroom, but they can actually be dangerous to breathe in.

When your new air purifier has taken everything bad out of the air, it pushes that air back into your bedroom smelling fresh and clean. Of course, the extent to which it filters everything out does depend on the quality of the air purifier that you purchase and how often you change the filters out.

Once you’re on the right path, you can find the balance that works best for you to get rid of the less-than-pleasant musty smell.

2. Air Freshener

If you can’t shell out the cash for a decent air purifier, you can always go down the cheaper route and just buy an air freshener. These are inexpensive and you can find them in your local store as well as online. You can buy them in any number of scents. Most commercial air fresheners come in a spray bottle and advertise that they will keep a room smelling fresh.

There are also some air fresheners that dispense the spray automatically. Setting one up in your bedroom will ensure that once every few hours, a beautiful scent will fill the room. These too can be found in most supermarkets, although you may have to go to a larger store in order to find one.

While they won’t be a long term issue, air fresheners might help you cope with the room smell while you do work out a more sustainable solution.

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils are definitely a favored solution amongst many people. They are compounds that have been extracted from plants, leading many to consider them one of the most natural options to cover up musty smells.

They have the benefit of coming in an almost limitless range of scents, from the most common essential oils to different blends that can incorporate multiple scents.

Essential oils can be used to scent your room through a diffuser or a device specifically made for heating the oils until they break down into smaller molecules. Once broken down, they can be dispersed into the air to mask bad odors.

4. Clean Your Room Regularly

It may be easier said than done, but keeping your living space clean can be the easiest way to keep bad smells from invading your territory.

Don’t just clean the obvious places, though—make sure you check out things like your air conditioning filters and under furniture.

5. Clean Your Carpet

regularly clean your carpet to keep your room smell good

In addition to making sure you are keeping up with your laundry and changing your linens regularly, you should ensure that your bedroom carpet is being cleaned regularly.

Just to cover all the bases, you can use a store bought carpet cleaner, or you can sprinkle baking soda over the entire carpet and then use a vacuum cleaner.

Don’t forget to move furniture around and get the places that might not normally occur to you! A sour smell can be lurking in any corner, and may seem especially bad in the morning.

6. Odor Absorber

We mentioned baking soda in the previous section because baking soda is known for it’s ability to absorb odors! It is actually a natural odor absorber, along with white vinegar, lemon peel, and some kinds of plants that are known to clean the air for you, such as bamboo palms or English ivy.

If you need to freshen up some musty smells with a quick turnaround time, baking soda or similar products will bring you the best bang for your buck.

How Can You Keep Your Bedroom Smelling Nice Always

Once you’ve identified what was making your room smell musty and then sorted how to make your bedrooms smell nice, you should probably begin thinking about how you’ll keep it that way.

There are a few things you can do on a regular basis to try and ensure that bad odor doesn’t become a problem for you again.

Clean Food or Drink Spills Immediately

Nothing will leave an especially bad smell in the morning like food or drink that you’ve spilled and not cleaned up. It may seem like a lot of effort if it’s late and you’re tired after a long day, but keeping things tidy and clean on a consistent basis is the best way to keep foul smells at bay.

You can make it easier for yourself by keeping some basic cleaning supplies in your bedroom.

Use a Laundry Basket and Change Linens

Lonbet - Grey Laundry Baskets with Lid - XL 100 L - Large Laundry Hamper for Laundry with Handles - Hampers Baskets with Lid for Bedrooms - Bamboo Bathroom Tall Laundry Bin

Laundry baskets are not only a good reminder that you need to actually wash your dirty clothes, but ones with a lid can help the bad odor from your sweaty clothes from contaminating the rest of the room.

This goes for your sheets and blankets, as well. Blankets collect dead skin and body odor that can build up until it’s at the point where your sheets have trapped in those musty smells.

If the idea of stripping your bedding, washing it, and putting it back on your bed within a quick turnaround stresses you out then can always keep two or three sets on hand. That way, you can change them out and all of the sets still get a regular washing.

Keep Air Circulating

As explained previously, it’s vital to make sure that you can provide some circulation of air in the room so that bedroom smells aren’t bad in the morning.

If you can’t open a window or a fan alone isn’t doing doing the trick, you can use air purifiers to provide clean air. Keep your bedroom door open whenever possible.

Wash Your Pet and Their Bed Regularly

If your pet sleeps with you or in your room, just remember that their scent can accumulate on things! Give them baths regularly with nice smelling pet shampoo, and if they have their own bed, make sure it’s one you can toss into the washing machine regularly.

Scent Masking Devices

If you can’t completely get rid of the musty smell in your bedroom, you can always just try and hide it.

Scented candles, wax melts, wall plugin air fresheners, and essential oil diffusers can all do the trick in a pinch. They may not make a foul smell go away, but they’ll hide it well enough.

One of the added benefits of these is that you can choose the scent you want, meaning you’ll be able to pick a lovely new smell for your bedroom!


Sometimes bedrooms smell. But fear not—nothing is forever, not even a bad smell in the bedroom!

There are plenty of options at your disposal to clear up a musty smell or foul odors that are lingering in your bedroom. You can improve the quality of the air, you can improve your environment by cleaning yourself, your bedroom, and your bedding on a more regular basis, or you can populate your living space with lovely smelling accessories.

We hope that this guide helped you bring your bedroom back to a state you find desirable. Sleep well!

Leave a Comment