Should you sleep with your bedroom door open or closed?
Seems like a straightforward enough question, right? Wrong.
The answer is actually quite complicated and is unique to you.
Quite a few variables contribute to whether you sleep with your bedroom door open or closed.
- where you sleep in your home
- whether you have children, pets, or roommates
- the locations of smoke alarms
- temperature control
…all make it difficult to formulate a one-size-fits-all answer. Throw in personal preference on top of all these factors and you’ve got a pretty complicated question to examine.
Whatever you decide about your bedroom door, the ultimate goal should be getting the best night’s sleep possible while also keeping yourself, and your family, safe.
If you’ve ever wondered whether you should sleep with your bedroom door open or closed, we’re here to help you figure it out.
Let’s break down some of the variables that can help lead you to a decision about sleeping with the bedroom door open or closed!
Location, Location, Location
Where you go to sleep each night will play a large role in deciding whether you keep your bedroom door open or closed. Sleep spaces can vary greatly – not everyone has a traditional master bedroom.
Different sleep spaces might include dorm rooms, partitioned rooms, family rooms, attics, or basements…the possibilities are endless.Perhaps you don’t even have a door! Or a bedroom, for that matter! Here’s to sleeping on the couch.
But for the purpose of this discussion, let’s assume that you do have some type of door on your sleeping space. You’ll want to consider the the location of your bedroom o when making your door decision.
Are you able to have privacy in your bedroom if you keep the door open based on your sleeping location?
If not, keeping it closed may be a better option. Nobody wants roommates or nosy family members peering in on them while they’re trying to doze off, especially if you sleep naked! Your crush watching you sleep? Romantic. Your creepy housemate? Not so much.
Is your sleeping space located in a high traffic area of the house where household activity might keep you awake?
If so, keep that door shut. You want to create a quiet and peaceful environment for yourself at bedtime. Extraneous noise or activity from outside of your sleeping area can disturb your nightly zzz’s. Alternatively, keep the door open and invest in a comfortable pair of earplugs you can sleep in.
Do you live alone? No possible peeping toms or external hustle and bustle to disrupt your sleep? If you live like a lone wolf, then sleeping with the bedroom door open may be more desirable for you. When outside people and noise aren’t a consideration, it all comes down to personal preference – in addition to the next few variables that we’ll cover.
If you do happen to sleep in a traditional master bedroom, location still matters. External activity, noise, and privacy issues can affect traditional bedrooms too, based on their location.
Children, Pets, or Roommates?
I lived with roommates for many years, then alone for many more years. Then I was married and lived with my husband and a house-full of pets.
And now I find myself living alone again. Well, alone outside of my furry roommate – my English Bulldog, Isie.
With each different living situation, my sleeping door policy changed.
The people and pets, or lack thereof, that reside with you will help determine whether you sleep with your bedroom door open or closed. And personal preference plays a big role for this variable as well.
If you have small children, you may prefer to leave your bedroom door open so that you can hear your little ones crying or shouting for help in the night more easily.
Or perhaps you’re a parent who values their privacy way too much to leave your door open. You might decide to keep the bedroom door shut, and even locked, to prevent 5am wake-ups from little bed-jumpers.
Pets will also help determine whether you keep your bedroom door open or closed.
My husband insisted on keeping the bedroom door closed due to our nocturnally over-active cats.
The second that we shut the lights off each night, they took that as an invitation to crazily dart in and out of our bedroom. The sound of their nails ripping through the carpet infuriated my husband to no end.
If you have furry friends or small children living with you, keeping them in or out of your sleeping space will help you decide whether to keep your door open or closed.
The Fire Factor
Personal safety is a big factor when deciding to sleep with your bedroom door open or closed. More specifically, fire safety.
What does fire safety have to do with sleeping with your bedroom door open or closed?
Over the years there’s been a fair amount of debate as to which option – bedroom door open or closed – offers you more safety in the event of a home fire.
But once again, there’s no simple answer to this. You must consider the placement of smoke detectors in addition to considering the protection that a closed door can offer during a fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Educational Messages Advisory Committee (EMAC), sleeping with the bedroom door closed offers the highest level of protection against fires – but only if you have smoke alarms inside of the bedroom.1
In regards to sleeping with the door closed, the NFPA and EMAC says:
A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected.
But remember, this advice becomes questionable if you don’t have smoke alarms in the bedroom. A closed door can hinder your ability to hear a smoke alarm going off and put you at serious risk during a fire.
Bottom line – sleeping with your bedroom door closed is the safest option in the event of a fire in your home. But make sure that you have a smoke alarm in the bedroom – and if you don’t, install one ASAP.
If you’re lucky enough to have a thermostat just for your bedroom that allows you to sleep at the perfect climate without affecting the temperature in the rest of the house – lucky you!
But this is not the case for most people.
Sleeping with the bedroom door open or closed may seriously impact the temperature of your bedroom – not to mention the price you’ll pay for keeping it that temperature.
In theory, it seems like closing the bedroom door would improve the efficiency of your cooling or heating system and lower the cost.
After all, it takes less energy to heat or cool a smaller space thanks to a closed door – and thus, less money. Right?
Closed interior doors actually obstruct airflow and tend to have an opposite effect on your power bill.2 The only exception is if your door has some type of cut-out of grate on it that allows air to flow through. But this is not terribly common.
When airflow to a room is blocked, the room becomes somewhat pressurized and air starts looking for ways to escape.
When that air successfully escapes – and it will – it must be replaced with more hot or cool air – which effectively increases your monthly utility bills.
What that means is – in order to maintain an even temperature in your bedroom that doesn’t break the bank, keep your door open.
Another thing to consider in regards to temperature and your bedroom door policy is the mount of ventilation that you prefer.
A closed bedroom door can make the bedroom feel hot and stuffy.Conversely, keeping the door open may make your room more drafty and allow too much air to flow through. Regarding ventilation and temperature control, it really comes down to personal preference and the structural design of your home.
Do you sleep with your bedroom door closed or open? Let me know in the comments below!