Humidity and Sleep: Mould in the Bedroom

Posted by Pam Johnson - Head of Buying on 20th Feb 2023

Humidity and Sleep: Mould in the Bedroom

Visitors from overseas are often surprised at how prone British homes are to damp. But really it’s no surprise that things can get so mouldy. In the UK, we have a less than perfect combination of some of the oldest housing stock in Europe (i) and a building industry with a reputation for inadequate insulation and ventilation. Adding insult to injury? Good old British weather. With an average of 853mm of rainfall across England in 2021(ii), it’s no wonder things get so damp.

Unfortunately damp homes, and particularly mould in bedroom areas, can be harmful to our health, causing a range of long and short term issues and impacting our sleep. Here we investigate the risks and causes of damp and black mould in bedroom spaces and look into how to get rid of mould in bedroom areas. We’ll also explain how to stop mould in bedroom walls and elsewhere.

What Are The Risks of Mould in the Bedroom?

A woman holds an asthma nebuliser to a young child's face as they sit up in bed holding a teddy bear.

We’ve all read the headlines but what are the real risks of mould in the bedroom? 

And who’s most at risk? According to the NHS (iii) mould in the bedroom can be dangerous for everyone, but certain groups are more vulnerable:

  • Elderly people
  • Young children and babies
  • People with existing respiratory complaints like asthma
  • People with existing skin problems like eczema
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system, such as those going through chemotherapy

So what can mould and damp do to your health? Mould produces allergens, irritants and, in some cases, toxic substances. These can lead to a range of respiratory problems, ranging from short term and minor respiratory illnesses to more serious issues, including asthma, allergies and respiratory tract infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. Touching mould spores meanwhile, can result in a skin rash.

As well as causing illness, the presence of mould in a bedroom could also affect your sleep. Studies suggest that household mould may create a range of sleep issues, including insomnia and snoring (iv). Not just that but recent research has linked allergic rhinitis (which can be brought on by the presence of mould) to a variety of sleep issues, ranging from general restlessness to sleep apnoea (v).

The effects of mould on health and sleep may vary depending on the type of mould found in a home. However, it’s sensible to mitigate the risk by clearing existing mould and taking steps to prevent its regrowth.

What Causes Black Mould in the Bedroom?

A corner of an interior window sill speckled with black mould.

Mould is a microscopic fungus found both inside and out. 

Mould requires moisture to grow and spread so you’ll find them most often in damp places like bathrooms, entryways and basements. 

However, it’s common for other parts of the home to get a little damp from time to time and so you might find mould on the walls in a bedroom, behind furniture or on the ceiling.

Mould on walls in the bedroom

Mould in the walls is often caused by rising damp where a home doesn’t have a damp course or by condensation caused by indoor humidity or poor glazing. Mould can also happen where pipes leak or around windows where water gets in or condensation occurs. You might also find mould in new homes where plaster hasn’t dried out quickly enough.

Mould on ceiling in the bedroom

The causes of mould on bedroom ceiling include pipe leaks or, in some cases an overflowing bath located in the room above. In loft rooms, leaks in the roof can result in damp, mouldy patches.

Mould in furniture

In some cases, you might find mould inside a piece of furniture. This is especially common in a built-in wardrobe on a cold wall but can also occur in freestanding furniture where items are put away damp.

Mould on mattresses

Mattresses and bedding can become mouldy after spills or accidents or after wet-cleaning if not allowed to dry out and air thoroughly. A mouldy mattress can be especially damaging to health.

How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?

How to Get Rid of Mould on Walls in the Bedroom and Elsewhere

A woman wearing a facemask and googles stands on a ladder and is spraying a wall that is covered in mould.

Found mould in your home? Getting rid of it is usually relatively easy and requires only a few affordable specialist items. 

Here’s our step-by-step guide to ridding your room of the dreaded mould:

1. Protect yourself

Remember that mould can release spores into the air and irritate skin so be sure to take precautions. Open windows for good ventilation and pop on some rubber gloves. You may also wish to wear goggles to protect from splashes of bleach-based cleaner.

2. Scrub away mould

Use a bleach-based spray to remove the black stains caused by mould and gently scrub away with a damp cloth or brush. Leave to dry overnight before tackling the next step.

3. Use an anti-fungal spray

Simply spray the area with a good fungicidal solution. Costing just a few pounds, a spray of this type will effectively remove mould and mildew from most surfaces and can be used again and again to tackle the first signs of mould before it spreads.

4. Call in the experts

If your mould problem is a large one, it’s best to call in the experts. Not only will they have the equipment and expertise required to effectively deal with significant mould patches, they’ll also be able to diagnose the cause of the problem. It could be that your home requires a new dampproof course or that you have a problem leak that needs addressing.

How to Prevent Mould in the Bedroom

A woman is changing the water in a dehumidifier.

Now you’ve got rid of that mould, how can you keep it from returning? 

Here are some steps you can take to minimise the risk of mould in your bedroom:

Invest in your home

Updated damp proofing, good insulation and modern glazing can save money on your heating bills as well as reducing the risk of mould. Regular checks of your roof and brickwork can catch leaks before they happen too.

Use a dehumidifier

In a damp home, a dehumidifier can be a godsend. Most units will provide a humidity reading –30 to 50% humidity is ideal (vi).

Decorate to resist mould

Good anti-mould paints are resistant to moisture and may prevent mould regrowth for several years. Thermal wallpaper, meanwhile, provides protection from condensation.

Move fast to resolve leaks

A small damp spot can quickly become a major mould problem. Call in an expert as soon as you spot a leak in your home.

Make space between walls and furniture

Pushing wardrobes right up to a wall reduces airflow in an area you can’t see. Place furniture a few inches away to allow walls to breathe.

Take care of your mattress

Help to reduce the risk of mould in your mattress by following our mattress care guide and by investing in BedGuard insurance policy. This insurance policy not only covers you in case of accidents, it also comes with a complete mattress care kit.*

Clean up spills quickly

If a spill happens, take action to get it dried out quickly, whether on the bed or on the floor.

Create a No-More-Mould Bedroom With Bensons For Beds

Sicily Wooden Bed Frame

Sicily Wooden Bed Frame

Keeping your bedroom mould-free isn’t the simplest of jobs but it needn’t be a strain either. 

Healthy sleep starts with a good bed and that’s something we at Bensons for Beds can help with. From advice on cleaning and caring for your existing mattress to helping you find the ideal new bed, we’ve got you covered – in-store, online and even on the phone, just give us a call on 0808 144 6160.

In addition to helping you find new beds and mattresses, we can also safely remove old items for recycling,*making that new bedroom refit all the easier.

*Terms & Conditions apply








authors profile
Pam Johnson
Head of Buying
Pam has worked within Bensons for Beds for 16 years and has a great deal of experience in both developing and sourcing new product ranges. As Head of Buying specialising in mattresses, divans and headboards, Pam is dedicated to providing solutions that help customers to get a great night’s sleep.
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