is it bad to sleep with wet clothes drying?
Sleep Safety

Should You Sleep in A Room Where Clothes Are Drying?

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Louise Carter

We don’t always have outside space or sufficient dry weather where we live, forcing us to dry our clothes on radiators. Unfortunately, drying clothing with artificial heating carries certain health risks.

Avoid drying clothes indoors, and never dry them in an occupied bedroom.

Damp laundry increases air moisture, magnifying the risk of breathing difficulties while sleeping and compromising the immune system. Also, damp clothing can lead to mold growth in bedrooms.

If you intend to dry clothing indoors, keep your garments away from the bedrooms. Wherever possible, remove wet laundry from your most frequently used living space.

Is It Bad To Dry Clothes in Your Room?

Drying laundry can be problematic if you lack an outside area. Experts recommend air drying damp clothing in open spaces, but that’s not an option for everyone.

When we drape damp laundry around the home, we increase interior moisture levels by 30%. The main concern related to moisture in the air is dampness in the walls, which may lead to black mold.

As per Indoor and Built Environment, inhaling black mold is linked to ill health. Mold smells terrible and looks unsightly. Even if you avoid black mold, moisture creates humidity, which is ideal for dust mites.

These risks can be mitigated with a larger space, like a hallway or a dedicated laundry room. A bedroom is usually smaller, and you’ll spend up to a third of your life in that location.

Is It Bad To Sleep with Wet Clothes Drying?

Now you know why drying laundry in a bedroom is bad. You may decide it’s okay to distribute the laundry early enough so it’s not there when you sleep at night.

In these instances, you may have the occasional night when you’re ready for bed, and your clothing isn’t yet dry. Would it hurt to leave damp clothing lying around while you sleep?

is it bad to dry clothes in your room?

Breathing Difficulties

Respiratory distress is the main risk of sleeping with wet laundry in a bedroom. The increased humidity and moisture levels can be particularly hazardous to people with asthma or COPD.

Higher moisture levels have two primary side effects – dust mite infestations and mold growth.

If you’re sleeping while breathing in mold spores, the immune system may not react soon enough, and an asthma attack could be triggered.

As per the Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal, dust mites are another asthma trigger for many people. Would you feel comfortable knowing you could have an asthma attack at night?

Even if you don’t have a diagnosed breathing issue, be wary of sleeping in moist conditions. The human body expects a cool, dry environment when at rest.

Compromised Immunity

While we sleep, the body repairs itself from wear and tear, including our internal organs and muscles.

By breathing in damp air caused by drying laundry while we sleep, the immune system must work harder to counter the adverse effects.

Your sleep will be disturbed as the body works overtime when it should be resting and recuperating.

There’s no guarantee that your immune system will handle the additional moisture while you sleep, especially if you regularly surround yourself with damp laundry.

This can lead to upper respiratory infections that are increasingly debilitating.

Increased Temperature

If you have ever compared drying laundry inside to hanging it on a line, you’ll have noticed a fundamental difference in the drying time.

Leaving clothes to dry at room temperature takes days, while exposure to the sun and wind takes hours.

Clothing hung outside has space for water molecules to evaporate. These molecules escape faster, especially when blowing in the wind. Naturally, exposure to the sun generates more heat.

A man-made solution seems to be turning on the radiators in your home, increasing the ambient temperature and speeding up the dissolution of water molecules.

Unfortunately, this introduces new problems because sleeping in a cooler room isn’t recommended.

Frontiers in Neuroscience explains how our body relies upon a natural drop in temperature at night, reflecting the expectations of circadian rhythms.

Artificial heat sources make it challenging to cool off at night, disturbing sleep.

Solutions To Drying Clothes In A Bedroom

We’ve established that drying clothes indoors isn’t ideal, and doing so in the bedroom is even worse.

Some people may feel they have no other choice. For example, sharing a home may make you uncomfortable leaving laundry in communal areas.

If you have no choice but to dry clothing in a bedroom, you can make this safer. None are ideal, but they’re preferable to breathing in damp air from wet clothing in a bedroom overnight.

Enhanced Ventilation

Avoid increasing the temperature in a room to dry laundry while sleeping. If you have no choice or want to enhance ventilation, consider sleeping with open windows.

Opening windows may not always be an option. If you live in a city, this can be too noisy to sleep in. According to Indoor Air, letting CO2 into the bedroom impacts sleep quality and introduces security risks.

In these cases, explore alternative ways to ventilate the room in which you sleep. If appropriate, keep doors open and use a fan to circulate air. Installing vents in walls can also be beneficial.

drying clothes on radiators

Dedicated Cupboard or Closet

Another solution is using an empty closet for drying clothes. If you put laundry inside the wardrobe and close the doors, the damp air will have limited opportunity to circulate in the bedroom.

Include a small fan in the closet and drill ventilation holes for the best results.

If you hang clothing without taking these steps, moisture will become trapped in the closet, resulting in smelly bedding and clothing, dampness, and rotting furniture.

Always dry out the closet when not drying clothes, and stop using it if there are any signs of mold.

Ensure you spin your clothing in the washing machine 2-3 times before hanging it in a closet. The closer laundry is to dry when placed in a closet, the longer you can sustain this approach.


This is arguably the most effective solution to drying wet clothing in a confined space, like a bedroom. The fan on a dehumidifier reduces humidity in a room, which is essential when wet clothing is present.

A dehumidifier extracts moisture from the air. Better yet, most modern dehumidifier models have a laundry setting that works harder to counter the side effects of drying damp clothing.

Dehumidifiers are more cost-effective than tumble dryers, requiring less energy. They take up to 6 hours to dry laundry in a bedroom. Arrange damp clothes early, leaving time to dry them before bed.

Drying laundry in a small home can be difficult, but damp clothing should not be left in a bedroom. The best solutions are to go to a laundromat with drying facilities or buy a tumble dryer.