Safety Guide: Bedroom

Here’s how to make a bedroom safe for aging in place.

Before You Begin

While everyone’s setup is different, answering these questions can help you hit on some important considerations.

  • Is the bedroom located on the first floor? If not, is there any possibility to move it there, or assistance for the stairs – like a railing or lift – to help an older adult get up and down?
  • Is there an easy path to get to the bathroom at night? This includes assistance getting out of bed, appropriate flooring, good lighting, and a clear pathway.
  • Are all frequently used items easy to reach? Smaller objects like remote controls or phone chargers should be well-located.
  • Is there clutter, furniture, or flooring that could cause a fall? While you don’t want to remove objects that make a bedroom feel like home, it’s important to get big trip hazards out of the way.


  • Make it easy to maneuver: Flooring in the bedroom should be easy to navigate with any assistive devices: a walker, cane, wheelchair, etc.
  • Prioritize softer flooring: Cork, rubber, or vinyl is best.
  • Avoid carpeting: While carpeting appears soft, it can make it easier to trip. If you’re set on having carpet, opt for a tight-looped version with a low profile (up to 1/2” high), and make sure it’s installed evenly and smoothly to avoid any bumps.
  • Avoid area rugs: If you’re attached to one, add a non-skid rug pad underneath, like the Grip-It Ultra Stop Non-Slip Indoor Rug Pad. And make sure the rug is taut: fasten it down as securely as possible with double-sided tape or glue.


  • Test lighting in day & night: Too little lighting can lead to poor visibility, but too much lighting can lead to a glare. Find the optimal balance by testing.
  • Try smart lights: Smart lights like Kasa Smart Bulbs can be paired with Alexa and turned on and off with voice commands. This prevents fumbling for a light switch.
  • Add motion-activated lighting: You should also have at least two motion-activated night lights in the room in the event you need to get up in the middle of the night, like this GE LED Motion Sensor Night Light. We recommend also adding motion-activated bed lighting, like this Motion Activated Lighting, to provide light as soon as your feet hit the ground.


  • Find the appropriate height: The right size is one where your feet can reach the floor when you’re sitting on the edge of the mattress. Aim for a bed that is at least 20-23” inches off the ground.
  • Explore different types of bed rails: There are many types of support for getting in and out of bed. Things like a safety bed rail will prevent you from rolling over and falling out of bed, almost like a bumper, while an assist bed rail will offer stability and balance. There are lots of good options on Amazon, like this Carex Bed Rail.
  • Consider an ADA-compliant bed: There are many stylish ADA-compliant beds available. Pottery Barn's new Independence Metal Adjustable Bed is operated by remote control and comes with built-in motion-sensing LED lighting under the bed.

Additional Furniture

  • Keep it light: Other than the bed, furniture in the bedroom should be minimal to allow for clear walking pathways.
  • Make sure every piece is sturdy: Any furniture you have, like a night table or dresser, should be sturdy in case it needs to be used for balance.
  • Add a chair: We recommend having one chair in the room to sit on when getting dressed and putting on shoes. If you’re looking for a chair to spend time in, Pottery Barn's Power Lift Recliner has good cushion support and fits well in a bedroom or living room.


  • Avoid long linens: You don’t want sheets or a comforter that reach all the way to the floor; these get easily tangled. Similarly, avoid cosmetic layers that aren’t needed, like a top sheet or bed skirt.
  • Explore different options: Comfort Linen is a sheet and pajama line created by a physiotherapist that makes it easier to move around the bed without getting tangled. The sheets also have resistance around the edges to prevent slipping off the bed.
  • Alternate colors: If possible, get pillows and linens that are the opposite color of the floor – either dark or bright – so that they’re easy to spot if they fall.
  • Avoid heated blankets: Heated blankets with an electrical cord can create a trip hazard.


  • Add motion sensor closet lights: Lights like this Joyzy set make it easy to see your things.
  • Lower the closet rod: This prevents you from having to reach too high.
  • Examine your shelving: Shelves that are too high are also a fall hazard. Avoid putting clothing or shoes in hard-to-reach-places, like above or below hanging items.
  • Move items you’re not using: If the closet is full of clothes that aren’t being worn, consider cleaning it out and moving them to another location in the house or elsewhere that makes the closet less cluttered.
  • Add a shoe organizer: We recommend shoe organizers that hang on the inside closet door or a wall to make footwear easily accessible.


Clutter & Cords

  • Hire a professional organizer: Bringing them in for even one or two sessions can be a great investment for peace of mind.
  • Avoid clutter: Things should be stored away to make sure they’re not on the ground.
  • Beware of cords: Electronic cords are a common cause of falls. Be mindful to keep them tucked away. If they’re in similar spot, an organizer like this Cable Management Box can help.
  • Make outlets more accessible: Outlets are typically close to the floor and often hidden behind furniture, making them difficult to access. One solution is to get an alarm clock for your nightstand with several outlets, like this Cubie Alarm Clock.
  • Add a stand-up phone charger: We recommend putting one next to the bed, like this Anker Wireless Charger Stand for iPhone users.

Extra Assistance

  • Install a security system: You should have some home monitoring in place that can ping emergency help in the event of a fall. We recommend the Amazon Echo, where you can use the remote caregiving service Alexa Together.
  • Check the door: Make sure the door threshold is low to avoid tripping. Door handle levers should be easy to open.
  • Add grab bars or handrails: Have them professionally installed on any walls you might want to hold on to for stability, like on the way into or out of the bedroom. Amazon Basic’s grab bars are a good, inexpensive option that come in many sizes. For a variety of colors, we like Ponte Giulio’s items from Italy.