Should I Stop Leaving Shoes in the Bedroom?

Last Updated On May 13th, 2024
Should I Stop Leaving Shoes in the Bedroom?

Key Takeaways

  • Bacteria Buildup: Research shows that outdoor shoes can carry thousands of units of bacteria, posing potential health risks when worn indoors, especially in the bedroom.
  • Health and Cleanliness Impact: Wearing shoes indoors can lead to cold feet, introduce contaminants like dirt and lead-based paint particles, and compromise the cleanliness of your bedroom environment.
  • Creating a Healthier Environment: Implementing a no-shoes policy in the bedroom, using indoor shoes or slippers, and taking care of your mattress can significantly improve indoor air quality and overall hygiene.

Did you know that the average person walks thousands of steps a day? That’s a lot of wear and tear on your shoes, but have you ever considered what your shoes may track inside the home and the impact it could have on your bedroom?

Researchers from the University of Arizona aimed to measure this by testing 26 shoes that had been worn for three months. They found an average of 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoes.

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Wearing shoes inside is a common practice for many, but it may be time to rethink this habit. Leaving shoes in the bedroom can lead to various issues that affect both your health and home cleanliness.

From foot pain to the introduction of contaminants, such as dirt and germs, there are compelling reasons to reconsider having shoes inside the bedroom.

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The Impact on Health and Home Cleanliness

Leaving your shoes in the bedroom can have various negative effects on both your health and the cleanliness of your home. Let’s explore these issues in detail.

Cold Feet and Comfort

One common problem that arises from wearing shoes indoors is cold feet. How, you might wonder, if your feet are covered? Well, when you wear shoes indoors, particularly tight shoes, they can restrict blood circulation Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source to your feet, leaving you with the unpleasant sensation of coldness.

By going barefoot or wearing indoor socks or shoes, you can keep your feet warm and comfortable. Letting your bare feet roam free not only promotes better circulation but also allows for natural ventilation and a connection with the ground.

Indoor Environment and Contaminants

Wearing shoes inside can also impact the cleanliness of your indoor environment. When you walk outside, you can unknowingly bring in bacteria, dirt, pollen, mold spores, and other contaminants and irritants, such as dog poop or other outdoor pollutants, on the soles of your shoes.

Even with the use of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in an air purifier and specialty vacuum cleaners, bringing outdoor shoes into the bedroom can still introduce dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants.

These contaminants can then be transferred onto your bedroom floor, carpets, or bedding, creating an unhygienic environment. Mold in the bedroom can be especially tricky to get rid of, but any contaminant can have consequences once it makes a home in your room.

Lead-Based Paint and Health Risks

Did you know that lead-based paint can be a hidden danger lurking on the soles of your shoes? When you walk outside, lead particles from deteriorating paint Verified Source Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Works to control/prevent natural and manmade disasters. View source in older homes or from contaminated soil can attach to your shoes.

Bringing these shoes into the bedroom can introduce lead into your indoor environment, posing potential health risks, especially for young children who may come into contact with contaminated surfaces.

The Cultural Aspect: Removing Shoes at the Front Door

Many cultures around the world have a tradition of removing shoes at the front door. This practice is not only tied to respect and etiquette but also carries health benefits.

By leaving your shoes outside or in a designated area near the front door, you prevent the transfer of outdoor pollutants into your home, promoting a cleaner and healthier living environment.

By adopting the habit of removing your shoes at the front door and wearing indoor shoes or going barefoot indoors, you can create a healthier and more hygienic indoor environment for yourself and your family.

Creating a Healthier Indoor Environment

No Outdoors Shoes in Bedroom

To create a healthy sleep environment, implementing a no-shoes policy in your own home can make a significant difference. By kindly requesting that visitors and family members remove their shoes at the front door, you can minimize the introduction of dirt, germs, and other contaminants into your bedroom.

This simple change can go a long way in reducing the risk of infectious diseases and maintaining a clean, hygienic space for you to rest and rejuvenate.

You can also have dedicated indoor shoes or slippers for use in the bedroom and around the home, especially if you have hard floors. Hard floors can easily accumulate dirt and germs from shoes, which can then be transferred to your bedding and ultimately affect your overall hygiene.

By using indoor shoes or slippers, you create a physical barrier that helps to prevent the spread of dirt and infectious disease agents that may be present on the soles of your outdoor shoes. You can also take advantage of the benefits of an air purifier to suck up any particles that make their way into the bedroom.

Taking Care of the Mattress

To protect your mattress against contaminants, you can cover it with a mattress protector. Covering it with a protector erects a barrier against all sorts of allergens, pests, and germs.

We also recommend regularly vacuuming your mattress to keep irritants and such from settling on the mattress and making it into a home. You can use a standard vacuum cleaner or one with HEPA filter that sucks up tiny particles.

If you have children, make sure you discourage jumping on the bed. With shoes on, the movement can spread dirt and other cast-offs onto the mattress. Meanwhile, jumping with shoes off can still compromise the bed’s support!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to put shoes in the bedroom?

It’s generally not recommended to keep shoes in the bedroom due to hygiene and organizational reasons. Shoes can track in dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants from outside, which can negatively impact the cleanliness and air quality of your sleeping space.

If you must keep shoes in the bedroom, consider using a closed shoe cabinet or a designated shoe storage area away from the bed and other clean surfaces.

Should a shoe rack be in the bedroom?

While a shoe rack can help organize your footwear, it’s best to avoid placing it in the bedroom. Shoe racks can take up valuable space in a bedroom and may not effectively contain odors or dirt from shoes. It’s preferable to keep shoe racks in an entryway, mudroom, or closet near the entrance of your home to minimize the spread of outdoor contaminants.

Do some people wear shoes in bed?

Yes, some people do wear shoes in bed for comfort reasons, but it is generally considered a bad practice. Wearing shoes in bed can introduce dirt, bacteria, and other harmful substances into your sleeping area, potentially leading to health issues and poor hygiene.

Additionally, wearing shoes in bed can damage your bedding and mattress over time, leading to increased wear and tear and potentially shortening their lifespan. We would instead recommend wearing socks to sleep if you want something covering your feet in bed.

Is it good to keep shoes inside the house?

Keeping shoes inside the house is not ideal, as it can contribute to the spread of dirt, germs, and allergens throughout your living space. Shoes worn outside can pick up various contaminants that you may not want to introduce to your home’s interior.

It’s best to remove shoes at the entrance and store them in a designated area to maintain a cleaner and healthier living environment.

Why not keep shoes under bed?

Keeping shoes under the bed is not recommended for several reasons. First, storing shoes under the bed can limit air circulation, leading to the accumulation of moisture and potential mold growth. Second, shoes can attract dust and dirt, which can then be easily transferred to your bedding and sleeping area.

Finally, storing shoes under the bed can make it harder to keep your bedroom organized and clutter-free.

How to organize shoes in a small bedroom?

To organize shoes in a small bedroom, consider using space-saving storage solutions such as an over-the-door shoe organizer, a slim shoe cabinet, or stackable shoe boxes. Use vertical space by installing wall-mounted shoe racks, over the door shoe hangers, or shelves to keep your shoes off the floor.

Additionally, regularly decluttering your shoe collection and donating or discarding unused pairs can help minimize the storage space needed.

Where is the best place to put shoes in the house?

In our experience, the best place to store shoes in a house is near the entrance, such as in a mudroom, entryway closet, or designated shoe storage area. This allows you to remove your shoes immediately upon entering, minimizing the spread of outdoor contaminants throughout your home.

By having a specific place for shoes near the entrance, you can maintain a cleaner and more organized living space while keeping your shoes easily accessible when needed.


Leaving shoes in the bedroom may seem like a harmless habit, but it can have negative implications for both your health and home cleanliness by promoting bacteria in the bed.

By adopting a no-shoes policy in your bedroom and taking preventive measures, such as regular cleaning and using doormats, you can create a healthier space and improve your overall well-being.

About the author

April Mayer is a sleep expert and writer with a degree in exercise physiology. She has dedicated her career to exploring the relationship between sleep and productivity. Her insightful articles, such as "The Surprising Way Your Mood Might Be Messing With Your Productivity" and "Wake Up to More Productive Mornings," have been featured in reputable publications like Forbes, Greatist, Real Homes, Thrillist, Tom's Guide, and Eat This, Not That. With a passion for helping others lead more productive lives through restful sleep, April offers valuable expertise on foods and vitamins for better sleep. As a trusted member of the Early Bird team since March 2020, she continues to provide informative and well-researched content.

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