Is It Safe to Put a Bed Against an Electrical Outlet?

If you want to use your smartphone or laptop in bed, you are more likely to be tempted to position the bed close to the electrical outlet.

Other situations, such as limited space or shape of the room, may compel you to position your bed very close to the electrical outlet to a point of even blocking access to the unit.

But, Is It Safe To Put A Bed Against An Electrical Outlet?

One word – “Yes.” But there are a few exceptions. If everything is connected correctly and no bare wires are hanging from the outlet, then you’re good to bring the bed close to it. It’s, however, recommendable that you add some plastic covers on your outlet.

Other than safety, it will be an inconvenience if you need to plug your electronics into the wall outlet.

If that is the only closest plug in the room, then consider moving the bed, plug in any device that requires a constant power supply (e.g. alarm clocks), return the bed to its correct position, and forget everything.

Anything else that does not need constant power (like lights and chargers) can be plugged into the power strip (power extension).

You just need to ensure you can easily reach the strip and turn it on/off more conveniently. This can also help prevent overloading and even save you some money.

Related: Can You Put A Bed Against The Baseboard Heater?

The EMF Problem

Will you be entirely safe from all those EMF radiations while dozing near your electrical outlet?

What if there’s nothing plugged into it, will you be affected?

Here’s a short answer.

If you sleep close to an electrical outlet, you will be exposed to negligible EMF (extremely low frequency) radiations especially if there’s no device plugged into the electrical outlet. You are less likely to get sick or get harmed by the radiation. However, sleeping close to an active electrical panel can be dangerous as it’s a hotspot for significant EMF Radiations.

Note that we used the specific word ‘negligible’ in the case of an unloaded electrical outlet. There will be tiny traces of EMF radiations from the outlet due to ‘dirty electricity’ flow even if there’s nothing plugged in.

In an average home, dirty electricity flow will always occur, and it is near impossible to eliminate it.

What’s Dirty Electricity?

Simply explained, it’s a disturbance in the home’s electrical system which is sometimes caused by energy-saving devices, electronics, appliances, etc.

Devices or appliances in a typical home ranging from dimmers, televisions, cell phone chargers, and computers, and any other electronic device connected to your electrical outlet can produce dirty electricity.

Electrical current itself produces Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiations.

Studies continue to indicate that generation, distribution, and transmission of electricity exposes one to ELF radiations which are harmful.

Studies proceed to point out that household wiring is among the top sources of this kind of radiation.

Combine it with dirty electricity and the effect becomes even more severe.

Related: Is It Safe To Have Circuit Breaker Box In A Bedroom?

But Why?

Charging points (such as electrical outlets) and the innards of appliances and electronic devices create bursts and spikes when an electrical current passes through the fuse or during the conversion of the conventional AC to DC.

What Are the Dangers of ELF?

The World Health Organization has explained in depth what many studies have revealed about the health risks of ELF including cancer and leukemia.

How Dirty Electricity Affects an Individual Who Sleeps Close to an Electrical Outlet

Let us assume no large electrical appliances are operating in your room.

Your oven and TV are all disconnected, and there’s no single smartphone charging nearby.

Will your electrical outlet produce EMF radiation?

The plain answer is yes. There’s going to be some EMF radiations that will be emanating from your outlet because of the mere fact that it’s connected to the rest of your household wiring.

All those other devices and appliances running in the rest of your home, like lighting fixtures and Wi-Fi router are being controlled by the dimmer switch – dirty electricity will be initiated by these items and transmitted to electrical outlets all over the house.

However, EMF radiations produced this way tend to be small in magnitude. That’s why it’s safe to sleep close to an electrical outlet with no loads or power devices plugged into it.

There is an exception though – if you have one or a few devices plugged into the wall, say, a cell phone charging alone or accompanied by your PS5 console, the EMF radiations will build up to a considerable magnitude, making it highly unsafe to sleep or sit close to them for extended periods. The more the devices, the bigger the load, hence the larger the EMF magnitude.

Sleeping Close to an Electrical Outlet v/s A Fuse Box or Electrical Panel

In comparison to electrical outlets, sleeping close to a fuse box or electrical panel is more harmful.

Remember that all the electricity used in your home comes to the circuit breaker panel / electrical panel on the wall. This makes this point an EMF hotspot.

Many homes are equipped with fuse boxes or electrical panels located inside the basement or garage, but there are few ones that feature them indoors. The latter is the most dangerous setup you could have for obvious reasons.

How to Protect Effectively Yourself While Sleeping close to an Electrical Outlet, Fuse Box, or Electrical Panel

You actually can protect yourself from excessive EMF from fuse boxes and electrical panels although those from electrical panels can be a little tricky if your bed must be close to it at all times.

There are three ways to protect yourself against EMF radiations:

  • Distance yourself from the source
  • Reduce the time of exposure
  • Use a shielding device

1. Distancing Yourself from The Source

If you can move your bed slightly away from the electrical outlet, then go ahead and do it.

Distancing yourself from the source of radiation is the most recommendable and the best of all the preventive measures.

When you increase the distance between your body and the source, it means the radiation needs to travel long distances to reach you.

But because these radiations tend to weaken with distance, the farther you are from the outlet the safer you are.

2. Exposure Time

The lesser the exposure time the safer you are.

When sleeping close to an outlet, there very little you can do to reduce the exposure period.

However, if you are just sitting there and planning to relocate after some time, it only makes sense that you leave the area place as soon as you can.

This is especially effective for fuse boxes and electrical panels because no one would even think of spending hours under an electrical panel or fuse box.

3. Using Shielding Devices

Shielding devices are starting to become commonplace in homes for various reasons, protecting people from radiation being one of them.

These devices are highly recommended in most modern homes where exposure to higher levels of EMF radiation is more likely than it has ever been.

Thermal Blankets

You can choose to use Mylar thermal blankets.

This device acts as a shield or protective barrier between you and the closest source of radiation and can be easily stuck on the wall.

Mylar blankets are quite cheap to acquire and highly effective but are temporary solutions for a continuous problem. They also ruin the aesthetics of your room.

EMF Shielding Paint

The best alternative is EMF shielding paint which, on the contrary, is permanent and doesn’t ruin the appearance of the room.

Sleeping Close to an Electrical Outlet – The Summary of Effects, Precautions, And Preventive Measures

To summarize all the adverse effects of moving your bed close to the electrical outlet, tips for protection when you must sleep near the electrical outlet:

Sleeping closest to the outlet with a device plugged into it, like a charging cell phone or table fan running isn’t advised.

If there’s nothing plugged into the electrical outlet, yes the EMF produced but the magnitude would be negligible.

For that reason, it would be perfectly OK to sleep close to the outlet. However, if there’s plenty of free space in the room, it only makes sense you place your bed far away from the outlet.

Note that the loads elsewhere, such as kitchen appliances, household lighting fixtures, and every other electronic in the home exerts strain on your home’s power line. If these items keep operating when you are close to the outlet, you are more likely to be exposed to significant levels of EMF. For that reason, keep your Wi-Fi router and all other electronics off when you retire to bed at night. Some items like the refrigerator can be left running because of their essential nature.

Sleeping Close to A Fuse Box or Electrical Panels- Effects and Tips

To summarize all the adverse effects of spending a long time close to electrical panels and safety tips: –

  • Electrical panels nearby your bed are a serious health hazard.
  • Be sure to position the bed in such a way that a healthy distance is maintained – keep the bed as far from the panel as possible. Even a foot or so makes a huge difference.
  • Use some shielding devices like EMF shield paint and Mylar to block the radiations.

Related: Why Is It Dangerous to Stick Something Metal in an Electrical Outlet?