Random header image... Refresh for more!

Feng Shui Solutions for Sleeping Under Beams

A creative canopy bed at the Barcelo Asia Garden Hotel in Malaysia

I often need to find good ways to cover beams in the bedrooms I design. In the past week alone, three clients contacted me for solutions to sleeping under beams, so it seemed like a good moment to share some of my Feng Shui remedies with you.

 Here’s the reason why sleeping under beams is a Feng Shui no-no: beams break the natural flow of chi energy that moves throughout the room. A steady, smooth flow of chi in our environment supports healthy circulation and promotes a feeling of well being. When the flow is disrupted, it can affect health.

However, it is important to keep in mind that sleeping under a beam will not make you sick. Rather, if you already have an underlying physical issue, the break in chi flow around the bed can aggravate that weakness.

Here are three solutions that I use to address beams in the bedroom:

1. Do It Yourself Canopy

2. Canopy Bed

3. Drop Ceiling

Let’s look at each one…

1. The DIY Canopy:

This simple piece of cloth elegantly hides the beam above.

The solution above is ideal for a client from LA who called last week and is considering moving into an apartment with this beam in her bedroom:

Someone recently sent me a picture of this bedroom beam - a prime candidate for the DIY canopy.

This is how to do it: just find a pretty piece of fabric the width of the bed, attach one end to the seam where the wall behind your bed meets the ceiling.  Then attach the other end of the fabric to the ceiling just above the foot of your bed.  Try to keep a gentle, hammock-like bow to the fabric so that it clears the beam without touching it.  The picture of the remedy above shows a rather sheer piece of fabric, but I would recommend a thicker fabric to fully hide the view of the beam (it isn’t a complete remedy unless the beam is entirely obscured).A nice variation on this is to take a much longer piece of fabric (like an Indian sari) and let the rest of the fabric drape down the wall behind your bed, which creates an elegant headboard.

 2. A Canopy bed:

A canopy bed hides the beams at the Little Olarro Kenya Hotel

When dealing with a lot of beams, a good solution is to invest in a canopy bed. The fabric overhead will separate you from the beam above. My clients in New York just moved into this charming apartment in Greenwich Village, and a canopy bed would be ideal for their bedroom:

My client's romantic bedroom could use a canopy bed.


The Asseman Canopy by Patrizia Cagliani, sold through Suite New York.

3. Drop the bedroom ceiling to hide the beams.

In this NYC apartment near Wall Street, I dropped my client’s bedroom ceiling to cover the beams. 

After: My client's bedroom after I dropped the ceiling.

My client was having difficulty sleeping when under the beams. But after this renovation, he has reported that he sleeps wonderfully. Here is how the bedroom looked before:

Before: My client's bedroom before I renovated and dropped the ceiling.

 Another perk of dropping your bedroom ceiling is that you create space above the ceiling to add lighting. In this bedroom, I added recessed lights and a ceiling fan to help air circulation, which also supports sound sleep.

So whatever your budget, there is a way for you to create your own Feng Shui “remedy” and support good sleep and good health.


1 Preeti { 08.07.13 at 4:15 am }


2 Reiko Gomez { 08.12.13 at 10:47 am }

Thank you!

3 jj { 08.16.13 at 4:59 pm }

i dont have a beam on top of my bed, but i have a ceiling fan, i know they are not as good either. But i cant really move the bed, what do you suggest?

4 Jax { 09.08.13 at 12:54 am }

I thought ceiling fans are a no no in bedrooms

5 carrie { 09.12.13 at 1:59 am }

Wow! Love your home.

Road Forms

6 yvonne { 11.08.15 at 11:07 pm }

How do you remedy an overhead beam in the lounge room over the lounge? Because the apartment is small the lounge can not be moved to another area

7 Reiko { 11.10.15 at 4:55 pm }

Hi Yvonne, that’s a good question. You can’t always move away from a beam – especially in a small space. I have a beam directly over a sofa in my office, but it’s the only wall the sofa fits on. So I make an effort to sit on one end of the sofa or the other, not directly under the beam. If you would like to post a picture of your space I might have another recommendation for you. Thanks!

8 madona { 07.14.16 at 8:37 pm }

Hi I have a sofa. And it’s under a beam? What can I do??

9 Reiko { 07.24.16 at 4:28 pm }

Hi Madona, thanks for your question. If you cannot move the sofa out from under the beam, can you shift where you sit to ensure you are not directly under it?

10 Chaitanya { 09.19.16 at 1:08 pm }

Hi I have a bed under a beam but I can’t really move my bed away from beam so can I cover the beam with ceiling so that beam cannot be seen?

11 Reiko { 09.20.16 at 6:18 am }

Hi Chaitanya,
Yes, you can definitely drop your ceiling to hide the beam. I have done that for clients with great results. Hopefully you have high ceilings, so that when you drop the ceiling it does not make the room feel too low. Feel free to send a picture if you would like me to look at it. Thanks!

12 Ritam Ghosh { 10.13.16 at 10:19 am }

In my bedroom the bed falls under beam of the room and so as my body. I am using this room for 8 years. I have been experiencing nightmare since long,but now along with nightmare also facing heart problem. There is no way to change the position of the bed,so please suggest me whether I go for false ceiling or not.

13 Reiko { 10.28.16 at 10:30 am }

Hi Ritam, I’m sorry to hear about your health challenges. Given that you are sleeping under a beam and having physical issues, I would probably recommend dropping the ceiling to hide the beam completely. Hopefully your ceiling is high enough that dropping it will not cause the room to feel too low. Best wishes for health, wealth and well-being!

14 Natalie { 01.16.17 at 8:08 am }

Hi Reiko
I live in a rented house in Srilanka and have one more year left of our lease. we live in and old house with lots heavy dark wood beams.
Our bedroom has a sloping roof, we sleep under the highest point of the pitch but a beam over head runs horizontally between us, we also have a ceiling fan above our bed as its extremely hot. my husband does not sleep well and can’t sleep without the fan. We argue a lot. Whats your suggestion pls ? sadly the bed cannot be moved away from the beam. Thanks Natalie

15 Reiko { 01.19.17 at 8:29 am }

Hi Natalie,
Thank you for your question – that’s a tricky one. Since your husband needs to sleep with a fan overhead, it makes it difficult to drape the beam. Also, I’m not surprised to hear about your arguments, since a beam that slices the bed in half has a tendency to strain romantic relationships. (I am glad to hear you only have one year left on your lease – lol.) For the time being, can you drape the part of the beam that falls directly over the head of the bed? A mini-canopy made of fabric (something like the first picture in this post) would help soften the energy around you two, while still leaving room for the ceiling fan. I’m not sure exactly where the ceiling fan is located, but if it can be moved closer to the foot of the bed, that would keep air flow over you while you sleep, but also make room for the partial canopy. I hope that helps!

16 jashaun { 02.14.17 at 11:18 pm }

I have a beam directly above my bed and due to its small room area I cant apply the solutions you have mentioned. Will adding a curve cornises(same height as beam) helps.

17 Reiko { 02.21.17 at 4:09 pm }

Hi Jashaun,
That is a creative solution. While it will not totally remedy the issue, it would “soften” the beam a bit and allow for better chi flow. Still, it would be great if you could drape it. If you’d like to send a picture I might have more suggestions for you. Thanks!

18 Heather { 02.19.17 at 6:04 pm }

Hi Reiko!
Is there an easy and aesthetic option for covering ceiling beams over my bed which are already low? I was thinking of covering each one with fabric as I’m not allowed to paint them. Any help is greatly appreciated!

19 Reiko { 02.21.17 at 4:21 pm }

Hi Heather, thanks for your question. I don’t think that wrapping the beams in fabric would do much to remedy the situation. And if a canopy bed doesn’t fit in your room, you might try this “modified canopy” idea: take a large piece of pretty fabric (the piece should be roughly the size of the bed) stretch it out over the beams, and attach each corner of the fabric into the ceiling (or onto the side of the beam) using an eye hook or thin nail. This would create a soft, canopy-like effect over the bed and hide the beams directly overhead. It would also be pretty to see when lying in bed. Let me know if that might work!

20 Aditi { 02.27.17 at 4:28 pm }

Hi Reiko,
The beam in my room is not over the bed, however, it’s right on d top of my hubbys bed as he sleeps on the floor. (I sleep wid d kids on d bed). The beam basically u can say is a divider between d room n d balcony which is included in d room by d builder.. The solutions u mentioned cannot b used as its a small room n d canopy n false ceiling cannot b used.. Any help would b really appreciated..

21 Reiko { 06.07.17 at 10:07 am }

Hi Aditi! Given the challenges of your bedroom, I would recommend a personalized feng shui home consultation to help you find the best solution. Feel free to contact me directly for more details and pricing. Thanks!

22 Sudip { 03.03.17 at 12:33 am }

Hi Reiko,
There is a beam just above the bed in my room. And also a ceiling fan is hung in the beam. It’s rented apartment and no remedies u suggested looks workable. Please suggest whether hanging flute works? Or any other easier solutions?

23 Rita { 06.04.17 at 3:04 pm }

Hi reiko if beam is cover with celling then should i sleep under the beam…then heppen any health problems

24 Reiko { 06.07.17 at 9:59 am }

Hi Rita! If the beam is covered by the ceiling, you are fine to sleep under it.

25 Rakesh { 06.20.17 at 6:02 am }

Hi Reiko,
Master bedroom in my apartment in India , had not only beam passing through the bedroom but also passing a waste drainage pipe along with the beam.please suggest a solution. Thanks.

26 Reiko { 09.14.17 at 9:20 am }

Hi Rakesh,
Along with the issues associated with sleeping under a beam, having a drainage pipe overhead can disrupt sleep since liquid is flowing by on a regular basis. I would say it is very important to sleep elsewhere. Is it possible to move your bed out from under the beam and drainage pipe? If you had to stay in that position, I strongly recommend insulating the pipe to reduce noise, then dropping a ceiling below the beam and pipe.

27 Nancy { 07.31.17 at 10:11 pm }

What if your room doesn’t have beams but as a design has a lower ceiling around the borders of the room, causing you to sleep under a lower part of the ceiling no matter where you place the bed?

28 Reiko { 09.14.17 at 9:26 am }

Hi Nancy,
This is a tricky ceiling design that I see often. It depends how wide the lower part of the ceiling – or soffit – extends off the wall. If it is say, 6-9 inches wide, I often recommend getting a bed with a thick headboard that will push the area where you actually sleep further away from the wall. In that way, even though the headboard is technically under the beam, you are not sleeping under the soffit. Let me know if that helps!

29 Voon { 08.16.17 at 11:03 am }

Hi Reiko, There is a beam that slightly touch one side of my bed (about 6inches to 1 feet of the bed) Room ceiling is low so I cant drop the ceiling. No other best position for the bed.

30 Reiko { 09.14.17 at 9:31 am }

Hi Voon, it sounds like the beam is only over about 6 – 12″ of the side of your bed. In my experience this situation does not have as strong an impact as a beam that runs directly over you as you sleep. Just try to sleep towards the center of the bed, therefore avoiding the beam.

31 Jset { 08.31.17 at 11:52 am }

How about the bed directly under a mini-garden (soil), is this ok?

32 Reiko { 09.14.17 at 9:35 am }

Hi Jset, thanks for your question. It depends on how low your bedroom ceiling is, and if there is drainage under the garden. If your bedroom ceiling is normal height, the presence of the soil should not disturb sleep. If there are drains or irrigation pipes that run under the garden and over your bed, that might cause some disturbance.

33 N { 11.16.17 at 6:39 pm }

Hi. My son’s bed is under a beam which cannot be moved and ceiling is low thus beam can’t be covered too. Please suggest a way out. Thanks.

34 Reiko { 01.23.18 at 3:28 pm }

Hi N, I’m assuming that your son’s bed cannot be moved to another part of the room? If he has to stay in that location, I would say that even if the ceiling is low, consider covering the beam with fabric. It could simply be one long piece of fabric that is draped from the foot of the bed to the wall above his head, then the fabric can fall down the wall behind his bed to act like a headboard. The fabric does not have to drape low over the bed, it could be pretty tight to the bottom of the beam if needed given the low ceiling. I’m not sure how old your son is, but children like the experience of being in a tent or a fort, and you could create that effect. He could even pick a fabric with a pattern or a character on it that he likes, making his bed extra special 🙂

35 PUNIT TAHALANI { 12.23.17 at 4:08 pm }

I have a beam over my bed from head to toe but i have covered it with a ply false ceiling to a width of 3 feet so my bed now has half covered with wooden false ceiling and half of if is the actual roof and now there are two levels over my bed. Is it ok now.i am going to move into this new house in 3 months.someone suggested me to put flutes in the false beam to avoid the negative effect.please suggest.

36 Reiko { 01.23.18 at 3:19 pm }

Hi Punit, Having a roof over half of your bed and a false ceiling over the other half sounds almost more challenging than simply sleeping under a beam. I would need to look at your situation in order to give you any useful suggestions. Feel free to contact me at info@reikodesign.com. Please use subject line: sleeping under beam. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

37 Josephine Ho { 01.23.18 at 1:53 am }

Hi Reiko, may i have your email address so that i could send you an image of my bedroom with an overhead beam? I’m having a headache now on how to avoid it, as my home renovation will start soon. Thank you.

38 Reiko { 01.23.18 at 3:13 pm }

Hi Josephine, yes you can contact me at: info@reikodesign.com – thank you.

39 Vara Reddy { 02.19.18 at 11:24 pm }

Hi Reiko,
My master bedroom is a recessed ceiling. I placed the bed against the wall. So part of the body (up to the chest) comes under the perimeter and the remaining part of the body comes under the recessed ceiling. Is this situation considered sleeping under the beam? I am having some health issues shoulder/neck pain, heart problems.

40 Reiko { 03.14.18 at 4:38 pm }

Hi Vara,
Thanks for your question, it’s a good one! Actually I do consider a ceiling detail like yours, where part of it is recessed, similar to sleeping under a beam. When designing and renovating bedrooms, I make a point of not doing partially dropped ceilings for just this reason. As a remedy, you might consider getting a canopy bed so that you have fabric between you and the ceiling. Some canopy beds have an open top, but in order to be a feng shui remedy there needs to be fabric above you, so you are not impacted by the uneven ceiling above. Here’s one example of a canopy with a fully fabric top: http://houseofedeninterior.blogspot.com/2010/10/cosy-bedin-my-mind.html

41 Vastu Consultant { 03.27.18 at 6:15 am }

I take this opportunity to thank you for posting this wonderful article. Read house vastu tips from vastu guru.

42 Tirthana { 06.27.18 at 3:23 pm }

Hi. I hv recently purchased a flat n there exists a beam over the bed position. The builder proposed for false ceiling but the ceiling is too low n thus I m not in favour of it. Pls suggest remedy

43 Ulina { 02.25.19 at 7:29 pm }

Hi Reiko, I have issue identifying if a block above my bed is considered as beam or not as the purpose is more on design anns to hide the bright lighting. I have just emailed you the photo. Appreciate your insights. Thanks!

Leave a Comment