You can’t have too many sockets in the bedroom, but if you’re in the process of designing a bedroom’s wall outlets, you do need to have a cost/benefit mindset. The general idea is to work out how many you need, then add perhaps a couple of double sockets for future-proofing and plugging in the vacuum cleaner or extra lighting. In this article, we’ll look at what to take into account when deciding on where to put sockets in the bedroom.

Sockets for a double room

Let’s start with the double room, i.e. a bedroom for a couple, or the parents in a family. Typically, there will be a double bed, with two bedside tables, a dresser, some wardrobes and drawers, and maybe a table and chair.

Bedside sockets

The non-negotiable is that there should be a socket next to each side of the bed. But should it be a single, a double or a 3 or 4 gang? Traditionally, a double socket on each side was sufficient, and would accommodate a bedside lamp and a socket for a clock radio. Nowadays, though, most people also charge their phone overnight too.

Luckily, you shouldn’t need to upgrade to a 3- or 4-gang, but you might want to swap it for a double socket with a USB socket built in. These are available with one or two USB-A sockets, or a USB-A and a USB-C socket for maximum compatibility.

Is the position of the bed set in stone? It’s possible that in the future, you might want to move the bed so that its headboard is against another wall. If so, consider placing two more sockets on that wall, with the width of a king-size bed in between. Even if it’s not for you, the next occupants might prefer the bed oriented another way, so it might be useful to have extra sockets put there for future use.

Dressing table and wardrobes

Now we move to the dresser. That will need its own sockets for lamps, hair dryers, hair straighteners/curlers, and other such appliances. We’d say another four sockets near the dressing table are about right, which probably means a double socket on each side. 

If you have wardrobes with lighting, you’ll need sockets next to them, but for the most part, sockets near wardrobes can be quite inaccessible, so you can plan a power-free wall there.

Entertainment and extra lighting

Finally, there’s entertainment and mood lighting. If you have a TV, set-top box, music system, fridge or incidental lighting in your designs, try to give them sockets of their own rather than running extension cables around the room. It’s best to locate your TV near to the aerial or satellite socket, but they too can be re-routed if you have a specific design in mind.

All considered, most double bedrooms should have a minimum of ten sockets strategically placed around the room to keep wiring to a minimum. Sockets with USB capability are great for saving wall space, and we’d recommend them at least for the bed sockets, but possibly all round.

Children’s bedrooms

Children have different needs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean fewer sockets. Here’s what to look for.

Bedside sockets

If kids share a room, they’ll need double sockets next to each bed, for the same reasons as adults do – lamps, radios and chargers. Single beds are often pushed into a corner as they only need access from one side. Place the socket to the side of the headboard, 450 mm from the floor as per the Building Regulations.

Bunk beds can pose some issues, as it’s not advisable to have sockets high up a wall. Plugging cables in high up makes them liable to be pulled out accidentally, and the weight of the cable itself can put a strain on the plug. Also, the Building Regulations say that a socket should be no higher than 1200 mm above floor level. If the top bunk occupant has a phone to charge, it’s best to run a long charger cable from the regular wall socket rather than attempting to fix a socket at top-bunk height. They might just have to do without a mains electricity supply.

Work and play

Kids love nothing better than doing their homework, and you can make it even more pleasurable by having a convenient socket setup. If they have a desk or table, make sure there are at least two sockets nearby. They’ll have a table lamp, but also laptops, phones and tablets that need power.

It’s fine to have the socket on the wall underneath a table, but placing it to the side works too, if it’s more convenient for the design. If they have a desktop computer, the power outlet requirements will rise, as separate power is required for the computer box and the monitor, and more might be needed for external drives, printers or other peripherals. Four sockets should suffice, however.

Finally, they’ll need power for TVs, games consoles and other electrical toys, and possibly for music systems – yes, vinyl turntables and separate amps are definitely not dead yet. If there’s extra space on the walls, it’s worth adding a double socket for such things.

Guest rooms 

Finally, if you have a guest room, you’ll need a socket arrangement that matches its expected use and how well appointed it is. Some guest rooms are literally there for people to sleep over, in which case a courtesy double socket (with USB) should be sufficient next to the bed. Others are for longer-term guests, in which case you might want to make it more of a home-from-home. Follow the plans for the double or kids’ bedrooms above, depending on what furniture and appliances are present.

If you’re starting with a blank slate, it’s always worth having extra sockets in the guest room, on top of the strictly necessary ones. They are handy when you’re vacuuming, and they will certainly come in handy if the spare room becomes a more permanent residence for an elderly relative or a boomerang kid.

Sleep tight with a well equipped bedroom

Modern power socket needs in the bedroom are much greater than they were 20 years ago, so if you’re planning a bedroom renovation, it’s worth factoring extra sockets into the plan. Remember that you can easily upgrade existing sockets with USB ones to keep phones and other devices charged up overnight without requiring new back boxes to be sunk into the wall. 

We’d always advise you to have more than you think you currently need, as technologies and personal situations constantly change. If you need power for more devices or medical equipment, in the future, it’s good to know there’s always an outlet within easy reach.