Calming Colors

Calming Colors – The Effects of Cool Tones and Shades

Colors have many meanings, but they can also have emotional, psychological, and even physical effects on us. You can use colors to help stimulate the body and mind, but you can also use colors for relaxation. There are so many colors out there that you might be wondering what color is calming, and if there is more than one calming color. Read further to discover the most relaxing colors and how you can use them to calm your mind!



What Are Calming Colors?

Before we get into all the calming colors, how can you incorporate color into your everyday life? One of the most obvious ways is to wear your favorite color. You can also choose to wear jewelry and apply makeup in a particular color. Another popular way of using color is as wall paint colors or other décor items and accessories in the home or at work. Another great way is to paint or draw with colors, which also has many other benefits. There is also color therapy that uses colored lights to treat mental and physical health issues. These are just a few ideas for incorporating color into your life. Most colors can be found on the color wheel, and in color theory, can be associated with warmth or they can be cool. Most warm colors are considered stimulating and energetic, such as red, yellow, and orange. If you use too much of these bright colors, it could even begin to make you feel anxious.

What color is calming? If you want colors for relaxation, you should look for cool colors. The most relaxing colors usually involve blue, green, and purple. However, in certain instances, some of the warmer colors can also be calming if a different tint and shade is used.

For example, all pastel or muted hues are considered calming colors. Research also indicates that cool colors like blue and green have shorter wavelengths, and due to the way that we see these colors, they are easy to look at and relaxing to the eyes. When creating a calming color palette, the outcome can also be influenced by what color combinations you select. Using different adjacent hues can change how you see a single color. It is also about creating balance and producing the look and feel that you want in a design. For example, if you want to create a calming look, you can use blue and yellow for contrast. However, you might not want to go for a bright yellow, which might be too energetic, rather opt for a more subdued pale yellow.

What are Calming Colors

If you wish to create a more harmonious and even look, then consider choosing similar colors or shades. For example, navy blue paired with pastel or more muted shades of blue. These are popular color combinations like complementary colors and monochromatic colors. You can learn to create a calming color palette by understanding how these color combinations work. Next, let us look at the different calming colors in more detail.



Blue is the color that you would likely think of first when considering calming colors. Blue reminds us of the ocean, water, and the open sky. Blue is the perfect color to calm the mind and is often used in the bedroom to create a soothing atmosphere. However, strong blues can also help to clear the mind, and some can even be stimulating. Darker blues can sometimes appear unemotional or cold. However, when paired with other colors it can take on the same effect.

Some studies have also been done that say dark blues like navy blue are some of the most relaxing colors you can get.

Deep blue colors are associated with intellect and are often used in offices or libraries but can work just as well in bedrooms. Lighter blues are the best choice if you want a calming color for anxiety and stress. Since blue has a calming effect, it can help to reduce blood pressure and slow down your heartbeat. You will see in the table, an example of a soft blue, known as sky blue.

Most Relaxing Color

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Deep Blue#072a6c94, 61, 0, 587, 42, 108 
Sky Blue#87ceeb43, 12, 0, 8135, 206, 235 



Green is another cool and calming color that also provides a fresh and inviting feel. Being associated with nature, green invites harmony and is great as a calming color for anxiety, depression, and nervousness. Green also represents health and balance and can be both calming and refreshing. Again, you have many different tones and shades to choose from. Brighter and more vibrant greens provide more energy and vitality, so these might not be the best choice if you are looking for calming colors.

Deeper and darker greens are comforting and soothing, while softer and lighter greens also provide a calming effect but are a little bit more playful and refreshing.

Since blue and green are seen as the most relaxing colors, we are also going to mention colors that combine green and blue, such as teal, which provides the effects of both colors. It is both calming and communicates feelings of relaxation and peace. Teal is also a color that represents harmony and balance.

Colors For Relaxation

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Dark Green#006242100, 0, 33, 620, 98, 66 
Soft Green#bfe3b416, 0, 21, 11191, 227, 180 
Teal#008080100, 0, 0, 500, 128, 128 



As a spectral color that appears on the visible spectrum, purple is referred to as violet, while purple is a mixture of red and blue. These colors represent peace, wisdom, and strength. It is also a spiritual color that can help to uplift the mood. Purple is calming to the mind and can help to stimulate and encourage.

Purple is a mixture of red and blue, so various shades of purple or violet can be both calming and stimulating, depending on how you use it and what colors you pair with it.

Lighter shades are seen as more romantic and feminine, while darker shades are richer and more luxurious. Violet or purple is also related to the crown chakra, making it the perfect color for improving meditation. Below you will find a few shades of purple ranging from dark to lighter versions that can be used to create a calming color palette.

What Color is Calming

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Deep Purple#3a243b2, 39, 0, 7758, 36, 59 
Mauve#baa3a90, 12, 9, 27186, 163, 169 
Lavender#bdacd110, 18, 0, 18189, 172, 209 
Lilac#c8a2c80, 19, 0, 22200, 162, 200 



White is the color for purity and cleanliness and can provide a sense of freshness and clarity of mind. Stark white can appear too clinical, but if paired with other colors it can reflect them, providing a soothing effect. White spaces are said to provide a sense of airiness and restfulness, providing a calm and peaceful look and feel.

In a white-based color palette in a room or design, to prevent it from becoming too sterile, it is best to add different textures, accessories, and suitable accent colors to soften the look.

There are also white colors that have an undertone. This means it is not a neutral white, but subtly displays another color, which could be any hue. Below you will find a few examples of warm and inviting white as well as cooler and more calming whites.

Most Relaxing Colors

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Atrium White#f2eee70, 2, 5, 5242, 238, 231 
Healing Aloe#d5dbd23, 0, 4, 14213, 219, 210 
Polar Drift#ccd5da6, 2, 0, 15204, 213, 218 


Black and Gray

Black and gray are neutral colors like white and are technically not colors at all. Neutrals are especially versatile and can work with most colors very easily. Black is associated with power and has a certain mystery to it, but it can also be classed as a calming color. Black has a grounding effect, and if used properly, it can help to absorb negative energy. However, too much can produce a heaviness and appear depressing. Going lighter and adding white can produce many shades of gray.

Gray might be seen as boring or dull, but it is quite versatile. However, the right shade can be soothing, and it is the best neutral color to add to practically any color palette.

Calming Color For Anxiety

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Black#0000000, 0, 0, 1000, 0, 0 
Charcoal#36454f32, 13, 0, 6954, 69, 79 
Light Gray#d3d3d30, 0, 0, 17211, 211, 211 


Soft Neutrals

There are also a few other near-neutral colors that may also be used as colors for relaxation. These are colors like tan, beige, cream, and brown. These neutral colors are great if you are looking for a subtle look that helps to highlight other colors. Most of these colors are warm, inviting, and relaxing. These colors are also easy on the eyes and can pair wonderfully with blue, green, or purple colors.

In many cases, these neutrals help to tone down other more vibrant colors.

Muted Calming Colors

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Tan#d2b48c0, 14, 33, 18210, 180, 140 
Beige#f5f5dc0, 0, 10, 4245, 245, 220 
Cream#fffdd00, 1, 18, 0255, 253, 208 
Light Brown#c4a4840, 16, 33, 23196, 164, 132 



Pastels are desaturated or muted colors that offer a soft look. Pastels come in all the different colors, both warm and cool, that are subtle and gentle on the eyes. Pastels inspire a calming, clean, peaceful, delicate, and soothing look. Pastel colors also convey a more youthful and fun look. You can look at colors like soft peach, pastel pink, or cooler pastel greens and blues.

Calming Colors for Bedrooms

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Soft Peach#ffe5b40, 10, 29, 0255, 229, 180 
Pastel Pink#ffd1dc0, 18, 14, 0255, 209, 220 
Pastel Green#c5f1c518, 0, 18, 5197, 241, 197 
Pastel Blue#aec6cf16, 4, 0, 19174, 198, 207 



A Few Calming Color Palette Ideas

When using colors in a design, whether it is for a website or an interior design, the chances are you will be considering many different colors. You can create some amazing calm color palettes when combining the different hues. We have provided a few of these color combinations examples below.


Teal and Pale Pink

Teal is a combination of blue and green, so it offers a wonderful calming look. Paired with pink, which brings in a little subtle warmth, this calming color combination has a peaceful and inviting appeal. This just goes to show that by combining colors properly, you can produce a beautiful calming color palette that contains both warm and cool colors.

Harmonious Calming Colors

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Twilight#dac4d00, 10, 5, 15218, 196, 208 
Soft Pink#e0829d0, 42, 30, 12224, 130, 157 
Plum#8f57740, 39, 19, 44143, 87, 116 
Teal#008080100, 0, 0, 500, 128, 128 
Dark Teal#11302a65, 0, 13, 8117, 48, 42 


Shades of Blue

There are many shades and tints of blue that you can use to create a cool and calming color palette. You also do not have to worry about colors clashing, so the combination is pretty easy to create. Below is an example of a monochromatic color palette that includes a cool off-white blue and goes darker until it reaches an almost blue-black.

Shades of Calming Colors

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Very Light Blue#eef3f94, 2, 0, 2238, 243, 249 
Pale Blue#b3cde421, 10, 0, 11179, 205, 228 
Dark Blue#53769243, 19, 0, 4383, 118, 146 
Very Dark Blue#1d3f5867, 28, 0, 6529, 63, 88 
Blue Black#001b2e100, 41, 0, 820, 27, 46 


Calming Neutrals

Looking for something a little warmer and calming? Try this soft and neutral combination that is both soothing and inviting. It may even bring to mind images of the seashore with its sandy colors. It starts with a light gray neutral, and moves on to a light gray-blue, and then gets warmer with a grayish orange and moves on to warm darker shades of gray.

Tones of Calming Colors

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Light Gray#ebebeb0, 0, 0, 8235, 235, 235 
Platinum#e1e2e62, 2, 0, 10225, 226, 230 
Grayish Orange#c4b3a90, 9, 14, 23196, 179, 169 
Trout Gray#97978f0, 0, 5, 41151, 151, 143 
Dove Gray#7877750, 1, 3, 53120, 119, 117 



Calming Wall Paint Colors

There are a few popular paint manufacturers that produce calming wall paint colors. Using these wall paint colors can create a tranquil and calming environment in any room. You will also notice that most of these paint colors are soft and subtle, so they will not overwhelm a space and can easily be paired with other colors.

In the majority of the examples below, some of the most relaxing colors like blue and green are used as undertones. Of course, the colors below might not look exactly like the paint colors, but they are a close match.

We start with the first wall paint color, which is called “sterling”, manufactured by Benjamin Moore, which has calming blue-green undertones. The second is a beautiful cornflower blue that is soothing and comforting. The last two are from Sherwin Williams, and we think the paint color names speak for themselves.

Hues of Calming Colors

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Sterling (Benjamin Moore)#ced2ce2, 0, 2, 18206, 210, 206 
Northern Air (Benjamin Moore)#a0bece22, 8, 0, 19160, 190, 206 
Rainwashed (Sherwin Williams)#c2cdc55, 0, 4, 20194, 205, 197 
Escape Gray (Sherwin Williams)#abac9f1, 0, 8, 33171, 172, 159 


It is truly amazing how different colors can play such a pivotal role in our everyday lives. This has been used to great effect by businesses and advertisers, where colors can influence how people perceive products and services. However, calming colors can also be used in a more personal way that helps to relieve stress and anxiety, such as using calming wall paint colors in your bedroom. We hope that this article has inspired you to create your own combination of calming colors!



Take a look at our calm colors webstory here!



Frequently Asked Questions


What Are Calming Colors?

The most common calming colors are all cool hues and include blue, green, and purple. These colors are usually easy on the eyes and can produce certain emotional and physical effects. The calming colors are great for helping to ease anxiety and stress and are the favorite colors to use in the bedroom.


What Is the Most Relaxing Color?

The color that stands at the top of the list of most relaxing colors is blue. Simply gazing at the color blue can help to produce a calming effect. Green is also a cool color like blue and follows closely behind blue as being one of the most calming colors.


Is Red a Calming Color?

In general, red is a stimulating color, along with other warm colors like orange and yellow. However, pastel shades of these colors can be calming. So, soft pinks, yellows, and colors like peach can be used within a calming color palette.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “Calming Colors – The Effects of Cool Tones and Shades.” Art in Context. October 26, 2023. URL:

Lewis, C. (2023, 26 October). Calming Colors – The Effects of Cool Tones and Shades. Art in Context.

Lewis, Charlene. “Calming Colors – The Effects of Cool Tones and Shades.” Art in Context, October 26, 2023.

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