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How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets

When it comes to laundry, it’s not exactly many people’s favorite past-time. Some people dread doing laundry, but it’s inevitable, as you’re not going to wear stained or smelly clothes to work or friend meetings. It's clear when it comes to clothes, but how often should you wash your sheets?

We tend to take care of our public appearance a lot, but do we pay equally as much attention to our personal hygiene, more specifically, bedsheets?

Washing bedsheets might be even harder than washing clothes. If you hang your laundry to dry you might get annoyed finding ways how to hang the sheets. Or you might also dread taking them off and putting sheets back on your blanket. It’s not an easy task. But it’s definitely an important one

Lots of dirt and bacteria accumulate in your sheets. And if you don’t wash your sheets often enough,  you get them to keep you company every night while you sleep. So you might wonder, how often should you change your sheets and why exactly should you do that.

Keep on reading and get your answers to the question of “how often should I wash my sheets” and also many more!

Why Do You Need to Wash Your Sheets?

If you’re curious how often should you wash your sheets, you first need to know the reasons why you should do that. As you probably already understand, sheets get dirty

There are so many factors that influence the dirtiness, and simply your body being in contact with them is more than enough. Even if you make sure to shower every night before bed, you're not safe from your sheet getting contaminated with dirt and bacteria.

When it comes to particular contaminators, there are quite a few. Firstly, there’s the basic dirt, maybe there’s some crumbles of your food stuck on your body, or residue of body products. Furthermore, people sweat and sweat gets absorbed by the sheets. Also, you shed skin. And those dead skin cells leaving your body settle down on your sheets

how often should you wash your sheets: woman sleeping

All these factors are highly favored by dust mites[1]. Dust mites are tiny bugs that can only be seen through a microscope. They feed on dead skin cells, making your bed a perfect habitat for those tiny creatures. While, unlike bed bugs that are also one of the common parasites found in your bed, dust mites don’t bite, they cause many other problems.

The main problem caused by dust mites is an allergic reaction. Signs of it include rashes, coughing, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes and throat, and other signs of allergy[2]. If you’re among the unfortunate ones, you might experience the allergy symptoms. Then you need to take extra care of your bed hygiene

Now that you know the reasons why, you should also learn how often to wash sheets

How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

So, let’s now answer the most important question, how often should you wash your sheets. Asking people what they think, how often should I wash my sheets, I’d probably get many different answers.

Some people go weeks without washing their sheets, other’s habits depend on the time of the year, whether they’re sleeping alone and many others.

But generally, if you want to know how often should you wash your sheets, the answer is that it should be done at least once a week. Doing it less often leads to all the undesirable consequences such as bacteria, dirt, and dust mites accumulation

how often should you wash your sheets: laundry in washing machine

All these affect your health and might have a negative effect on your overall well-being. Make sure to mind how often you should wash your bedsheets, to ensure that your bed stays clean and you stay healthy

How to Wash Your Bedsheets

Now that you know how often you should wash your bedsheets, you might want to know what are the best ways to wash them. It’s definitely not hard and it’s a similar process to doing basic laundry.

What you should keep in mind when washing sheets is that it would be for the best if you could set the temperature to high and add detergent and bleach[3]. A higher temperature would help to fight dust mites and kill other bacteria. But make sure to mind the laundry label when washing your bedsheets. You’ll see the highest allowed temperature there.

how often should you wash sheets: detergent

Another thing that has to be done is drying the bedsheets. Similarly to washing, you should turn the temperature up if you want to achieve the best results. Another option you have is air-drying the sheets.

Having them aired out is good by itself, but if you could get some sunlight, it would be for the best. That’s because the sun is a natural antibacterial

One more thing you could do to make the washing process more efficient is iron your sheets. While you sometimes can't wash your bedsheets on high temperatures, there’s no harm in them being exposed to the warmth for a shorter period of time under the iron.

This will help with getting rid of dust mites and bacteria

Why You Might Need to Wash Them More Often?

Although the answer to the question of how often should you change your sheets is once a week, you might have to take care of that a bit more often under certain circumstances.

Sweating 

If you sweat a bit more than usual, you might need to be more careful with your bed hygiene. It’s not the best idea to let your sweat stay in the bedsheets for long. That’s because it creates dampness which can lead to mold. In order to avoid that, make sure to wash your bed sheets more often

Exactly for the same reason, you should wash your bed sheets more often in summer than in winter. If you live in a hotter climate zone, you might need to wash them more often than weekly to avoid the possible harm your sweat could do to your bedding.

Wearing Outside Clothes on the Bed

If you have invested in a good mattress, you might want to spend more time in your bed than just while asleep. We’re not blaming you, a comfy bed is simply too inviting.

how often should you wash your sheets: working on bed

And if you lie down for a nap in the middle of the day, do your work in bed, or simply relax on the bed watching TV in your everyday clothes you’re increasing the dirtiness of your bedsheets.

You should try to avoid that if possible but if the urge to continue lying in your bed in your casual clothes too strong to resist, you might want to change the answer to how often should you wash your sheets from weekly to twice a week or maybe even more often

Not Showering Before Bed

There two types of people, those who sacrifice some of their morning sleep to wake up earlier and shower and those who do it in the nighttime.

If you’re one the early risers who prefer to take care of their hygiene in the morning, you might want to understand that the answer to how often should you change your sheets no longer remains as weekly. 

During the day you come in contact with a lot of dirt and bacteria. Despite the clothes protecting a bigger part of your body from contact with them, some still settle on your body.

If you don’t wash the dirt off before snoozing, you simply transfer them to your bedsheets. And as you have learned, it puts you at risk of an unhygienic sleeping environment

Wearing Body Lotions to Bed

Let’s say you shower before bed. But even if you do, there’s a factor influencing the answer to how often should you wash your bed sheets concerning showering too. It’s the lotions you use afterwards.

how often should you wash your sheets: applying lotion

The cosmetic residue is one of the things you’d rather not have on your bed. So make sure to wash your sheets more often to avoid that if you use any body products after a shower.

Compare Mattresses Side by Side With Others

Did you know?

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Having Allergies

If you want to know how often to wash sheets, you have to understand that you have to evaluate your own immunity to the possible allergy triggers. If you have allergies and are more susceptible to dust mites, the answer to how often should you wash your sheets changes drastically.

Some people who are extremely sensitive might require their bedsheets changed daily, while others do just fine with changing them twice or even once a week. Each case is different but if you have allergy symptoms, make sure it’s not the bedsheets causing them. 

Sleeping with Pets

The answer to how often should you wash your sheets also changes if you sleep with pets. Animals shed hair and dead skin that add to your allergies. Dust mites thrive in this environment, so make sure to wash your bed sheets more often if you want to avoid that. 

Sleeping Naked

Another factor that contributes to determining how often should you wash your sheets is whether you wear pajamas or not to bed. Having sleeping clothes creates a barrier between your skin and the bedsheets and helps to prevent the dirt and bacteria in your beddings from affecting you.

Sleeping nude: girl sleep naked

So, if you’re not keen on wearing pj’s to bed, you might want to make sure that your bedsheets are clean even more than you would if you wore them. 

Eating in Bed

The last factor that regulates how often should you wash your sheets is whether you eat in bed or not. I, myself, don’t even want to think about the horror of finding crumbs of food in my bed before sleep. But the idea of Sunday’s breakfast in bed is just a little too appealing.

If you’re one of the people who can’t live without breakfast or evening snacking in bed, you might want to change your answer to the question of how often should I wash my sheets. In this case, it should be done more often than usual.

Cleaning a Mattress

Having answered how often should you wash your sheets, you might want to keep in mind, that you also should clean your mattress to ensure your bed is clean. As you probably know, throwing a mattress into a washing machine is not exactly possible. So, cleaning a mattress takes a little bit more effort than washing your bedsheets.

how often should you wash sheets: cleaning a mattress

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it nearly as often. Once or twice a year will be enough if you practice good hygiene and have a mattress protector. It might appear a bit tricky, but it could be as easy as vacuuming the mattress

If you’d like to learn more about cleaning a mattress, check out our guide on how to do it.

Cleaning Blankets and Pillows

Now that you know how often should you wash your sheets, and also that you should clean your mattress too, you have to understand that knowing how often to wash sheets and mattress is not enough. You also have to take care of the remaining parts of your bed.

While bed sheets work as a protector for your blanket, it can’t protect it completely. You should also wash your blanket at least twice a year. That is needed to ensure that you minimize the probability of your bed being infested with dust mites, bed bugs, mold or bacteria. 

Also, if you were wondering how often should you wash your sheets, you might want to know how often you should wash your pillow too. It has to be done at least twice a year. Most of the pillows are safe to be machine washed but you might have to take extra care when washing memory foam or latex pillows.

how often should you wash your sheets: washing pillows and blankets

If you want to know whether your pillow is safe to be machine washed or how to treat it if it’s not, check out our guide on how to wash pillows

Conclusions

If you’re wondering how often should you wash your sheets, the answer is that it should be done at least once a week. That has to be done because your bedsheets are extremely susceptible to dirt, bacteria, mold and dust mites. And sheets being contaminated can put your health at risk

You have to be even more careful if there are any factors influencing your sheets getting even dirtier, like excessive sweating, oil residue, eating in bed and many more. Then you should wash your bed sheets more often than weekly to avoid a possible allergic reaction or other health risks. 

Having learned how often should you wash your sheets, you also need to take care of your mattress, pillow, and blankets. Simply washing your sheets is not enough if the rest of your bed is contaminated. So, make sure to do that too.

Now that you know how often to wash pillows, you have to understand that it’s not the only thing influencing your sleep. Not only do you have to make sure you sleep clean, but also that you sleep comfortably.

If your mattress doesn’t satisfy your needs, you might need a new one. To choose one, you should read our guide on the best mattress currently out there. 


Scientific References

1. Frankland A. 'House Dust Mites and Allergy'

2. Jacquet A. 'Innate Immune Responses in House Dust Mite Allergy'

3. Arlian L., Vyszenski-Moher D., Morgan M. 'Mite and Mite Allergen Removal During Machine Washing of Laundry'



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FAQ

How often do you have to wash your pillows and blankets?

Both of them have to be washed at least twice a year . Although if your pillow has been used for longer than two years, you might start thinking about replacing it. If you're looking for a new pillow, check out our best pillows review .

Do you have to clean your mattress too?

Yes, you do. Unlike bedsheets, it definitely doesn't have to be cleaned weekly, but you should clean your mattress at least once a year. That ensures good sleeping hygiene that's necessary for good-quality sleep. If you've had your mattress for a long time, instead of cleaning it you should get a new one. To do that, you should check out our best mattress review.

What is a memory foam mattress?

Memory foam mattresses are created mostly from polyurethane and have additional chemicals added that increase its viscosity and density. It’s also often called “viscoelastic polyurethane foam”. In order to create the air movement and let your body “breath” while you sleep, it has open foam bubbles. Memory foam mattresses are created in a way to adapt to your body curves and to also recover their original shape after you get up. Therefore, this kind of top mattresses offer you the feeling as if is created specifically for you.

Do top rated mattresses offer a money-back guarantee? Is there a catch?

All of the top mattress brands offer a money-back guarantee. The free trial usually starts from 90 to 100 nights, and if you don’t like the mattress, you can simply give it back. The majority of best mattress providers will not only give your money back but will also come to get it for free. If the mattress provider is reputable, there won’t be any catch - everyone understands that you have to try the mattress before knowing if it fits you.

What is off-gassing? Is it poisonous?

Off-gassing refers to the odor which comes from a new mattress. It’s the process that happens when volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) leak out of the mattress foam into the air. Those chemicals include both human-made and natural components, including formaldehyde, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), benzene, trichloroethane, and perfluorocarbons. Top rated mattresses will have zero or very minimal off-gassing. Many of them are sent to the customer already after the off-gassing. Is it dangerous, though? Even though the smell can be unpleasant, there’s usually only a very small amount of chemicals that can do no harm to your health.

How long do top rated mattresses serve?

The durability of a mattress depends on the provider and the quality of the materials used. Usually, you get a 10-year warranty, which will be valid in case of any defects. Normally, mattresses will serve you from 7 to 10 years, or even longer. Thus, when you buy the best mattress, you should take it as a long-term investment.