Each and every day, most of us spend approximately 6 to 8+ hours sleeping in our beds. That’s a lot of time to get the rest our bodies need to thrive, but it’s also ample time to build up dirt, sweat, oil, and other gunk on our sheets and bedding.
Proper hygiene is important in all areas of life. When it comes to our bedding, it’s perhaps more important than you might think. Without regular cleaning, dirty sheets can contribute to allergies, skin breakouts, asthma, and more. For your health and sleep quality, it’s important to keep things clean – but how often should you wash your bedding?
The recommended times to wash linens, blankets, and other bedding depends primarily on use and how close the materials are to your body when you sleep. Sheets, pillows, and duvet covers are in direct contact with your skin every night, so they’re a lot like the clothes you wear during the day – and should be washed almost as frequently. Blankets and comforters may have very little contact with your skin and therefore can be washed less often.
Why It Is Important To Wash Your Bedding
The main reason people clean their bedding is to keep them smelling fresh and comfortable as they sleep. Here are more reasons why you should wash them regularly:
- Regular cleaning eliminates dust mites that pose a risk of acquiring allergies.
- Cleaning prevents bacterial build up which is caused by sweat, hair, and oil left on your bedding.
- It removes odor caused by sweat, oil and drools buildup.
- Cleaning your bedding softens the fabric for a comfortable night sleep.
Just like your clothes, your bedding require a regular change to maintain the quality and reap the benefits of using clean ones. But, frequent washing of all your bed linen is undoubtedly a hassle. Since some of these fabrics are bulky, it would take you so much time and energy to wash every other time.
However, this should not be an excuse to keep your sheets on for a long time. In fact, a weekly change of light linen is advisable. This includes bed sheets, pillowcases, and covers.
What Determines How Often You Should Wash Your Bedding?
There is no standard timeframe to use your bed linen. It all depends on how you dress your bed. If you sleep nude, you should consider washing your bedding more often than those who sleep in pajamas.
Also, if you use a heavy blanket or comforter, you might consider using a duvet cover. With the case, you will reduce the number of times you have to clean your heavy blankets.
Additionally, if you use flat and fitted sheets, you can significantly reduce the burden of cleaning your heavier fabrics regularly.
So How Often Should You Wash Your Bedding?
The general consensus is that bedding should be washed every one to two weeks. It’s especially important to be washing your bedding weekly or biweekly if you have a dust mite allergy, as well as protecting your mattress and pillows with zippered covers.
Of course, there’s a ton of different factors that come into play when it comes to how often your sheets should be cleaned – if you’re someone who sweats a lot while they sleep, if you take showers in the morning and not at night, if someone in your home is sick, if you like to sleep au naturel, etc. If any of those are the case, you might want to wash them more frequently.
Factors That Warrant More Frequent Washing
You should wash your sheets more often if:
- someone in your family have allergies or asthma and are sensitive to dust
- you have an infection or lesion that makes contact with your sheets or pillows
- you sweat excessively
- your pet sleeps in your bed
- happens you eat in bed
- you go to bed without showering
- you sleep naked
What If You Don’t?
Not washing your sheets regularly exposes you to the fungi, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander that are commonly found on sheets and other bedding. Other things found on sheets include bodily secretions, sweat, and skin cells.
This won’t necessarily make you sick. But in theory, it can. It could also trigger eczema in people with the condition or cause contact dermatitis.
People with asthma and allergies can trigger or worsen symptoms by sleeping on dirty sheets. More than 24 million Americans have allergies. But even if you’re not part of this group, you may experience a stuffy nose and sneezing after a night’s sleep if your sheets aren’t clean.
Tips On How To Keep Bedding Clean
You can keep your bedding clean between washing and help preserve it by:
- showering before bed
- avoiding naps after a sweaty gym session
- removing makeup before you go to sleep
- avoiding putting on lotions, creams, or oils right before bed
- not eating or drinking in bed
- keeping your pets off your sheets
- removing debris and dirt from your feet or socks before climbing into bed