How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets: Tips For Bedding Laundry

Fresh sheets on bed in bedroom.

Is there a sweeter feeling than crawling into bed after a hard day's work and sinking into oblivion accompanied by fresh silky clean sheets?

We don't think so, but there's a caveat - fresh silky clean linen requires laundry detergent and a washing machine. Without it, your sheets can quickly become a breeding ground for body oils, dust mites, faecal matter, pollen, dander, and your dead skin cells!

So, what is the ideal amount of time in between laundry visits? The answer can vary but luckily enough, we're here to give you all the information you need.

Table of contents

  1. How often should you change your bed sheets?
  2. What happens when you don't change your sheets...
  3. How often should you wash your sheets if you shower before bed?
  4. What is best practice for sheet cleaning?
  5. Time to dream the night away

How often should you change your sheets?

Fresh sheets on bed

Because some of us are lazy, some of us are OCD, and some of us have quite particular health issues, we all have different sheet washing patterns.

However, leaning on extensive research, there is a common denominator that continues to arise and that is that the majority of people wash their bedding at least once a week, or every other week.

But don't just take our word for it, a study conducted in good ol' Britain eloquently highlights the disparity between weekly washers and the rest.

  • 55% of people wash theirs weekly
  • 21% every 1-2 months
  • 3% do it every six months
  • 3% make the ill-fated trip to the laundry once a year!

So there you have it, to avoid a problem the experts recommend you change your sheets at least once a week. If you're adverse to regular washing patterns we recommend keeping more sets handy.

We hope you're not channelling the English but if you're one of the lowly 6 percent we advise to continue scrolling because sleeping in the same bedding for months on end has its draw-backs.

What happens when you don't change your bed sheets...

In short, they get filthy! Seriously though, unwashed bed materials can quickly accumulate a multitude of unwelcome germs, bacteria and other creatures you really don't want to share your bed with.

First off, a fact - your body sheds about 30-40,000 skin cells every day. On top of that, your bed can quickly turn into a warehouse for the purpose of stocking fungi, mould, pollen, and dirt.

But the good news doesn't stop there, you know what little creatures love dead skin cells? Dust mites! Yep, unwashed linen accumulating dead skin cells is like an all you can eat Pizza Hut for dust mites.

You also need to consider the effect of moisture. People produce roughly 100 litres of sweat per year, and that's just perspiration, you also have to consider drool, oils from your skin, and of course anything extra that comes during the course of sexual escapades.

Not washing your bed linen regularly enough places all of these lovely particles and creepy crawlies in close contact with your skin, which depending on your sleeping patterns, is several hours every single night!

How often should you wash sheets if you shower before bed?

If I shower before bed I'm clean, therefore I can afford to hold off on washing my sheets for longer right?

Ehh, not necessarily. Just because you shower before bed that doesn't stop you from perspiring, or shedding skin cells.

Additionally, depending on your preferences you may actually have to wash them more regularly than once a week. For example, if you:

  • Sleep with your pet
  • Eat in bed
  • Sleep naked
  • Have a tendency to sweat excessively
  • Have hay fever or are sensitive to dust
  • Have a legion or some form of infection

You should make a conscious effort to regularly wash your bed sheets, because not doing so may open you up to certain health issues, particularly if you are prone to eczema, suffer from asthma, or deal with other allergies.

What is the best practice for sheet cleaning? 

Fresh sheets

Australians like to think we have the cheat sheet to washing sheets. For example, we have a friend that swears by white vinegar as a cheap alternative to fabric softener products (not that we're recommending that of course), but you get the idea.

When washing your sheets, follow these guidelines for a more sumptuous result:

  • Wash everything in the hottest water possible. And yes, that means your bamboo sheetstopper, pillows, pillow case, mattress protector - the whole lot!
  • Take notice of any specific care label notices on your bedding to avoid mistakes
  • If you've got the time, ironing your sheets can be the icing on the cake for a clean and silky night's sleep, but if time is of the essence, using a dryer is a reasonable alternative

Time to dream the night away

So, when did you last change your sheets?

We hope after reading this you're not in a state of disarray and questioning your cleanliness, because statistically speaking, most of us already follow approved timelines for washing our bedding.

But in order to avoid telling everyone an embarrassing bed bugs story that has nothing to do with New York City, take the necessary precautions, wash and change more regularly, and more content sleeps will follow.

For those of you that are looking for eco-friendly and stylish options, why not level up your bedroom with some bamboo bedding?

Sources

  • The Survey Report, "How often do Brits do laundry", 18th Jan, 2018 (Accessed 2021)
  • American Academy of Dermatology Association, "What kids should know about how skin grows", (Accessed 2021)
  • PubMed, "Fungal contamination of bedding", February 2006, (Accessed 2021)

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