Bedding Guides

How Often Should You Wash Your Bed Sheets?

Sleeping on your bed every day and leaving the sheets unwashed for days to build a lot of dirt and dust mites that can cause skin irritation, breakouts, and rashes. This blog explains how often you should wash your sheets and why regular cleaning or washing is so important. It also covers how to wash sheets before use and how often to wash other bedding to enjoy good health and sleep quality.

How Often Should You Wash Your Bed Sheets?

How often should you wash your bed sheets depends on your usage and how quickly your bed sheets get dirty! Most experts recommend washing your sheets once a week If you sleep on your mattress every day. Otherwise, you can wash them once every two weeks or so. 

It is safe to wash your sheets every three to four days if you – 

  • Eat-in bed
  • Sweat a lot
  • Have a contagious illness 
  • Sleep with a person who sweats a lot or has a contagious illness
  • Share your bed with a pet 
  • Have sensitive skin or dust or pollen allergies or experience asthma
  • Wear the same t-shirt or pants for sixty hours a week
  • Don’t shower or at least wash your face before bed

People in the summer season often sweat a lot so it is a healthy practice to wash your bed sheets more than once a week. Similarly, people with seasonal allergies in summer or spring may help relieve symptoms by washing their sheets more often. 

Importance of Washing Sheets Regularly

Washing your sheets every week may appear to be a daunting process for you, but it is worth it. Unwashed sheets accumulate lots of:

  • Dead skin cells
  • Body oils
  • Sweat
  • Dirt
  • Dust mites, including their carcasses and fecal matter

Do you know human beings shed between 30,000 and 40,000 dead skin cells every day? We spend about one-third of our life sleeping or lying on a bed? It means a lot of dead skin cells hang out on your bed and welcome dust mites, which are microscopic creatures that feed on dead cells.  

Dust mites don’t bite, but they cause skin rashes, irritation, and severe allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose. Dust mites can survive solely on dead skin cells and multiply and grow in numbers rapidly. Unwashed mattresses and bedding may contain hundreds of thousands of dust mites and washing sheets regularly can prevent unwanted skin problems and help you enjoy good rest at night.

While sleeping our body leaks sweat, oils from the skin, body fluids, and sex stains. Those who sleep naked also add a tiny bit of dried fecal matter to the existing dirt. So, leaving sheets and bedding unwashed for a prolonged period of time exposes you to a host of germs and increases your risk of illness. The risk is higher if you share your bed with someone or a pet as they too would add to the above mix. 

Germs are invisible and if you neglect them, they will slowly chip away your skin’s ecosystem that can inflame skin issues like acne and eczema. As these skin issues exacerbate, it loses the ability to protect you from bacteria,  irritants, and allergens. Those with compromised immune systems sleeping on dirty sheets are vulnerable to flu and eye infections like pink eye. 

If you can’t wash your sheets regularly then buy more sheet sets and change them every week so you can wash a bunch of sheets at a time

How To Wash Bed Sheets?

  1. Read the care instructions and laundry symbols carefully before washing sheets. Certain types of fabric like silk, bamboo, linen require special care.
  2. If no specific care instructions are provided, opt for the normal cycle on your washing machine and use a gentle detergent. 
  3. Wash with warm water for polyester and some other materials and hot water for cotton sheets 
  4. Hot water is recommended for killing dust mites or washing sheets of a sick person 
  5. Follow your machine’s manufacturer instructions carefully.
  6. Rinse your bedsheets a second time to remove any residual detergent.
  7. Wash your sheets that contain stains separately as stains may require pre-treatment.
  8. Wash your sheets separately from towels, clothes, or additional wear to ensure the best clean and prevent any damage.
  9. As soon as the wash cycle is over, remove the sheets and hang dry or tumble dry on low.
  10. Remove sheets from the dryer and place them on your bed or fold it and run a warm iron over them before storing them so that they remain fresh and crisp.

How Often to Wash Other Bedding?

Experts recommend washing your pillowcases once or twice a week (if you have skin issues like acne or you go to bed without removing your makeup). You can wash or replace your pillows every 3-5 months to keep them clean and fluffy. 

It is okay to wash comforters, duvet covers, and throw blankets once a month or two because they have less direct contact with your skin.

Bedding Time
Comforters Once every 2 – 3 months
Duvet covers Once every 2 weeks to a month
Pillows (if washable) Once every 4 – 6 months
Pillowcases Once a week
Blankets Once every 2-3 months

Cleaning your sheets and other bedding will increase their lifespan as well as keep you away from germs and illnesses. This practice will improve your sleep quality and health. To make sure you always get the best sleep possible, replace your mattress every 6-8 years or so.

Bottom Line

How often you should wash your sheets depends on your usage and the number of sleepers. More dirt and germs due to body fluids or skin oils or sweat mean more risk of skin problems. Experts recommend washing your sheets once a week to enjoy good health and sleep quality. Other than sheets it is also important to wash pillowcases, blankets, duvet covers, and mattresses on a regular basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you wash new bed sheets?

Yes. Chemicals and dyes on sheets can irritate skin, eyes, and airways—especially if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. New sheets too accumulate dirt, skin oils, and body fluids if unwashed for a long time. Washing will keep you germ-free and lower the risk of skin problems like acne.

How often should you buy new sheets?

It depends on your choice of material. While high-end cotton sheets last for 4-5 years, polyester sheets last for 2-3 years. If you observe your sheets are stretching, thinning, tearing, or pilling or have stains that can’t be removed, it’s time for you to buy new sheets.

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