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How Often Should You Wash Bed Sheets?

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    Even while it may seem like we're always doing laundry, recent research suggests that this definitely isn't enough to tackle the high levels of germs found in and around our houses. A recent study that examined the level of grime on commonplace items left us feeling quite dirty and has us wondering if it is possible to be TOO clean.

    A scientist and other specialists say that our phones, pillows, bras, pants, tea towels, pyjamas, as well as our mattresses are rife with germs and germs. But how frequently should we clean — or get rid of — these commonplace things?

    Since we always throw out our dirty laundry as soon as it accumulates, we rarely have any clean garments to wear. After we've finished doing the dishes that will be used again tomorrow, we might wipe down our kitchen counter. Most of us, when we notice dust in our homes, will run a cleaner over the surfaces.

    However, after a long week, it's tempting to simply throw yourself onto your bed and not bother cleaning the bedding. How frequently should you change your bed linens? Let's investigate this matter in greater detail.

    When should you change your underwear?

    bed sheet

    Not everyone changes their bedding frequently enough. Eleven percent do it around once every two seasons, and five percent do it only once or sometimes a year. Based on responses from a sample of 1,000 people, the average time between cleaning or replacing out sheets was found to be about 25 days.

    At the very least, you need to wash your sheets once a week.

    Although this is not a strict regulation, it is supported by both experts since it ensures that contamination does not build up to dangerous levels. The thing is, though, that for many people it's also fairly accurate.

    However, that is simply a ballpark estimate. Dr. Schmidt notes that the frequency of sheet washing depends on a wide variety of circumstances, including the individual's lifestyle. Following are some questions yourself:

    • Do you sleep in pyjamas? They can help prevent your skin's dead cells from accumulating on your sheets by capturing some of them.
    • How about a nighttime shower? Some of the dead cells are removed in this way as well.
    • If so, how many animals share your bed each night?
    • How restless is your sleep? Dr. Schmidt says that you are less prone to have skin shedding if you are a "dead-to-the-world sleeper." You'll still sweat and lose some fluid, but not as often as you would if you thrashed violently all night.
    • Do you constantly soak your pillow with drool?
    • Do you struggle with skin problems like acne or eczema?

    The Good Housekeeping Research Institute recommends washing bed linens every two weeks. Those who perspire excessively throughout the week, whether due to night sweats or otherwise, should increase their laundry frequency to once per week.

    The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America advises weekly mattress washes for those with dust mite allergies. Dust mites can only be killed by washing in water that reaches least 30 million degrees Fahrenheit.

    If you have a communicable disease, though, the restrictions shift. After recovering from an illness, replace your sheets and some other bedding to avoid reinfecting yourself. If you want to get rid of all the bacteria, set the washer to sanitise mode and use water that's between 140 – 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If your washing machine doesn't have a sanitise setting, you can always dry your clothes on high heat.

    The truth is that over time, bed linens may accumulate a lot of gross stuff, including sweat, fragrant oils, mucus , dirt tracked inside from the outside, sexual fluids, but even pee and faeces! Mary Marlowe Leverette, a laundry specialist, told ATTN that sleeping with a cut or wound might lead to an infection.

    Fabrics can spread fungus like athlete's ankle and other skin infections. She warns that fluids can seep into pillows and mattresses if sheets and pillowcases aren't washed regularly, making it far more challenging to clean those items than it would be to just throw sheets in the washing machine.

    What's more, the dust mites that thrive on your dead skin cells at night might aggravate asthma symptoms.

    A recent survey conducted by YouGov found that one in twenty of us only wash our linens every 4 days, and that more about a third of us wait 14 days in between washes. Microbiologist Laura Bowater suggests washing dishes once a week with 60 degrees Celsius or higher to kill bacteria. U.V. light from the sun can effectively eliminate bacteria, thus it's recommended that you dry your linens and pillowcases outside if possible. To eliminate any lingering bacteria, iron pillowcases using the cotton preset (200 degrees Celsius) on a hot iron.

    DON'T forget the duvet

    Duvets and pillows should be washed at least once or twice a year, as stated by the GHI.

    Verity Watts, Head of Testing at the GHI, says, "If your duvet is machine washable, verify your washing device's drum capacity before intending to wash it at home." You need to give it some wiggle room in the machine. If there isn't or if a duvet has a tog rating of 13.5 or higher, or if it's bigger than a king size, you should probably take it to a laundrette. Both pillows and comforters should be dried as soon as possible to prevent rot from setting in, especially if they are filled with a natural fibre that absorbs and retains water easily.

    Bedding items like blankets and duvets should be laundered at least once every two weeks.

    According to research conducted in 2005, pillows—especially those filled with feathers or synthetic materials—are a major contributor to fungal contamination in sleeping quarters. There was a wide age variation among the tested pillows, from 1.5 to 20 years.

    Every year or two, you should get a new set of pillows. If you use a pillow protector, you can reduce the amount of dust and bacteria that settle into your sleep space.

    When combined with a cover or washed or drying cleaned on a regular basis, a duvet can endure for up to 20 years.

    Don't forget pillows! 

    bed sheet

    Canstar Blue conducted a poll of Australians in 2017 and found that 29% of respondents never clean their pillows. Despite popular belief, pillowcases are not as effective as one might anticipate in keeping your pillow safe from harm. It's inevitable that your pillow will accumulate sweat, dirt, and dead skin. They'll look and feel better after a wash in the laundry, and they'll last longer, too.

    At the very least once every six months, you need to give your fluffy pal a good wash. Follow these steps to clean your pillow.

    D.O. vacuum your mattress

    Check the mattress's care instructions before vacuuming it, since some manufacturers warn that doing so could dislodge the mattress's contents. Use the upholstery attachments and the lowest vacuum setting on your vacuum to clean your mattress. Do this at least once every few months, and while you're doing it, give the king size bed and the space under and around the bed a good vacuuming as well.

    What if you don't wash your bedsheets?

    Bedding can harbour a wide variety of microorganisms, including moulds, bacteria, pollen, and even animal dander, all of which can make you sick if you don't wash your sheets regularly. Body fluids, sweat, and dead skin cells are other common contaminants of bed linens.

    It's unlikely that this would get you ill. However, in theory, it is possible. It might also bring on an episode of eczema or contact dermatitis in susceptible individuals.

    If you suffer from asthma or allergies, sleeping on unclean bedding can be a major trigger. An estimated 24+ million U.S. citizens suffer from allergic reactions. But even if you don't fall into this category, a night's sleep on unclean sheets can still leave you with a runny nose and a case of the sniffles in the morning.

    At first, there's the uncomfortably gross factor: Dead skin cells are shed at a rate of roughly 200 million per hour. Dust mites are microscopic insects with eight legs that live in your bedding and feed on your dead skin. Even though these creatures don't spread illness, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that their components are a leading cause of seasonal allergic reactions (AAFA). You may experience sneezing, a runny nose, and, in severe cases, wheezing or difficulty breathing if you don't frequently clean your linens.

    You spend a lot of time in close proximity to the dirt, makeup, lotion, and environmental contaminants that you picked up or put on during the day, in addition to the annoying dust mites. When you factor in pet fur, perspiration, oil from your skin, and other bodily fluids, you end up with some pretty gross bedding.

    All of these things can irritate your skin, cause acne, or even cause an infection if they come into direct contact to your skin while you sleep. A compromised skin barrier increases vulnerability to infection, so people with dry or seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, or rosacea should be especially cautious, he says.

    To make matters even worse... Dr. Zeichner warns that your soiled pillowcase may be harbouring harmful microorganisms because of the moisture there.

    Harmful to your health to sleep on unclean linens.

    bed sheet

    No, we're not implying that sleeping on extremely soiled bedding would cause you harm. However, it may also affect your health, particularly the skin.

    The accumulation of bacteria on your sheets might have a negative impact on your skin's environment if you wouldn't wash them regularly. The skin microbiome refers to the complex ecosystem of microorganisms that live on and in your skin.

    Acne can develop as a result of a shift in the skin's microbiota. If if skin is particularly sensitive, this disruption may potentially trigger an exacerbation of conditions like eczema.

    There is also the issue of dust mites. Because dust mites are so ubiquitous, they can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep by triggering allergy symptoms including a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing.

    You may possibly get pieces of faeces in your mouth or eyes if you bed naked on soiled sheets and toss and turn all night, shifting your pillow between these your knees to under your head. This is the most unsettling possibility to consider if you're in good health. However, if your immune system is already weak due to something like the flu, you may be at a higher risk of contracting diseases like pink eye that are carried by bacteria in faeces.

    Again, there is no guarantee that getting sick from sleeping on really soiled bedding will actually happen. Even so, it is prudent to wash them frequently, just in case.

    If you want to sleep better and breathe easier, it's important to take good care of your bedding. Changing your bedding once a week is a good habit to get into, even though it can be an inconvenience at times.

    If you usually wash your sheets each week, you may want to invest in a second pair so that you can easily switch them out without having to wash them more frequently.

    Sheets should be washed at the highest temperature possible.

    Pillows should be kept in protected cases, and laundering directions should be carefully adhered to.

    Last but not least, if doing laundry is the scourge of your live, you may want to consider purchasing extra sheet sets to reduce the frequency with which you must do it. If you really want something bad enough, you can make it happen.


    A recent study looked at how dirty typical objects actually get. Researchers have discovered that phones, pillows, bras, jeans, tea towels, pyjamas, and mattresses are all hotbeds for bacteria and other diseases. Can you recommend how often we should clean or get rid of these everyday items? Every two weeks is the minimum interval suggested by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute for washing bed sheets. Sweat, aromatic oils, mucous, and grime are just some of the unpleasant things that can accumulate on bed linens.

    Athlete's foot and other fungal skin illnesses can be spread through contact with contaminated fabrics. It's estimated that just one in twenty people launders their sheets and towels more frequently than once every four days, and that a third of us wait at least 14 days in between washes. To maintain their cleanliness, duvets and pillows should be washed once or twice yearly. A research by Canstar Blue discovered that 29% of Australians never wash their pillows. Molds, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander are just some of the microorganisms that can make a home in bedding.

    Approximately 24 million people or more in the United States have asthma. You can still wake up with a runny nose after sleeping on dirty linens. Particular caution is warranted for those who suffer from dry or seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, or rosacea. Accumulated bacteria on your bedding could create an unhealthy environment for your skin. Changes in the microbiota of the skin have been linked to the emergence of acne.

    You might get sick if you sleep on severely dirty bedding, but there's no assurance of that. Yet, it is still wise to wash them often, just in case. Although it may be an annoyance, changing your bedding once a week is a wonderful practise to get into.

    Content Summary

    • A recent study that measured the filth on everyday objects made us question whether it's possible to be too clean and left us feeling very unclean.
    • From a survey of 1,000 people, we learn that on average, we go roughly 25 days before changing our sheets.
    • Be sure to change your bedding at least once a week and wash them at least once each month.
    • Every two weeks is the minimum interval suggested by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute for washing bed sheets.
    • Linens and pillowcases dried under the sun's ultraviolet rays are less likely to harbour bacteria and should be dried there whenever possible.
    • To clean your mattress, switch your vacuum to the upholstery attachment and the lowest setting.
    • If any of these substances come into contact with your skin while you are sleeping, you may get irritation, breakouts, or even an infection.
    • Adding insult to injury... Dr. Zeichner says your dirty pillowcase could be harbouring bacteria and other germs due of the damp conditions.
    • Sleeping on dirty sheets is hazardous to your health.
    • Dust mites are another problem.
    • If you sleep naked on dirty sheets and toss and turn all night, moving your pillow from your knees to your head, you risk getting faeces in your mouth or eyes.
    • Bedding that is well-cared for can help you sleep better and breathe easier.
    • Even though it can be a pain, changing your sheets once a week is a healthy practise to get into.

    FAQs About Bed Sheets

    Whether you prefer flat sheets or fitted bed sheets, both are used for the same purpose – to protect the mattress and create a comfortable, smooth surface to lie on.

    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.

    Wash the sheets on a gentle cycle using cool or lukewarm water. Washing sheets in hot water is usually unnecessary unless you need to sanitize the sheets due to allergies or after an illness. Remove the sheets as soon as the cycle is over to reduce wrinkles.

    Most sheet sets typically include a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and one or two pillowcases. There's not much need for wondering if you need a flat or fitted sheet for this reason — both are useful and usually come as a package deal. Some other sheet sets, like those Casper offers, also include a duvet cover.

    Bed sheets come in two main varieties: flat and fitted. A flat sheet is simply a rectangular sheet of cloth, while a fitted sheet has four corners, and sometimes two or four sides, fitted with elastic, to be used only as a bottom sheet.

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