When should you wash your sheets, blankets, pillows, and other bedding?

Last Updated on May 17, 2021

Most of us spend between 40 to 60+ hours sleeping in our beds, which is a long period for our sheets and bedding to build up dirt, sweat, oil, dead skin cells and other gunk. Just like any other area of our lives, proper bedding hygiene is essential, especially to the quality of our sleep.

If you’re not cleaning your dirty sheets, that can contribute to allergies, skin breakouts, asthma, and more problems your body will have to go through because you aren’t regularly washing your bedding. If you’re wondering how often should you wash your sheets and bedding, you are at the right place! By the end of this guide, you would have learned:

  • How often should you wash your sheets
  • How to clean your bedsheets
  • Why should you wash your bed sheets
  • How to wash other bedding such as pillows, blankets, duvets etc
wash your sheets and bedding

How often should you wash your sheets?

The general rule of thumb is to wash your sheets once per week, but if you don’t sleep in your bed every night, you might be able to stretch it to once every two weeks or so. Some people wash their bed sheets even more often than once a week because they may have pets who like to join them in bed. If you have pets that share the bed with you, we recommend washing your linen every 3-4 days.

Another reason to often change your bed linen is if you experience any allergies or asthma since fresh sheets might improve your symptoms. Also, when the warm summer days are upon us, we tend to sweat a lot more while we sleep, which is why we should wash them more often. However, if you have any seasonal allergies, washing sheets often may help relieve your symptoms.

How to wash your bedsheets?

How to wash your bedsheets

As we’ve mentioned above, you should wash your sheets weekly, but do you know how they should be cleaned? Well, let’s find out:

  • First, you should read the care label and check if there are any specific care instructions for the linen
  • After you’ve checked the product’s label, you should wash your bedsheets using the hottest water that the label lists to get rid of any bacteria (keep in mind that different materials handle hot water differently)
  • Start the washing machine and use a gentle detergent
  • If you have sensitive skin or severe allergies, rinsing the sheets a second time might be a great idea in order to remove any residual detergent
  • Finally, get your linen out of the washer and put in the drier on low or hang it to try

Cleaning your bedding usually takes a few hours, which is why most people have a couple of sets of sheets. If you don’t have an extra set of sheets, you can take a look at our guides on: “Best Fitted Sheets & Deep Fitted Sheets” and “Best Bedding Sets in the UK.”

Why should you wash your bed sheets?

clean your bed linen

For some people washing sheets once a week may seem excessive, but the truth is that’s it is crucial for your overall health and the quality of your sleep. The reason behind it is that your bedding can accumulate significant amounts of dirt, dead skin cells, body oils, sweat and dust mites.

Dust mites should be a concern for you since they are microscopic creatures that are very common in most households. The issue with them is that they can lead to skin rashes and irritation, and in some cases, worsen allergy symptoms.

Usually, dust mites can live solely off of dead skin cells, and they can reproduce at prolific rates, which means there could be tens of thousands of dust mites living in your mattress and bedding. Even if you don’t suffer from any allergies, you probably don’t want to share your bed with them, which is why you should regularly clean your sheets and keep them fresh. And after a couple of years, you should replace them to keep a healthy and clean sleeping environment.

How to wash other bedding?

wash bedding

Now that we’ve established how often you should wash your sheets, it’s time we discuss other bedding. In general, the recommended times to wash linens, blankets, and additional bedding depends primarily on use and the materials a product is made out of.

Some of the bedding products you use are in direct contact with your skin every night, which means they should be cleaned on a more regular basis. Whereas other items have minimal contact with your skin, meaning they don’t have to be washed as often. Let’s take a closer look at each bedding product individually:

Pillowcases

Just like with sheets, pillowcases should be washed at least once a week because of all the oils and dead skin from our bodies. As we’ve discussed, dust mites feed on dead skin, and the faeces from these microscopic insects can worsen the symptoms of people with allergies.  You put your head directly on the pillowcases you use, so keep them clean and get yourself an extra set for when one is in the washer. Here are our top 10 Pillowcases for the UK.

Pillows

If you use pillowcases and pillow protectors for your pillow, you won’t have to wash it more than three times a year. However, the pillow protectors you have, need to be cleaned every month since the oils and dirt from your face and hair can soak through the pillowcase. If you don’t use pillow protectors, we recommend you wash your pillows every other month. If your pillow is too old and clumpy, you can take a look at our top 5 Pillows to buy.

Blankets

When it comes down to your blankets, you should try to wash them every month or so. However, there are many different types of covers, such as electric blankets, weighted blankets, and various options designed with all sorts of fabrics and materials. Depending on the used material, the washing period can vary from a few weeks to a couple of months. The best way to know is to check the care label for further instructions.

Comforters & Duvet Covers

Covers for comforters and duvets typically protect the interior from most everyday dirt and soiling, meaning unless your duvet has something spilt on it, you won’t need to clean it more than once or twice a year. The cover itself should be washed every two to four weeks. However, some comforters don’t have a cover, and if that’s the case with yours, you’ll have to wash the whole thing monthly. If you’re in need of a new one, make sure to check our top 10 Duvets in the UK.

Mattress Protectors

Mattress protectors are an excellent investment since they immensely extend the life of your mattress. They prevent the mattress from any damage and reduce allergy symptoms while keeping it clean and comfy. The mattress protectors themselves should be removed and washed at least once a month to eliminate any spills or stains. Read the directions on the product’s label and wash them accordingly. Here are our top 10 Mattress Protector options.

Bottom line

Most people live a busy and fast passed life, which is why spending a few hours cleaning your bedding every week might seem too time-consuming. But just like, we wash the clothes we wear (most of us do, anyway), we have to keep our sheets and bed linen fresh and clean.

Having good sleep hygiene will improve your sleep quality and better your allergies (if you have any). No matter what sort of bedding you have, your top priority is to keep it clean and dust-mite free! If you think we missed something on the subject or if you have any question and concerns, please drop us a line in the comments below, and we’d try to respond as soon as possible!

Isabelle Harris
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