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How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets – All You Need to Know

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Written by Alex Petrović

Sleep Consultant

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9 January 2024 3 min read

If you want a clean sleeping environment, washing your bedding is a must! But how often should you wash your sheets? Let's find out.

When it comes to washing your bedding, many people have questions. On the one hand, everyone loves the feeling of sleeping on clean sheets. On the other hand, actually cleaning your sheets regularly can seem like a chore. So, how often should you wash your sheets?

The short answer is that you should wash your sheets weekly or once every two weeks. However, not all bed sheets were made equal and there are a few other things worth keeping in mind. So, let's take a closer look!

Why should you wash your sheets weekly?

An image of recently washed sheets stacked and folded

For some people, having to wash sheets every week might seem like an overkill.

However, when you think about it, this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Besides just smelling funky, dirty sheets are bound to be crawling with dust mites and dead skin cells.

After all, humans shed about 200,000,000 skin cells an hour!

And if you're getting your full eight hours of sleep every night, that equals…too many…just too many dead skin cells.

So, even if you don't have sensitive skin or allergies, you might want to keep your sheets clean just so that you can forget this horrifying fact.

Factors that influence how often you should wash your sheets

Washing sheets weekly is going to be a safe bet for most people. However, just like with other bedding, some people might want to wash their sheets more or less often.

However, we'd definitely say that washing your sheets too much is preferable to washing them too little. After all, as long as you're using the right detergent, this just means having fresh sheets more often.

Are you a hot sleeper?

If you're a hot sleeper, you're probably changing sheets more regularly anyway. After all, if you wake up and see that your sheets and duvet covers have soaked up a gallon of sweat, you'll likely want to swap them out.

Not only can sweat stain your sheets but it can also lead to worse sleep health, as the material won't feel as cool to the touch as it should. So, if you're a hot sleeper, swap out your sheets once a week or more – especially during the summer months.

It might also be wise to invest in silk sheets or bamboo bedding so that your body has an easier time cooling off during the night.

Do you spend most nights in your bed?

This might seem like an odd question but it's quite straightforward. If you're away from home a lot or constantly end up sleeping on the couch, you don't have to change your sheets as often.

After all, we are the skin cell factory! So, if we're not in bed, the sheets will stay clean for significantly longer. For example, if you only sleep in your bed 3/7 nights, you can probably get away with washing them every two or three weeks.

Do you have any pets?

Whether you have a dog that keeps shedding in every room of the house or a cat that seems to always find a way to stain your sheets, having pets = washing sheets more often.

And it doesn't have to be a big animal. Even if you just like to allow your hamster to run on your bed, both you and the animal will be safer if you kill dust mites and skin cells regularly.

Plus, pets have a knack for getting faecal matter and other bodily secretions just about everywhere – so there's that to clean up after as well.

How often should you wash other bedding?

An image of the inside of a washing machine

Now that you know how often bed sheets should be washed, it only makes sense to look at other bedding.

Does all bedding need to be washed every week – duvet covers and pillowcases included?

And the short answer is – yes. Just like your sheets, your duvet covers and pillowcases also end up quite dirty after a week. Especially if you have pets and/or are a hot sleeper.

Even the mattress itself should be washed!

However, cleaning your mattress isn't nearly as urgent and is typically only done after some type of spill or stain or after you've had the mattress for a very long time (over 6 months).

How should you wash your sheets?

When it comes to actually washing your sheets, things can differ depending on the material and the detergent. Some materials can only be washed on a gentle cycle and with cold water. Other bedding however might need to be washed in hot water!

And no, we're not just spelling out the obvious. The fact of the matter is that you should check the care label and see how your particular sheets should be washed. But if you can't do that for whatever reason, use a gentle cycle and cold water as it's the least likely to damage your sheets in some way.

How to get stains out of your sheets

An image of recently cleaned sheets

When it comes to dealing with stains, it's typically best to pretreat the stain before washing the sheets.

In some cases, like with blood stains, the sheets need to be properly soaked to make cleaning up easier.

Other stains might need a more serious approach and specific detergents.

However, even these stains usually aren't too bad, as there always seems to be a laundry hack online on how to make the issue go away.

All of this is to say that if you notice a stain, get to it right away. More often than not, you will be able to deal with the issue.

Conclusion

And that's all you need to know about how often you should wash your sheets (and other bedding)! Now, let's be honest, how often do you wash your sheets? We won't judge, so, leave your confessions down in the comment section.

Also, let us know whether you'd like us to cover any other cleaning/washing topics. After all, you can't have sleep hygiene without regular hygiene.

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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