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How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets To Ensure Freshness?

On average, you spend about 50 hours a week sleeping. During that time, sweat, dead skin cells and other dirt accumulate on the sheets. Then the question arises as how often you should wash the sheets.

We are sure that you pay a lot of attention to your hygiene. But we all often overlook one important thing for our overall hygiene, and that is bed sheets. It often happens that we put them on the mattress and forget when we changed them, leaving them for weeks.

This is a big mistake, because the sheets can become very dirty and full of bacteria, without any visible signs that will remind us that we need to change them. Dirty sheets can even make allergy problems and asthma worse or cause skin problems. 

That’s why we wrote a guide for you about maintaining sheets where you will find everything that is important about this topic.

Table of Contents
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    How often should you change your sheets?

    Generally speaking, you should change the sheets once a week. But there are many reasons why you should change them more often than that. For example, if you allow pets to sleep in your bed, then you should change the sheets at least twice a week. Also during the summer when we sweat excessively, it is advisable to change them more often. 

    In cases of certain health problems such as allergies, asthma, eczema and acne, it is recommended that you change every two days or even every day during periods when the situation worsens. If you do not sleep every night in your bed, then you can change the sheets every 10 to 14 days.

    How to wash bed sheets in 4 easy steps?

    In 99 percent of cases, maintaining bed sheets is very simple. But you still need to keep a few things in mind to avoid damaging them and thus shorten their service life. Follow these 4 easy steps and you will always have perfectly clean sheets that last a long time.

    Check the instructions

    Every product, including sheets, has a label that contains the most important information and instructions. Most bed sheets do not require any special care, but when you buy them, make sure that it is really so. In case you find a specific cleaning requirement on the label, you have to follow it and wash sheets that way. If you didn’t do that until now, go to your laundry room and check sheets and bath towels.

    an image of a man changing a bed sheet

    Consider the material

    The most durable sheets are those made of cotton, followed by those made of polyester. In these two cases, it is usually not necessary to do anything other than wash them in the washing machine. But if the sheets are made of satin, silk or linen, then they require special care because these materials are delicate. You should always avoid washing bedding in hot water and use a detergent specially made for delicate materials.

    Avoid invasive detergents

    As we said in the previous paragraph, satin, silk or linen sheets must be washed with special type of detergent. But even when you have durable, cotton sheets, avoid using invasive detergents, bleaches and other chemicals. You should avoid this both because of the sheets and because of your health, since it is very harmful to sleep in chemical fumes and skin irritation may appear. Use mild detergents when regularly washing sheets to get perfectly fresh bedding.

    Tumble dry low and hang dry

    If you try to dry silk or satin sheets on high heat, you will completely destroy them. You should hang dry them or dry them using no heat setting. Cotton sheets can be dried in a tumble drier, but also avoid high heat setting, stick to low heat setting. Keep in mind that low heat setting is eco-friendly option.

    The reasons why we should wash our sheets

    You may think that we unnecessarily emphasize the importance of changing sheets once a week because you take a shower every night before bed and then go to bed completely clean. So let us tell you the reasons why we should wash our sheets regularly.

    Dust mites & allergies

    Dust mites are microscopic parasites from the arthropod family that are the most common causes of allergies. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells and that is why they can often be found in bed sheets. The only way to kill dust mites is to regularly wash the sheets in a washing machine. In this way you will destroy not only dust mites but also other allergens, such as bed bugs, that are always present in bed. We advise you to vacuum the mattress before replacing the sheets.

    Dead skin cells

    Did you know that the average man sheds about half a billion skin cells every day? This is a really amazing fact, and a fact that certainly makes dust mites happy because they have a plenty of food available. Now calculate how many skin cells will be on your sheets if you don’t wash them for 2 or 3 weeks. You certainly don’t want to sleep in the billions of cells of your skin and thus attract dust mites.

    an image of a woman arranges bed and changes sheets


    Sweating is a bodily function that helps regulate your body temperature. Almost every day, even during the winter, you sweat. During the night, sweating can be even more pronounced, especially during the summer or when you have central heating. Also various activities in bed with your partner will cause sweating. Sweat contains many bacteria, which can lead to folliculitis and various other problems. Fungal infections are also possible.

    Body oils

    The body secretes oils whose role is to moisturize and protect your sensitive skin. This oily substance is called sebum, which is actually a mixture of fatty acids, waxes and other natural substances. Whether you have dry or oily skin, sebum is secreted, only the amount varies. In any case, you do not want sebum to accumulate on your bedding.

    Pet sleeping in the same bed

    Opinions of doctors and other experts on whether to sleep with a pet differ. While some believe that it is perfectly safe, others do not agree with that and state many reasons in favor of their claim. It is up to you to decide whether to let your dog or cat into your bed, but if you decide to do so, know that you will need to change the bed sheets more often. You should do this every few days. Pets also shed dead skin cells plus their fur contains many more bacteria, so it is necessary to replace the sheets every 2 to 3 days.

    an image of a dog in an owner's bed

    When & how to wash pillows, blankets and duvets?

    Perfectly clean bed sheets are great, but you will not achieve the desired result, and that is sleeping in a clean and allergen-free environment if you regularly maintain only the sheets. You also need to wash pillow, blanket, duvet and mattress protector. However, you should not wash them as often as sheets.


    Some pillows are fully machine washable and some are not. In any case, our recommendation is to use a pillowcase if the pillow does not have a removable cover. Pillows that are fully machine washable are certainly easier to maintain, but if you wash them every few days, noticeable signs of wear and tear will appear. Since the skin of your face is very sensitive, then it is necessary to change the pillowcase or wash the pillow every few days. Clearly, a pillowcase or removable cover is the best option.

    Wash the pillowcase or cover every 2 to 4 days, and the pillow, if fully machine washable, wash several times a year. This way you will be sure that the sleep surface is completely free of oils, skin cells and other dirt, and by washing the pillow you clean the core of the pillow.

    Blankets & duvets

    Most blankets and duvets are machine washable. It depends on the filling material as well as the cover, but cotton, synthetics, hollowfibre and many other materials, even down and wool are machine washable. The only difference is the temperature at which you wash them and the detergent you need to use.

    Whether the duvet is washable or not, our advice is to use a duvet cover, for the same reasons why we recommend pillowcase. The difference is that you do not have to wash duvet cover that often, you should wash it every 2 to 3 weeks.

    Mattress protectors

    The purpose of the mattress protector is obvious. The mattress protector should protect your mattress from wear and tear, and also from liquids if it is waterproof. You don’t have to wash the mattress protector more than once a month, of course if you don’t spill anything in bed or get it dirty in any other way. Then it should be washed immediately.

    an image of a man changing a mattress protector

    What if my mattress is old and I cannot wash it?

    If your mattress is old and you can’t wash it, then the only solution is to throw it away and buy a new one. However, do not give up so quickly, because there are various ways to clean it. You should try all that ways before deciding to buy new mattress.

    Vacuum the mattress first, then clean all visible stains with a stain remover. Hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice can also be helpful. Then, cover the entire surface with baking soda that will absorb moisture and odours. After a while, vacuum the mattress again to pick up the baking soda. There are also special cleaning agents that will neutralize odours and give the mattress a fresh scent. You can apply one of that agents at the end of the cleaning process.

    When to throw away old bed sheets and buy new ones?

    Many factors affect when you will have to throw away old bed sheets and buy new ones. The main factors are certainly the quality of materials and workmanship. High-end sheets made of Egyptian cotton or some other similar premium material can last more than five years. Cheap sheets, most often made of polyester, you will probably not be able to use for more than 3 years, because they will start to tear. Of course, it also depends on how often you use them and whether you stick to the care instructions.

    an image of several mattresses in a room

    If you notice that the sheets have thinned and stretched too much or have tears, then it is definitely time to change them. Also, if they have a lot of stains that you can’t remove or have faded significantly, that imply it’s time to invest in new sheets. If after washing they do not smell fresh as before, that is also great indication that you should throw them away.


    We believe that after reading this guide you know exactly why you need to change the sheets once a week. Also, pay attention to situations where you need to change them more often than that, for example if you let your dog in the bed. When washing the sheets, don’t forget to check the care instructions, to avoid irreversibly damaging the material. Remember that you need to wash other things that are in your bed such as a pillow and a duvet too. And keep in mind that you need to buy new sheets every few years because they can’t last forever.

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