The short answer is – more often than you probably wish. Washing sheets is an annoying chore, but a highly necessary one. Dirty sheets affect our sleep health and pose a hazard to our personal well-being. This goes double if your cuddly pet sleeps with you.
The general rule of thumb is to wash sheets weekly. Still, how often you wash your sheets depends on how frequently you use them. New sheets should be washed immediately. If you’re home a lot and spend at least eight hours a day asleep? Weekly washings recommended. If you’re away often, then you can stretch it to two weeks.
Good sleep health starts with a clean bed. Here’s a guide on how often to wash sheets (with a few tips for other linens, too!).
Why wash your sheets often?
In three words: they get dirty. It sounds gross, but dirty sheets accumulate dead skin cells, sweat, and body oils. If you have a furry friend, there’s also pet dander. Then there’s the bed bugs and dust mites, which are very common in households and live off those dead skin cells on your bed.
These all pose problems for people, especially those with sensitive skin, and could cause skin irritation. They can also trigger skin rashes or acne, and worsen allergy symptoms.
BTW – those bed bugs and dust mites reproduce fast. Imagine having thousands of them on your bed sheets. Ew!
Dirty sheets also prevent you from getting a good night’s rest, which can impact your health in the long run. You’ll feel much better sleeping on clean sheets (especially ones fresh out of the dryer – delightful).
Make it part of your routine to keep your sheets clean! Or if you’re hiring a house cleaning service to deep clean your home, add it on and they’ll do a load of laundry for you.
How often you should wash your sheets
For the average person, sheet changing happens every 24 days, per a survey. That’s not ideal in terms of hygiene and freshness. Experts recommend weekly washings under normal circumstances.
Of course, you don’t have to wash your sheets on the same day that you change them. Having 2-3 sheet sets helps you keep a clean bed while delaying the time between washing. This way, you can put off washing your sheets until every 2-3 weeks, depending on how many sheet sets you own.
There may be times when you’ll need to change and wash your sheets more frequently, however. Summertime means you sweat more, so you’ll need to strip your bed more often. If your pet sleeps in your bed, consider changing your sheets every 3-4 days.
Keeping your sheets fresh between washing
If washing weekly isn’t feasible for you – or if you want to keep your bed sheets fresh in between change cycles – here are some tips!
- Use a linen spray
- Shower before bedtime to lessen dirt from direct contact
- Provide your pet with their own bed
- Avoid snacking in bed
- Use a handheld vacuum every few days
How to wash bed sheets
The first step of washing your bed sheets is to check the care tag for specific instructions. Different types of fabrics will require different settings or a special care process.
Wash sheets separately from clothing or towels for the most thorough clean. Pre-treat any stains, then use a gentle cycle with eco-friendly laundry detergent and cool water. You don’t necessarily need to use hot water, but it does help kill dust mites. Tumble dry on low, or hang them in the sun.
Washing other bedding
- Pillowcases: Once a week
- Doonas: Once every two weeks, up to once a month
- Blankets: Once every 2-3 months
- Pillows, if washable: Once every 4-6 months
- Mattress protector: Every 2 months
These are just general guidelines, however, so you should check the manufacturing label of your linens for specific washing instructions. This especially goes for linens made out of a special material.
Additionally, clean your mattress at least once every six months! Your bed sheets aren’t the only things that need cleaning.
And that’s that on how often you should wash your sheets! Now pop those sheets in the washing machine and get ready for a good night’s rest after that – clean sheets and all.