Most of us know that it’s important to keep our bedding clean and fresh at all times, but you might not be aware of the reasons why it’s crucial to clean your bed sheets and linen on a regular basis. You want to wash them often enough that they remain clean and germ-free, but not so often that you risk damaging their quality, and it can be quite difficult to find this balance. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “How often should I wash my bed sheets and linen?”, you’ve come to the right place.
Apart from giving you a concrete answer to this question, in our article, we’ve also included tips on how to wash your linen and bedding and answered some pressing questions in our FAQ section.
So, if you can’t decide how often you should wash your sheets and linen, we’re here to settle this debate once and for all. Let’s get started.
Why You Should Wash Your Sheets Regularly
Before delving into how often you should wash your bed sheets and linen, let’s see some of the reasons behind maintaining a clean sleeping environment.
Our bodies produce a lot of oil and dirt and shed dead skin cells while we toss and turn in our bed, so this unappealing concoction often ends up on our sheets and linen.
Apart from some of the natural processes that occur in our body, constant use of cosmetics is another reason why you should wash your bed sheets regularly. Body products such as spray tans and body oils, creams, and butters are notorious for staining bed sheets, which is why more frequent washing is always recommended to prevent these stains from getting worse over time.
Other factors that contribute to a dirty sleeping environment include the existence of dust mites, bed bugs, germs, or any allergens that might be present in our bedding. As you can assume, these accumulate over time, and our sheets become fertile soil for these creatures to reproduce.
In fact, if bed sheets don’t get washed at least once every couple of weeks, it’s said that they can contain as much as 10 thousand times more bacteria than the average toilet seat – a statistic that can definitely have a motivating effect when it comes to washing your sheets regularly.
To prevent the buildup of our bodily secretions and the accumulation of dust mites, allergens, and other germs, the best thing to do is wash our sheets regularly. However, there is a lot of conflicting information out there, and some bedding requires more frequent washing, so it’s unfair to lump all bedding in the same category. We will look into how often you should wash your bed sheets and linen, as well as quickly go over what washing frequency is recommended for other bedding parts, like pillowcases and mattresses.
How Often Should I Wash My Bed Sheets?
Now that you know all the reasons why it’s imperative to keep our bed sheets clean and fresh, let’s see how often it is recommended to wash them.
The most common recommendation is to wash them once a week, unless, as we mentioned earlier, you have a history of allergens or have overly sensitive skin. Additionally, you should also consider washing your bed sheets more than once a week if you have pets who love sleeping in your bed. If your partner is prone to sweating, you might also consider washing them more regularly.
Washing them once a week is the sweet spot that allows you to have clean sheets at all times, all the while not having to worry about the constant washing ruining your bed sheets or destroying their quality.
If you’re not inclined to wash them as frequently, we have a couple of tips that will help you keep them clean for a longer period of time.
One of the easiest ways to prevent your sheets from getting dirty is by not eating or drinking in bed. All of us are prone to having the occasional snack or drink in bed, but when it becomes a habit, we’re increasing our chances of staining our sheets and having to wash them on the spot. Another way you can prolong the washing is by not allowing your pets to come on the bed. We all know how tempting is to have our furry friends in the bed, but pets carry a lot of dirt and bacteria that will not only stain your sheets but also increase the possibility of attracting new allergens. Our last tip is to become a night showerer so that you can go to bed without worrying about increasing that sweat, oil, and dead skin cells buildup.
Purchasing multiple pairs of sheets can make changing them regularly significantly easier, so consider doing this if you don’t have enough time to dedicate to washing them every week.
With that said, this general recommendation of washing your sheets once a week might not apply to you if you’re someone who manages to keep their bed sheets extra clean, so always use your judgement to determine if your bed sheets need washing or not. The number of times you wash them can also vary from week to week.
How Often Should I Wash My Linen?
We know the general recommendation for washing your bed sheets, but does the same apply to your linen?
The answer is yes – most experts recommend washing your bed linen once a week, just like you would your sheets. The same rules apply if you have allergies, pets, or a sweaty sleeping partner – always use your judgement to see if you might need to increase the frequency of washes.
To ensure that the quality of your bed linen remains the same, regardless of the frequency of washing, we recommend opting for a durable and high-quality material. That is why linen sheets are incredibly popular nowadays – apart from allowing you to enjoy them for years on end, they are a sustainable option that will keep the night sweats away and help keep a breathable sleeping environment, making them a great solution if damaging the quality of your bed linen concerns you.
What if I’m Prone to Allergies?
While we provided the general recommendation as to how often you should wash your sheets and linen, different rules apply if you’re someone who suffers from a chronic health condition or if you’re prone to allergies or asthma.
Even though we typically associate allergens with food or cosmetics, the truth is that bedding can be a massive source of allergens that can cause havoc to your health. To prevent the possibility of this occurring, those who suffer from respiratory conditions like asthma or have a history of allergies should ideally wash their sheets and linen every three to four days.
This might be more frequent than you’re used to, but you will be minimising your chances of encountering any allergens and seamlessly maintaining a clean environment for sleeping. The same rules apply if you’re prone to acne – washing your sheets regularly, especially your pillowcases, can significantly lower your chances of breaking out the following days.
There’s also something to be said about the detergent and other cleaning supplies you use for washing your sheets and linen. Make sure they’re declared hypoallergenic and that they don’t contain any harmful ingredients, dyes, or harsh fragrances.
How to Wash Bed Sheets
One of the easiest ways to prevent bedding damage from frequent washing is to ensure that you’re doing it properly, which is why we decided to include a section where we go over some of our top tips for washing your sheets that will help preserve their quality.
Always Read the Label
It won’t come as a surprise to learn that every sheet comes with a label that tells you how to wash it and at what temperature. Following these instructions is a sure way to prevent doing any unintentional damage to your sheets, so make sure you read it thoroughly.
Be Careful With the Temperature
The guidelines included on the label usually feature a recommendation for the highest temperature that you can wash your sheets without damaging them. If your sheets are extremely dirty, don’t be afraid of using the highest temperature recommended. Some materials can withstand higher temperatures, so you can do your research if you like the idea of washing them at higher temperatures. This is also a good idea if you suffer from allergies or have sensitive skin, since the high temperature is most likely to kill any bacteria and get rid of potential allergens.
Don’t Forget to Sort by Colour
Just like clothes, sheets should be sorted by colour. Most of us use white sheets, but if you’re someone who gravitates towards bolder colours or neutrals that aren’t black or white, don’t forget to sort your sheets by colour to prevent any unwanted colour concoctions or blends.
Sheets are prone to staining, so it’s a good idea to treat your stains before you wash your sheets. You can opt for a store-bought spot remover, or make one at home using ingredients such as baking soda. This will help you remove the stain and prevent you from having to wash the sheets multiple times in a row, which increases your chances of doing some kind of damage to them.
Use the Normal Cycle
Unless specified otherwise, we always recommend using the normal cycle, since the other options might be too rough for your sheets, especially if they’re made out of delicate material.
Always Iron Your Sheets
Last but not least, ironing your sheets is a great way to not only make them look very appealing to get into at the end of a long day, but the heat from the iron will also help kill off any remaining germs and bacteria that might linger on your sheets after you’ve washed them.
How to Wash Linen
Some of the tips we shared regarding washing sheets apply to washing linen, such as using a gentle cycle and separating by colour. However, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Avoid Harsh Detergents
Linen items shouldn’t be washed with detergents that contain harsh ingredients. If you use detergents that are on the natural side and that don’t contain ingredients such as Sodium Hydroxide, you will notice a massive difference in terms of the quality of your linen.
Try to Use Lukewarm Water
Unlike washing sheets, which can be done in hot temperatures, linen should be washed in lukewarm water in order to avoid causing any damage to the linen fabric.
Turn Them Inside Out
There are also some things you should keep in mind before putting your linen in the washing machine. For instance, don’t forget to turn them inside out before you put them in the machine. To avoid any hazards, make sure you button them up and zip any zippers they might contain.
Do I Need to Wash New Sheets?
A common concern when we buy new items of clothing or bedding is whether or not we should wash them first before using them.
The short answer is – yes. When it comes to purchasing items that have direct contact with our skin, such as bedding, it’s imperative that we wash them prior to using them. Think of all the places those sheets have been, such as factories and transportation vehicles. Chances are, many people have touched them in the store before purchasing them just to test their quality. They have likely attracted a lot of dirt, dust, bacteria, and germs along the way, so washing them before putting them on your bed is your best guarantee for avoiding getting in contact with them.
What About Other Bedding?
In the hopes of providing you with broader guidelines, we have included a brief overview of how often you should wash other bedding products.
Apart from sheets, many people are confused about how often they should wash their pillowcases. Since the skin on our face is more sensitive and more prone to breakouts than the skin on our body, we recommend washing your pillowcases every two to three days, especially if you’re someone who has sensitive skin.
If you’re someone who owns a mattress pad or a mattress protector, it’s recommended that you wash it every two to four weeks to avoid any of that nasty buildup we discussed earlier.
When it comes to mattress covers, you can get away with washing them less often than mattress protectors. Most experts recommend washing them every two months.
Your duvet covers should ideally be washed every two weeks to once a month, whereas your comforters can go a bit longer without being washed, so you can stick to washing them once every two months.
If you own washable pillows, you should wash them every four to six months.
Any blankets you have and use regularly should be washed every two to three months.
How Often Do You Change Bedding?
The answer to how often you should change your bedding depends on what kind of bedding you’re dealing with. For instance, some bedding can go a long time without being washed or changed, such as mattress covers. On the other hand, pillowcases need to be washed/changed every two to three days, especially if you’re someone who has sensitive skin or is prone to acne.
What Setting Should I Wash my Bed Sheets in?
Bed sheets are recommended to be washed in a hot setting, provided that the material is compatible with high heat.
What Are the Benefits of Having Clean Sheets?
Some of the benefits of washing your sheets regularly and having clean sheets are that you can rest assured knowing you’re not encountering a lot of germs, allergens, and dust mites when you go to bed. Plus, the feeling of going to bed with freshly washed sheets is incomparable.
We hope you enjoyed our article on how often you should wash your bed sheets and linen!
Regularly washing your bedding is crucial if you want to prevent stains, bodily fluids buildup, bed bugs, dust mites, and any potential allergens. It’s recommended that you wash your bed sheets and linen once a week, especially if you like to have your pets in the bed or you’re prone to allergies.
In order to prevent damaging the quality of your bed sheets and linen, it’s imperative that you pay close attention to the way you wash them. Some of our top tips for washing your bed sheets and linen include: reading the label to check what cycle and temperature they need to be washed in, sorting them out by colour, using a normal cycle, and ironing them to prevent any allergens.