How Often Should I Change My Sheets?

Jun 1, 2023 | Beds & Accessories

If you’re beginning to sweat during the night due to the rise in temperature here in the UK (we’re not complaining!) and waking up to damp sheets, it’s time to consider washing your bedding more frequently.

Most people wash their sheets fortnightly, some fastidiously do it as part of a weekly routine whereas others give it a month and the odd ones go several weeks and the rest (grim)!

However, from a health perspective not washing bedding regularly increases the spread of bacteria and contributes to increased suffering from health problems such as allergies and asthma.

According to Good Housekeeping Institute, your sheets – and other bedding – should be changed at least every two weeks, and once a week if you’re sweating during the night. Here are four signs that it’s time to wash your sheets at least once a week:

1. You sweat a lot

Sweating can cause a build-up of bacteria which can cause skin irritation, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Don’t forget the pillowcase – dirty pillowcases harbour dirt and oil which can clog pores and cause spots on the face and neck.

2. You have dust or pollen allergies

It doesn’t take long for your bedsheets to get covered with skin cells – an absolute feast for dust mites. Dust mites are an allergen, and their droppings can cause symptoms like hay fever, eczema, asthma, coughing etc.  Conditions such as allergic rhinitis and asthma are often worse at night – and the dreaded house dust mite could be one of the triggers for an allergic reaction.

3. Your pet sleeps in your bed

While there are thought to be numerous health benefits to sharing a bed with a pet – including a greater sense of security and reduced stress – there are some associated health risks including aggravation of allergies and asthma and increased risk of disease.

4. You’ve been ill

There’s nothing like the comfort of your bed when you’re under the weather. But after days under the duvet – and sweating more when you’re sick – it’s important that sheets and bedding are changed as soon as you feel better to prevent getting ill again.

Bedding Care

When you wash your sheets, try to do it at a high temperature – 60 degrees is ideal – as this kills mites and removes mite faeces plus destroys bacteria. Dry in direct sunlight if you can – the UV light kills microorganisms.

In the morning, leave bedding turned back which airs the bed reducing humidity levels and preventing mite survival. Vacuum thoroughly under and around the bed – it can yield huge amounts of dust and fluff.

And don’t forget when looking at bedroom hygiene it’s also worth bearing in mind that your mattress should be replaced around the 7-8 year mark for optimum sleep quality. In that time period, you lose, on average, half a pint of fluid each night and shed a pound of dead skin cells a year. No wonder asthma-triggering dust mites love our mattresses.

Pillows should be swapped every two to three years and washed every three months. An old, unwashed pillow could contain as much as 10% of its weight in skin scale mould dead and living dust mites and their allergen-laden droppings!

Remember there’s no greater feeling than sliding into fresh, clean sheets and is the perfect end to a bedtime routine.

This post was first published 01.01.22 and has since been republished on 01.06.23.

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