There’s nothing better than fresh sheets when you’re in need of a good night’s sleep but keeping up with a constant flow of laundry from changing your bedding too often can become a chore. The cost alone of drying linens quickly is enough to put anyone off enjoying fresh sheets several times a week, though according to experts, it could mean you’re not doing it enough. Express.co.uk have shared exactly how frequently you should wash bedding to keep dust mites, oil and dirt at bay.
How often should you wash your bed sheets?
According to Jill Zwarensteyn, a certified sleep science coach at Sleep Advisor, bed sheets can quickly become a haven for unpleasant bacteria and even bugs, so regular washing is essential.
She said: “If you’re not already washing your sheets weekly, now’s the time to start. Not only are you sleeping in your own dirt, sweat, body oils, and skin cells, but dust mites can also reside on your bed.
“Dust mites are invisible to the naked eye, but if you do see some creepy crawlers in your bed, those are likely bed bugs, a whole other issue.”
While people who don’t sleep in their bed every night can get away with washing bed linens every two weeks, others should not ignore the advice to do it every week.
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Jill explained that those with dust or pollen allergies are more likely to experience sleep disruption if they don’t improve their laundry habits. Doing it once a week would suffice though it would be beneficial to do it even more frequently if you spend a lot of time outdoors or don’t shower before hitting the pillow.
Other reasons to increase the frequency of washing your bedding include if you or your partner sweat a lot, you have an illness like a cold or flu, or your pet sleeps in bed with you.
If you’re not doing it enough, it is likely that you will notice – even if there is no visible dirt lurking on your linens. The sleep science coach said: “Dust mites don’t bite, but that doesn’t mean they’re harmless.
“They feed on your dead skin cells and are an allergen, which means their presence can cause symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, cough, congestion, facial pressure, or a severe asthma attack.”
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How to wash your bed sheets
If you’re concerned about the cost of washing your bedding more frequently, knowing how to do it properly is pivotal to ensure you don’t waste resources like energy, water and detergent.
Jill explained that “the best way” to wash your bed sheets is to use “the hottest water the material can stand”. Many care labels will instruct you to wash sheets in cooler water though this is counteractive if your aim is to eliminate germs and nasty critters.
For a low-cost alternative to hot was cycles, the sleep science coach suggested a 40C wash combined with some gentle ironing.
She said: “This will help sanitise them without overly prolonging their exposure to heat.”
It’s not just sheets and linens that you need to consider if you’re wondering how often to clean the cosy materials sprawled across your bed. Pillows, blankets and comforters should also be washed more regularly than you might think.
The Sleep Advisor expert suggested washing blankets and comforters every three months. However, if you don’t have the space to do this, Jill suggested throwing them in your tumble dryer between washings for between 10 to 15 minutes to “eradicate any critters”.
Pillows can be laundered much less frequently, roughly once or twice a year. While this is a long and manual process, it is worth it to remove waste products and insect debris that can collect inside your pillowcases.
And if you use a mattress topper, which is recommended to maintain a hygienic, stain-free mattress, you should be sure to wash it at least every two months. Of course, this should be done more often if a spill or accident occurs.