How often should you change bed sheets?


Experts say that you should change your bed sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers once a week or at the most every two weeks. However, a YouGov poll found that one in 20 people wash their sheets once every four weeks and over a third only wash their bed linen every two to three weeks!

  1. How often should you wash your bed sheets?
  2. How often should you wash your sheets when you're sick?
  3. What happens if you don't change your bed sheets?
  4. Can not changing your sheets make you sick?
  5. How often should you replace your bed sheets?

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How often should you wash your bed sheets?
Wash your bed sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases once a week to keep your bed linen fresh. Regularly washing your bed linen will help protect your more expensive bedding items like your mattress, duvet and pillows from bodily secretions such as oils, fluids and hair.

How often should you wash your bed sheets if you're sick?
If you or a member of your family is ill, then experts recommend that bedding is changed every day if possible or at least that your pillowcase is cleaned daily as germs and viruses can live for several hours and even survive a wash.

Top tip on how to kill germs and viruses on your bed sheets from Microbiologist Laura Bowater:

‘Dry sheets and pillowcases in direct sunlight if you can, as UV light is effective in killing micro-organisms. Run a hot iron over pillowcases on the cotton setting (200c) to kill any leftover bacteria'.

See How to clean and care for your bed linen

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What happens if you don't change your bed sheets?
Bed sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases rack up a variety of bodily fluids, dirt from outside and dead skin cells as we sleep. If you don’t clean your bed linen regularly, then those bodily fluids can seep into your pillows, duvets and mattresses which are always much harder to clean than your sheets, duvet covers or pillowcases.

Can not changing your sheets make you sick?
If you don’t wash your bed linen regularly you could worsen existing health problems. Dust mites feed off dead skin cells which can worsen asthma and set off dust mite allergies.

How often should you replace your bed sheets?
If your bed sheets are good quality then they should last around five to seven years. When you see or feel signs of wear and tear, replace them.  Sheets made from Egyptian cotton  will be more durable than other cottons and get softer with every wash. So buy Egyptian cotton for sheets that will last and improve over time.

See How to clean and care for your bed linen and our Guide to Egyptian cotton.

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Top how often should you change bed sheets faqs:

How often do you need to wash your bed sheets?

You should wash your bed sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases once a week to keep your bed linen fresh. Keeping your bed linen clean will protect your mattress, duvet and pillows from body oils, fluids, hair, etc.  

What happens when you don't wash your sheets?

When you don't wash your sheets, oils and fluids from your body can build up and become embedded in the fibres of your bedding which are then more difficult to get rid of. Also, dust mite droppings can cause allergic rhinitis or breathing problems for people with asthma.

How often should you replace your sheets?

Good quality bed sheets should be replaced every five to seven years if you can see or feel signs of wear or tear. Good quality Egyptian cotton sheets however will last longer than other cottons. Buy the best quality bed sheets you can and look after them carefully to ensure your sheets last as long as possible.

 


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