Turns out there are rules for how often to replace your bath towels and linens. Here’s the breakdown.

Bath towels and bed linens get a lot of mileage. That’s why it’s important to invest in products made with high-quality, natural, and sustainable materials like organic cotton, organic hemp, and linen. Renewable fabrics get softer with time and stand up to everyday use better than their synthetic counterparts. Plus, they don’t shed microplastics into the environment and aren’t made or processed with toxins or chemicals that could be harmful to your health. 

Still, there’s a general rule of thumb for how long you should keep these household essentials in your daily rotation. (Hint: it’s not when they’ve transformed from cozy sheets and bath towels to what can only be considered a rag.)

Wondering when it’s time to go out with the old and in with the new? Here’s how often you should replace your bath towels and bed linens.  

Read more: The Incredible, Renewable Power of Linen

Bath Towels

Avocado Organic Cotton Bath Towel in Stone GreyGenerally, you should swap your bath towels every two to five years. But what end of the timeline you’re closer to depends on a few factors. How many people are in your household makes a difference. It’s safe to say that a family with kids will wear out a set of towels faster than someone who lives alone or those without children.

Quality of care has an impact, too. Always follow the washing instructions on the tag and avoid drying towels on the high heat setting. Another word to the wise? Harsh cleaners like bleach and fabric softeners will degrade your towels quickly — they’re also harmful to the environment.

Materials also matter. Look for towels made with GOTS certified organic cotton and a high grams per square meter number (700 gsm is known for its durable, weighty, and luxurious feel). Natural materials and high-quality construction ensure superior longevity.

Read more: 8 Sustainable Bathroom Products For a Spa-Inspired Oasis

Washcloths and Hand Towels

Avocado Organic Cotton Hand Towel in Cloud WhiteSoap suds. Dirt and grime. We put washcloths and hand towels through the wringer. So it only makes sense that the workhorses need to be replaced more often than the larger towels we use to dry off. It’s recommended that you get a new set every one to two years. To guarantee your towels reach the two-year mark, follow the same care, materials, and craftsmanship guidelines as you do for bath towels.

Bath Mats

Avocado Organic Cotton Bath Mat in Stone GreyConsidering we step on bath mats with both clean and dirty feet, we’re not going to argue with the advice to buy a new one every year. Like towels, materials are key and so is taking proper care of your bath mat. That means hanging it to dry between uses and washing it every one to two weeks. Not only will regular care keep it fresher longer, you’ll keep stains and grunginess at bay.

Read more: Why Cotton is THE Thing You Should Always Buy Organic 

Sheets, Pillowcases, and Duvet Covers

Avocado Organic Linen Duvet in NaturalAlthough bed linens get daily use, they don’t need to be replaced nearly as often as bath towels. In fact, depending on the quality (read: materials) of your sheets, pillowcases, and duvet cover, you can keep them for up to a decade.

The thing is, linens made with sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, and linen are naturally breathable and thermoregulating, so you won’t sweat while you sleep. These fabrics also get more plush and comfortable with every wash. Check out the thread count, too. Linens stitched with a 400-thread count or above are sure to be luxuriously soft.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and a silk pillowcase is one of them. We suggest getting a new one every one to two years.


Organic Cotton Bath Towels


Read more: How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

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