The verdict: more often than you think. Here’s how often you should actually wash your sheets, pillows, duvets, and blankets for healthier, more restful sleep.
That fresh laundry smell. The feeling of sliding into bed under clean, cool, crisp sheets. Few things are as satisfying. But if you’re not washing your sheets as often as you should, your bed can quickly go from a sleep sanctuary to a haven for skin cells, dust mites, and bacteria.
Not only is a buildup of body oils, sweat, and grime cringe-worthy, it can irritate allergies and make it more difficult to breathe for those who suffer from asthma or other breathing issues. In fact, dust mite allergies affect 20 million people across the U.S., and dust mites found in the home — and in your bed — are also associated with hay fever, asthma, and eczema.
So how often should you really wash your sheets? And what about the rest of your bedding? We did some research to find out.
Read more: How To Do Your Laundry More Sustainably
Generally, experts recommend changing and washing your sheets weekly to keep build-up at bay and to enjoy healthier, more restful sleep. But you may want to consider implementing a more frequent washing schedule if you let your pet sleep in bed with you, you’re a hot sleeper (read: you sweat a lot), you sleep naked, or you suffer from allergies. The reason? Danders, skin cells, and dust mites will accumulate faster.
To help your bedding stay fresher longer, there are a few basic rules to follow: shower before bed, never go to bed with makeup on, don’t eat or drink in bed, don’t sleep in socks, and avoid putting on lotion or body oil right before laying down.
Of course, the quality of your sheets matters, too. When you invest in sheets made with organic materials — like our GOTS certified organic cotton, linen, and hemp sheets — your bedding will stand up to your weekly washing schedule, get softer with time, and keep harmful microplastics out of our oceans and waterways. Oh, and to make sure you never get stuck waiting for your laundry to dry, have a second set of sheets handy.
Organic Hemp Sheets
Read more: Should You Let Your Dog Sleep On Your Bed?
First things first — always, always, get a protector for your pillow. A pillow protector will help shield your pillow from dust mites, hair, skin cells, and occasional spills, so you can keep it for years. Throw both your pillowcase and pillow protector in the wash weekly with your bedding. If your pillow is made of materials that can be washed, plan to do so every six months. If, like our Organic Luxury Plush Pillow, spot cleaning is recommended, give it a good fluff every now and then, or hang it outside on a sunny afternoon so it can soak up the fresh air.
Organic Pillow Protector
Duvet Inserts and Covers
Whether or not you should wash your duvet insert also depends on the materials. Check the label. Some duvets are machine washable, while others can be dry cleaned. However, if your duvet insert is filled with feathers, wool, or sustainable fibers, spot cleaning, hanging it on the line to get some fresh air, and a good fluff once or twice a year is sufficient.
Fun fact: Sunlight is a natural antimicrobial agent, so letting it breathe outside will eliminate any dust mites or other bacteria. As far as your duvet cover is concerned, washing it weekly is the move.
Alpaca Duvet Insert
Read more: Upgrade Bedtime With a Silk Pillowcase
Comforters and Blankets
Comforters need a solid cleaning every now and then, too — as do the blankets you pile on top to keep cozy in the winter. A good rule of thumb is to wash your comforter and bedding (check the washing tag for care instructions) with the change of the seasons. In between, throw them in the dryer on high heat to eliminate bacteria or dust mites.
Unless you’ve spilled something on your mattress or there’s been an accident (looking at you, Fido), you only need to wash your mattress protector every two months. Make it easy to remember by scheduling it for the same time you plan to wash your sheets.
Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector
Read more: The Case For Sleeping Naked
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The Essential Organic Pillow Collection
Gentle, breathable, non-toxic support.