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How Often Should I Wash My Bedding?

Updated on August 29, 2017
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E. L. Danvers is a full-time professional writer and investigative journalist based in Southern California.

Not to mention, clean sheets are awesome!
Not to mention, clean sheets are awesome! | Source

Why Should You Wash Your Bedding?

There are a lot of reasons to wash your bedding regularly.

  • It gets rid of dust mites, which are gross and potentially cause allergies.
  • Bacterial build-up is caused by sweat, oil, and skin flakes that build up on your bedding.
  • These bacteria are what cause unwashed bedding to smell bad.
  • A musty-smelling room and funky sheets are a BIG turn-off to any potential partners.
  • There's nothing better than slipping into a bed with crisp, clean, freshly washed sheets and blankets!

You spend a third of your life (8 hours a night on average) in your bed. It makes sense that your bed sheets would need to be changed and washed regularly, just like your clothes need regular washing.

On the other hand, changing and washing sheets and blankets can be a big hassle. And if you have to pay for each load of laundry, it can be expensive to wash your bedding very often.

One factor which can affect how often you should wash your sheets is how you dress for bed. If you sleep in the nude, you will want to wash your bed linens much more often than someone who sleeps in sweats and a t-shirt.

If you use a large comforter, duvet, or down blanket on your bed, then you will want to use a duvet cover. This is essentially a big slipcover for your heavy blanket. If you use a duvet cover, it greatly reduces how often you need to wash your comforter.

Using a contour sheet and a flat sheet will also help ease your laundry burden.

Next to the Skin: Contour (Fitted) Sheets, Flat Sheets, and Pillow Cases

Contour sheets, flat sheets, and pillow cases should all be changed out weekly, because they bear the brunt of your nightly emanations. They are your bed's first line of defense, the bed's equivalent of underwear.

If you prefer to do larger loads of laundry less often, buy several sheet sets so that you can put a new set on your bed every week. That way you can let the dirty sheets pile up somewhere other than your bed, and wash them all at once.

Pillow cases in particular should always be changed weekly, because of the oil from your face and hair, as well as the drool. Have you ever noticed strange yellowish stains on your pillow? Yep, those come from your head.


The Hidden Funk: Pillows

Pillows should be laundered, too. Even if you change your pillow cases once a week, pillows eventually build up their own funk, and take on a yellowish hue from absorbed oils. Pillows should be washed between two and four times a year, depending on how many pillows you use. (The more pillows you use, the less often they need to be washed.) Pillows should be replaced every few years, as they lose shape and accumulate an ever-greater load of dust mites.

Most pillows can go through the laundry just like your regular clothes. (Be sure to balance the load with some heavy towels on the other side, to keep the machine from knocking.)


Middle Ground: Blankets

The term “blankets” refers to insulating layers which are not quilted. If it doesn’t have stuffing inside, it is a blanket.

  • If you are dutiful about using a flat sheet and changing it every week, then you can get away with only washing your blankets once a month.
  • If you are not good about changing the sheets, then you should wash your blankets every other week.
  • If you do not use a flat sheet, then you should wash your blankets weekly.

Most blankets can go through the laundry just like your regular clothes. Check the care tag to be sure.


Do I Hafta? The Duvet Cover

A duvet cover is a big slipcover for your duvet (large comforter). Using a duvet cover is highly recommended! Not only can it add an extra bit of affordable, customizable style to your bedroom, but it also keeps you from having to wash the duvet itself as often.

How often to wash a duvet cover depends on what is between you and the duvet cover.

  • No sheets between yourself and the duvet cover: Wash the duvet cover weekly
  • One flat sheet, washed weekly: Launder the duvet cover once or twice a month.
  • One flat sheet, NOT washed weekly: Wash the cover weekly.
  • A flat sheet and blankets: Wash the duvet cover every three or four months.

Martha Stewart demonstrates how to fold a fitted sheet

Thick Blankets: Comforter, Duvet, Down Blanket, ETc

This depends on how good you are about using (and washing) your sheets and the duvet cover. Making proper use of a duvet cover and sheets can make the difference between needing to wash your comforter once a week, versus needing to wash it twice a year.

  • Just a comforter (no flat sheets or duvet cover): Wash your comforter weekly.
  • Just a duvet cover (no flat sheets or other blankets), AND you are good about washing the duvet cover once a week: Wash your comforter once a month.
  • Just a duvet cover (no flat sheets or other blankets) but you are NOT good about washing the duvet cover once a week: Wash your comforter twice a month.
  • Duvet cover and flat sheets, and you are good about washing them weekly: Wash your comforter quarterly (four times a year).
  • Duvet cover and flat sheets, but you are NOT good about washing them weekly: Wash your comforter once a month.
  • Duvet cover, flat sheets, and blankets, and you are good about washing them weekly: Wash your comforter twice a year.
  • Duvet cover, flat sheet, and blankets, but you are NOT good about washing them weekly: Wash your comforter quarterly (four times a year.)

Bedding Laundry Survey

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Bedding Laundry Quiz

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© 2010 E L Danvers


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    • HomeTexDirect profile image

      AB Chaudhry 15 months ago from Bolton

      Comfy sheets and pillow help you to get a better sleep.

    • profile image

      Matthew 2 years ago

      Wow I need to start doing that

    • profile image

      Jane 2 years ago

      It's so disgusting when I've just found out from where those yellowish stains on my pillows come :(

      I swear that from now on I'll wash my pillow cases more frequently!

    • profile image

      Courtney 5 years ago

      Thnxs but is it bad that I change it every month maby two to three times a week ???

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 7 years ago from India

      I'm new to housekeeping! Thanks for the tips and advice :)