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Here’s how often you really need to wash your sheets

messy bed sheets and pillows
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How often do you change your sheets? Chances are, unless it’s once a week, you could benefit from changing them more frequently.

Experts say we spend roughly a third of the day sleeping. While that sounds like a lot — and it is — spending that much time in bed is actually a good thing. Sleep has been known to improve physical well-being and boost mental health. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk for serious health issues and enhance immunity. However, through the day and night, sheets collect things like dust, pollen, skin flakes, sweat and body oils, makeup, and, if you have a four-legged roommate, pet hair.

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Take The Hassle Out Of Cleaning Sheets

It doesn’t matter what material your sheets are made from, they still need to be laundered weekly because all varieties collect gunk. So whether you prefer a cotton blend or would rather opt for satin sheets, it’s good to get into a regular cleaning routine.

If you only have one set of sheets, washing them can be a full-day chore. Make it easier on yourself by keeping at least two to three pairs of sheets on hand. That way you can quickly swap them out and then wash them when it’s most convenient for you.

Thankfully, duvet covers, throw blankets and comforters require less frequent washing since they have less contact with your skin. Once a month, or even pushing it to every other month, is just fine.

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Staying Cool Throughout The Night

If you tend to sweat a lot, you might want to try using satin sheets. Their silkiness provides a cool sleeping surface. The best satin sheets won’t pill, snag or unravel over time, which can sometimes happen with satin-blend sheets. Look for the word “woven” in the product description. When possible, go for polyester blends over nylon or acetate for the silkiest feel.

Exceptions To The Rule

While washing once a week is recommended, that frequency might not be feasible for everyone. If you travel frequently, every two weeks is fine — just don’t push it any longer than that.

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Wash Bedding Well

Stains happen, but that doesn’t mean they need to be permanent. A splash of wine or a splotch of food should be pretreated before washing. Just be sure to check that the stain is lifted before putting it in the dryer because the hot drying cycle can make it harder to remove. If you noticed the stain is still there, repeat the spot treatment and cleaning cycle.

MORE: These are the best and worst laundry detergents on the market

In most cases, washing sheets in cold water is all you need, but do opt for hot water if you are prone to allergies or if someone was recently sick. The high water temperature will disinfect the sheets. Dry them on the lowest setting possible to keep them looking good for as long as possible.

Think of it this way, if you spend a third of your life in bed, wouldn’t you prefer it to be tucked inside clean sheets?

MORE: How to clean your mattress—and why you really should

About the Author

Emily O'Brien

Emily is a freelance writer who loves connecting the dots among facts and finding obscure little details to weave in throughout her work. Whether she's interviewing Olympic athletes, small business owners, dessert cookbook writers, or world-renowned architects, she's passionate about shining the spotlight on good people doing remarkable work. More.

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