New year, clean sheets: how often should you wash your sheets?

While our bedsheets and pillows protect us from the elements while we sleep, they’re exposed to the elements from our bodies: dust, sweat, tears, dead skin cells, and more. The average human sheds thousands of skin cells every day, 30,000-40,000 in fact. They come into contact with our skin and clothes every day, whether we’ve been sitting on the couch all day or hiking through mountains. That includes dirty feet from walking around all day!

This means our beds are absorbing a lot of impurities that can muddy their cleanliness, further raising your potential for catching allergies, absorbing dust, and harming your skin. Studies show that 99% of people have allergens in their room, many of which settle on your bed. You don’t want to hold a dusty blanket so close to your face while you try to sleep. For sanitary, aesthetic, and comfort purposes, it’s essential to throw your bedding in the laundry every once in a while to quash the dust mites and bed bugs. But how often should you wash it all?

Parts that gather more dust and come into more contact with you need to be washed more often. This typically includes pillowcases, duvet covers, and sheets. Dirty pillowcases have been linked to some acne breakouts — it’s where your face spends several hours sitting anyway. Pillowcases are also in constant contact with your hair, which you already know you need to wash often for reasons. By washing your pillowcase at least once a week or every other week, you can get rid of a lot of the hair gunk before it starts clogging your face with pimples and blackheads. If you’ve been experiencing a lot of facial blemishes, it’s possible your pillowcase is to blame.

Duvet covers, comforters, blankets, and bedsheets follow pillowcases in coming into contact with your clothes and skin. Wash that duvet cover in cold water, as hot water might shrink it! Actually, this varies by the sheet’s materials, so check its tags. If it can’t handle a lot of heat, don’t turn your dryer up too high or just air dry it. How often to wash these also depends on how often you use them. If you’re rolling around in it nightly, throw it in the laundry every time, at least once a week or two. 

Now, what about that mattress? You definitely can’t throw it in your washing machine or dunk it in the pool. But you can still clean your mattress and should be doing so every 6 months. Even if you think it’s protected by your sheets from the elements, dust mites and stains can find their way through. You can clean the mattress with baking soda, clean cloths, and a vacuum if needed. 

Many mattresses, particularly Lull’s premium memory foam mattress, were constructed to be non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. But no matter how amazingly durable or sturdy a mattress is, it’s still partially your responsibility to help maintain that freshness. So show your mattress some love and wash the dirt and stains away!