How Often You Should Clean Your Bedding Will Shock You

Knowing how often to clean your bedding is important.

woman sitting on bed

Get a good night’s sleep after you read this. 

Most people spend a third of their life sleeping. Do you know how often you should clean your bedding? These shocking facts & results will surprise you…

Let’s start with what’s actually on your bed?

how often to clean your bed - microscopic germs bacteria cells virus

Let’s get down to the dirty details…

I first need to fill you in on what you’re actually sleeping with besides a possible partner, fur babies, or kiddos because quite frankly, it’s going to shock you. 😳

woman with arms spread out sitting on her bed with white sheets

We shed about 15 million dead skin cells every night. 😳 Even worse, our dead skin cells provide food for thousands of dust mites who are also taking up retail space on our beds – not good for those with allergies! It’s the perfect recipe for dust mites to multiply and over time their fecal matter will build up too. 😬

This is also in addition to fungi and bacteria also found on dirty sheets. YIKES!

If that’s not scary enough, Business Insider shared a study that unwashed pillow cases and sheets had up to 39 times more bacteria than pet-food bowls AND several thousand times more bacteria than a toilet seat. 🤯😱😳😨😬😧😵

So how often are you washing your sheets? We took a poll among our Hip readers:

hip2save reader poll graph on how often washing sheets

We found that 67% of our Hip readers clean their sheets weekly and just 1% wash them twice a week.

Allergist experts say to wash your actual sheets at least once a week in hot water, so the majority of Hip readers already seem to know how often to clean their bedding.

As for the minority, 17% of Hip readers currently wash their sheets every other week and the remaining 15% wash their sheets monthly or not regularly at all. 😰

Here’s everything you need to know about how often you should clean your bedding and bed:

Layer 1: Mattress

woman laying on bed

Your mattress is your foundation and many of us have them for years. Taking care of your mattress is important since buying a new one often certainly isn’t practical or necessary.

How often should you clean your mattress?

It’s recommended to clean your mattress every 6 months. Or for a more frequent schedule, clean your mattress when the seasons change.

hand holding a box of arm & hammer baking soda

Here are some great mattress cleaning tips:

  • Flip your mattress. Some mattresses cannot be flipped over completely. In that case, rotate it so the foot end is now at the top.

  • Vacuum your mattress. This will help get rid of dead skin cells, fungi, and bacteria living on the surface.

  • Freshen up your mattress. Easily deodorize your mattress by sprinkling the bare surface with baking soda. Let sit for an hour and vacuum with your vacuum attachment.

bare mattress and box on floor with pillows on top

When should you replace your mattress?

It’s recommended by The National Sleep Foundation to replace your mattress every 8 to 10 years due to regular wear and tear. However, the amount of time will vary depending on the design, materials, type of mattress, and the level of use.

Layer 2: Sheets

costco Kirkland signature 680 sheets on a bed

Your sheets are the part of your bed you actually touch most frequently. This includes your pillowcases, fitted sheets, and regular bed sheet.

How often should you clean your sheets?

Sheets should be washed about every week to two weeks. If you tend to sweat a lot in your sleep you should consider washing the sheets at least every week.

set of sheets in amazon box

When should you replace your sheets?

Over time, the fibers making up your sheets will begin to break down from frequent use and washing. Using bleach on white sheets will also significantly decrease your sheets’ longevity and can even cause them to change to off-white rather than a brighter white.

Inevitably, your sheets will begin to thin, tear, or develop holes. When this happens it’s time for a replacement.

Skip bleach altogether and use our tips on how to wash white bedding.

Layer 3: Sleeping pillows

Warmkiss Pillow Set

Pillows absorb dead skin cells and body fluids like oils, sweat, and drool each time you sleep on them. Absorbing these on a daily basis (regardless if you have a cover on your pillow or not) takes a toll on the freshness. Dirty pillows will also result in an overpopulation of dust mites which can contribute to allergies.

How often should you clean your pillows?

It’s recommended to wash your pillows at least every 6 months.

hand putting pillow in red cart

When should you replace your pillows? 

If you’re always waking up with neck pain, it may be time to replace your pillow or find one that’s the perfect fit for you. Over time, pillows will lose their shape or become lumpy despite how often you clean your bedding. If you have a down pillow, it may become flat and constantly need fluffing.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends replacing your frequently used pillows depending on the type of pillow you have:

  • Polyester or Down Alternative: Replace every 1 to 2 years.
  • Polyfoam: Replace every 2 to 3 years.
  • Memory Foam: Replace every 2 to 3 years.
  • Latex: Replace every 2 to 4 years.
  • Down or Feather: Replace every 1 to 3 years.

Layer 4: Quilts and duvet covers

edloe finch rattan bed frame

Most people use their larger duvets as decoration and therefore do not need to be washed as often as other bedding essentials. If you’re using sheets your body also isn’t coming into contact with these layers of bedding either. They still collect dust, so washing is inevitable.

How often should you clean your duvets and/or quilts? 

Cleaning duvet covers are recommended to wash just once a month for sufficient cleaning. Coverlets and quilts that are your middle layer and much thinner, can be washed just a couple of times a year.

When should I replace my duvet insert?

Over time the filling of your duvet may settle into the corners or become lumpy. In this case, it can affect your sleep when regulating your body temperature and should be replaced. Replacing them will vary greatly on the quality of your duvet.

Need a new duvet cover? Here are our top picks for every budget:

Layer 5: Decorative Pillows

childs bed with purple bunny and huge cream pom pillow

These are pillows that only see the light of day, meaning, they’re just for decoration when the bed is made.

How often should you clean your decorative pillows?

It’s recommended to spot clean as needed and wash every few weeks to maintain freshness and get rid of dust.

woman hugging throw pillows

When should you replace your decorative pillows?

Every person’s use for decorative pillows can vary so there’s no straight answer. If your pillows are feeling dingy, swap out your inserts as needed. Season changes are a great time to wash your throw pillows or replace them with new ones.

Here’s how to maximize every purchase in your new home.

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