On average you will spend a third of your life in bed. Bed sheets may look pretty clean, but dust mites invisible to the naked eye can multiple quickly in unwashed bedding. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain everything you need to know about washing your sheets and the frequency you should commit to for optimal results.
How often should you wash your bedding?
Bed sheets should be washed at least once a week, but at most once every fortnight.
To wash your bedding effectively, you should wash bedding at 60C as this will ensure dust mites are killed.
Dust mites have been known to survive washing at lower temperatures.
You should aim to wash your bedding more frequently if you have a condition which means you are sensitive to unclean bedding such as if:
- You have allergies or asthma
- You are sensitive to dust
- You have an infection or legion which makes contact with your sheets or pillows
- You sweat excessively
- Your pet sleeps in your bed
- You eat in bed
- You go to bed without showering
- You sleep in the nude.
The Sleep Council estimates that as much as a tenth of the weight of a pillow that has never been washed is made up of human skin scales, mould, dust mites, including dead dust mites and their droppings.
To ensure a pillow is kept in a hygienic condition, you should wash pillows at least once every three months.
Washing pillows at 60C in a washing machine should ensure they are kept in a good condition.
You should also wash your duvet every two to three months, but should be sure to check the label before you use your washing machine to wash it.
If the label outlines it can only be dry-cleaned, you should not wash it in your washing machine.
However, quite often you can wash a duvet in your washing machine and should aim to air dry the duvet afterwards.
Drying duvets in the sunlight will also help to kill microorganisms.
You should give your mattress a thorough clean every three to six months.
Mattresses may not look unclean, but according to the Sleep Council, the average adult loses 285ml of fluid each night.
Humans also shed around 454g of dead skin during one year with most of which is left in one’s bed.
To clean a stain-free mattress you should gently vacuum the surface of the mattress using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to ensure you pick up every last bit of dust and other debris.
Then you should rotate your mattress from head to toe if it is one-sided, or flip it if its two sides.
Air your mattress for a few hours to allow the fabric to breathe, leaving the window open if possible to allow fresh air to circulate.
Tips to keep your bedding clean:
- Do not make your bed right away when you wake in the morning as a neatly arranged duvet can trap moisture and make it irresistible to dust mites.
- Wash before you get into bed to keep it as clean as possible.
- Avoid napping after a sweaty gym session.
- Remove your makeup before getting into bed.
- Avoid putting on lotions, creams or oils right before you get into bed.
- Do not eat or drink in your bed.