According to the Sleep Foundation, most of us spend 49-60 hours a week in bed1. Now, those hours could include sleeping, cuddling, Netflix-ing, and chowing down on some pad thai. We do a lot in our beds and should respect our bedding accordingly.
While stripping down your mattress to the bare bones and washing pillowcases, sheets, and comforters sounds like a chore, think of it instead as a ritualistic cleansing. When your bed sheets are clean, your life is clean. You are able to get rid of any sweat marks, smells, or stains that naturally accrue over a period of time.
So how often should you wash your sheets?
The Sleep Foundation recommends that people wash and change their bed sheets once a week, or twice a week if you travel and don’t sleep on your mattress every night.
A weekly washing may sound like a lot, but the benefits of washing dirty sheets far outweigh the annoyance of laundry day. Read further to learn more about how often to wash sheets, the importance of washing your sheets, and the ins and outs of sleep hygiene.
Now that we’ve faced the hard truth that we’re probably not washing our cotton or silk sheets enough, we can make a concerted effort to change our cleaning habits.
The Sleep Foundation doesn’t make this once a week recommendation lightly—keeping your bed sheets clean can truly impact your quality of sleep, which in turn can impact your quality of life.
Even after a few days, the Sleep Foundation says your sheets can build up:
When you see what happens in your cotton sheets spelled out like that, well, it can be a bit alarming. That’s a lot of stuff you don’t want to rest your pretty little head on—or the rest of your body, for that matter—each night.
Even if you aren’t bothered by your own dirt and grime, sleeping with dust mites can lead to skin irritation and rashes. And these little guys multiply quickly, meaning the longer you wait to wash, the more unwelcome bedfellows you’ll be sleeping with. To avoid pesky irritation, the best thing you can do is make sure you have the best sheets for allergies and you wash them regularly.
In addition to avoiding unwanted skin irritation, keeping your sheets clean also simply feels good. Knowing you’re cuddling up with freshly washed sheets puts your mind at ease (no nightmares about dust mites here), which will help you drift off faster.
You may be wondering—OK, but do I have to wash all my bedding once a week?
Lucky for you, the Sleep Foundation recommends that you launder pillowcases weekly, but the rest of your bedding can wait.
Now that we’ve answered how often should you change your bed sheets, it’s time to ask why is changing your bed sheets so important?
Washing sheets frequently and consistently is just one way to help improve your sleep hygiene2.
What is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene is treating your sleep environment and sleep habits like your body—you want to keep it strong, stable, and healthy. Getting enough quality sleep every night can help improve your mental and physical wellbeing. It can also make you more productive and even more positive in your daily life.
To improve and maintain a healthy sleep environment, you’ll want to keep your bedding clean, your pre-bed ritual relaxing, and your bedroom free of distractions.
Paying attention to your sleep habits can help you address any underlying issues.
Do you routinely wake up at 3 am with the TV still blaring? Is a dip in your mattress tweaking your back so that it takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep? Does pilling in your bed linen make you kick around until you can’t feel the nagging material any longer?
Obtaining good sleep hygiene is all about setting yourself up for success. Some tips to follow to get you on the right track include:
While changing and washing sheets seems like a small chore, it’s actually one of the key components to improving and maintaining a healthy sleep environment.
Keeping your bedroom space calm and your sheets clean can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. You should treat sleeping like the restorative act that it is—using shortcuts or ignoring discomfort with your bedding will only harm you mentally and physically in the long run.
If washing your sheets and pillowcases weekly still sounds excessive, just think of it as part of your bedtime routine: wash sheets, make bed, snuggle up in fresh bedding, snooze away.
With Casper, you can achieve the level of excellent sleep you’ve only dreamed of. Casper’s easy-to-wash bed sheets get softer with each cycle, offering even more incentive to strip your bed once a week. And you’ll never fidget in dents or lumps with Casper’s plush, supportive, and cooling mattresses.
Falling into the plush comfort of Casper bedding will make those 49-60 hours in bed the best hours spent all week.
Ready to find the perfect sheets? Check out our blog as we compare some of our favorites, percale vs sateen sheets!