The Ultimate Guide to Bed Hygiene: Your Bedding Hygiene Questions Answered

I think we can all agree that there’s no better feeling than climbing into a freshly made bed.  We spend around a third of our lives in bed so keeping your sleeping space clean and comfortable should be a priority.  But how confident are you that your bed is truly fresh?  How often should we be changing our sheets and why is a clean bed so important? 

Grab a cuppa and join us as we look at the hows and whys of good bed hygiene. 

Dishing the Dirt – why clean sheets are a must 

Every week we spend an average of two whole days in bed.  And even the cleanest bed fellow will shed dead skin cells and sweat during the night which can make your sheets look, feel and smell a little musty.  What’s more, an accumulation of dirt will unavoidably attract dust mites, and although these little critters are not quite as icksome as they sound, their droppings can trigger allergic reactions and make us ill. 

And what’s more, a bacteria build-up is particularly troublesome if you suffer from acne or other pesky skin conditions, so squeaky-clean sheets are a must if we are to sleep well and stay healthy. 

Fresher for Longer – how to keep your bed fresh between washes 

Although regular laundering is recommended, there are some ingenious ways to keep your bed linen cleaner for longer between washes.  Bed linen made from good quality, natural fibres will be more breathable, meaning sweat-free nights and fresher sheets for longer.  It’s also great to be able to give your bedding some ‘down time’ during the day.  Fold back your duvet and blankets to let your bed breathe, and when you whip your sheets off on wash day, give your duvet and pillows some naked time to allow any residual body moisture to evaporate.   

And what about those yellow marks on our pillows?  These are down to moisture, but using pillow protectors will help prevent these stains penetrating your pillow and help prolong the freshness of your filled bedding.  And sunshine is your friend.  We love to hang our duvet and pillows outside on a sunny day; the sun’s UV rays are fabulous bacteria-busters and also help bleach out any stubborn stains.  But don’t forget to wash the protectors themselves too every few weeks… we wash ours when we spot any marks or discolouration. 

When to Wash? – how often to wash your bedding 

How often you should wash your bed sheets does vary depending on many factors but we would say that every two weeks is a good guideline.  If you shower every night before climbing into bed, snuggle up in pyjamas and sleep alone then you can probably leave them a little longer, whereas if you’re a naked sleeper and share your bed (with another human or furry friend) then those sheets might need refreshing more often.   

Washing sheets is an energy guzzler so if you’re not quite sure how often to strip your bed, then why not use our Clean Sheets Calculator to do your wash-day workings? 

Your duvets and pillows don’t need to be washed as often as your bed linen but they will need a scrub-up every now and then.  Pillows should ideally be popped in the machine or taken to the laundrette every few months, whereas a duvet can usually survive at least a year before needing a good wash.  Those of you who switch your bedding out with the seasons might find this a good opportunity to have your duvet laundered before stowing it away until it’s next needed.  However, if you air out and spot clean your duvet regularly then you might only need to give it a proper wash once every few years. 

Time For a Change – how often to replace bedding 

Despite regular washing, careful handling and safe storage, there will inevitably come a day when your sheets, pillows and duvet will need replacing.  Sheets and pillowcases can become discoloured or perhaps start to wear thin, and some fabrics might start to pill or develop unsightly pulls.  We firmly believe that life is too short to sleep in shabby bed linen so if yours is making you hang your head in shame, then it’s time to replace. 

It's quite easy to spot a pillow that’s ready for recycling.  Staining, loss of shape or general lack of ‘oomph’ are sure signs that it’s time to go shopping.  A flat pillow will become uncomfortable and won’t provide the necessary support and let’s not forget the bacteria that can accumulate in an often-used pillow (bleurgh).  On average, most pillows will need replacing after a year or two if they’ve been used consistently night after night. 

A well-made duvet with a good quality fill should last you at least five to ten years but as it ages you will likely start to notice that it’s not working as efficiently as it once did.  You’ll probably feel ‘cold spots’ where the feather and down has migrated or broken down, and the casing will wear and start to leak feathers.  As soon as your duvet is no longer keeping you warm and cosy it’s time to replace it for something fresh and bouncy. 

If you need some top tips to help you keep your bedding fresh, or if it’s time to choose something new for your bed, then please get in touch with our lovely Customer Smile Makers who will be delighted to help. 

Is it bedtime yet?