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How Often to Change Sheets on a Mattress

How Often to Change Sheets on a Mattress


Aoife O.
Apr 27, 2020

Our bedclothes are often the last thing we consider when cleaning the house, sure, the laundry basket gets lots of attention, as do other household items that you use every day. However, the bedclothes that you sleep on every night can rarely see the inside of the washer.

Maybe it’s the fact that changing bedclothes seems like such an arduous task but clean sheets not only make a cozy bed, they keep your bed clean and fresh too.

Why Should You Change Your Bed Sheets?

Your sheets collect your dead skin cells every night, along with pet hair, sweat, and saliva. These accumulated germs add up and can exacerbate allergies and make your bedclothes smell bad. How often change sheets will be determined by:

  • If you have allergies
  • If you sweat excessively during the night
  • If your pet sleeps in your bed
  • If you eat in bed
  • If you sleep naked

How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

Sleeping on dirty sheets could clog up your pores as your skin cells and oils accumulate on the sheets and pillowcases. If you suffer acne breakouts, consider changing your pillowcases every couple of days, the same applies if you suffer acne on your body too.

Changing your sheets on a weekly bases is the sweet spot. If you want to get a bit more time from your bedding. Put a flat sheet over your fitted bed sheets and another flat sheet under your blanket. So you’re sleeping between the two flat sheets, this will extend the life of you fitted bed sheets for another week. You can rotate between sets of sheets but fitted sheets can be tricky to fold. You can learn how to fold a fitted sheet and keep an extra set stored to easily change them out.

However, changing your sheets every week is the most sanitary option and can aid in limiting asthma, allergies, acne breakouts, and creating a more cozy sleep space.

How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

Bedclothes should be washed once per week to avoid dust mites from accumulating in your bed. Your dead skin cells, sweat, saliva, and pet hair is food for dust mites so to keep your bed hygienic, wash sheets, pillowcases, mattress, and pillow protectors once per week to ease allergies and keep your sleep space clean and fresh.

Struggle with night sweats? Learn more about the Best Sheets for Hot Sleepers and our cooling bedsheet options.

Fresh sheets don’t just feel good, they’re hygienic and can decrease allergy and asthma symptoms.

Should You Wash New Sheets?

When you unwrap new sheets and bedclothes from their packaging it’s tempting to put them straight on the bed, they seem clean, right? Remember more often than not, sheets and bedding are mass-produced in a factory and these can be quite dusty places.

There are also chemical treatments that the bedclothes have undergone that may leave residue on the fabric. This chemical residue is microscopic and won’t be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, it’s best to wash sheets before use at least once.

How to Wash Bed Sheets and Prevent Dust Mites

Dust mites live in our beds and munch on our dead skin cells, saliva, and anything else we leave behind on the sheets. Not changing the bedding often enough promotes their growth and can also promote mold that can exacerbate respiratory ailments and allergies.

Bed bugs are less common than dust mites but a lot more of a burden to deal with, they are visible with the naked eye, unlike dust mites. Bed bugs suck your blood as you sleep, you end up with an itchy rash and black spots on your sheets from the bugs.

Wash your sheets on a high heat cycle with laundry detergent and fabric softener. While the bed is undressed, vacuum the mattress, around the bed, and under the bed. Dust your nightstands and open your window for a while to allow some fresh air to ventilate your room and your mattress.

If you use under your bed for storage, try and find another place for storage if you can. Your mattress needs room to breathe, ventilation is key in keeping your mattress, bedding, and room fresh.

Check the care label first, then wash your sheets on the highest heat cycle they can handle.

More Ways to Keep Your Bedding Clean

Especially if you don’t have time to change your bedding once per week, follow these tips to keep your bed as clean as possible.

  • Always wear pajamas in bed, don’t sleep naked to avoid your sweat and natural oils getting on the sheets
  • Have a shower before bed and put a clean pair of pajamas on
  • Avoiding eating in bed
  • Don’t allow your pets on the bed
  • If you wear socks in bed, put a fresh pair on so as not to put dirt from the floor onto your sheets
  • Always wash your face before bed, acne breakouts can occur due to dirty pillowcases
  • Avoid putting body lotion on before bed, best to apply in the morning


When deciding how often change sheets, consider your sleep habits, if you sleep naked you’ll need to put fresh sheets on more often, around once per week. The same applies if you snack in bed, have a pet on your bed, or sweat a lot during the night.

Clean sheets are more than cozy, they’re hygienic too. If you suffer allergies or asthma, you could ease symptoms by being washing your sheets often. It’s vital to use mattress and pillow protectors to keep your mattress and pillows clean and help to prolong their lifespan. Also, wash any protective bedding once per week too. Sleeping clean can help you to sleep well.

Disclaimer: Nolah does not provide medical advice. All resources on the Nolah blog, including this article, are informational only and do not replace professional medical counsel. Talk to your doctor about any health, mental health, or sleep-related issues.

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