How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

We all wash our sheets when we need to, but how often should you change your sheets? Some of us wash our bedding on a strict schedule. You know who you are. Then there’s the rest of us who decide today’s the day at the spur of the moment, or we spill something all over the bed and need to clean it up right away.

How often you change your sheets is up to you, but according to a survey of Americans and their sheet changing habits, the average number of days American’s go before changing their sheets is 24. That’s about a week longer than our friends overseas. A survey of people living in Britain showed 35% of them changed their sheets every 14 days, and 33% did it once a week.

The same survey of over 1000 Americans also included several more interesting facts about how often people are changing their sheets.

Apparently, men and women have different opinions on when sheets should be changed. Men reported an average of almost 30 days being sufficient time between changing the sheets, whereas women averaged changing the sheets every 20 days. After hearing that, it’s not a surprise to find out single men reported the longest time apart at 37 days.

On the other hand, men in a relationship or married reported changing the sheets as often as roughly every 20 days. This suggests women are leading the charge for deciding how often you should change your sheets, and with good reasons.

It’s funny though, because if the dirt factors we’re about to talk about aren’t enough motivation for men to change their sheets more, there is one factor that already encourages them to, and it’s the possibility of having sex. That's right, almost half of men surveyed admitted to washing their sheets before going out if any sexual activity was a possibility. They weren’t alone though, with a third of women choosing to do the same.

However, since men average changing their sheets less often than women, men seem to be ok with the idea of their sheets being dirty. We wonder if guys would feel the same way after learning what sort of dirt could be lurking in your sheets if you don’t change them regularly.

You may not think about all the ways your sheets get dirty. When you sleep you naturally sweat, release body oils, and potentially saliva for all your droolers out there, and your skin flakes off in bed. One study showed that dirty linens can contribute to the spread of infections should they come in contact with the bedding.

All of this adds to the dirtiness of your sheets, and so do dust mites. Dust mites and their fecal matter build up in your sheets. This can contribute to generally unhealthy living conditions, but they can also be a serious problem for people with dust mite allergies.

For these reasons, professional medical groups like the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggest guidelines for how often you should change your sheets. They say the best way to kill dust mites on sheets, and keep your sheets clean in general is once a week. It’s important to wash them in hot water that’s at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum effectiveness.

Another way to keep your bedding clean is to buy new sheets and blankets so you have an extra set for emergencies or to rotate into use when it’s a cleaning day. You can also reduce the build-up of dust mites in your sheets by keeping them out of your mattress using a mattress protector.

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