Here’s the deal: According to a 2015 study, you can produce approximately 26 gallons of sweat per year while curled up in your bed sheets. If you share your bed with a partner, multiply that by two. If you share your bed with a dog or cat, then you also share your bed with pet dander and fur. Add in the bacteria, dirt and oils you carry around with you, and you’ve got yourself quite the slumber party.
Wash your bed sheets every two weeks
For hygiene’s sake, consider washing and changing your bed sheets every two weeks. Changing your sheets may involve some frustration (the real questions here are: How on earth do you fold a fitted sheet? And, How many times do you try to put a fitted sheet corner in the wrong corner before you just throw it up in the air and give up?), but who doesn’t love slipping between freshly washed bed sheets after a long day?
Stay away from fabric softener
To uphold the quality of your bed sheets, follow the care instructions before washing. Typically, you will want to wash them in warm water and dry with low heat. And beware of fabric softener: The National Sleep Foundation notes that your sheets won’t last as long if you apply fabric softener to them.
Wash your pillow case more often
If your face gets oily or if you don’t usually wash it or take a shower before bed, consider washing your pillowcase more frequently than you wash your sheets—about once a week.
Speaking of pillows: Even though a pillow typically has an eight-year life span, doctors recommend buying a new one every two years to keep it properly supporting your head and neck as you sleep. The National Sleep Foundation notes that tiredness and stiffness are both clues that it’s time for a new pillow. In the meantime, you can keep it nice and clean by running it through the wash on a warm setting.
Want better sleep?