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5 July 2019, 14:53
Our beloved beds might be a dreamy place to sleep, but they're also breeding grounds for bacteria – here's how often you need to strip those sheets
There's nothing quite like the feeling of fresh sheets, but how often do you actually get to experience the cosy, crisp scent and fabric-softened cotton that comes with clean covers? It all depends on how often you wash your bed clothes.
The frequency in which you should be throwing those stuffy sheets into the wash varies slightly depending on how much you sweat in your sleep, how often you move about and whether or not you wear full-length pjs.
But what IS the magic number? Every few days? Weekly? Once a fortnight? Once a month? Sleep experts Joe Alexander of Nest Bedding, and Lu Xiong and Tianjiao Saikhantal Yu, founders of luxury bedding company Flaneur, reveal all.
Most of us like to think we're hygienic human beings, but we can't help shedding between 30,000 and 40,000 skin cells every single day.
And seeing as we spend half our lives in bed, the maths says that around 15,000 cells are left lurking between the sheets each morning.
Joe Alexander of Nest Bedding tells Refinery29: "Dead skin cells and body oils accumulate quickly and can attract dust mites to accumulate."
So what's his advice? "Change your sheets every weekend," suggests Joe.
In an ideal world, Joe wants us to strip those beds every Sunday, but what if we run out of time? Or, dare we say it, just can be bothered?
"It depends on a variety of factors unique to your body, metabolism, and sleep rituals (for example, whether you sleep in the nude or wear pyjamas)," Lu Xiong and Tianjiao Saikhantal Yu, founders of luxury bedding company Flaneur explain to Refinery29.
"If you tend to get hot and sweat a lot overnight, you definitely want to wash your sheets at least biweekly. If you use body lotion everyday, maybe you’ll want to wash biweekly for that reason, too. But we would suggest washing sheets at the very least once a month."
Online bed retailer Time 4 Sleep found that only 28 per cent of the UK change their sheets weekly, while 40 per cent manage to hit a two-week deadline.
However, 24 per cent admitted to washing their sheets every three to four weeks instead, and 8 per cent weren't even mentioned (we don't want to know).
If the battle of stripping and re-dressing your bed is what's putting your off the weekly wash, try these expert tips to get your sheet situation in hand.
"Grab the corner seam in your hand like a hand puppet and use it to grab the top corner of the mattress, use it to lift the corner of the mattress and tuck the bottom under the corner of the mattress for a tight, square fit," suggest Xiong and Yu.
"As for your duvet cover, you should always make sure it comes with interior ties or straps on all four corners. This may seem like a minor detail, but interior ties or straps will help your duvet stay put inside your duvet cover. You don’t want to find yourself wrestling in the middle of the night with a giant balled up duvet on your body while your feet are completely exposed to the cold," Xiong and Yu add.