How Often Should I Wash My Bed Sheets?

bed frame bed how long should i wash my bed sheets

Your bed might feel nice and comfortable. But, how long has it truthfully been since you washed and changed your sheets? Sometimes it can be tricky to know how often you should wash the sheets on your bed. This guide can help you figure out how often you should be washing your bed sheets. 

​How Often Should I Wash Bed Sheets?

​The general rule of how long to wait between washes is one week. However, most households do not stick to that rule. People are busy, the washer is constantly full of clothes, and many do not have replacement sheets.

​There are strategies to maximize your cleaning time, such as picking up a convenient vacuum cleaner for quick cleans. However, even with a few hacks in place, you still need to wash your sheets to get them completely clean. 

For these and many other reasons it is completely acceptable to wash your sheets once every two weeks. You really do not want to extend the time between washes longer than that. There can be a nightly build of up ​microscopic particles​ of your hair, skin, and even nails.

You are still sleeping on a mostly clean bed in the two-week time period.

bed frame bed how long should i wash my bed sheets

​Ways to Extend the Time Between Washes

​While you have your standard rule for changing the sheets, you can sometimes stretch the time in between a little further than normal.

​Showering Before Bed

​Showering before bed helps get rid of any dirt from the day. You could also do a nightly bath to exfoliate your skin before bed. This will help loosen and wash away any skin particles that normally get embedded in sheets.

​Being Away from Home

​You can also extend the time a little more if you spend nights away from home. There is no need to routinely wash your sheets every two weeks if you spend more than five nights away from home during that time.

​​Related: How Long You Should Keep a Mattress

If you are away a lot, then count the days in your bed. Opt to wash sheets after about 14-15 nights in bed.

​Own More than One Set of Sheets

​If you own multiple sets of sheets, you don’t need to wash them as often. Your sheets will need to be washed eventually. Owning multiple sets allows you to change the bed as needed and wait until you have time set aside to wash and dry your various sets of sheets.

Related: ​​How to Wash Wool Sweaters, Scarfs, and More​

​We've put together a comprehensive review​ on the
top vacuum for allergies​.

​When You May Need to Wash Sheets More Frequently

​​There are a few factors that can build up more dirt and bacteria. You will want to try to wash your sheets a little more frequently if you deal with any of these.

​Night Sweats

​You may need to wash your sheets more frequently if you are ​prone to night sweats​ This can saturate your sheets and the sweat can cause an odor. Make sure you are using a ​​​good mattress protector if you experience night sweats. This way your mattress won’t absorb any of the nighttime moisture.

​Sleeping with Pets

​If you have pets that sleep with you, you will want to get into a weekly washing routine. This is a must because pets will release dust, dirt, dander, pet hair, and even bugs into your bed.

Keeping a clean bed not only promotes good heath for you, it also gives your four-legged family members a healthy breathing environment while they are sleeping. ​

Pets have much more sensitive noses than humans and they will pick up dust and allergens before you do. This goes the same for ​pet beds if they have one.

If you let your pets in bed with you, know that this introduces a lot more dirt and dander. You can clean your pet more frequently, which will help. A handheld shower head makes it possible to quickly bathe your pets when you shower.

​As an aside, if you have pets, then you might really benefit from a mattress protector. This sits below your sheets and, while it doesn't keep your sheets any cleaner, a good waterproof mattress protector will really extend the life of your mattress.

​Eating in Bed

​Sometimes you spoil yourself with breakfast in bed or a movie night with popcorn, maybe even the odd midnight cookie.

Eating in bed, while it feels good at the time, is another reason you will need to change your sheets more often. This is because the crumbs and oils can embed themselves into your sheets and get on your skin while you sleep.

Crumbs in bed also attract bugs. If you do eat in bed, try to brush the crumbs out before you lay down. The oils from the food and your hands will remain so you will want to wash your sheets to remove the stains and odors.

Related: ​Your Guide to Deep Cleaning The Bedroom

sleeping girl how often should i wash my bed sheets

​Being Sick

​If you are sick, you should make the effort to change your sheets daily. This is because when you are in bed, your germs are spreading into the fibers and can potentially prolong your sickness.

While it can be difficult to change the sheets if you are alone and really sick, just make sure you ​change your sheets​​​ as soon as you are able and start to feel better​.


Now that you know how often you should wash your sheets, you can get into the routine of refreshing your bed. Clean sheets can help give you a better night sleep just because they offer a clean scent and peace of mind.

About the Author Lauren Moldvay

Lauren Moldvay is a freelance writer from Virginia and the mother of one (not always) sweet little girl. She specializes in trying to help others find easier ways to clean, manage the home and save money with DIY projects.

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