Single guys change their bed sheets every three months, on average, according to a report by a mattress company. This report by Ergoflex may make your skin crawl – literally! Couples were reportedly the cleanest, changing their bed sheets every two weeks, on average. But is even this enough?
Why should we change our bed sheets?
Its not just sweat and dirt which need cleaning off our bed sheets. Our sheets—and pillows and mattresses—are also full of dust mites. These house dust mites live off our dead skin cells. The presence of dust mites is perfectly normal, but when they add on dirty sheets, we can end up breathing in their excrement.
Is your skin crawling yet? The average human sheds one gram of skin when sleeping for 8 hours. These dead skin cells, plus sweat, create the perfect environment for dust mites. We can shed up to 3.6 kilograms of skin in a year, and the average bed could contain up to 2 million dust mites.
The good news is, using a mattress protector and washing your sheets regularly will protect you.
How often should we change our bed sheets?
Washing our bed sheets once a week is recommended by Martha Stewart, however most of us manage to change our sheets every two weeks. But any longer than this will leave our beds smelling unpleasantly stale, sweaty, and-we now know-full of dust mite poop!
Washing your sheets in warm water will prevent the fibers from shrinking. Wash colourful pillow cases and duvet covers inside out to protect the colour. Of course, you should always check the label before first washing.
Also, don’t store your sheets in airtight plastic containers, as this can trap moisture and cause mildew.
How often should be buy new pillows?
A report from the Ohio State University entomology department says dust mites and their excrement can make up to 10 per cent of the weight of a 2-year old pillow. Pillows can also be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Use a pillow protector, and change your pillows every 2 years.
You should also wash your pillows twice a year! Just make sure they are completely dry afterwards, as any dampness could cause mold.