Here’s How Often You Should Really Change Your Bed Sheets

Emma Smith | Sun Apr 23 2023

Bed sheets are more important than we give them credit for. We spend approximately a third of our lives in our beds, which equates to around 36 years, according to the National Library of Medicine. Sleep is a big part of our lives, and good quality sleep is essential for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. While often overlooked, maintaining clean bed sheets is especially important in ensuring we have good quality sleep.

We’ve all heard rumors about how often we should be changing our bedsheets. Some claim that changing your bedding once a month is perfectly normal, while others claim that you should be changing your sheets twice a week depending on lifestyle choices. We’re going to break down exactly what they say about how often we should be changing our sheets and what factors to consider when we do.

There are several factors that impact the frequency with which we should be changing our sheets. These factors depend on the quality and material of our bedding, our showering habits, the climate that we sleep in, allergies or respiratory problems, and how much each of us naturally sweat during sleep.

Generally speaking, it is recommended to change your bedsheets once a week. This helps maintain good sleep hygiene, as all of us will be sweating into our sheets to a certain extent and shedding dead skin cells. Even if you feel as though you don’t particularly notice a difference in the quality of sleep depending on sheet freshness, it probably makes a considerable difference.

A study from 2012 conducted by the US National Sleep Foundation discovered that 73% of people, almost three-quarters of us, have a better night’s sleep when we sleep on freshly laundered sheets. Even if you don’t think you notice a difference, your body might feel the change and appreciate your sleeping environment all the more.

If you’re the type of person who does happen to sweat a lot in your sleep or if you have oily skin, you’ll want to be changing your bedsheets at least once a week, but ideally, even more frequently. It’s recommended to actually change your sheets around twice a week or every three to four days. Likewise, if you are the type of person who suffers from a respiratory condition or if you have allergies, you’ll want to be replacing your sheets with a fresh set around twice a week.

The material of your bedsheets is also another factor to consider. If you’re sleeping on 100% cotton, you can probably afford to change your sheets a little less frequently during the winter months, thanks to the breathable qualities of cotton. For example, if you were changing your sheets once a week, you could probably push it back another half a week. However, during the summer months, cotton will likely be more sweat-absorbant and therefore need changing a little more frequently. Flannel sheets, on the other hand, should ideally be changed more frequently during the winter months as they encourage increased skin shedding.

Another often-overlooked aspect of painting fresh sheets is adhering to proper washing and drying methods. It is essential that you follow washing instructions, such as washing cotton sheets at 40 degrees Celsius, in order to eradicate germs effectively. For those who are more sensitive to bacteria or who have allergies, you may want to wash your sheets at 60 degrees instead. Likewise, sheets need to be dried on a high enough heat (around 55 degrees Celsius).

Maintaining clean bed sheets can look different from person to person as everyone has differing needs. The frequency with which you change your sheets will depend on several factors and will need to be assessed by you in order to arrive at the right conclusion. Generally speaking, it is encouraged to change your sheets around once a week in order to ensure optimal sleep hygiene, but that frequency changes depending on specific health and lifestyle choices.