Did you know you spend 1/3 of your lifetime in bed? Or that in one night’s sleep you move about 60-70 times including almost a dozen full body turns? Now how often have you thought about going without washing your bedding? The sniff test won’t cut it. Check out these tips to avoid the sniff test.

Bed Sheets

According to the National Sleep Foundation, bed sheets should be washed every other week. If you sweat a lot, every week. And if you or someone has been sick in your bed, then wash them as soon possible. 

On average, people are sleeping on dead skin cells. The body sheds about 5-10 grams of dead skin cells and 3lbs in a year, which some come off in your sleep. Those dead skin cells tend to attract dust mites.

Speaking of dust mites, according to the BBC, an unmade bed is less likely to attract bug and dust mites. So, go on and keep that clean bedding unmade.

When washing your sheets, use hot water between 130 to 150 Fahrenheit and a hot dryer cycle to kill all the germs. 

Blankets

Your favorite blankie, duvets and other blankets should be washed as often as your sheets, especially if you use them often. 

If washing them as much as your sheets seems excessive, vacuum them in between washings to eliminate dust and lint. For example, this week you wash your sheets and blankets, next week wash your sheets and vacuum your blankets. 

Comforters

According to Martha Stewart’s Bedding Care 101, comforters should also be weekly unless you don’t use a top sheet. If you use a top sheet, your comforter can be washed monthly. Comforters should be washed in cold water and dried on a low heat. Or if weather permits, hang it on a clothesline to air dry.

Bed Pillows

Bed pillows should be washed every three to six months and replaced when they start to grow limp. Luckily, pillows can go into the washer and dryer. Use the gentle cycle and wash with unscented laundry detergent and hot water. Make sure to rinse them in the rinse cycle twice with cold water. Finally, place them in the dryer with two tennis balls to avoid clumping on low. Pillows should take up to 1-2 hours to dry completely. 

Pillowcases

Like the rest of our bodies, our faces carry oil and dirt which transfer to our pillowcases, which can cause breakouts. According to Dr. David E. Bank, director and founder of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, pillow cases need to be laundered or changed every 2-3 days to avoid excessive buildup of dirt, oil, makeup, dead skin cells, etc. 

Avoid using fabric softeners and dryer sheets that can leave a waxy residue. Wash in hot water and a hot dryer cycle with unscented laundry detergent. 

Mattress

That lovely piece of cushion that makes sleep such a wonderful thing needs to be cleaned also. Luckily, it is one of the easiest things to clean – and it should be done at least twice a year.

CNN.com, breaks down how to clean your mattress:

First vacuum to remove the dust and dirt. Next wet a cloth with upholster shampoo and wipe down the mattress. Avoid making it to wet because mold can accumulate and ruin the padding. 

Finally the best part, there’s no need to flip your mattress, CNN says to rotate it head to toe every six months. 

Take in account your personal schedule: how many people are in your bed at night? Do you have pets? How many blankets, pillows and sheets do you have on your bed? Do you sweat in bed? Or eat in bed? Answers to these questions will better determine your bedding wash schedule.

How often do you wash your bedding? And why?