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The Gross Reason You Need To Wash Your Bedsheets Often

If you only wash your sheets when you have a special guest over, here’s the wake-up call you’ve been waiting for. There’s actually a science-backed answer behind how often you should wash your sheets. And if you don’t change your ways, it can mean some pretty gnarly things for your skin. So next time you do a load of Sunday laundry, you might want to throw in all your sheets, too — yes, even your fitted sheet. 

For a lot of things we use every day, it can be confusing to keep up with how often we have to wash everything. Between jeans, bras, and duvets, figuring out a wash schedule can sometimes feel like a guessing game. But thanks to the experts, we can get a little help finding ways to stay as healthy as possible, especially when it comes to the bed we sleep on every day. 

By cleaning your sheets in hot water, you can remove the oils, dust, and all the other fun stuff your sheets collect every time you sleep. Even though remaking the bed is the fucking worst (fitted sheets are the bane of my existence), it’s totally worth it because when you don’t, your skin pays the consequences. Yes, it’s that dramatic.

How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

changing bedsheets
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You should change their bedsheets weekly, according to Dr. Corey L. Hartman, board certified dermatologist, tells Betches that he tells his patients they should change their bedsheets weekly, and that if that’s not possible for some reason, his maximum recommendation is every 10 days to two weeks. For duvets, he recommends a wash every month unless you don’t use a top sheet. Then, he suggests throwing your duvet cover in with the rest of your load every time you wash your sheets. But if you’re sick? You’re going to want to change your sheets immediately after. 

I know, I know, taking all of your sheets off and cleaning them every week can seem like a big task especially if you’re not feeling your best. But this isn’t just a random rule. A lot happens to our skin while we sleep.

What Happens To Our Skin While We Sleep?

woman sleeping in bed
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“When we get into bed, even if our skin is fresh and clean, natural oils and bacteria, as well as dead skin cells, shed on our sheets,” Dr. Hartman says. “Sweat, saliva and body secretions, dust from the room, and harmful bacteria that can cause illness or fungus can also collect on sheets and bedding.” I know, ew

And sometimes our bodies and everyday habits call for an even more frequent wash schedule for our sheets. If you’re sweating through your clothes at night, not washing your hair daily, or sleeping with a pet on your bed, you’re going to want to wash your sheets even more often than every week. 

“The longer you go in between washing your sheets, the more risk you’ll have of developing a skin irritation from the buildup of all those unwanted things,” Dr. Hartman says. All the extra oil collecting in your sheets can clog your pores and cause acne, and if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis you might make your symptoms and flare-ups worse. 

Plus, Dr. Hartman explains that all the dust that builds up while you sleep can just make for a really uncomfortable night of sleep

“If you are not able to change your entire sheet set weekly, at least do your pillowcase every week,” Dr. Hartman says. “They are smaller than a shirt and take less than five minutes to pull off and put back on. Your skin will thank you!”

Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad is a sex & dating writer at Betches despite not remembering the last time she was in a relationship. Just take her word for it.