We spend about one quarter of our lives in bed. Shouldn’t we want to have our beds be the most comfortable and healthy? Certainly, a clean sleep environment would help us get that good night’s sleep we all look for. But how often do we need to wash our bedding. Every week? Every two weeks? Once a month?
Your body gives off skin cells, body oils and sweat every night. Dust mites also join the morass as they feed off our dead skin cells. And don’t get me started on how much grime pets can leave on your bedding. Now it is certainly nicer to sleep on clean sheets every night, but your skin will thank you too. Rubbing your clean face against a dirty pillow can give you acne.
So, we really should change the bedding every week, twice weekly if possible. It is just as important the way we wash the bedding as it is the frequency. Bedding should be washed in the hottest water possible. You will get rid of the dirt at lower temperatures but not kill the mites. If you have the ability to dry your bedding in the sun, great! The UV rays kill micro-organisms.
Pillows should be machine washed at least every six months. A third of your pillows weight after six months is dead skin, dust mites, and more! Between washes tumble dry to fluff and kill bacteria and mites.
Duvets should be washed twice a year. Machine wash if you have a washer and dryer that can handle the mass but dry clean if necessary. If your duvet is not properly dried it can retain a musty smell.
There are other things we can do to keep the bed clean. Always remove makeup and wash your face before sleeping. It is a good idea to shower before sleeping also to remove all the indoor and outdoor pollution from the day. Don’t eat in bed. Keep off the aforementioned pets. Give your mattress time to breathe in the morning. A person can lose up to a liter of sweat every night. Let it air out a bit before making the bed. Wear slippers at home, grime on your feet ends up in bed. Vacuum often and keep dust to a minimum in the bedroom.
Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago