How often should I replace my bedding?

Terry Baskeyfield | Updated

Bedding is a very personal thing and what one person might think is heaven to sleep in might be a total nightmare for others. Some people might like the feel of cotton or linen whilst others might like the smooth feel of satin or even silk. Whatever your preference the need to keep your bedding fresh and clean might mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a night of tossing and turning in discomfort. It can be difficult to know how often to change bedding completely; but there are a few signs you can look out for which may give you clues about the condition of your bedding.

The popularity of duvet covers

One reason duvets are so popular is that you don't need a top sheet with the cover, making it easier to make the bed, but also susceptible to the same oils, skin cells, dirt and bodily fluids that sheets and pillowcases are. You need to wash the cover as frequently as you would sheets, which should be once a week and at least once every two weeks. Many people have several different duvet covers and pillowcase sets so they can change the décor frequently and have an immediate set ready each week when they wash.

Fresh Bed Linen

Remember to keep both duvet covers and sheets in drawers or a dry cool cupboard with acid free tissue paper under them to prevent yellowing. Never store bedding in a plastic container that can trap moisture and potentially create the perfect environment for mildew. Duvets, blankets and quilts need less frequent cleaning. One rule of thumb is to wash them when the seasons change, meaning they should be washed three to four times a year. In some cases, you may have a summer set of bedding and a winter set. In those cases, every three months with one of those times right before you store them after the seasonal change.

The condition of your bedding

If your bedding has pilling (small bobbles of rough fabric on the surface) or stained or just thin and worn then it is probably past time for a change. Washing, tumble drying and perhaps ironing, obviously take their toll on all your bedding and if you adhere to the guide lines about changing your sheets etc. every week to ten days then that’s a lot of laundry and a lot of wear and tear on your bedding on a regular basis.

Making The Bed  

Deciding how often to change bedding will depend on a few different factors. If you perspire a lot at night then extra washing will mean a shorter life for your bedding, also if you sleep naked or with a partner then that will typically mean more sheet changing and shorten the life span of your bedding. Don't be fooled into thinking less laundering will extend the life span of your bedding, because it won't.

Dead skin and natural body oils are left in our beds every night and these are a feast for bed bugs and fleas. Once you have these in your bed they will reduce the longevity of your bedding, not to mention they are bad for your health, as you'll have to use higher temperature washes to eliminate them.

What bedding is most resilient and easy to clean?

Recommended materials - You will find a few great options that combine the benefits of durability, ease of cleaning, and beauty as well as affordability and great quality.

Cotton is a popular option because of its breathable quality, which makes it an ideal fabric since it prevents overheating during the night. It’s also known for easily absorbing spills and stains while still being easy to clean with soap and detergent, aside from being a durable and affordable material. It also has a soft hand feel especially for bedding with a high thread count, thus, making it ideal if you have sensitive skin.

Organic fabrics are a great options if you have sensitive skin and allergies since these are produced without the use of pesticides, fertilisers, and chemicals. Bamboo is the most common organic fabric, which can also be combined with cotton to produce durable yet soft covers, duvets and blankets.

Flannel is a great choice during the cool seasons because it provides a combination of warmth and softness. Choose brushed flannel sheets since these are softer next to the skin than standard flannel.

Fleece is also easy to clean as well as provides softness, comfort and fluffy warmth.

Polyester/cotton blends are inexpensive, durable and soft. This type of bedding can usually be tumble dried and requires, little or no ironing. It will keep you cool when it becomes warm, but it will also keep you warm during the colder months. If you’re looking at several options, your best choice would be 100% cotton, particularly for the bottom sheet, closely followed by polyester/cotton blends for duvet covers and pillowcases. Just be sure to consider other factors, too, such as the type of cotton and the thread count (for 100% cotton bedding) as well as the size, style and colour when making your choices.

Useful suggestions for childrens bedding

When you’re choosing child friendly bedding for your master bedroom or kids bedding for their own bed, for that matter – here are a few useful tips to remember.

Toddler Getting Out Of Bed

Splurge a little - while sticking to a budget makes sense, you have to consider, too, that you and your children will be spending at least 6 hours each night in contact with the bedding materials. You should then pamper them and yourself with reasonably-priced, high-quality bedding from the bottom sheet to the blankets, duvets, throws and quilts.

Waterproof covering could be used underneath the bottom sheet if your child is prone to bed wetting. A waterproof cover will protect your mattress from becoming soaked in urine. They are easy to launder along with your sheets should the need arise.

Thread count should be considered when choosing 100% cotton. The higher the count, the more durable and softer the bedding will likely be, with a 200-plus count being considered high in quality. But don’t be taken in by a 400-plus thread count, according to experts this doesn't necessarily mean better quality. When you have considered the practical nature of the bedding, you can then start considering the design aspects.

Protecting your mattress

You can protect the build-up of dead skin cells in the mattress and help keep your mattress freer of dust mites by having a mattress protector. A mattress protector is one more deterrent to prevent perspiration and body oils from soaking through into the mattress, extending its life expectancy. Wash the mattress protector once a month. Pillows need to be washed at least once every six months, but if you perspire a lot, consider doing it once every three months.

In most cases you throw them in the washer on a gentle cycle with a small amount of detergent and then throw them in the dryer on low. Read the label before you do it. If it's a gel pillow which can't be washed run a vacuum over the pillow and do it the same time you do the mattress at the same time you wash the comforter or quilt.

Always check the label before you put bedding in the wash. Some bedding requires dry cleaning. To keep your bedding fresh without having to clean it frequently, you can shake it and hang it on the washing line in the sun. The UV light helps to kill bacteria.

Fresh Guest Bed Linen

Upgrading your colour scheme

Another factor which may influence your decision on how often to change bedding might be if you are simply changing your colour scheme or the style of your room and want a change of design. Obviously this would not be just for that fact that the sheets you have might be worn or old but just that you are a little fed up of the style you currently have.

The choice for your new bedding these days is vast, from Egyptian cotton to silk or even bamboo fibre and the thread count of your chosen bedding will have a bearing on how long it will last. We spend on average a total of 1/3rd of our lives in bed, so taking care of your chosen bedding will give it a long life and will give you many hours of comfortable slumber.

Considering Bedding Options

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