There is no better feeling at the end of a long day than enveloping your tired self into clean silky sheets and drifting off to sleep surrounded by freshness. Let’s face it: we all crave that feeling. But the problem is that unless you live in a hotel (or your mum’s house?) then in order to achieve that bliss you have to do all the changing and washing up the sheets by yourself (gasp!) and be pretty organized about it. And who has time for that?
How often should you really change your sheets and how long is too long to go without changing them? We’re in the midst of winter here and suddenly it doesn’t seem that urgent of a chore, but in reality it’s probably more urgent than you think.
Think about it. You spend one third of your life in your bed and so in close proximity to your bed sheets. That’s more time than you spend wearing your favorite underwear. So what’s the recommended frequency of sheet changing?
While your specific sheet changing habits might vary a little bit depending on your lifestyle, your body, and your preferences, most experts agree that you should change your sheets every week or every two weeks.
If you want to compare how your sheet changing habits compare to that of the rest of the population, according to one study done in Britain, 55% of people wash their sheets every week, 21% do it every one or two months, 3% change their sheets every 6 months, and 3% do it only once a year.
Now you can feel a little better about yourself and the fact that you haven’t changed your sheets since the first weekend of the previous month.
We can only hope that Australians’ sheet changing habits are a little bit more agreeable than those of Brits, but we’ll never know without a survey of our own.
If you’re wondering why exactly you should not follow in the footsteps of the 3% of Brits who change their sheets annually, read on.
Warning: It’s not for the faint hearted
What’s so bad about waiting to change your sheets? It’s not like they smell, and they don’t look dirty, and it’s winter so we don’t sweat, right? And you don’t have any allergies or pets either. What’s the harm waiting a couple of months?
Here is a piece of news for you, allergy-free, daily-showering, child- and pet-free healthy single people: regardless of your lifestyle, health and hygiene habits, your sheets needs to be changed pretty regularly.
An average person sheds about 500 million skin cells per day and produces around 100L of sweat per year. It is safe to say that much of these end up in your bed, along with pet dander (if you have pets), pollen and dirt that you pick up every day.
Dust mites – those tiny creepy crawlies that feed on your dead skins, leave droppings on your bedsheets and may contribute to the development of asthma and hay fever.
According to Philip Tierno, a microbiologist from New York University who spoke to Business Insider, daily close contact with this build up will have detrimental effects on your health. “Even if you don’t have allergies per se,” he says “you can have an allergic response.”
So go ahead, take a break from scrolling and swiping and go change your sheets. Your body and your lungs will thank you for that. The creepy crawlies won’t.