Please note, we are proudly supported by our readers. The product links are referral based and if you purchase an item we make a small commission. For more information please see our disclosure page.
It is rumored that Oprah likes to have her sheets washed every two days simply because after that they “loose their crispness.” While this is likely true, we don’t all have the time to put towards washing our sheets every other day. But it is very nice to climb into nice clean sheets. So… exactly how often should you change your sheets out or clean them? And when is the right time to get new sheets all together? Is it every couple of years? Or until you can’t handle the stains anymore?
It is hard to know what to do with your sheets and how often. So we have created an easy “how to” guide on best practices for changing and washing your sheets. That way you know how to get the most out of your sheets, when to wash them, and when to ditch them. Keep reading to get all of the details.
No matter how clean of a person you are, your sheets are going to get dirty as you sleep in them. When we sleep our sweat, dirt, and oils from our skin get soaked up by our sheets. The great thing about sheets and mattress protectors is that this prevents all of that sweat and oil from getting into our mattress and festering.
However, if you go too long between washings, bacteria and germs will begin to grow and thrive on your sheets. Which is not just gross to think about but can also create issues like acne on your face and body. It can also make your allergy symptoms worse. So if you want clean skin, less allergies, and all over better health and hygiene, then you are going to want to wash you sheets regularly.
We suggest that you change or wash your sheets every 1 to 2 weeks. If this seems excessive, imagine wearing the same clothes for 6-8 hours a day for a week or two… Even if you are just sitting around the house doing little to nothing, those clothes would get pretty gross by the end of those 2 weeks.
Same with your sheets. Since you are sleeping in them for typically 6-8 hours a night, your sheets get a lot of sweat and oils building up on a regular basis. Not only that, but if you are intimate with your spouse or partner, even more bodily fluids could be on your sheets. Which makes them even more in need of a good washing at least twice a month.
So how do you decide if you are a once every week or every two weeks person? Well, this partially depends on preference. If you really enjoy the feeling of fresh sheets then you can wash them every week no problem. If it is summer and you are an excessive sweater or if you sleep with kids or pets, them you will also likely want to wash your sheets every week.
However, if you are a single person who doesn’t sweat too much and you don’t sleep with a pet. Then you can likely get away with feeling rather fresh in your sheets even if you only wash them every two weeks.
Okay, this might seem like overkill, especially if you have a lot of kids with their own beds. However, the point is to always have a clean set of sheets waiting to go. This way you can wash your sheets without worrying about if they will have enough time to dry before bedtime. This also makes washing your sheets on a regular basis much more tolerable.
Another benefit to having multiple sets of sheets is that they will last longer. Instead of washing the same set of sheets every 1 to 2 weeks they are only being washed every 2 to 4 weeks. Meaning they are being used and beaten up less.
Also, if you have kids you know that extra sheets and mattress protectors are a MUST. If your child ever wakes up sick ,or has an accident, you need a back up pair on hand and ready to go.
Depending of the sheets that you own, the washing instruction are going to vary. It is important that you know the details of care instructions for your sheets given by the company who made them.
They have done appropriate testing to ensure they advice their customers the best cleaning and care instructions in order to get the very best out of their sheets. Make sure you know the best setting to use and even the best type of detergent. This way you get the most out of your sheets.
If for some reason you have trouble finding care instructions on your sheets. (perhaps you accidentally cut off the tag too soon) Then see if you can contact their customer service, let them know which sheets you purchased and they should be able to give you detailed instructions for care and cleaning.
If you can’t find the care instructions, than we always suggest leaning towards the least damaging method of washing. Using a cool setting with either a normal to light wash cycle followed by a low heat setting or air drying will be the best option for any fabric. And be the least damaging wash and dry option.
Again, make sure you follow your sheets care instructions. However we do have our favorite laundry detergents that typically work for most sheets.
One of the most common care instructions you will see on bedding is to avoid detergents with chlorinated bleach. This can break down certain materials quickly and ruin color as well.
Picking a gentle detergent that without any strong scents or bleach is really the best way to go. Especially when washing sheets for guest bedrooms. This way even if your guest is sensitive to scents or has allergies, they will be able to sleep well. Personally we like to use Tide Free & Gentle because it cleans well without bleach and it fragrance free.
Another common best care instruction is to avoid fabric softener. Many high end brands of sheets claim that certain fabric softeners can actually take away from the softness opposed to adding to it. A good rule of thumb is always “less is best.” Less heat, less soap, less products overall will keep your sheets in the safe.
Washing your sheets often can be a drain on the environment. Not all detergents are great for the planet either. There are a number of different things you can change about your washing habits in order to be more eco-friendly. So we are going to go through them all.
Now we know we just said to change your sheets at least every 2 weeks, however you can do this without running the washer everyone 2 weeks. How does this work? Have two sets of sheets and wash them at the same time. Change your sheets to the clean set after 2 weeks, then wait and wash them all together two weeks after this. Which means you will have fresh sheets every two weeks while only running the wash for sheets once a month.
Look for laundry detergents that are “readily biodegradable” that are also free of petroleum products. This will ensure that the detergent was made in a more eco-friendly fashion. It was also ensure it will cause less damage to the ocean’s ecosystem.
If your sheets have polyester or spandex in them, then they are capable of letting our micro-plastics into the ocean. These micro-plastics are being eaten by the fish and clogging up their bodies that we are then eating and consuming as well.
Micro-Plastic Washing Bags are an attempt to limit the amount of micro plastics that are going into the ocean. Simply wash your plastic based materials and clothing in these bags and it will trap the micro plastics from going down the drain.
Fabric softeners are commonly filled with unnecessary chemicals like phthalates and synthetic scents that then get into the water systems and are not easily taken out. These are also potentially unhealthy for people as well. Then there are the one time use dryer sheets, these are also full of chemicals, used once, and then thrown away. Instead we suggest using 100% wool dryer balls.
There are wool dryer balls now popping up at local grocery stores in the laundry section because they are becoming so popular. These handy little balls made up of rolled up wool are handy in a could different ways.
They are replacements to fabric softeners and one use dryer sheets. They soften your clothes naturally without clogging natural fibers. Wool Dryer Balls also shorten the amount of time needed to dry your sheets so they are in the dryer for less time overall.
If you want to use less electricity on a regular basis you can hang dry your sheets and laundry. If you sheets don’t have the worn in feeling giving by the dryer, you can always toss it in for a minute or two and they will have that fresh from the dryer feeling and it will also knock out any potential wrinkles that may have happened while hang drying.
Many of the chemicals used in traditional dry cleaners are bad for your health and the environment. Which is why there are Green Cleaners popping up all over the country. Search for a green or eco-friendly dry cleaner near you to see the services they currently offer. Some are still cry while others have found ways to safely wash dry clean only products in a wet fashion safely.
In response to the question “Should I wash my new sheets before I use them?”, we ask another question “Would you rather sleep in stiff wrinkly sheets or clean soft fresh from the dryer sheets?”
When you first get a brand new set of sheets, you are likely going to be excited and want to try them out right away. As a rule of thumb, we suggest that you wash your sheets before you sleep in them. Sheets don’t typically come to your door in ready to use conditions. They have been folding tightly into their packaging and are likely to be wrinkled.
It is going to be much more satisfying to wash your sheets before you use them. This way when you try your new sheets out for the very first time you’re getting the real experience that these companies intended when they designed these sheets. Clean, fresh, and cozy sheets all ready to be slept on.
*One thing we do suggest for your first wash is to use about half the amount of recommended detergent. The first time in the wash you are really more or less “rinsing” your new sheets opposed to really needing a good wash.
Below are several brands we have tried and would recommend depending on just how you sleep. Some being great options for warmer sleepers, while others are great for cooler sleepers. And even a few options for the best luxury sheets and best affordable sheets too.
Look for sheets made from breathable materials like Cotton or Tencel, that have a smooth to the touch finish like Sateen or Percale. This combination of fibers and weave will make for a much cooler sheet to sleep in.
The smooth finish will give the sheets a cool to the touch feel. While the naturally breathable fibers, will increase airflow in order to allow heat to dissipate and keep you cooler. Cotton and Tencel also have helpful moisture wicking features that will keep you sleeping comfortably even if you sweat a little bit.
For people who sleep cool and are looking for a way to stay warmer through the night, we suggest finding a thicker set of sheets. Especially great through the winter Jersey Knit and Fleece sheets will keep you especially warm.
If you aren’t familiar, Jersey Knit is a very casual material that feels like you are sleeping in your most comfortable worn in t-shirt ever. While Fleece is extra thick, soft, and perfect for staying extra warm.
When it comes to sheets for allergies the best advice we can give is to keep whatever sheets you have as clean as possible with hypoallergenic unscented laundry detergents.
This is because no matter what material your sheets are made out of, no matter how hypoallergenic, will eventually collect dust and allergens. However, we do suggest investing in quality pillow and mattress protector to help protect you and your pillow/mattress from allergens.
Whether you’re looking for a crisp sheet with a matte finish or a silky smooth sheet with a shine to it, Peacock Alley has a luxury sheet set for you. When it comes to finding truly luxurious sheets we think of Peacock Alley first.
If the words sustainable, organic, and eco-friendly kindle joy in your heart, then we have a few sheet sets in mind just for you. If you want to learn more about different certifications and what they mean check out our page Certifications: What To Know. Otherwise, jump to a few of our favorite organic sheet brands below.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality set of sheets. Which is where the below suggested sheet sets come in. All of these happen to be good quality sheet sets all for under $120.
Overall there are a few tips we hope you take with you after reading this today. One is that not all sheets are equal, different materials and weaves will change the way your bed feels and your sleeping experience. Another is that you should change or wash your sheets every 1 to 2 weeks with a quality laundry detergent.
Be sure to follow your sheets recommended washing instructions. And finally if you want to make your life a little easier, try to keep a second set of sheets on hand to make laundry days a little less of a hassle.
We hope you found this helpful, if you have any other questions or if you just want to say hi, send us a quick email. Use our Contact Us page and share with us any other sleeping tips you have for us!