How Often Should You Wash Your Bedsheets?

It's the age-old question asked by anyone who sleeps in a bed: How often should you wash your bedsheets? While the answer to this question may seem black-and-white, there isn't a one-size-fits-all response. According to, the number of times you're supposed to change and wash your sheets depends. If you have pets, for example, you may want to put your sheets through the wash every three-to-four days — especially if you allow them to sleep in the bed with you. If you have asthma or allergies, washing your sheets more often may improve your symptoms (via Allergy Asthma & Immunology). For most, however, washing the sheets once weekly should suffice (via Sleep Advisor).

It's also a good idea to wash your sheets more frequently in the warmer months to prevent the spread of bacteria (via the Cleveland Clinic). "As the weather gets warmer — especially if you sweat more at night — you have to really ramp up to at least once a week," says Alok Vij, MD, the Cleveland Clinic dermatologist. "There are more bacterial organisms in our bodies than our own cells — and the skin's one of the most commonly inhabited areas. When you let the dead skin cells rest in your sheets, those bacteria can thrive."

How to wash bed sheets (properly)

The first thing you should do before attempting to wash a new set of sheets is check for a fabric care label. This label will tell you exactly how to wash them, including what water temperature to use and whether or not they'll need bleach (via The Spruce). Fortunately, cotton sheets are low-maintenance. Just throw them in the washer, add your favorite detergent, and set the water to the hottest temperature setting listed on the care label (via Tide). If you can, hang dry your sheets on a clothesline outside (via The Spruce) — hang drying is energy efficient, saves money, and enhances the freshness of your sheets. If you must use a conventional dryer, use the tumble dry setting and throw in a dryer sheet (via Tide).

In addition to washing your bedding on a regular basis, recommends cleaning your mattress once every six months. This will not only extend the lifespan of your mattress but may improve your sleep quality, as well.