The Hidden Dangers of Not Washing Your Bedsheets Regularly


The person who said that cleanliness is next to godliness had a valid point because poor hygiene causes many preventable diseases. Maintaining clean bedsheets is critical to enjoying a healthy home. You must wash your sheets regularly to continue enjoying the benefits of good sleep. Otherwise, why should you sleep well and then suffer avoidable health complications because of dirty bedsheets?

But as critical as it sounds, a recent Mattress Advisor survey conducted revealed that many Americans wash their bed sheets every 24 days. That sounds scary, but it’s the sad culture among many Americans.

Bright designed bedroom with king size bed
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

What are the dangers of not washing your sheets on time? This post examines these dangers. Remain with this discussion to learn and avoid them.

Here are the Dangers

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your skin sheds between 30,000 and 40,000 dead skin cells daily. Now, you should remember that you spend about one-third of your day in bed—at least eight hours. Shedding dead skin also attracts dust mites because they feast on dead skin. Thus, failing to wash your sheets on time provides a conducive atmosphere for mites to thrive and continue enjoying their sumptuous feast!

It’s critical to remember that sleeping gives you enough time to leak more moisture on your sheets. You also wet them with drool, skin oils, and fluids from sexual extracurriculars. Those who love sleeping “commando style” (stark naked) risk dropping tiny, dry fecal matters on their sheets. Results? All these accumulations form a fertile ground for various forms of disease-causing germs.

Things worsen if you share your bed with a pet because pets increase the contamination. These contaminants can cause various health challenges such as skin irritation and acne. You also risk contracting conditions like contact dermatitis. Those already suffering from eczema are at higher risk because it worsens under such contaminated and unhygienic conditions. Don’t forget that pets also release some fur onto your bed and sheets. If left to accumulate for long, the fur could cause allergic reactions and other breathing complications.

Closeup of the bed and night cupboard in bedroom
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

Still on pet issues, those sharing beds with dogs or cats should be more cautious because their fur attracts more dust mites. Also, a dog with a skin condition like mange can spread mites that burrow beneath your skin. The mites may not infect you with scabies but will definitely irritate your skin and make it itchy. Further, these pets can infect you with scalp ringworm. That is why regular sheet cleaning is a must if you don’t want to contract any of these skin conditions.

Lastly, don’t forget that your bedsheets also gather extra harmful bacteria from pillowcases. Laboratory tests discovered that swabs from pillowcases that go unwashed for a week harbor 17,000 more bacteria colonies than those taken from toilet seats. If you believe that you are more likely to get infected from your toilet seat, then failing to wash your sheets on time exposes you to more bacteria.

When Should You Change and Wash Your Bedsheets?

A 2012 poll the National Sleep Foundation conducted revealed that 91 percent of Americans change their sheets only bi-weekly. However, experts recommend washing sheets weekly. They agree that weekly changing and washing are necessary because they prevent the buildup of dangerous contamination levels.

However, this washing frequency isn’t fixed since you can even do it before or after a week elapses. The reason is that the actual number of times you should wash your sheets depends on many other factors. So, you should consider the following factors to know if you need to clean or change your sheets before or after the recommended one-week timeframe.

Kids room with two beds and book shelf
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio
  • If you wear pajamas to bed you may break this rule because they trap some of the dead skin cells that could have remained on your sheets.
  • Showering before going to bed also reduces the amount of dead skin that could have ended up on your sheets.
  • If you sleep with pets, you are most likely to wash your bedsheets before the one-week period.
  • Drooling all over your pillowcase means you have to wash your bed sheets more frequently.
  • Wash your bed sheets more frequently if you have acne or eczema.
  • Any form of allergy to dust or asthma requires you to clean your sheets more frequently.
  • Wash your bedsheets more frequently if you sweat excessively.
  • Behaviors like eating in bed require you to clean your sheets more frequently.
  • The sick should wash their sheets more regularly. 

Failing to wash your sheets regularly exposes you to many health dangers. Fortunately, the insights this post shared can help you avoid these health risks. It’s up to you to apply them and enjoy a healthy life. Thanks to for consulting. 


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