How often should you wash your bedsheets?

How often should you clean your sheets: Image shows a hand putting white sheets into a front load washer.
(Image credit: Getty Images.)

Whether or not you have a cleaning routine and schedule, you might be wondering how often you should wash your bedsheets and linen. 

It's an easy chore to skip - if you're anything like me, you might regularly put off stripping your bed and changing your sheets out of pure laziness (can we all agree that changing a duvet cover is basically a workout?!).

However, the importance of having clean linen on your bed can't be overstated. I asked Laura Mountford, aka Laura Cleanaholic on Instagram, for her thoughts, and she said, "Dust mites feed off of the dead skin cells we shed every day - so definitely best to keep them at bay by washing your bedsheets and pillowcases regularly". Yikes. BRB, I'm off to put a wash on.

If you're looking to upgrade your laundry setup, check out our guides to the best washing machines, best top load washers, best front load washers, and best washer dryer combos.

How often should you wash your bedsheets? 

In simple terms, the answer to that question is every week. I know, I know, that sounds like a lot, and your sheets won't always look grimy after a week, but remember that bit about the dust mites? 

Laura Mountford said, "[Pillowcases and bedsheets] should ideally be washed weekly to keep them fresh and hygienic. As we sleep on them every night, they have a build-up of oils, sweat, and dirt, which can cause bacteria, allergies, and even irritation to skin and hair." 

So even if you don't think your linen is dirty, after a week, the chances are your sheets have accumulated all sorts of dust, particles, bacteria, and other nasties. Just think back to all the times you've lied down on your bed wearing socks and clothes you were wearing outside...

I don't know about you, but I've been convinced to add cleaning my sheets to my weekly cleaning routine. To make sure you can manage a weekly wash, investing in at least a second set of bed linen is a good idea so you can alternate between the two sets when one is in the wash. 

Top tips to wash your sheets

If your washer has a specific sheet cycle, make sure to use it to wash your linen. This will make sure they're washed at the appropriate temperature and speed to properly sanitize them without causing damage. 

In the event you don't have a specific cycle, consult your washer's user guide or use the cycle recommended for your bedsheets' fabric type (linen, cotton, satin, etc). Keep in mind that fragile fabrics like satin or bamboo might need a more gentle cycle, while cotton sheets can probably just go through your regular ones. 

As we've discussed above, sheets can get pretty grimy pretty fast. Especially if someone in the house has been ill, you might want to consider using a sanitizing cycle to wash them if your washer has that option. 

Drying your bedsheets is straightforward. Unless they're made from a fabric that doesn't fare well in the dryer (like satin, for example), you can throw them in there on a low-heat cycle. Avoid drying them for too long or at too high a temperature, as that is likely to damage them. To help even drying, you can use wool dryer balls

Laura Mountford's book Live, Laugh, Laundry will be released in the UK on April 13th, 2023. 

Mina Frost
Former Deputy Editor

Mina is the former Deputy Editor at Top Ten Reviews. She worked with section editors to create accurate, detailed, and in-depth reviews to populate our buying guides. She has degrees in Linguistics and Investigative Reporting and is also a freelance writer and editor. When she's not testing kit and agonizing over commas, Mina can be found reading, running, eating good food, and drinking wine.

With contributions from