This is how often you should be changing your bedsheets for a better night's sleep

Research shows a clear correlation between how often you complete the dreaded chore and your sleep satisfaction

double bed with wooden frame and fresh white bedding
(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

Cleaning your bedsheets regularly will help you sleep better, says a new study. We all have our own views on just how often you should wash your bed sheets, taking into consideration our health, hygiene, and the condition of our bed linen.

But it turns out that there's a sweet spot of every 12 or 13 days for the best chance of sleeping soundly.

double bed in bedroom with fresh bedding, bedside table and abstract art print

(Image credit: Norsu Interiors)

Clean sheets for a better night's sleep

Research by Sleep Junkie (opens in new tab) reveals a direct correlation between how often people wash their bedsheets and how satisfied they are with their sleep. Respondents who washed their sheets on average every 12.8 days reported being 'very satisfied.' 

Once a week is usually the recommended amount, but this study suggests we don't need to be putting our best bed sheets through the washing machine and dryer quite so often. As well as saving us some time, this will also mean less wear and tear on the fabric.

But things quickly go down hill, as those who held off an extra four days before washing them (every 16.7 days) were 'somewhat unsatisfied' and people washing sheets every 19.9 days were 'very unsatisfied.'

double bed in a neutral panelled room with fireplace

(Image credit: Dunelm)

We asked James Higgins, CEO of Ethical Bedding (opens in new tab), what he thought, and he agreed that clean sheets are a fundamental factor in our sleep routines. After all, we spend about eight hours a day in close contact with our bedsheets. 

'That’s eight hours of sweating, tossing and turning, and drooling that your bedsheets put up with each night,' says James. 'In the early stages of our sleep our circadian rhythms (body rhythm) are still very much ticking and our sense of smell is performing at its usual rate,' James comments. 

'If your sheets are beginning to have an unpleasant smell, your brain can become irritated and keep you from becoming sleepy.' Hygiene aside, it's important to keep bedding clean to simply give you the best chance of nodding off.

ticking stripe bedding in blue and white with vase of lillies

(Image credit: Chalk Pink Linen Company)

James goes on to say that itchiness from unclean sheets can also get in the way of a good night's sleep. Skin irritation is a physical blocker to getting a good rest, stopping us from switching off mentally.

If you're still struggling, consider investing in the best mattress. We often change our sheets as part of a weekly Sunday reset, but the 12-day rule gives us some welcome wiggle room.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.


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