We’re all familiar with the feeling of hopping into a freshly made bed with crisp, clean sheets. In fact, we’re certain there aren’t many of life’s problems that can’t be solved by curling up in an inviting bed that still has the subtle, comforting scent of detergent. (Seriously.)
Despite this, it turns out we’re really not washing our bed linen as much as we should. A survey commissioned by bedding reviewer Mattress Advisor found that most people didn’t change their bedding every few days or even every couple of weeks. Out of the 1000 people surveyed, the majority only washed their bed linen every 24.4 days. Yes, that’s over three weeks of sleeping in the same sheets before they’re washed.
Ok, so sleeping in less-than-fresh sheets isn’t going to ruin your life, sure, but it could potentially leave you open to a myriad of bacteria. No joke. Philip Tierno, microbiologist and pathologist at New York University School of Medicine says that humans produce around 26 gallons of sweat in bed every year, creating a nice, humid environment that allows bacteria to thrive.
“You have spores of fungi, bacteria, animal dander, pollen, soil, lint, finishing agents of whatever the sheets are made from, colouring material, all sorts of excrements from the body including sweat, sputum, vaginal, and anal excretions, urine milieu, skin cells,” Philip told Tech Insider.
“Plus there are cosmetics that people use — they put oils and creams on their body, all of that is in that milieu.”
Guilty as charged. Tierno also warns that the living organisms sharing your bed with you can become “significant” in as little as a week, which can trigger “an allergic response” like sniffling and sneezing.
“If you touched dog poo in the street, you’d want to wash your hands. Consider that analogous to your bedding. If you saw what was there — but of course you don’t see it— after a while you have to say to yourself, ‘Do I want to sleep in that?’,” Tierno explained.
A recent study discovered that synthetic and feather-filled pillows between 1.5 and 20 years old can contain around four to 17 different species of fungus.
So while you consider the bacteria festival that is currently raging within your beloved sheets, let me remind you that washing said linen is a wonderful remedy for keeping microscopic life at bay. Yes, that means you can still slather on your trusty night creams, serums and face oils without worrying they’re growing your bacteria army.
So how often should we be washing our bed linen? Sheets should be washed once a week on to ensure you’re saying a final adios to all your little bacteria friends. We know what you’re thinking; leaving your sheets for longer than a week essentially means you’re getting cosy with shed loads of bacteria and dead skin cells, but washing your linen weekly is going to wear it out — meaning you’ll probably need to replace it more often.
The solution here? Choosing quality bed linen that’s both comfortable and very durable. 100% Pure French Flax Linen bedding is the perfect option. The fabric actually becomes softer and more cosy with every wash — no fraying here. It also has moisture wicking properties which means those gallons of sweat you produce every year (*shudders*) aren’t going to linger in your sheets for long.
It’ll last you way, way longer than other manchester. In fact, 100% French Flax Linen thread is twice as durable as cotton or wool and actually becomes 20 percent stronger when wet — so you can guarantee that regularly washing your bed linen isn’t going to degrade it. See? It is possible to have a bacteria-free bedroom situation without totally ruining your poor bed linen.
Look, it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the world if you prefer lived-in sheets or can’t be bothered to wash your linen more than once a month. As long as you’ve made peace with sharing your bed with a bit of bacteria, that is.
Now that we’re on the topic, here’s exactly how to care for your linen bedding, and this is how often you should actually replace your sheets. (Especially if it’s been a while…)
Discover our range of luxurious and accessible 100% French flax linen bedding here.