Should You Actually Be Making Your Bed?

Making the bed is a chore that has been drilled into our brains from the absolute beginning of our young lives, so get ready to question your entire existence: Experts are now claiming that you should never make your bed. Like, ever. Where were these experts when I was 15 and my mom wouldn't let me go to the mall because my bed wasn't made? Or when I spent countless hours as a college freshman making sure my bed always looked presentable for potential suitors? Where were they when I was wasting my life fixing my sheets and blankets and fluffing my pillows, when I could have been doing far more important things, like taking selfies or watching Netflix and chilling?

Though the topic has been revisited recently, the idea that you shouldn't make your bed for the sake of your health has been backed by science since around 2005. It all comes down to the pesky, microscopic creatures known as dust mites. Dust mites are all over your home and affect some people more than others by causing asthma and allergies, making life extremely unpleasant for those of us who are allergic. Though you can't see them, they live in your furniture and fabrics, including the most intimate place in the home: your bed.

So here's where making your bed comes in: Researchers say that your bed can contain over 1.5 million dust mites which, incidentally, feast on dead skin. The more they feast the more they poop, and inhaling that feces (which you'll inevitably do, sorry) can cause major illnesses. As it turns out, making your bed will trap moisture between your sheet and blanket, causing the ideal environment for these pesky little creatures. But as researchers from Kingston University found in a 2005 study, dust mites can't survive in warm, dry conditions — which, it turns out, are the conditions of an unmade bed.

If you skip making your bed, the mites will be exposed to too much air and not enough moisture, causing them to die by the time you slip back under the covers that night. This, by the way, is also why you should be washing your sheets at least once a week — the high temperatures created by washing machines will kill off the dust mites, with high-heat dryers making sure to eliminate the especially awful ones that may have survived the wash cycle.

So while it's excusable to stop making your bed, it's not excusable to wash your sheets once a month like I do. Unless you're into dust mites, though I can safely say you're probably not.

Images: Pexels; Giphy