How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets? A Truly Terrifying New Survey Shows No One Is Doing It Often Enough
I try to wash my sheets every two weeks because I share a bed with my partner, and I hate the idea of sleeping in someone else's dirt. When I was single, I wasn't grossed out by sleeping in my own filth. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I used to go weeks without changing my sheets. But how often should you wash your sheets, anyway? Experts say you need to change them every one to two weeks, but a new survey says no one is doing it that much. The results are a bit horrifying but also a reminder that no one is perfect.
Bedding review site Mattress Advisor surveyed 1,000 people, and they found that no one is changing their sheets every week —or even every two weeks. The average person waits about 24.4 days, which is three weeks and three days. That's almost a month without sheet changing. It can be tempting to judge people who never change their sheets, but how often do you go in between washes? If you're honest with yourself, you probably aren't on the strictest sheet-changing regimen. I have a king mattress, and changing the sheets is a process. Even though I don't want to share a bed with my husband's dead skin cells, it's often easier to go to sleep than to deal with my laundry. But after reading through this study, I'm tempted to strip my bed even though I literally washed my sheets two days ago.
People Start Judging If You Wait 35 Days To Change Your Bedsheets
According to the survey, people don't think your bedroom habits are gross unless you wait more than 35 days to change your sheets. That feels like a really long time, especially when the American Chemical Society says humans shed 500 million skin cells every day. I'm no math expert, but changing your sheets every 35 days means you're changing them roughly 10 times a year. Surely there's a better way. Something else to think about: On average, we're waiting over three weeks to change our pillowcases. When you don't change your pillowcase enough, you're upping your risks for skin problems, dust mites and breathing in dandruff, according to a 2016 article from Bustle. Lovely.
If You're Single, You're Changing Your Sheets Less Frequently
Single folks are waiting nearly twice as long as married people to change their sheets. While married couples usually change their sheets every 19.9 days, single people wait 37 days. This totally makes sense to me. If you're sleeping alone most of the time, what's the point of changing your sheets super frequently? Men change their sheets less often than women do, according to the study. People who identify as male are hitting up the laundromat once a month, while people who identify as female wait 19 days on average.
Some random tidbits from Mattress Advisor, because they apparently want to horrify us: People who drool while sleeping "often or always" go nearly 32 days before washing their pillowcases, and those who sleep naked and don't shower before bed wait almost 20 days. It's fine.
Dirtying Your Sheets During Sex = NBD
I take no pleasure in sharing this information with you, and I'm basically gagging as I type this. Mattress Advisor asked survey participants, "On average, how many days do you wait to wash your bedsheets after they become soiled through sexual activity?" The answers ranged from four to 11 days. ELEVEN. I would've thought people would strip their beds after doing the deed if things got messy, but apparently, noticing stains on your sheets isn't a huge deal.
Also something most of us would prefer not to think about: Less than half of people wash their sheets before heading out on a date, so you could be having sex on someone's dirty sheets if you go home with them. This is all very unpleasant and not great to think about, but it's also motivation to tidy up your bedroom. I'll be even more diligent in my sheet changing thanks to this, so it's a win. Feeling sick after reading this survey was just collateral damage, I guess.