How Often You Should Wash Your Bedding (Bed Sheets, Pillows, Comforters, Quilts)

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Are you taking time to take care of your bed linen? As easy as it may sound, bedding requires routine care to maintain the quality and longevity of the fabric.

Bedding comes in a variety of materials that dictate how to wash and dry. These include pillows, down comforters, duvet covers, blankets and sheets.

While it is essential to follow the instructions given, there is more to caring about them than just reading the labels. This is by ensuring you change your sheets regularly, treat stains the right way and adopting proper storage ideas.

So, how do you go about that?

Why Is It Essential To Wash Your Bedding?

Laundry: White sheets being taken out of the washing machine

The main reason people clean their bedding is to keep them smelling fresh and comfortable as they sleep. Here are more reasons why you should wash them regularly:

  • Regular cleaning eliminates dust mites that pose a risk of acquiring allergies.
  • Cleaning prevents bacterial build up which is caused by sweat, hair, and oil left on your bedding.
  • It removes odor caused by sweat, oil and drools buildup.
  • Cleaning your bedding softens the fabric for a comfortable night sleep.

Just like your clothes, your bedding require a regular change to maintain the quality and reap the benefits of using clean ones. But, frequent washing of all your bed linen is undoubtedly a hassle. Since some of these fabrics are bulky, it would take you so much time and energy to wash every other time.

However, this should not be an excuse to keep your sheets on for a long time. In fact, a weekly change of light linen is advisable. This includes bed sheets, pillowcases, and covers.

In short, bedding fabrics that are in close contact with the skin should be washed on a weekly basis.

What Determines How Often You Should Wash Your Bedding?

There is no standard timeframe to use your bed linen. It all depends on how you dress your bed. If you sleep nude, you should consider washing your bedding more often than those who sleep in pajamas.

Also, if you use a heavy blanket or comforter, you might consider using a duvet cover. With the case, you will reduce the number of times you have to clean your heavy blankets.

Additionally, if you use flat and fitted sheets, you can significantly reduce the burden of cleaning your heavier fabrics regularly.

How to Take Care of Individual Bedding Items?


One of the guiding factors on how to clean your sheets is considering the type of fabric. Usually, sheets contour or flat come with tags indicating the most suitable washing procedure. But, a general rule is to check the temperature and the drying options.

If you have colored sheets, you need to be careful about bleaching as some dyes are not permanent. Most sheets can be washed in the machine using warm water and tumble dried on low temperature.

How often should you wash your sheets? Bed sheets should be washed weekly since these take the brunt of your sleep.


When you sleep, hair oils, facial oils and sweat transfer to your pillowcases. And sorry to say it folks, but that’s where the yellowish stains on your pillows come from!

If left dirty, bacterial and fungus can build up and this could bring about allergies and breakouts on your face. You can wash your pillowcases twice a week or after every two days. They are closest to your skin, hence proper care is essential, and like sheets, the cleaning procedure depends on the type of fabric.


Duvet Covers

These are more like sheets but designed to cover your duvets (comforters) and heavy blankets on both sides. They are essential bedding items as you don’t have to clean your duvets regularly.

If you use a flat sheet, you can clean the cover twice a month. But, if it is in direct contact with your skin as you sleep, then you may need to wash it every week along with your sheets. I always use a hot cycle when washing bedding! No exception!

Target Duvet in Bedroom


These are bulky and having a regular cleaning routine can come across as a hassle. But, it is advisable to wash them at least four times a year.

Even if you use sheets and covers, dust and other buildups can transfer to the duvet. Similarly, you need to check the label to avoid destroying the fabric. Also, you have to ensure they dry out thoroughly to prevent dampness and mildew formation. Check out my post on how to clean goose down bedding comforters.


Pillows also harbor dust and other particles transferred from the cases.

Therefore, you should clean them as often as you wash your duvets (two to four times per year). First, treat stains before you toss them in the machine to completely clean your pillows. Also, check the temperature requirements to ensure you remove dirt and bacteria. If you have bamboo pillows, check out my post on how to wash bamboo pillows.

Heavy Blankets/Quilts

If you use heavy blankets or quilts without a flat sheet, then you might need to clean as regularly as your sheets. If you’re careful like me and use a flat sheet in conjunction with a quilt, you only have to wash them once a month.

Always check the label for cleaning guidelines. To make work easier, use your blankets with a sheet or get a cover to reduce your laundry burden.



Although you may not practically wash your mattress, it is essential to take care of it like just like every other bedding item. Here are useful tips on how to take care of your mattress.

  • Use a mattress pad or cover to keep off dirt.
  • Ensure your bed frame is in the right shape.
  • Rotate your mattress head to toe and top to bottom regularly.
  • Air out your mattress if you can to dry out moisture and prevent bacterial build up.
  • You can vacuum your mattress whenever you can to eliminate dust.

You may also find my guide on how to clean a memory foam mattress topper useful.

Tips to Remember

  • The material of your bedding dictates the most suitable washing procedure.
  • Pay attention to the labels provided.
  • Remove spots and stains before washing.
  • Ensure your bedding are completely dry after washing.
  • Utilize covers for duvets and heavy blankets to reduce your laundry burden.
  • Wash colors individually to prevent staining.
  • Do not wash pillows together with other clothes to prevent pilling.
  • Air out your pillows and mattress to remove moisture.
  • Always check your dryer’s temperature to prevent ruining fabrics.

Bottom Line

How to take care of your bedding totals down to understanding the type of fabrics to determine suitable cleaning procedures. You ought to ensure you maintain the quality and keep your bed linen as clean as possible. Therefore, you should adopt a routine to clean them as often to last long and enjoy the benefits.

Next Read: Should a New Comforter be Washed before Using?