How often should you wash your bedding?

Asya Fatima Abdulwajid

Aug 17 2020 comments- 4

Most people view their bedrooms as sanctuaries, distant, and remote from the worries of the world. After a long, tiring day, simply lying on your bed can relax your shoulders and body, helping you recover from a day’s worth of stress. Thus, you need to keep your bed in top condition to regularly ease your tension.

To ensure that your bedding is free of dirt and doesn’t welcome uninvited guests, like dust mites, bed bugs, mould, and bacteria, you need to clean your bedding regularly. But this poses the question – how frequently must you wash your bedding? Rest assured, by the end of this article, all your ‘whys,’ ‘hows’ and ‘whens’ will have been answered.

Understand what you are up against

Firstly, it is essential to understand that washing your sheets, pillow covers and duvet must be a priority even when the bedding appears to be clean and fresh. While stains of spilled coffee or juice are easy to spot, dust mites and skin cells are not easily noticeable. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells, which may cause allergies. Thus, getting rid of them is essential.

Alongside the threat of microscopic beings, factors such as sweat and contagious illnesses from someone you might share a bed with. These are hygiene issues that you need to combat thoroughly. Therefore, maintaining a cleaning schedule is necessary for the times you’ve willingly or unwillingly forgotten laundry day.

How often should you wash your bedding?

Bedding mainly comprises of bed sheets, pillows, mattress toppers, comforters or duvets, mattresses, and any additional luxuries. Luckily, not all bed items have to be cleaned regularly. So you don’t need to worry about, say, washing your mattress every other day.


Your bed sheet is most susceptible to gathering dust mites, bacteria, and collecting dust. It would be best if you aimed to wash your bed sheets at least once a week. While this timeframe isn’t the ‘official’ standard, experts generally encourage it. However, this duration may vary depending on your habits and parts of your lifestyle.

For example, if you suffer from respiratory issues, like asthma or dust-related allergies, then you may need to wash your sheets more regularly. This is especially applicable during dusty and windy weather.

clean sheets

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, humans tend to shed 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells daily. Since dust mites feed on dead skin cells, you may need to get a head start on your weekly cleaning schedule. If you’re allergic to dust mites, the minimum criteria are to wash your sheets once a week. Furthermore, it is recommended to wash the sheets in the water at 60 degrees Celsius or higher to kill any mites or germs, according to the NHS.

Infections can easily transmit through bedsheets; thus, if you contract an infectious disease, a weekly schedule isn’t rigorous enough. Once you’ve recovered from the illness, you must wash your bedding to kill the germs and ensure you don’t contract the disease again. However, if you’re sharing your bed with someone, you might even need to wash the sheets daily!


Throwing your pillow covers, along with the sheets, in the washing machine every now and again may not be enough to fight off germs. While it’s highly recommended to wash your pillow covers weekly, or sooner if you have acne-prone skin, you also need to clean the pillows themselves.

Pillows must be thoroughly sanitized every three months to get rid of any dust accumulation, dead skin, bugs, and sweat residue. Washing your pillows might seem like an unnecessary addition to your cleaning schedule. However, considering an unwashed pillow on average contains about 16 different species of fungi, you should definitely prioritise it.

Once you’ve reached the three-month mark, you may wonder how to wash pillows without damaging their fluff and structure. Don’t worry; we have you covered. Here are the recommended steps for ‘how to wash pillows’ properly:

  • Along with the pillow, add some detergent and fabric softener to the washer.
  • Set the temperature settings to 60 degrees Celsius and choose the fastest option on the spin cycle. It allows the pillow to be completely and thoroughly cleaned.
  • Once the washing process is over, the pillow must be thrown into a dryer with a clean bath towel or two tennis balls to quicken the drying process.

However, cleaning your pillows may not be suitable long-term. If the pillow’s condition looks rougher than usual, then you may need to purchase a new one. As the pillow is the centrepiece of the bedding and comfort, investing in a new pillow, such as Nectar’s memory foam pillows, is a good idea.

Exclusive Offer! 45% Off Any Mattress Visit Nectar Mattress UK


Your mattress is the most labour-intensive item of bedding to clean, but you don’t need to dread the process. A mattress only needs to be washed every few months, and if you do a thorough job, then you’ll be all set for a good few months.

There are several promising ways to wash a mattress, including:


Using a vacuum to clean a mattress is not as physically demanding as the other processes. Once you’ve chosen the right nozzle to cover every nook of the mattress, you can begin to gently move the vacuum back and forth until the surface looks clean. Make sure to repeat the process on the other side of the mattress as well. And once you’re finished, leave the mattress to air dry before putting the bedding back on.

clean a mattress

Bicarbonate soda:

Sprinkling baking soda over a mattress may not be the most conventional method, but it has proved to be effective. After laying down a generous layer of the soda, leave it on for around 24 hours. Afterward, you can pick it up using a vacuum cleaner or carefully dust it off. Additionally, to get rid of any stubborn stains, baking soda along with vinegar is a promising option.

Hand washing:

If you choose to clean a mattress by hand, then know that while the process is quite demanding, the results are exceptional. A detergent layer or mattress cleaner can be poured on the mattress and then lightly scrub in circular motions with a broad brush. With a wide range of mattress cleaners available, you won’t ever go out of options. Finally, once you’re satisfied, wash the mattress with lukewarm water. Mattresses with the open-cell structure of the core materials, such as those provided by Emma UK, contain a ventilation system that keeps it aerated.

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Mattress topper

Mattress toppers are ideal for providing an extra layer of cushioning and comfort to your bedding, but buying one leaves you with an extra bedding item to clean. While a mattress topper only needs to be cleaned around once every two months, you will need to wash it carefully.

By following the steps given below, washing a mattress topper will be a piece of cake:

  • Firstly, remove any sheet or bedding laid on the mattress topper, and then start by vacuuming away any debris or dust particles that are clearly visible. The vacuuming prepares the mattress cover for a second, more thorough stage of cleaning.
  • Apply a baking soda and vinegar paste or use a mattress cleaner to get rid of stubborn stains and any dust.
  • Once the cleaner has been left on for a day, wash it off with lukewarm water.
  • Air drying the mattress topper is the most crucial stage of the process, as a damp mattress topper acts as a breeding ground for germs and attracts dust. Hang the topper in a ventilated and sunny area for a few hours.

If your mattress topper has become old and worn, and cleaning it properly just doesn’t do the trick anymore, then it’s time to buy a new one. DreamCloud UK offers premium-quality mattress toppers starting at just £50 apiece.

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Unlike other bedding items, duvets and comforters offer you a relatively free hand as they only need to be washed once or twice per season. In addition to the frequency of wash, they are also easier to clean. They can simply be thrown into the washer with detergent, and in a few cycles with warm water, your comforter will be as good as new.


Washing your bedding items per the required amount is a fair price to pay for comfort and hygiene. By following a strict cleaning schedule, you can improve the quality of your lifestyle and add to the lifetime of your bedding.

Most buyers spend considerable time and effort choosing furniture and bedding that suits their needs; therefore, it’s a good idea to dedicate the same amount of energy into caretaking. Clean bedding can improve your skin, respiratory health, quality of sleep, and your lifestyle overall. So be sure to make regular trips to the washer!

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Questions & Answers

Joanna mouzouris

I would like a soft organic matress that breaths does it have to have air pokets?
I am very sensitive to dust.
What do you recommend?


You might like the Otty PURE Hybrid Bamboo & Charcoal Mattress. It uses materials that are CentiPUR and Europur approved, and Otty says that it is suitable for people with allergies and asthma as it is hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. It is breathable thanks to the bamboo as well as the coils. It is considered “medium” however in terms of firmness, not soft. It is shipped for free and comes with a 100 night trial period, during which time if you don’t like it, you can return it, so it could still be worth a try for you!

Anneke Freeland

I have a gel mattress. I use a Vorwerk Hoover which provides a snow for cleaning mattresses. Can I clean the gel mattress in the same way as I would a non gel mattress?


Yes, you can vacuum a gel mattress

Top5 Mattresses UK
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