How Often Do I Actually Need to Wash My Sheets?

dirty-bed-sheets

First off, never let anyone you want to share those sheets with hear you ask that question, especially if you’re really emphasizing the “need” part. Second, ask yourself honestly, how often are you washing your sheets right now?

If you’re not even sure when you last washed them, you’re not doing it often enough. Consider this: You produce as much as 100 liters of sweat in bed every year, according to one British study. This salty output creates “an ideal fungal culture medium,” or in other words, a moist party hotspot for everything gross you don’t want in your bed.

As for your pillows, according to the same study, pillows between one and a half to 20 years old generally contain between four and 16 species of fungus. That’s enough to stop you from making out with your pillow ever again.

And that, of course, is just the fungus. Your bedding is also full of skin cells, oils and dirt (and, uh, other stuff too) which is also all great for bacteria. You wouldn’t want to wear something so dirty day in, day out, so you definitely shouldn’t want to sleep in it either.

Instead, follow the advice of sheet-maker Parachute, and go two weeks at most between washes. Apart from anything else, it’ll put you in an elite group of people: According to a survey by mattress company Ergoflex, more than half of single men between 18 and 25 years old wash their sheets only once every three months. That sound you just heard? That, friend, was a fungus party.