7 Reasons to Change Your Sheets

4 min read
4 min read

The Lowdown on Linens

 

Ah, sheets–so soft, silky, and downright relaxing to curl up under. From microfiber to Egyptian cotton, there’s a style and a fabric for everyone, all promising we’ll sleep on a cloud of comfort and wake up looking like a vibrant, happy version of ourselves. 

 

But for all their buttery smoothness, there are some seriously icky things that could be hiding in your sheets. We all have to switch out our linens from time to time–but how often should you change your sheets? From bedbugs to body oils, let’s explore the 7 signs that it’s time to change your sheets.

 

The 7 Reasons to Change Those Sheets

 

  1. There’s Hair Everywhere!

If you have a lot of long, thick hair, or you’re just prone to shedding, you’ll need to examine your linens pretty frequently. Not only is it uncomfortable to lay on a bunch of itchy hairs, but it can also attract unwelcome bed bugs to your cozy little cloud of comfort. They like to feed on hair and dust from our dead skin cells that flake onto the sheets at night. Talk about gross!

 

  1. You Just Ate

If you’re like most people, you like to stretch out in bed at the end of a long day and unwind with some nice, soothing streaming. If you’re a showtime snacker, though, it’s a good idea to check your bedding before turning in officially. Stray pieces of popcorn, that orange dust from certain crunchy snacks, and spilled drinks can all soil those soft bedsheets before you can blink. 

 

  1. Dirty Talk

I think it’s pretty obvious to most people that you should change your sheets when they get dirty. You’d be amazed at what you can track onto your bedding just from your clothes or socks. It’s even worse if you hop in bed with shoes on, even flip flops or sandals. All that dirt from outside ends up on your sheets and blankets. And nobody wants to lay around in the dirt. We’re not pigs, after all.

 

  1. Body Soils

Even if you manage to avoid food, dirt, or hair on your bedsheets, you probably won’t be able to avoid this culprit. Oils from your skin, sweat, and other bodily fluids can all end up on your sheets just from your normal sleep at night. Heck, some people even drool all over their pillowcases! You can’t stop it from happening, but once you know it’s there, it’s time to wash those linens. I mean, who really wants to lay on last night’s drool stain?

 

  1. Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Of all the reasons on this list to change your sheets, this one probably tops most people’s lists. But the key to keeping bedbugs away from your bedding is pretty simple. Following the previous four steps in the list will get you most of the way towards avoiding these horrible little bugs. And of course, changing your sheets regularly will also work to the benefit of that goal. Just try to make your bed as uninviting to bed bugs as possible. They dislike a nice, clean set of sheets. 

 

  1. What’s That Smell?

I don’t think any of us mean to let our bedsheets get so gross they start to smell. But if you’re starting to sense an unsavory odor from those linens, it’s well past time to change them. A bad smell from your sheets usually results from a build-up of body fluids, like sweat and oils. Let the problem go for too long, and you’ll be wrinkling your nose when you lay down at night. Not what you want when you’re trying to drift off into sweet dreamland, right?

 

  1. How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

This number will vary depending on a lot of factors. Some say if you don’t sleep in your bed every night, you could get away with around 2 weeks between changes. But for most people, a general rule of thumb is once a week. If you eat in bed, sweat a lot, or sense a funky smell, though, it’ll likely be more often–closer to two or three times a week. Use your situation with these guidelines to figure out your own personalized sheet-changing routine.

 

What Now?

 

By now, you’re probably giving your bed a suspicious side-eye and wondering if it’s worth it to bring that king-size bowl of popcorn with you to your next in-bed Netflix session. After all, nobody wants to have to change their sheets all the time. But really, the timing is up to you.

 

Anything less than clean, fresh sheets could signal a good reason to change them. But if you use these 7 reasons as your guide to how often you should change your sheets, you’ll be well within the realm of comfy, cozy, clean relaxation.

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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

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Sleep Coach

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Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians