If you’re wondering how often you should wash your bedding, you might be surprised. Anyone who has to wash weekly will be happy to know that dermatologists recommend changing your bed linen once a week. Yes, once a week.
It may seem like a hassle, but there are many reasons why you should change your bedding weekly. According to a board-certified dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy Rose, MD, Your bed can become a hotspot for skin irritation. “Bedding collects microbes such as bacteria, fungi and viruses, oils, body secretions, dust and debris, leading to pore blockages, allergies, odor and even infections,” she says shine. “It may be a good idea to shower before bed at night and always remove makeup before bed.”
Isla Beauty’s Dermatology expert Dr. Nicole Ruth, MD, agrees and warns that unsanitary sheets can be harmful. “If you don’t change your bedding regularly, you’ll most likely end up sleeping with things other than your partner,” she says. “Our sheets are a home for dead skin cells, dust mites, food particles and many different types of bacteria. The combination of all these things hanging around in your sheets can even trigger allergies in some patients.”
Irritation can also weaken the skin barrier and worsen existing skin conditions. “When my patients have eczema or a compromised skin barrier, they are more susceptible to irritation or flare-ups from bacteria and allergens in their sheets,” explains Ruth, adding moisturizers with powerful ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. One of my favorite products at the moment is Isla Beauty Whipped Dream Moisturizer.”
While there isn’t much room for exceptions to how often you should wash your bedding, depending on your personal hygiene, you might be able to switch to every two weeks. “You should change your pillowcases at least every week,” says Murphy-Rose. “If you sleep without clothes, it may benefit you to change bedding within the shorter time frame of one to two weeks,” she says.
If you have a pet at home that you share a bed with, Ruth recommends an even shorter wash schedule. “I recommend every three to four days,” she says. If you’re unable to wash weekly, Ruth generally recommends at least airing out the sheets after bed.
But according to Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, it’s best not to push it. “Generally, the longest time you can go without changing your bedding should be two weeks,” she says.
Ariana Yaptangco is senior beauty editor at Shine. follow her @arianayap.