How long is too long when it comes to not changing your bedsheets? According to recent polls, a significant proportion of people keep their unwashed sheets on for much longer than experts recommend – and, sorry guys, but men are the worst culprits.
A 2014 YouGov poll asked the British public about their sheet-changing habits. When asked how often they wash their bed sheets, the most common answer was every two weeks, with 35 percent of respondents agreeing that was the best option.
Some 33 percent said they were weekly washers and just 3 percent said they change their sheets more than once a week. On the other end of the spectrum, 8 percent said they wash bed sheets every three weeks and 10 percent said every four weeks. Around 2 percent said they only change their sheets every week or less.
Another YouGov poll in 2016 asked 1,000 people in the US about their bed-sheet behaviors and identified some intriguingly gross trends.
Men, generally speaking, were sloppier in their attitudes toward clean sheets than women. Up to 44 percent of women clean their bed sheets at least once a week, contrasted against 32 percent of men. Compared to women, men as a whole were slightly more likely to report changing their sheets every two weeks, three to four weeks, or five to six weeks.
However, 6 percent of both men and women fell into the “filthy core group” who clean their sheets every seven weeks or more.
The Sleep Foundation recommends that most people wash their sheets once per week, perhaps two weeks at a push. For people who have pets that sleep in the bed, a wash every 3 to 4 days is recommended.
That’s because, quite simply, bed sheets are filthy. We shed around 3.9 kilograms (8.8 pounds) of skin cells over the course of a year and a lot of this inevitably ends up where we spend a third of our life: our beds.
Bed sheets can also accumulate significant amounts of dirt, body oils, sweat, assorted bodily fluids, and even dust mites, microscopic creatures that feast on skin cells. A typical used mattress can have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million of these little guys living inside
So, unless you enjoy the company of a million mites, we suggest you up your sheet washing game.