How Often to Wash Bedding

  • 01 of 06


    close-up of bed
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    If you use pillow protectors on your pillows and under your pillow cases, you probably only need to wash your pillows 3 times a year. The pillow protectors should be unzipped and washed monthly.  Oils and dirt from our hair and faces soak into the pillows and can even soak into the filling of a pillow.  Washing pillow protectors monthly with a mild laundry detergent will keep them clean and fresh.  If you don't use pillow protectors, washing your pillows monthly or at least every other month will be your best bet. Most washing machines can handle washing a pair of pillows at a time.  I don't recommend washing a single pillow since your machine won't be balanced.

  • 02 of 06

    Sheets and Pillowcases

    With sheets and pillowcases, a lot of the timing will depend on personal preference.  I like to wash my sheets and pillowcases at least weekly. I love the feeling of fresh sheets and look forward to putting clean sheets on my bed each week.  Sheets get oils and dirt on them from our bodies which can lead to tough stains.  Be sure to check for and treat any stains on your sheets no matter how often you wash them.  Also, avoid washing sheets in hot water.  Hot water can shrink your sheets.  You might not notice the shrinking until you try to put them back on the bed, but warm water is much more likely to get them clean without shrinking.

  • 03 of 06


    To decide how often to wash extra blankets, you need to figure out how often they are actually used.  If you have blankets at the end of your bed that are never unrolled and used, then washing them every few months should work well.  However, if the blanket is used daily or nightly, you may want to put it on a weekly or every two week washing schedule.  Be sure to follow the specific care instructions for your blankets and wash according to directions.  If the blanket is used less often, be aware of any color bleeding it may have if it isn't colorfast. You can always wash the blanket in a load by itself if you have any concerns.

  • 04 of 06

    Comforters and Duvet Covers

    If you have a cover, it will protect the interior comforter from most dirt and soiling.  Unless the comforter has something spilled on it, you won't need to wash it more than once or twice a year.  The cover, however, will need to be washed weekly. If you consistently use a top sheet, you might be able to stretch this to wash your comforter every 2-4 weeks. If you do not use a separate comforter cover, you'll need to wash the entire comforter every week and whenever spills or stains happen. If your machine can't handle the size, you may need to launder your comforter at a laundromat where there are heavy duty sized machines.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Mattress Covers

    Using a mattress cover is a lifesaver in extending the life of your mattress.  Mattress covers can help prevent mattress damage, prevent allergies, and keep your mattress clean and comfy.  Mattress covers themselves will need to be removed and washed at least monthly.  Also if any spills or stains happen you'll need to the remove the cover, treat it, and wash according to the directions.

  • 06 of 06

    Bed Skirts, Canopies, and Curtains

    All those extra bedding options are usually for decoration and not function.   Items like bed skirts, canopies, and curtains don't usually get dirty very often.  If you are an allergy sufferer, you may want to wash these items every 2-3 months.  For everyone else twice a year or yearly washings will usually be all that is needed unless spills or stains happen. Be sure to follow directions to avoid damaging the fabric and to prevent colors from fading.