The sheets should be changed periodically so they don’t become a den of bacteria and germs. According to University of New York microbiologist Philip Tierno, letting dust, sweat, and dirt accumulate for two weeks is enough to make you suffer from itch or choked throat, especially if you suffer from allergies.
For those who tend to leave their sleeping mattresses unchanged, it should be noted that it can make you sweat and dirt to seep into your pillows and mattresses. “The general consensus is that we all have to change the sheets including blankets and pillow covers once a week,” Tierno quoted in the Huffington Post.
But Professor Val Curtis from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said he did not believe that leaving sheets to be worn for several weeks would cause health problems. Curtis advises people to change the sheets once a week for aesthetic reasons.
Should we wash the blankets too? According to The Fine Bedding Company, blankets must be washed every six months or at least wash them once a year. Bacteria and body fluids accumulate in a short period of time. The company believes blankets and pajamas only act as the first line of defense against sweat.
The way to wash blankets will depend on two things: the type of blanket and how big your washing machine is. In general, blankets filled with natural fur should not be washed and dried at home, regardless of the capacity or capabilities of your machine. For synthetic blankets it’s usually not a problem to wash at home.
How about washing the pillows? Yep, the pillow also needs to be washed and cleaned. A study in 2005 found that each pillow has four to 16 different species of fungus that lives in it. The study analyzed fungal spores on 10 different pillows aged between 1.5 and 20 years.
The main researcher Professor Ashley Woodcock of the University of Manchester said that pillows are inhabited by house dust mites that feed on mushrooms. “One theory is that molds in turn use house dust mites as the main source of nitrogen and nutrients. Therefore there may be a miniature ecosystem that works inside the pillow,” he explained.
It is recommended that pillows be washed more often than blankets, which is about four times a year or every three months. According to The Fine Bedding Company, most pillows are filled with synthetic fibers which can be machine washed at 40 degrees centigrade or 60 centigrade.
But before washing, check the care label first, natural pillows usually require professional cleaning. If you do not want to wash it regularly, adding a pillow protector can extend the need to wash the pillow and this can be washed regularly and easily.