There's a universal appeal to slipping into a soft bed with just-washed sheets right before a restful night's sleep. And yet, many of us put off this simple pleasure for far, far too long. We tell ourselves that throwing sheets in the laundry is a difficult chore, and that they don't have to be washed nearly as often as our clothes.
Ariel Kaye, the founder and CEO of Parachute, is here to tell you once and for all that it's time for a change. Why? Because you're probably not washing your sheets enough.
"It's important to approach the process intentionally to extend the life of your bedding, while also maintaining cleanliness," she says.
Creating a calm and clutter-free bedroom can promote better sleep, reduce stress, and encourage daytime productivity, and clean bedding fits into that goal. That's why we asked Kaye to describe how often to wash sheets, and the best way to get the job done. And since we know that this isn't the most appealing way to spend time, we also asked her for one way to make the process more entertaining, too. With her tips, you won't just learn how to take better care of your sheets; hopefully, her advice will encourage you to sleep in a clean bed more often.
How often should sheets be washed?
"We suggest washing your bedding every seven to 10 days," Kaye says. "Mattress and pillow protectors should be washed every month, and inserts should be washed every three to six months."
What's the best way to care for sheets in the washing machine?
"Fill the washer with cool water and add liquid soap—less than the manufacturer calls for," Kaye notes. "Avoid hot water, powdered detergent, bleach, and fabric softener: They weaken natural fibers, and excess detergent can cause unpleasant buildup on your bedding. Allow the detergent to dissolve before loading your bedding into the washer. To further protect your linens, only wash similar items together—so, linens of the same color and fabric—and never add clothing to your load, because zippers, hooks, and the like can cause pilling and abrasion."
"To dry, load the machine halfway to avoid twisting, and allow the fabric to fluff up," Kaye continues. "We suggest using low heat, as overheating the fabric causes the fibers to get brittle and the color to fade. If applying the linens directly to the bed, pull them out just before they're dry. Slightly damp sheets will prevent wrinkles—no iron needed."
Do you have one suggestion for making this chore more enjoyable?
"We love to read while we do the laundry," Kaye adds. "Check out our spring reading list for suggestions."
Any last tips for keeping bed linens as clean as possible?
"Storage is also key for maintaining the quality of your linens," Kaye says. "A bag with cotton panels is perfect for extra duvet inserts, and sheets should be stored in their own fabric. Our bedding comes in self-care bags made of the same high-quality fabric as the product itself. I like to spritz linen mist or tuck a bag of lavender inside to keep things smelling fresh."