Here’s how often you should change your sheets

There’s nothing like jumping into bed at the end of a long day. A bed should be a safe place where you can unwind and get some much needed rest. Who doesn’t look forward to snuggling into a soft bed of blankets, pillows, and… germs? Yep, as cozy as your bed might be, it can turn into a hotbed of filth if you aren’t changing your sheets often enough.

According to Good Housekeeping, you should wash your sheets at least every two weeks. If you’re a sweaty sleeper, though, you should be changing your sheets weekly. What happens if you put off changing your sheets? Well, things get pretty gross. 

It doesn’t take long for your sheets to become plastered with dead skin cells, saliva, sweat, and oils from your skin. That’s nasty enough, but dust mites are attracted to all that stuff your body is leaving on your sheets. The microscopic creatures can’t be seen with the naked human eye, but rest assured that they are living in your bed and feasting off of your skin. According to CNN, the average human body sheds 1.5 grams of skin each day — enough to feed 1 million dust mites.

Oh, and those dust mites also poop in your bed. Sleeping with pets can also contribute to the contamination, and, if you sleep sans pajamas, you might be getting some human fecal matter mixing in with that dust mite poop. 

If you’re still not thoroughly nauseated, there’s even more horrifying stuff that can grow in your bed. Sheets saturated in sweat provide a breeding ground for mold. Leave those sweaty sheets unwashed for too long, and you might end up sleeping with a type of mold called Cladosporium that can give you asthma, pneumonia, and a painful-sounding infection called Onychomycosis, which can make your toenails crumble. 

Dr. Carl Cricco told Redbook that “several icky infections or rashes can be transferred through dirty bedding, such as Tinea Cruris (a fungal infection that affects the skin on the genitals, inner thighs, and buttocks — AKA jock itch), Tinea Versicolor (a fungal infection that causes small, discolored patches of skin), or the tough-to-treat ‘super bug’ Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, caused by a type of staph bacteria that’s resistant to most antibiotics.”

Yeah, like we said, it gets gross. It looks like all those years we spent worrying about the monster under the bed should have been spent worrying about the monsters lurking in the sheets.

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