How dirty is your bed?

When asked how often we wash our bedding the vast majority of us are very cagey because nobody actually knows how often you should wash your bedding. However, before we discuss how often you should wash bedding let us actually discuss how dirty you’re bedding can become in a very short space of time!

The average night

If we take the average night asleep in bed as eight hours, although many of us will be lucky to get eight hours sleep, you can only imagine the kind of debris, fluid and other elements which remain on your bed and you’re bedding for many hours, days and possibly weeks.

Skin particles

While it is fairly obvious that you will shed skin particles throughout the day but did you know that the average person will shed around 600,000 particles of skin each and every hour of each and every day. So during an average eight-hour sleep you could potentially shed nearly 5,000,000 particles of skin. Now, let us assume that you have a partner who also sleeps in the same bed for the same amount of time. If we simply double the number of particles you will get an astonishing 10 million particles of skin freshly laid on to your bedding each and every night.

Now, this is where the figures become very distressing for many people because we will assume various time spans between washing your bedding although to give you an idea check out the list below: –

Seven days

Nearly 34,000,000 particles of skin will be on your bedding if you wash your sheets and covers every seven days.

14 days

If you wash your bedding every 14 days then an astonishing 67 million particles of skin will need to be removed.

30 days

If you only wash your bedding once a month then an astounding 144 million particles of skin would be with you each and every night.

Every two months

For those who are little slow in washing their bedding it is believed that if you leave it every two months there will be an astonishing 288 million particles of skin.

For those who leave it six months the figure rises to an astonishing and potentially health risking 864 million particles of skin.

Help is at hand with dead skin cells!

Did you know that the dead skin cells which you shed every night are the staple diet of the bedbug many of which can live, feed and die in your mattress and your bedding over their lifetime. So not only are there potential risks of infection from dead skin cells left to effectively rot on your bedding but there are also health issues with regards to bed bugs which will feed on these cells.


It is estimated that the average person in the UK will sweat around five pounds of perspiration in any 12 month period which works out at just over 0.4lbs a month. This may not sound an awful lot but when you consider that the sweat which leaves your body during sleep will eventually evaporate leaving a salty material and potential bacteria it is a worry. This fluid can sleep into the inner lining of your bedding, your mattress and your covers and eventually make a massive difference to the quality of your sleep.

You would not want to be putting your head in 0.4lbs of sweat at the end of each month so why do people leave it so late to wash their bedding?


We all know that during sleep, and indeed during the day, we will all lose a certain amount of our hair and the skin cells, dandruff, etc associated with these. While it may not seem like an awful lot during one evening, as you may see just a handful of hair on your pillow, can you imagine the buildup over one week, two weeks, one month, three months, six months, etc. Very quickly your bed will retain a significant amount of your hair and other body elements which can if left unwashed cause potential allergies and other health issues.

The buildup of hair is perhaps the most evident when you wake up in the morning and look at your mattress and your pillow case so why do we not do anything about it?

Bed bugs

Bed bugs have been a problem for ever and a day and in reality unless you are prepared to wash your bedding on a regular basis and at a relatively high temperature they will always be around. If you do not believe us, next time you’re washing your bedding or turning over your mattress, check one of the corners of your mattress and see if there is evidence of tiny black insects. The chances are that at some stage you will come across bedbugs and while it is very difficult to get rid of these completely it is fairly easy to control them.

Regular washing of your bedding will disrupt their livelihood, their activities and in many cases it will actually kill them. It is also worthwhile noting that the more you wash your bedding the less food, in the shape of skin particles, will be available for them to feast upon. So, it goes without saying that the less food they have to live on the harder it will be for them to live on your bedding on a long-term basis.


It is common knowledge that a variety of allergies have arrived in the UK because of issues such as bedbugs, skin particles and other bodily fluids. The reality is that we all need to wash our bedding on a regular basis at a relatively high temperature, although you will need to check your individual bedding instructions, to ensure they remain as clean as possible and as few allergies and infections as possible are passed on.

When you look at the amount of skin particles, hair particles, sweat and other bodily fluids which are transferred to your bedding on a regular basis it does start to become a little frightening. However, let’s not forget that this is a natural process and all that we need to do to ensure there is little in the way of infection and other issues as possible is to ensure that our bedding is clean as possible as well as our mattresses, etc.


It is all good and well washing your bedding every few months and believing that you are doing exactly what is required to keep your bedding clean. However, the reality today is that we shed hundreds of thousands of skin particles each and every day, we can sweat up to 5 pounds of fluid each year not to mention hair particles, dandruff and other bodily fluids.

It is therefore essential that you wash your bedding if not once a week then at least once every two weeks to protect yourself and your partner. The potential risk from a health point of view is there for all to see despite the fact that many of us choose to ignore this. Allergies can occur, allergies can be created and in some extreme cases infections have led to the death of some people.

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