Good sleep habits start by creating an environment that's set up to help you rest and get the best night's sleep possible. In this post, we talk about five myths about bedroom hygiene, starting with how often you should buy a new mattress to where you can go to find the best bed linens. Let's start with a little quiz.
How well do you know your bedroom hygiene? You'll find the answers to today's quiz at the end of this post (thanks to our sponsors, Boll and Branch, for helping us bring this and other information to help you live your best digital life).
- How often should you replace a mattress?
- How often do you need to change your sheets?
- How long should you keep your pillows?
- When should you replace your bedspread or duvet?
- Does higher thread count mean better sheets?
How often should you replace your mattress?
The rules for replacing a mattress aren't as strict as you may think, because the overall quality and lifespan depends on how often you use a bed, how well you take care of it, and how often you rotate your mattress.
The National Sleep Foundation says a majority of mattresses have a lifespan of about eight years. The span may be shorter for people who have trouble sleeping or are over the age of 40. In either case, your body needs a better foundation to get a higher quality of sleep. Your comfort and quality of sleep is the best way to tell if your mattress is on its last legs. Look for spots that are worn out or sagging in the middle and around the edges. If you feel increasingly tired or stiff upon waking up, it may be a sign that your mattress needs to be replaced.
How often should you change your sheets?
Changing/cleaning your sheets once every two-weeks seems to be the general rule in all the sources we consulted. Some suggest you should wash your sheets once a week, especially if you tend to sweat while you sleep. It helps if you think of your sheets as a big sponge: They absorb and retain everything.
Note: One of the reasons we like to take a break from our usual consumer tech topics is because we like to bring you tips that we learn from our sponsors. This one is brought to you by Boll and Branch, makers of the softest organic cotton sheets. Get $50 off your first order plus free shipping using the promo code Kim.
Sheets allows dead skin cells and sweat from your body to build up and seep into your mattress. Some people sweat more than a liter every night! There are millions of dust mites that live in everyone's beds and eat your dead skin cells, which leads to your mattress becoming heavier over time. It's inevitable, but it can be controlled. In short, it's highly recommended that you change your sheets at least once every two weeks.
How long should you keep pillows?
Once again, this is a question that is up for debate because a large part depends on who's sleeping on them. The National Sleep Foundation suggests you replace your pillow every one to two years or so. Now, that may seem like a bit too often, but it may be well worth it considering the factors involved. Here's some perspective: Pillows absorb body oils, dead skin cells and hair. Over time, this can lead to unwanted odors, dust mites and other allergens that you surely don't want on your face while you sleep.
Pillow protectors can help extend your pillow's life, but remember to wash them as often as you wash your sheets!
To help get a little more mileage out of your pillows, wash them every six months with hot water and a mild detergent to kill any mites. Pillows tend to lose their supportive structure over time, which can lead to decreased comfort and quality of sleep. Just like your mattress, give your pillow a look over and check for sagging, lumps or anything else that may impede you from keeping your head and neck in a neutral position.
When should you replace my bedspread or duvet?
Even though you may not think it, duvets and comforters harbor both live and dead dust mites, just like the rest of your bedding. They can also keep skin scales and fungus which leads to allergies and infections. Bedspreads/duvets should be washed every few months, if not twice a year, and it's recommended that you replace them every five years. Let's face it, your duvet has seen better days by that point.
As it ages, the filling in the duvet begins to feel limp and lumpy, or it starts to come through the casing. This kind of exposure causes the filling to lose its elasticity, which means it no longer has the ability to trap air and help you maintain a comfortable body temperature. This is another key sign that your duvet needs to be replaced. Of course, this all depends on the quality of your duvet. The higher the quality, the longer it will last.
Does higher the thread count mean better sheets?
We asked Boll and Branch about thread count and sheet quality, and we were surprised to learn that high thread count doesn't equate to quality. They say to look for thread counts between 180 and 400 and be suspicious of anything over 400. Really! "Some manufacturers inflate their thread counts using a multi-ply yarn, which results in heavier, scratchier and less durable bedding," they say. Good to know!
Looking to replace your bedding? Make Boll and Branch your go-to source for the best sheets, blankets, duvet covers and bedding. Their sheets are the softest and made with real organic cotton, for the most comfortable sleep. Kim uses them, and after she gifted a set of sheets to her mom, she won't use anything else!
Quiz answers: 5 myths about your bedroom
To be fair, there are no written rules on how often you should wash your sheets, replace your mattress or get new bedding, but experts have their opinions. If you said (1) Eight years, (2) once a week or every-other week, (3) every one to two years, (4) every five years and (5) no -- you get an A+ in your bedroom hygiene knowledge.