We sleep in our bedding every night, but do you know how often you should change the comforter cover? A lot more often than most do…
Quite a few people change their bedding only every three to four weeks. Fatal! The common house dust mite feels very comfortable in our bed’s warm and humid climate. The sweat and skin flakes in the bed linen also provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. So we share our bed with billions of mites that disturb our sleep…
Regular change of bed linen because of mites
In just two years, one-tenth of the pillow filling consists of (dead) mites and their protein-containing feces. House dust allergy sufferers react to this with itchy eyes, sneezing fits, sniffles, coughs, and skin eczema – in the worst case,e even with asthma attacks. But even for non-allergy sufferers, this is neither particularly appetizing nor hygienic or healthy.
How often should I wash what? The ten most common errors are that sometimes we overdo it with cleanliness. And then again, we underestimate how often should be washed…
How often should we wash the bed linen?
Our skin releases an average of one to 1.5 liters of moisture during sleep, consisting of common salt, sebum, urea, acids, and a lot of water. If you sweat more, you should change your bed linen at least (!) once a week. For all others: at the latest (!) every two weeks.
In addition, comforters and pillows should be aired outside every other day (even better: daily). Allergy sufferers and nude sleepers should also strip their beds and wash the covers at least once a week.
Exceptional cases: Those with a cold or other infectious disease are best advised to wash their bedding after each night or use, as in the case of head or crab lice.
Worth knowing: There are about 15,000 mites in a single gram of house dust! And just in the bedroom live about a hundred times more mites than, e.g., in the living room, as parasitologists of the University of Kiel found out. The reason: the tiny arachnids like it warm, as is the case in beds, wool blankets, carpets, and upholstered furniture. According to further studies, the absolute maximum level of mites and their excrement is reached in a mattress after about seven years. At the latest then, it is called: Mattress exchange! If necessary, the period can be extended by using unique covers for the mattress.
How to get rid of mites from your mattress: In the tricky winter, you can quickly get rid of mites from your bed – by taking advantage of the cold. We show you how to air your mattress quickly but thoroughly!
How to wash bed linen properly?
Bed linen should be washed at least every 14 days. But now the question is, how or how hot.
Mites die from about 58 degrees. Allergy sufferers should regularly wash their bed linen (including pillows!) at 60 degrees. Even cuddly toys and decorative pillows resistant to washing should be put in the washing machine at 60 degrees now and then.
The rule of thumb was that bed linen should generally be washed at least 60 or even 90 degrees for a long time. The minimum 60-degree power is still correct for allergy sufferers, as described above. Apart from this, however, there are now very many washing machines that wash bed linen and co. Hygienically clean even at much lower temperatures. This is primarily for the sake of the environment. Many devices even have unique hygiene wash cycles – if you’re still unsure, you can wash bed linen and the like with a special hygiene rinse to reliably kill bacteria.
Environmental tip: That doesn’t sound environmentally friendly at all? Just as effective as a hygiene rinse aid is a mixture of water and vinegar essence. Soak the bed linen in it half an hour before washing.
The essential tips for washing bed linen:
- Always follow the instructions on the care label!
- Bed linen should also be sorted by color; white bed linen is best washed with complete detergent, colored linen with color detergent.
- Turn pillow and comforter covers inside and close all zippers, buttons, etc.
- Heavy soiling should be pre-treated. It is advisable to rinse out soiling with cold water and then treat stains with bile soap.
- The washing machine should always be loaded at least half full but not stuffed. Over half full is ideal for bed linen, allowing it to move freely in the drum during the wash cycle. This prevents severe wrinkling of the linen.
- Fabric softener is “superfluous”: it negatively affects the absorbency of the bed linen and, with its fragrances, can cause sleep disturbances, headaches, and other complaints.
- If possible: let bed linen air dry.
- Additional tips for changing bed linen
- Turn and rotate the mattress every time you change the bedding.
- Vacuum the mattress every two weeks.
- Wash washable mattress covers and the comforter twice a year at 60 degrees (if possible).
- Replace comforters after 6 to 8 years.
- Use bed linen made of silk. This is naturally mite repellent.
- To repel mites, don’t make your bed. – Photo: iStock/Traxion
Mites in mattress: this is why you should not make your bed! Millions of small mites are in bed. To fight them, the following applies: making your bed is taboo! This is the reason for the unusual measure.
The bed linen- the bedding, i.e., pillows and comforters, decorative blankets, and Co. that regularly lie on the bed should be washed periodically.
For example, the German Textile Cleaning Association (Deutscher Textilreinigungs-Verband e.V.) and most manufacturers recommend a rhythm of about 1-2 times a year. Those who are allergic to dust mites or the like may require more frequent washing.
As for the washing itself: Here, the care instructions on the textiles labels must be followed first and foremost. Ideally, the comforter and pillow can also be washed at 60 degrees. If this is not the case for material reasons, hygienic rinsers (or our water-vinegar-essence mixture described above) or washing machines with hygienic rinsing cycles can help.
Additional tips for allergy sufferers: What if I am allergic to house dust mites and co.
If you suffer from a house dust allergy – or a dust mite allergy – you should urgently take additional measures to ensure healthy and restful sleep. On the one hand, this means a more frequent washing rhythm. Still, on the other hand, additional purchases such as allergy-suffering bedding, encasings, or even mite-proof covers for the mattress are highly recommended.
Many allergy sufferers also experience an improvement in their symptoms through HEPA filters, which clean the air in the bedroom.
If you follow our tips and change your bedding at least every two weeks, you should have no problems with mites. Changing the bed regularly covers also ensures that the bedding does not absorb too many exhalations from our skin. Besides, a freshly made bed is much better to sleep in.
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