How Often You Should Replace Your Mattress And Wash Your Linen

messy bedding sheets and pillow
messy bedding sheets and pillow

How old is your mattress?

If you can't remember, its likely you might want to think about getting a new one.

"Most good mattresses have a 10 year life of the springs -- no longer," Mary-Louise McLaws, Professor of Epidemiology in Health Care Infection and Infectious Diseases Control told The Huffington Post Australia.

Reason being, lying in the same place each night will inevitably wear down the springs and memory foam, resulting in less support for your spine. Plus, nightly sweat = germs.

The good news is that there are moves you can make to extend the life of your new mattress when it comes to hygiene, the first being always washing your mattress protector when you launder your sheets.

"It is very important to be rigorous in changing bedding, all the way down to the mattress protection. Always use a mattress protector as it increases the hygiene life of the mattress," McLaw said.

When changing the bed its also smart to leave the mattress uncovered for as long as possible -- for the day while you're at work, for example.

"Air the mattress when you strip the bed weekly, and ensure you change the bedding more often [than once a week] if you’ve sweated over night on a hot night," McLaw said.

When it comes to selecting a wash cycle, the hotter the better as hot water works to sanitise and kills germs, dissolve detergents more efficiently, kills dust mites and help remove built-up grime. Beware though, as cheaper sheets may shrink.

"Always change your pillowcases weekly when you strip the bed. Changing and washing pillowcases may need to be done more frequently if you have an eye infection, or other lesion on or around your face/head. Weekly changing of pillowcases extend the life of the pillow and keeps dirt/infection from entering your skin," McLaw said.

This is particularly important for those who experience acne as the sebum can sit within the pillowcase, reinfecting the skin. Similarly, if you have oily hair, changing your pillowcase daily will help extend the life of your style.

Pillows themselves should be washed every three months, and replaced every six months to three years, depending on climate and personal use.

"Change and wash the doona cover weekly if you don’t use a top sheet sheet, otherwise change it less often based on smells and visual cleanliness," McLaw said.

"If you use cotton blankets, wash these weekly if you don’t use a top sheet. If you do use a top sheet, again wash the cotton blanket as often as you think these need cleaning based on smell and visual cleanliness," McLaw said.

As the seasons change, it's a good idea to have all bedding professionally cleaned before storing it away.

"At the end of winter, dry-clean your doona, and your blankets," McLaw said.

If all of the above isn't enough to convince you, surely the pure joy of fresh-sheet feeling will get you over the line.

Fresh sheets. Is there anything better?

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