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Easy Ways to Keep Your Bedding Fresh and Clean

From a cleaning schedule to the right materials for your sleep style, simple habits can transform your bed into the restful sanctuary of your dreams. 

A woman puts freshly cleaned sheets on her bed
Credit: Getty Images
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“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book,” says an Irish proverb. 

Quality sleep is fundamental to maintaining physical and emotional health. This means getting enough of it—most people need seven to eight hours each night—but it also means establishing healthy sleep hygiene habits like keeping a consistent sleep-wake schedule, avoiding stimulating food or drink before bed and keeping your bed a screen-free zone.

But how and when you sleep is only part of the equation. Also important is what you sleep on and in. How you choose and treat your bedding can help you support healthy, clean and restorative sleep habits.

Think Temperature
Especially in the summer months, those who “sleep hot” or have night sweats can struggle to get comfortable in bed. Start by doing whatever you can to cool the air in your room—or just keep it moving with a fan. If you can, consider lowering your bed, even by inches, to benefit from the “heat rises” principle. Humidity and moisture in the air and from your perspiration is an important part of temperature regulation. A dehumidifier can help freshen the room and showering before bed can help your body feel fresh, clean and dry between the sheets.

Manage Your Materials
Look for sheets made from a “breathable” natural fiber like cotton, bamboo or “lycocel,” which is made from eucalyptus plants, to wick away moisture and allow cool air to circulate. If you sleep with a comforter, consider switching to a summer-weight blanket or duvet made with synthetic down or other fibers. This will help you feel tucked in but still fresh and cool.

Practice Smart Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning helps…but if you want to get the most out of your bedding, you need to get into good, regular cleaning habits. 

  • Sheets should get a wash in hot water weekly to keep dust mites, pollen and other allergens at bay. Make room for your sheets in the washing machine by washing them separately from other clothes to avoid tangling. 
  • Pillow protectors, covers that go under pillowcases, are a good way to protect your pillows from allergens and odors, and the protectors can easily go in the wash with your sheets. Many pillows are also machine-washable. Put on the no- or low-heat setting in the dryer to prevent clumps from forming inside the foam or feathers.
  • Comforters benefit from laundering at least seasonally. Depending on the size of your home machine and the material of your comforter or duvet, yours might need a visit to the laundromat or dry cleaner for maximum results—your comforter’s label will tell the story. 

You can also spot-clean your comforter with a paste made from 50 percent baking soda and 50 percent white vinegar. If you are washing yours in a machine, use mild detergent and add a few tennis balls to the dryer to maximize fluff as it dries. Pull it out of the dryer a few times during the cycle to fluff it even further.

How do you care for your bedding?

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