The promise of crisp and clean sheets after a long day is enough to entice most of us into bed.
With research linking fresh bedding to a better night’s sleep*, we share our best tips and advice to get your bed sheets soft, yielding and ready for a satisfying slumber, every night. Just remember to set the alarm!
The benefits of fresh bedding
That comforting feeling we get from slipping into fresh bed sheets isn’t only in our minds. Studies have shown that there is a real link between clean and crisp bedding and how we sleep. According to research carried out by the National Sleep Foundation in the US, the positive impact of fresh bedding is far reaching, with 73 per cent of people feeling that fresh sheets are an important factor in getting a good night’s sleep, and 78 per cent of people feeling more excited about bedtime.
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How to keep your bedding fresh
Practice these habits to make every night’s sleep more enjoyable. Some require a little more effort than others, but given we spend third of our lives in our beds, we think it’s worth it.
Invest in good-quality sheets
For the freshest feeling bed, opt for 100 per cent cotton sheets are the way to go, and have a soft and luxurious feel. Cotton is also naturally hypoallergenic and breathable, meaning they’ll stay fresh for longer.
Wash your bedding regularly
Unfortunately, no amount of scented spray can mask bedding that’s in need of a wash – the only way to get that fresh sheet feeling is with fresh bed sheets.
Fresh bedding doesn’t happen by itself, but it’s clear that many of us consider stripping the sheets a faff. A poll by YouGov revealed that just a third of us wash our sheets weekly, the rest opting for a fortnightly clean or anywhere between three to seven weeks. Read our guide to find out how often to wash your sheets.
How you wash your sheets will depend on the type of bedding you have, but generally a cold wash is sufficient to get your sheets fresh and clean and it’s advisable to wash your bedding separately from your other laundry.
Strip your pillows, sheet and duvet cover and choose a good-quality detergent with a long-lasting aroma that you love, plus a fabric conditioner for added softness.
Need to clean a bed fast? Watch our video to see how:
While regular washing is best for maintaining freshness, be careful not to over-wash your sheets, as this can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on the fabric.
Top tip: Taking a shower before bed will help keep your bedding feeling fresh too. Climbing into bed squeaky clean means no dirt or germs will be transferred to your sheets. And if you’re getting into bed feeling clean, your sheets will feel better against your skin.
Dry bed linen thoroughly
After you’ve washed your bedding, it’s recommended you dry it straight away, so it stays smelling and feeling fresh and doesn’t pick up any odours from the home. If you’re using a dryer, try adding a tumble dryer sheet to help soften the fabric and help reduce static.
Alternatively, drying your linen outside will give you that hard-to-beat gentle air-dried feeling. It will ensure your sheets are bone-dry too – an important factor before storing them. If you don’t have time to wait for your bedding to dry before making the bed again, it’s a good idea to have one or two spare sets of bedding.This will also allow you to rotate your bedding regularly.
Iron and store your bedding properly
Ironing your sheets will remove any wrinkles and make for a satisfying freshness when climbing into bed.
Once ironed, your sheets should be folded before storing away (wondering how to fold a fitted sheet? We have you covered). To help keep them clean, fresh and dust-free, you can store your folded bedding inside one of the pillowcases to keep it neat and organised.
Wash the bulky stuff too
It’s more than just your sheets you should be cleaning to achieve that hotel-worthy fresh bedding feeling: your duvet, pillows and mattress topper should all be washed regularly as well.
Cleaning these bulkier items at least twice a year will help get rid of any dirt, dead skin deposits or dust mites that have built up and penetrated the fabric, making your bed an allergen-free environment.
Be sure to follow the wash symbols on these bedding items and remember they will need plenty of space in the machine for movement, so take care not to over-cram it.
And don’t forget to clean your mattress. With the sheets in the wash, it’s an ideal time to give it a spruce-up to really help get that fresh bedding feeling.
Air your bed
To keep your bedding and sheets fluffy and fresh-smelling in between bed washing days, it’s important to air everything regularly. This will help prevent pockets of bad odours and damp from forming in your bed and help keep things smelling sweet in the bedroom.
Start by folding back the duvets and blankets – you can even hang them on a clothes horse or airer. Next, plump and knead pillows back into shape and separate them out so that they can air.
It’s a good idea to air your mattress too, but this isn’t practical to do every day.
Instead, try and give your mattress some breathing time when changing your bed sheets, removing the mattress topper too if you have one.
Some mattresses benefit from being flipped or rotated every month – check with the manufacturer to find out if this is necessary for your mattress.
Answers to your fresh bedding questions
How do I keep my bedding smelling fresh?
If you don’t use a scented detergent, a lightly perfumed fabric softener will help keep your sheets lightly fragranced. You can also try using fabric sprays to freshen your sheets in-between washes – perfect for a midweek freshen-up of your bedding. And if you choose a relaxing scent, such as lavender, it might even help you get a little extra sleep. Why not read our tips on how to make laundry and clothes smell fresh for longer?
Why does fresh bedding feel so good?
It’s all about the sensory experience. The scent of fresh bedding employs our sense of smell and can encourage calm and relaxation. The feeling of crisp, clean sheets is magnified as you climb into bed, as they are touching your skin and calling on another one of your senses. Together, these senses combine to give us the feel-good factor about freshly laundered sheets.
Can I use natural remedies to keep bedding smelling fresh?
You can make some DIY dryer sheets by putting a few drops of essential oil onto a clean, damp cloth and adding it to the dryer for the last ten minutes of the cycle.
Soap is another good way to perfume your clean linen. Simply wrap a bar of soap in some fabric and tuck it away with the bedding where you store your linen.
You could also try making your own linen spray by mixing 30 drops of essential oil with 75ml of vodka and 375ml of distilled water in a spray bottle, shaking it up before spritzing over your sheets and bedding.
*Source: Sleep Foundation