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This Is How Often You Should Really Replace Your Linen

Here’s a brilliant brain exercise for you: try to pinpoint the exact year you bought your bed linen. Go on, have a look at those sheets currently caressing your mattress, the ones you’ve likely been sleeping on for years (and years), and think of the precise moment you purchased them.

Have no idea? It’s time we talked about how often you should be refreshing your linen. And while we’re at it, we’ll let you know how often you should be changing those bedding items you use every day, too.


A poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that most people replace their bed linen after a couple of years. But a surprising amount of people hold on to linen for decades (and decades).

Think about it — if you’re a regular washer of your bedsheets (if you’re not, might we remind you that microbiologists have found fungi, bacteria, skin cells, and bodily secretions on sheets), then you’re putting the fibres in your linen under a lot of stress. This means that after a while they’ll be a little tatty at best and downright uncomfortable at worse, especially if they weren't great quality to start with.

If you're finding holes and stains on your sheets, seize the opportunity to add some 100% French flax linen sheets to your bedding collection. They’re sustainable, have temperature regulating qualities (so you stay toasty in winter and breezy in summer), they’re quick-drying and they actually feel more and more luxurious with every wash. Oh, and did we mention they’ll make your bed look Pinterest-worthy? There’s that, too.

Because linen can last for decades, there really is no need to replace it unless there is damage. 


Let’s talk about your pillows; those fluffy, comfy rectangles you rest your head on for many hours every night. The National Sleep Foundation in the US recommends you update your pillow collection every one to two years. This is because your poor old pillow absorbs “body oil, dead skin cells and hair” which attracts dust mites that can trigger allergies in some people.

A 2011 study by London NHS Trust and health care provider Barts discovered that up to one-third of your pillow’s weight could be made up of bugs, dead skin, dust mites, and their faeces. Too much information? It’s pretty gross, we know, but if it helps you to change up your pillows, we’re glad to have enlightened you. There’s a silver lining for owners of down pillows, you can wash them every six months to prolong their life.


Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to buy yourself a new mattress every 10 or so years. Distinctly remember the lovely salesman at the mattress shop telling you your mattress came with a lifetime warranty? Here’s the thing; the warranty actually refers to the materials inside the mattress and doesn’t take into account the fact that comfort and support levels will be much, much lower 10 years down the track. We know, mattress shopping is very rarely cheap but think of it this way — your cost per use will be next to nothing in no time.


We have good news, friends, your duvet has a much, much longer shelf life than the rest of your bedding. You can expect your doona to last over five years. This is due to the fact your beloved, snuggly doona doesn’t have the supportive responsibilities your pillows and mattress do. To ensure your duvet lasts for a good stint, air it regularly and wash or dry clean it (check the tag for details if you’re not sure which you should be doing). If it starts looking a little sad, lumpy or starts fraying, put it out of its misery and get acquainted with a shiny new duvet that’ll be just as cosy.


Ok, so lights aren’t exactly on your bed but they do affect the quality of sleep you’ll have in said bed, so we figured they’re worth talking about. Light can mess with your body’s internal clock, so by switching to soothing incandescent light bulbs (or if you want to get fancy — light bulbs like Phillips’ Hue smart bulbs that can adjust to a sleep-friendly glow later on in the day) you’ll not only improve your sleep, but the whole ambience of your room. Bright lights? Ugh. Moody, relaxing lighting? Tick. That fancy, outrageously expensive lamp you want to add to your nightstand? We just justified it for you. You’re welcome.

Want more linen advice? Here are 8 bedding storage tips to keep that fresh linen scent all year long.

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