How to Care for Your Bedding
Jessica Schramm for Parachute
While care labels provide a great starting place, proper bedding maintenance requires additional steps and is essential for increasing the longevity of your linens. So we created this guide to help answer the most frequent bedding care questions, from how often to wash your sheets to the best way to store them and more.
What to Avoid
To maintain the premium quality of your bedding, avoid harsh liquid and powdered detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets and bleaching agents because these coat and weaken the natural fibers. Also keep your bedding away from household cleaners and personal care products that contain benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxy acids to prevent discoloration.
Sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers should be washed every seven to ten days, and decorative products or extra layers that don’t come in as much direct contact with your skin (think quilts, cashmere throws or euro shams) should be cleaned every three months.
Pillows, duvets and mattress pads should be washed less often – every three to six months. Mattress toppers should be taken to your dry cleaner every six months. Pro tip: Wash bedding basics at the start of each season as an easy way to maintain a regular cleaning schedule.
Washing and Drying
Fill the washer with cool water for Percale and Sateen sheets, or fill the washer with warm water for linen sheets and essential quilts. Add mild, liquid Laundry Detergent – less than the manufacturer calls for. Allow the soap to dissolve before loading your bedding into the washing machine. If you do use bleach, make sure it’s non-chlorine. We recommend OxiClean for removing stains or adding vinegar and baking soda to the wash cycle to brighten your bedding. Remember to only wash similar items together – the same color and fabric – and never add clothing to a load of bedding because zippers, hooks, etc. cause pilling and abrasion.
To dry, half load the machine to prevent twisted bedding, allowing the fabric to fluff up. Set the dryer to low heat, as overheating causes the fibers to become brittle and the color to fade. Reduce static and soften your bedding by adding Wool Dryer Balls to the drying cycle. If applying the linens directly to the bed after laundering, pull them out just before they’re dry. Slightly damp sheets will prevent wrinkles – no iron needed.
For helpful tips on cleaning and caring for bedding basics, read our article: How to Care for Down Bedding.
No one wants dust mites! These unwelcome visitors are responsible for causing acne and triggering asthma-like symptoms or chronic sinus problems. Bedding protectors help reduce the dust mite population and improve the lifespan of your products. Our Down and Down Alternative Mattress Pads provide an extra layer of softness and comfort to your mattress while protecting and extending its lifespan. You may also consider using a duvet protector in addition to your duvet cover; this not only provides a supplementary external barrier between the duvet and harmful substances, but it also reduces the amount of down that escapes from the duvet into your bedroom.
In addition to utilizing protective covers, adopting a few simple practices can further protect your comforters:
- Consider making your bedroom a no pet zone; pets shed fur and skin cells which feed dust mites. You deserve a little space completely dedicated to you!
- Keep your room cool and dry. Try using a dehumidifier if you’re in a particularly humid climate or invest in an air conditioner in a warm climate.
- Showering in the evening reduces the required frequency of washes and therefore prolongs the lifespan of your Sheets.
- Never place the following items on your bed: luggage, handbags, smartphones, shoes or clothes that have yet to be laundered. All of these items can damage your bedding or transfer unwanted oils and germs to the bed.
- Make your bed every morning, which not only improves your state of mind also keeps dust mites out and your bedding in good shape. Pillows in particular should be plumped daily to maintain their shape.
Folding and Storage
You should have a couple sets of sheets per bed for convenience or in case of accidents. To store your extra linens, choose a closet, armoire or trunk that is dry and cool, avoids direct sunlight (sunlight can cause permanent yellowing) and is well-ventilated. Natural fibers need air to breathe! Never store your bedding in plastic containers – these trap moisture and result in mildew – and avoid cardboard, which may transfer acids to the fabric. Pro tip: If you have multiple sized beds in your home (for example, your child has a twin, the guest room has a queen and the master has a king), dedicate a specific shelf in the linen closet to each bedding size. It’ll make identifying the right linens a breeze.
Before folding linens to store, make sure they are completely dry (for tips on how to fold a fitted sheet, view our instructional video). A bedding bag with cotton panels is perfect for extra duvets, and sheets should be stored in their own fabric. Our bedding comes in self-care bags made of the same, high quality fabric as the product itself. We like to spritz linen spray or tuck a bag of lavender inside each to keep things smelling fresh.
Frequent washing breaks down even the highest quality bedding, so replace your sheets and duvet covers when you see signs of aging like stains or fraying hems. For a quick bedding update, replace pillowcases every six months, as oils from your skin and hair, makeup, moisturizers, etc. transfer to the fabric while you sleep. Duvets should be replaced when they begin to look limp or flat, and pillows should be replaced when they no longer look evenly filled after fluffing. (Note: If you’re waking up with neck or back pain, you may have chosen the wrong type of pillow for your preferred sleep position. Consult our Pillow Guide.