How Long Do Bed Sheets Take To Dry?

With the massive variety of fabrics and dryers available, the quest for that perfectly crisp and fresh bed sheet has become ever more complicated. As it just so happens, the ins and outs of drying times can get pretty scientific.  We’ve taken care of the task of cataloging the most influential factors to distill an easy to follow guide on best practices and pro-tips when it comes to taking care of your laundry. 

Drying sheets takes approximately 30-45 minutes on medium heat in a dryer and 2 to 4 hours to air dry on a clothesline. These times can vary depending on a variety of factors such as material, fiber thickness, ambient temperature, humidity, airflow, and others.

 Drying your sheets properly can mean the difference in the longevity and comfort of your bed linens. Keep reading to learn more about how to care for yours correctly. 

Open door in washing machine with blue bed sheets inside, How long do bed sheets take to dry

How Long Do Bed Sheets Take To Air Dry?

Under common household conditions, you can expect bedsheets to dry in 2-3 hours. Common household conditions include a room temperature of 20–22 °C (68–72 °F), 50% humidity, and a well-lit space (ideally full sunlight). All-natural fabrics, such as linen and bamboo, tend to dry a little faster than synthetic blends because of their breathability.

Threadcount plays a surprisingly small role in how quickly your bedsheets dry, so don’t worry about waiting forever for the Egyptian cotton to dry. Although air drying does typically take longer than a machine dryer, many people find that the benefits of doing so make it a more appealing option. Dryers consume a great deal of power, and so you will notice a reduction in your power consumption if you take the time to line dry your sheets. Additionally, air drying will help your sheets last longer and feel softer. 

Air drying bed sheets under a sunny afternoon

Can You Put Bed Sheets in the Dryer?

For most bed sheets, this is a resounding yes; however, there are several facts to gather first. The FTC requires manufacturers to provide care labels for their bedding. That’s the little tag that has details about the product. There are guidelines about the information provided, and this includes instructions on the proper care of the item.

Most know this as a series of pictograms that indicate washing and drying methods. As such, read the text and examine the pictures on your bedsheets to make sure that you are following proper care instructions. Head here to have a quick look at how to read your laundry labels. When drying clothes in a tumble dryer, you can expect a 30 to 45-minute dry time and household energy usage to increase. 

Can You Dry Sheets on High Heat?

While you might be inclined to save a little time by drying on high heat, it will ultimately harm the comfort and longevity of your bedding. Drying on high heat is typically reserved for very thick, sturdy fabrics, whereas doing so to your bedsheets can lead to a stiffening of the fibers and a night of less comfortable sleep. For synthetic blends, low heat is a solid choice; for more delicate fabrics, a tumble dry or line dry is the better choice.

It may seem like a time-saver to crank up the heat, but that will lead to shrinking (especially in natural fibers) and premature wear/breakage of the threads within the bedsheets. 

What Temperature Should You Dry Sheets At?

This can depend on exactly what kind of fabric your bed sheets are made of (remember to check the label), but a good baseline is to dry your bedding in the same way you would dry other delicate fabrics: on a ‘dry flat’ or ‘no heat’ setting. It’s also a better idea to dry bed sheets by themselves to keep them getting roughed up by tougher fabrics in the dryer. 

How Can You Dry Sheets Faster Indoors?

When air drying sheets indoors, you will want to take into consideration several key factors: humidity, temperature, and airflow. First, the most critical factor is to dry in a low humidity environment (this means a bathroom is not a good place); typically, bedrooms and living areas have the most moderate humidity. Second, making sure that there is good airflow in the room.

The water retained in the fabric releases into the air as water vapor. If that moist air stays close to the sheets, it can increase the drying time; so adding a fan can be a great way to move that moist air away from your sheets. Finally, heat is a significant factor in how quickly water evaporates, so maintaining a warm temperature when drying bedsheets indoors will speed up the process. 

Is It Bad to Sleep In The Same Room As Wet Washing?

Absolutely not! There are some great benefits to drying your sheets in your bedroom. What it comes down to is that as the bedsheets dry, the air around the sheets works as a humidifier, which provides a few great advantages.

Extra humidity in the air can help reduce the presence of dust particles in the air, which leads to clear nasal passages and better breathing while asleep. Another great benefit is that the added moisture in the air can hydrate your skin. This can mitigate dry, itchy skin and leads to a more peaceful sleep. Also, air drying your laundry is a great energy saver!

Can You Leave Wet Sheets in the Dryer Overnight?

Wet bedsheets left in the dryer overnight

It’s far too easy to get busy with everyday life and to forget our clothes part-way through. The problem is that wet fabrics tend to develop mildew and various bacteria when left in a damp heap. This process commonly takes anywhere from 24-48 hours to occur, so accidentally leaving your wet sheets overnight is unlikely to cause concerns in the short term, but it is not the kind of habit you want to develop.

In case you do find yourself waking up to wet laundry in the morning, do a quick smell check; if needed, a rapid wash setting will return your sheets to a fresh smell before drying, If the sheets smell a little like mildew, drying them will not decrease the issue. Instead, a rapid wash with a bit of vinegar or some borax will eliminate the smell, and then you can dry as instructed. 

The long and short of it is that drying your bed sheets doesn’t have to take up your whole day. If you have a little extra time to spare, air-drying your sheets can provide some great benefits and save you on your energy. When space is an issue, or outdoor drying isn’t available, then a machine dryer does a great job so long you read the labels that are attached to the sheets and use the research we’ve gathered. 

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