How Often Should You Change Your Pillowcase?

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How often a pillowcase should be changed sparks much consideration concerning health, beauty, and comfort. While many people appreciate the fresh feel and smell of a clean pillowcase, some may miss the advantage of proper and timely pillowcase laundering to overall skin appearance and general well-being. We reviewed biologist, dermatologist, and governmental health documentation to help determine pillowcase cleanliness best practices.

You should change your pillowcase regularly. General guidelines suggest:

  • Every few days for normal use.
  • Every day if you have skin, allergies, asthma, or other health issues.
  • A maximum of seven days.

Pillowcases provide washable protection for our pillows and, most importantly, our health. Join us for an eye-opening examination of pillowcase cleaning and fabric insights.

Man holds large pillows of various colors, How Often Should You Change Your Pillowcase?

How often should you change pillowcases?

Pillowcases accumulate dirt, oil, saliva, and sweat. Daily use causes bacteria collection and possible allergic reactions. Pillowcases should be changed regularly and washed separately from pillows.

While sheets may be washed weekly, pillowcases should be changed and washed every few days to remove accumulated bacteria. If you have skin issues, allergies, asthma, or other health problems, you may want to change your pillowcase daily.  The more frequent changes will facilitate healthier skin and help avoid oil and bacteria exposure. While you can flip a pillow over to extend the use a few more days, you should use a pillowcase no more than a week between laundering.

Pillowcase Bacteria

While a regular blacklight may not allow you to see bacteria because of the small size of the bacteria, the ultraviolet (UVA) light may show bacteria-containing biological fluids. In total darkness, biological fluids, such as saliva, fluoresce (radiate visible light). A blacklight causes these materials to glow and may provide insight into the need for frequent pillowcase changing.

Check out the Escolite UV Flashlight Black Light at Amazon.

If you are not yet convinced, consider the possible bacteria in your pillowcase compared to other areas of the home. Members of a North Carolina State University biology department team asked participants to collect culture swab samples from nine home locations, including a cutting board, an exterior door handle, a toilet seat, and a pillowcase. According to the Wildlife Our Homes project report, the toilet seats and pillowcases tested had similar bacteria levels.

Is it okay to wash pillowcases with other laundry?

To make it easier to launder pillowcases on a regular basis, some people toss them in to wash with other clothing or towels. Be sure the fabrics are compatible and that you are not introducing bacteria to your pillowcases from your other clothing items or using non-recommended washing requirements. With towels, the lint may cling to your pillowcases and remove the smooth feel and look.

How should I sleep to avoid wrinkles?

To avoid wrinkles, bypass sleeping on your side or stomach. Sleeping on your back allows you to avoid fabric lines and pressure on your face. To assist with training your body to sleep on your back, you may want to try a head-cradling pillow. These pillows also remove pressure from your face to allow side sleeping.

Check out the Back to Beauty Anti-Wrinkle Head Cradle at Amazon.

While you become accustomed to back sleeping, or if you are unable to overcome side or stomach sleeping habits, you may want to try a pillow that has a cutout for your face.

Check out the Save My Face Le Grand Pillow at Amazon.

What type of pillowcase is best for skin?

Beyond the laundering and sleep position requirements, different pillowcase fabrics may provide better skin and hair benefits. Cotton and microfiber absorb skin oils, leading to dry skin and increased or worsened acne attacks. Silk pillowcases are said to provide good skin and hair results. Hypoallergenic varieties may assist with avoiding skin reactions and inflammation. Bacteria-resistant silver or copper fiber versions may provide additional skin benefits.

Hypoallergenic Pillowcases

Allergy protection pillowcases provide a barrier to allergens and dust mites.  The smooth breathable cotton allows you to sleep comfortably while you are protected from allergic reactions and skin inflammation.  Those with zip-closures keep you and your pillows better protected.

Check out the National Allergy Queen 2 Pack 100% Cotton Zipper Pillow Case at Amazon.

To further assist with avoiding allergy issues, consider hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers. These protective layers will shield your sleep support from dust mites and bed bugs. Look for a quiet fabric so your sleep is not interrupted. As a bonus, many pillow and mattress encasements provide waterproof qualities that protect your pillows and mattress.

Check out the Linenspa Zippered Waterproof Hypoallergenic Pillow Protector at Amazon.

Check out the Linenspa Zippered Waterproof Hypoallergenic Mattress Encasement at Amazon.

Does Benzoyl Peroxide Bleach Pillowcases?

Benzoyl peroxide, found in many skin-healing products, may bleach fabrics. To make sure you have plenty of pillowcases for easy regular washing, while still keeping the bed stylish, consider a multi-pack of microfiber benzoyl peroxide resistant pillowcases. Some manufacturers offer packs of 4, 12, 24, and 40.

Check out Bare Home 24-Pack Hypoallergenic Wrinkle-Resistant Microfiber Pillowcases at Amazon.

Are cotton pillowcases bad for skin?

Cotton may provide an easy-wash pillowcase option; however, cotton pillowcases collect dirt, oil, and bacteria. Cotton is also absorbent and may soak up skin moisture. Side or stomach sleepers may find morning facial indentations from cotton fabric creases. The rough fibers of cotton pillowcases may also cause dry or frizzy hair.

Are flannel pillowcases bad for hair?

While flannel pillowcases provide warmth and softness, the wool composition may cause matted hair. Flannel pillowcases may damage hair strands over time. Mornings may be less pleasant because of the required tangle removal. Other fabrics, such as silk or satin, may offer better hair protection.

Are silk pillowcases good for skin?

Some dermatologists recommend silk pillowcases for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Opinions vary concerning silk pillowcases for wrinkle reduction; however, the smooth fabric does not cause nightly sleeping lines and does not absorb moisture. The reduced-friction of silk pillowcases also provides a hair-smoothing sleep surface.

Mulberry silk is highly rated for hair and skin protection.

Check out the Slip Queen Silk Pillowcase at Amazon.

With a 2-pack, you will have enough to provide pillow covers for two or one to use and one to wash.

Check out Midohome 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase 2-pack at Amazon.

How often should you wash silk pillowcases?

You should wash silk pillowcases within the same two-day timeframe as other pillowcases. Avoid bleach, fabric softener, harsh detergent, and hot water. Wash silk pillowcases inside out, and hand or machine wash per manufacturer instructions.

To make it easier to regularly wash your fine fabric pillowcases, consider using a laundry bag and detergent for delicate fabrics. You will want to use a delicate wash cycle. Remember to consult manufacturer labels and that many fabrics that are good for skin and hair may have longevity reduction if dried in the dryer.

Check out the Royal Silk Large Laundry Bag for Silks at Amazon.

Check out Woolite Delicates Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent at Amazon.

Do silvon pillowcases help acne?

Silvon pillowcases are comprised of 93% Supima cotton and 7% Ionic silver yarn. The antimicrobial properties of the silver are said to destroy and repel bacteria, including acne-causing bacteria. Pillowcase fabrics that retain bacteria deposit it back on the skin, causing new or slow-healing blemishes.

Check out the Silvon Anti-Acne Pillowcase at Amazon.

How often should I wash my silvon pillowcase?

Though effective in preventing bacteria growth, and compared to sleeping on a clean pillowcase each night, silvon pillowcases still need regular washing in cold water with gentle detergent and no bleach or fabric softener. You may extend laundering to a maximum 10-day interval, instead of the typical weekly washing maximum requirements of other fabrics.

Are Copper Pillowcases good for skin?

Because our skin absorbs copper, and antibacterial and antifungal copper helps maintain collagen and elastin, copper fiber pillowcases have the capacity to slow and reverse the skin’s aging effects. These same pillowcases may also smooth hair through friction abatement and oil absorption. Per the reported results of a National Centers for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) double-blind clinical study, the use of copper oxide-containing pillowcases over 4 and 8 weeks resulted in significant crow’s feet reduction.

Check out the Newmeil Copper Pillowcase at Amazon.

How often should I wash my copper-infused pillowcases?

Like other pillowcases, to increase skin health and germ reduction, you should wash copper-infused pillows at least once a week. Also similar to other pillowcases, launder without fabric softener or dryer sheets. For best results, avoid bleach and lengthy soaking of copper-infused pillowcases.

Can you sleep on a pillow sham?

Whether you should sleep on a pillow sham depends on the pillow sham design and fabric. Pillowcases are designed to keep you and your pillow clean. Most pillow shams are used to cover pillows and provide an aesthetic upgrade to bedroom decor. Washing needs and possible fading or shrinking may provide a bigger consideration for pillow shams versus pillowcases.

Some pillow shams are made to function either as pillowcase or sham. Made to be decorative but also smooth for skin contact, these shams provide style and comfort.

Check out these Meaning4 White Lace Pillow Shams/Cases at Amazon

Other pillow shams are made purely for beautification, bed cover coordination, and prop support while reclining. These pillow shams may be uncomfortable for sleeping.

Check out the VHC Brands Burlap Star Pillow Sham at Amazon.

Summary

While the type of pillowcase fabric and individual skin or health issues may dictate a different schedule, you should typically change pillowcases every two days. For skin or health issues, consider changing your pillowcases every day. Though a more frequent schedule is suggested, you will want to change pillowcases at an interval of no more than one week.

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