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Should you start sleeping on a new pillow after you’ve been sick? Here’s what a doctor says

Should you start sleeping on a new pillow after you’ve been sick? Here’s what a doctor says

As the weather gets cold, it seems like there’s constantly something going around — so chances are we’re all going to catch something this season. We all know the precautions to take against getting sick, but you might be surprised to learn that there are precautions you can take to stay healthy after you get better.

Quick overview
  • Amazon Basics Lightweight Super Soft Easy Care Microfiber Pillow case, Standard, Bright White, Pack of 2, 30" L x 20" W, Pillows Not Included

  • BLISSY Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

  • Linum Home Textiles 400 Thread Count Luxury Solid Sateen King Pillowcases

  • Tekla Organic Cotton Percale Pillowcase

  • Cosy House Collection Luxury Rayon Derived from Bamboo Blend Ultra Soft Pillow Cases - Cooling & Breathable - Set of 2 Pillowcases with Envelope Closure (Standard, White)

  • The Pure Collection Cotton Tan Ladder Stitch Pillowcase Set

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One thing we should all do after being sick is change our bedding — at the very least, the pillowcases. Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson tells In The Know by Yahoo that all pillowcases, even those of people who aren’t sick, are riddled with bacteria.

“You might not want to know how much bacteria you probably have on your bedding,” Dr. Stephenson says. “A recent study by Amerisleep showed that after four weeks without washing, even the pillowcases of people who were not sick contained three to five million colony-forming units of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi per square inch, including many pathogenic strains that can cause diseases like the flu and pneumonia, not to mention bacteria often found in people with food poisoning.”

Dr. Stephenson explains that these colony-forming units were found to rise after just one month. With this in mind, we should all make it a point to wash our bedding as often as possible — especially after you’ve been sick.

“It’s a good idea to wash your pillowcases, pillows and sheets at least weekly on hot and immediately after being sick,” Dr. Stephenson explains. “The dryer might be more important for killing pathogens than washing — dry bedding and also pillows in the dryer on high or at least 30 minutes.”

It’s also smart to keep multiple sets of pillowcases in rotation. This way, even if you don’t get around to washing all of your bedding, you can at least be sure to switch out your pillowcase weekly. This can also be great for your skin care! Scroll down to shop a few of our favorite pillowcases.

Made from super soft microfiber, these pillowcases are always a great choice. They're machine washable, so they're easy to care for — plus they come in a ton of color options, so it’s easy to find a set that matches your bedding.

$7 at Amazon

Mulberry silk is a pricier option for pillowcases, but it's definitely worth it. Not only does the silk fabric feel soft and comfy, but it's been known to support better hair and skin health. This set by BLISSY is made entirely from luxe fabric.

$80 at Nordstrom

It doesn't get much more soft than cotton sateen — especially with this set that has a 400 thread count. They're breathable enough for year-round use, plus they're wrinkle-resistant and dryer-safe.

$30 at Nordstrom Rack

Made in Portugal from 100% organic cotton, these percale pillowcases have a stonewashed finish for a matte texture that feels cool and crisp. They come in a set of two with a selection of four different color options.

$29 at Nordstrom

These pillowcases are perfect for anyone who gets warm at night. They're made from ultra-soft fabric that’s both breathable and moisture-wicking to balance body temperature.

$24 at Amazon

The pillowcases in this set of two are made from ultra-soft cotton that's certified to be free from harmful levels of over one hundred chemical substances. They’re detailed with embellished hems for a subtle design.

$35 at T.J.Maxx

If you liked this story, check out the boot trends that will be everywhere this season.

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