Here’s How Often Experts Say You Should Change Out Your Pillowcase

You could be using your pillowcase for way too long.

<p>Galina Zhigalova/Getty Images</p>

Galina Zhigalova/Getty Images

There is nothing quite like getting into a clean bed with crisp, clean sheets. However, our pillowcases may not stay clean for as long as we think. Between the sweat and grease of our hair and skin, our pillowcases can get grimy quickly—even if they don’t look like it.

We spoke with a dermatologist to learn more about when we need to be changing our pillowcases and some of the major factors that have us doing it more.

Here’s How Often You Should Be Changing Your Pillowcase

“I think pillowcases, just like bed sheets, should be changed at least once a week,” says Dr. Kseniya Kobets, director of cosmetic dermatology at Montefiore Einstein Advanced Care Cosmetic Dermatology Center. “However, if someone sweats or has hair or skin that gets very oily or greasy, you may need to change it more often, like every 2 to 3 days.”

Key Factors That Affect When You Should Change Your Pillowcase

There are many factors to consider that can affect how often you should change your pillowcase. These are the major ones to keep in mind before resting your head on that pillow every night.

Your Skin and Hair Type

Kobets says your hair and skin type can play a big role in how often you need to change your pillowcase. For example, she says “If someone has more oily skin or hair” they may need to change more often.

How Much You Sweat

If you worked out before bed or woke up sweaty, this could be a good sign that your pillowcases should be changed before the next time you go to sleep.

Time of Year

The time of year can impact how much you sweat at night, and therefore, will affect how often you need to change your pillowcase. You may sweat more in the winter if you have the heat on, or you may find it stickier in your bedroom during the spring and summer if you leave your windows open.

Temperature of the Room

The right temperature in your bedroom is not only important for a good night’s sleep, but it can also prevent you from sweating on your pillowcase.

Use of Hair Products

Using hair products can “cause more deposits on the pillowcase,” says Kobets, which can dirty your pillowcases much faster.

Tips to Keeping Your Pillowcase Cleaner Longer

While you can’t change the time of year, there are some things you can do to help your pillowcase last a bit longer before having to swap it out with a clean one.

Kobets says using a silk scarf to cover your hair when you sleep can help. Or you can simply put your hair up to keep it off your pillowcase and avoid getting hair product on your pillow.

She also recommends washing your face every night as a helpful routine to keep your skin clean and healthy, so you aren’t transferring sweat, makeup, or outside pollution onto your pillowcase. 

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