Between The Sheets

Blog Simple Life Hacks

Caring for your bedding: How to choose, wash and store your sheets.

Jumping into a wonderful comfy bed furnished with soft, smooth linen and a plump pillow ranks among life’s best feelings. And for good reason. Taking pride in your bedding, both what you buy and how you care for it, will help you to enjoy a great night’s sleep time after time. When it comes to caring for your linen though, everyone seems to have an opinion. So what’s the definitive guide?


Jump to section:

What types of bedding and sheets are most durable?

How do you keep bed sheets looking like new?

How often should you wash bed sheets?

How do I remove stains from bed sheets

The best wash cycle and temperature for bed linen

Why it’s best to avoid dry clean only bedding


What types of bedding and sheets will last the longest?


Selecting quality bedding is easier said than done when every bed linen brand promotes ‘quality’. Fortunately, there are some simple ‘quality cues’ to guide you to durable, long-lasting bed sheets.

Above all, Tielle recommends bed linen that’s made of 100% high-grade long-staple cotton. Yarn made from long staple cotton will produce light, soft and long-lasting sheets irrespective of the number of threads or the thread count of the linen.

Long-staple cotton is not only breathable and soft, it also has superior strength over polycotton or polyester alternatives, which is typically prone to pilling (going bobbly) and threadbare patches.

Quality 100% cotton bedding will have a direct effect on how long your bedding will last, so although it may be slightly pricier than polycotton alternatives, given the right care, it will last longer and will be more cost effective in the long run, and will of course be much softer to sleep on too! If you're not sure what the differences are between the different thread counts and linen weaves on offer, make sure to read our guide to Choosing The Best Bed Linen and Sheets.


How do you keep bed sheets looking like new?


If you’re wondering how to care for your bed linen to keep it in perfect nick, the old adage rings true - the more you look after it, the longer it’ll last.

Try to adopt a weekly or fortnightly routine washing cycle, on a temperature between 40C and 60C, with colours split from whites.

As tempting as it is, fabric softener isn’t your linen’s best friend as it can coat the threads with a fine residue that ruins its softness and colour.

We suggest washing your cotton sheets separately from your other laundry to prevent potential snagging on zips or buttons.

Equally, try to ignore the lure of a quick, high heat tumble dry – we always recommend opting to line dry when possible as it allows the natural air to flow through the threads without the abrasive action of a dryer.


How often should you wash bed sheets?


How often you should wash your bedding is a common query. As onerous as it might sound, we advise giving your sheets a clean at least once a fortnight, and give your duvet and pillows a wash at least twice a year too.

Here’s a stat fact for you - a recent YouGov study found that 33% of people change their linen once a week, 35% once every fortnight and the rest… who knows?!


How do I remove stains from bed sheets


The list of offenders is long, from sweat stains, yellow stains and drool to urine and other bodily fluids, not to mention blood-stained bed sheets.


DIY bedding stain removal tips using natural remedies


Removing these unwelcome marks needn’t be costly nor difficult. There are plenty of solutions to remove stains from bed sheets, be it using a specialist bed sheet stain remover or doing a little bed stain remover DIY with natural products.

Perhaps the most recommended natural solution is a 50/50 blend of white vinegar and water. Simply spray onto the affected area, then leave to sit for 10 minutes before dabbing it off and popping into a regular wash with biological detergent.


How to remove blood, urine, drool and sweat stains from bed linen


If the stain isn’t too stubborn, try first using a small amount of laundry detergent, rubbed in and left to work its magic before washing between 40C and 60C using a biological detergent.

If you’re in need of a tougher bed sheet stain remover, an enzyme-based pre-soaking agent, or a solution of soda crystals will wet the stain again without setting. Then, pop into the wash at up to 95C with your usual biological detergent.

Remember - if trying to remove blood stains, always use cold water to start with. Warm or hot water could set the stain. For blood stains that won’t budge, leave the sheets to soak in a diluted mix of hydrogen peroxide (you’ll be able to pick this up from a chemist) and then wash as normal.


Preventing sweat stains on white sheets and linen


On average, we sweat up to 200ml every night so it’s worth looking at ways to prevent sweat stains as well as treat them.

When shopping for your linen, consider what the sheets are made of. Tielle linen is always made from 100% cotton, which means it’s breathable. Fabrics such as polyester are more likely to trap moisture, leading to night sweats and ghastly stains.

Of course, having a quick shower before bed to rid your body and hair of the day’s build-up of dirt will limit the yellow stains on your pillowcase and elsewhere.  Be sure to always use a pillow protector and mattress protector to take care of your investments.

When it comes to little ones, scheduled look breaks and keeping an eye on drink times can help to avoid being faced a urine stain removal routine.


Best wash cycle and temperature for bed linen

Can I tumble dry my bed linen?

Tielle recommends line drying your linen whenever possible however we know there are plenty of times in the year that won’t be possible, and you may not have an outside line.

You can tumble dry bed sheets, but try to avoid excessive heat cycles as that can damage the linen threads, causing them to lose their softness and reduce their lifespan. Where possible, tumble dry your bedding on a low heat setting, without overloading the drum to allow the air to circulate properly.


Do I have to iron cotton bed sheets?


You don’t have to iron cotton sheets but if you do iron your bedding, it’s best to remove them from the dryer while still slightly damp as this will help get wrinkles out of the bedding and ensure the iron glides over the linen, reducing the chances of burning them.

For added ease and speed, fold over your linen and iron over several layers at a time.


How should I store my bed linen?


If you’ve gone the extra mile to perfectly wash and dry your bedding, you’ll certainly want to store your bedding in the best way possible!

The simple rule is to pick a cupboard that is completely dry but well ventilated as this will help ward off any damp and potential mould forming on your fabulous linen.


Why it’s best to avoid dry clean only bedding


A word of warning on dry cleaning bed sheets! It may be tempting to go for this option (washing sheets is always a chore after all), but dry cleaning can damage your linen.

Despite being called ‘dry cleaning’, it’s no different than using your home washing machine, except cleaners use a chemical liquid that dissolves ‘oils’ instead of water. These chemicals, and temperatures that are typically 25% hotter than a standard home tumble dryer, can damage your linen.

It is possible to wash ‘dry clean only bedding’ at home though. Use caution by testing a small individual item first – perhaps a ‘dry clean only pillow case’, using a laundry mesh bag, a gentle cold water cycle, with mild detergent. Once finished, remove your linen from the washing machine immediately and hang out to dry.