Snuggling into bed after a busy day is one of life’s little treats. But that same bed could make you ill. Dust mites, bacteria and other nasties all lurk within our seemingly innocent duvets, sheets and pillows, exacerbating conditions such as rhinitis. Here’s how to love your bedding for longer and get a great night’s sleep.
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Clean, fresh-smelling sheets are a treat to the senses. But they’re also vital to our health. During sleep we perspire and body oils seep into our bedding. Change linen once a week to keep sheets fresh and use protectors to extend the life of your mattress and pillows.
“For a well-made bed that looks as cosy as it feels, master the art of laying flat sheets to achieve the perfect fit and crisp hospital corners.”
Lorraine Dale, Masters of the Household Department, Windsor Castle
Wash at 60°
It’s good to be as eco-friendly as possible, but sadly washing linen at a low temperature with less detergent won’t maintain your linen’s ‘whiteness’ or kill house dust mites and germs. Wash sheets at 60° whenever possible, and dry properly to avoid storing damp linen or slipping into a musty-smelling cotton sandwich. Yuk.
Line drying is kinder than overheating linen in a tumble dryer, which can weaken its fibres, and will help prolong its life. Letting your covers, cases and sheets blow in the breeze will also prevent the wrinkles that spoil a bed’s feel and look.
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Regularly vacuum all soft furnishings within the bedroom including the mattress to stop dust mites from colonising the bed. For ease, vacuum when you change the sheets and use a HEPA vacuum for best results.
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Fold back the duvet and blankets after sleep to allow sweat to evaporate and help kill off dust mites and germs. “And never leave used, damp towels in the bedroom”, says Executive Housekeeper at The Grove, Amelia Lawrence, “or you’ll create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria”.