The Majority Of Men Need A Lesson In Bed Hygiene
September 2, 2013

The Majority Of Men Need A Lesson In Bed Hygiene

About once a week, the boyfriend and I do a house cleaning. We dust, sweep, vacuum, mop (if necessary), and change out linens and towels in the bathroom and the bed. Sometimes this happens every two weeks, but never longer than that, especially concerning the linens and towels. Never. This is because few things gross me out more than the dust mites, skin cells, and sweat left over from sleep. I mean, human sleep is gross.

However, not everyone is as, shall we say, clean (as opposed to compulsive) as we are. In fact, Ergoflex UK, a British bed maker of memory foam mattresses, conducted a survey of over 2,000 men and women and found some pretty surprising information as a article states. Accordingly, 55 percent of “British single men ages 18-25 change their sheets four times a year.” Only four times a year! That means that those beds harbor three months worth of dirt, sweat, dust, and skin. Yikes! I have the creepy-crawlies just thinking about that. further identifies the statistics of the study:

“Though it’s clear that females are cleaner overall, the results found that age is a factor as well. For those who answered once every three months, 55% were ages 18 to 25 with men accounting for 71%, while those who claimed to wash sheets once a week were in the 35 to 50 age range. Of the weekly washers, 62% were female. Indeed, 17% of single men participating in the study admitted that partners found their unhygienic practices unnerving compared to just 2% of women.”

I simply cannot imagine not washing my sheets once a week. I mean, maybe once every two weeks, especially if I have been out of town or something, but never any longer than two weeks. And to know that potential love interests might be turned off — or at the very least “unnerved” as the Time article says — does not make any sense. If you do not want to change sheets for yourself, then think of the people who might sleep with you.

Not changing sheets could lead to more than just excess sweat and dust and skin. Dirty sheets could tempt bed bugs. In the words of, “Bed bugs, which can live in the interior cavities of certain types of mattresses and bed bases, can bite those who share the bed with them…To prevent bed bugs wash sheet and all bedding materials and dry using the “hot” setting. Vacuum all the surfaces of a home — walls, floors and furniture.”

To prevent bed bugs, dust mites, and other bed-related issues, all one has to do is wash sheets regularly (preferably weekly) in hot water with a temperature of about 130 degrees Fahrenheit and dry the sheets in a dryer on hot. It is an easy solution. When doing weekly laundry, just add a load for linens and towels.

The other important thing to do is have at least two sets of sheets to alternate between. I actually have three, but that is just because I found a great deal on some jersey knit sheets that I simply could not pass up. Two sets would be perfect for alternating.

Having clean sheets is not just about general house cleanliness but also about good personal hygiene. The latter is important for more than just vanity reasons; good personal hygiene means better health choices. So, if you happen to know one of the 18- 25-year-old men, help them out. Teach them about the importance of clean sheets.

Image Credit: Guryanov Andrey / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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