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When to Replace Your Bedding

How often should you replace your bedding? The standard answer is you should replace your bedding whenever it becomes stained, thin, or frayed, but you already knew that. What you really want to know is how long you can expect your bedding to last before it starts to deteriorate.

The answer to this question depends primarily on the material of your bedding. Different fabrics have widely different ranges of durability. Some can only last a couple of years while others can last decades.

To help you discover how long your bedding will last, we’ve listed the top three materials used for bedding below.

Cotton

Expected Lifespan: 1-2 years

One reason why cotton has such a short lifespan is because it’s extremely absorbent. If you spill anything on cotton, it stains. Additionally, cotton yellows or grays over time from absorbing your body oils. Since cotton discolors so easily, you need to replace it frequently.

Another reason why this bedding only lasts a couple of years is because it pills and tears. This pilling and tearing is caused by the cheap manufacturing process used to produce cotton sheets. To make cotton bedding, the threads are loosely woven together. However, cotton threads are rarely as long as the sheet so manufactures overlap the ends to create the illusion of one long thread. Since the thread ends aren’t anchored, they eventually work themselves out of the sheet, causing pills and small holes to appear.

Bamboo

Expected Lifespan: 15 years

In contrast to cotton, you can expect 100% bamboo sheets and a bamboo comforter to last over a decade if they are cared for properly. Why does bamboo last some much longer than cotton? Well, there are a few reasons.

  • First, bamboo isn’t absorbent so it never yellows or grays.
  • Second, bamboo is incredibly strong so it is difficult to rip or tear.
  • Third and finally, premium bamboo bedding is made by stretching the threads across the entire length of the fabric, securely anchoring each thread. As a result, bamboo bedding never pills or tears.

If you want to learn more about bamboo’s incredible lifespan, read How Long Do Bamboo Sheets Last?

Silk

Expected Lifespan: 15 years

Like bamboo, you can expect silk to last over a decade if treated with care. In fact, silk has this long lifespan for all the same reasons as bamboo. It doesn’t discolor over time. It’s incredibly strong and it’s woven together using the same process as bamboo so it never pills or tears.

The one caveat of silk is that it snags more easily than other types of bedding. While silk threads are incredibly strong, they’re a little finer than bamboo so they catch more easily on rough fingernails or jagged furniture. However, your silk bedding should still last 15 years with normal wear.

In summary, the type of fabric your bedding is made from determines how often you need to replace it. If you have cotton bedding, replace it every couple of years. If you have bamboo or silk bedding, replace it every 15 years.