Written by Jill Zwarensteyn, Editor
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Our sleep experts help you navigate how often you should wash your pajamas.
With an increase in the number of individuals working from home, many of us are living in our pajamas more than ever.
You may be surprised to learn that many women don’t change their pajamas for 17 days, which according to a survey from the Daily Mail, is significantly more than men, who average only 13.
If you’re the type who sweats in your sleep or doesn’t change their pajamas often, read on. Your pajamas need to be changed frequently, and below we’ll discuss how often this is necessary and why when practicing good hygiene.
How Often Should You Wash Your Pajamas?
Since we wear our pajamas to bed, it’s easy to neglect taking care of them because for much of the time we’re in our PJs, we’re unconscious. The truth is, we need to treat them like regular clothes to maintain good health. According to the American Cleaning Institute, we need to wash them every three to four days, and we’ve researched the reasons why it’s a good idea to change your nightwear regularly.
8 Reasons to Change Your Pajamas Every Few Days
Dirty jammies could lead to serious health issues like staph infections, skin irritations, poor hygiene, and body odor. Read on to learn how to take care of your nighties.
According to the Mayo Clinic, staph bacteria is surprisingly common, and infections afflict about 3 million Americans every year. Most of us have existing staph bacteria on our skin, which is normal; however, when we change our clothes and bathe, it washes off. If you’re hanging at home in your PJs all day without regular washing, staph bacteria could multiply. Symptoms can look like boils or oozing blisters and can even induce nausea and vomiting.
Bacteria can infiltrate our skin through ingrown hairs, cuts, and other breakdowns in the body’s defense system. When we don’t wear fresh pajamas, bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil can accumulate in our PJs, and being pressed against our skin all night long increases the chances of these infecting our pores.
When our pores become clogged, we can develop infections, cysts, pimples, and other kinds of skin issues.
Suffering from allergies may require you to change out your jammies and sheets more often. Dirty pajamas can acquire a significant amount of dust, so your PJs need regular washes. Asthma, dust allergies, and other respiratory issues are typically more challenging to control at night because you’re lying down, making it harder to breathe.
You might also need to clean more often at home. Dust mites accumulate everywhere, and if you’re not washing your nightwear often, this can exacerbate allergies.
If you are having trouble with allergies, take a look at our list of best mattresses for allergies and asthma sufferers.
Immune System Troubles
Exposing your body to a frequent onslaught of bacteria and oil can put your body in overdrive, working extra hard to fight pimples and germs. We want to equip our bodies with the tools it needs to function as it should, and forcing it clean itself of dead skin cells and dirty clothing constantly could increase illness. If you find yourself staying in bed sick, your pajamas may be the culprit.
Given that we typically only wear our jammies to bed, it’s easy to believe we don’t need to change them every day. However, because our bodies leave bacteria behind, the build-up can cause problems.
Dust mites live everywhere, and you can’t get rid of them completely. However, you can minimize the amount living in your home. Dust mites feast on skin cells that are routinely shed from our bodies, so they love our beds and pajamas— especially when we don’t wash them often. The accumulation of dead skin provides these mites with an endless supply of food, so regular washing can help keep the number of critters down.
Due to how much we’re exposed to our own scent, it’s easy not to notice our own body odor. We often become immune to subtle changes in our personal smells.
Re-worn pajamas can gather dried sweat during the night, heightening odor and stench. Dirty pajamas could exacerbate BO, and even if you’re showering before bed, if you crawl back into your used pajamas, you’re essentially undoing any bathing, letting germs run rampant.
Mental Health Effects
The term “self-care” is thrown around often, and for a good reason. Taking care of ourselves, even through regular washing, is critical not only for our physical wellbeing but our mental health as well.
The Feeling of Refreshment
Feeling fresh and clean is essential for our well-being. Not only does cleanliness help keep germs and bacteria at bay, but it, without question, helps up feel like a better version of ourselves. Similar to how you’d want to wear nice clothes to an interview to present your best self, you don’t want to be putting on dirty clothes when you’re recharging daily.
Fighting Sleepless Nights
Sleep is critical for our health and wellbeing, and snoozing in clean pajamas helps us feel clean and prepared for the next day; it’s self-care, and we all deserve to be well cared for. Further, accumulated germs, oils, and bacteria can exacerbate allergies or heighten breathing troubles, leading to impaired rest.
Frequently Asks Questions
What is the best pajama fabric to sleep in?
When it comes to picking out pajamas, the first thing to consider isn’t the design but rather the material. A pajama’s fabric plays a big role in how suitable they’ll be for sleeping.
When the weather is warm, lightweight cotton pajamas are a great bet since they’re more breathable. Silk nighties are also great for keeping you cool during hot summer nights.
Conversely, flannel PJs are great for staying warm and cozy during the winter. Wool and fleece are also warm fabrics, but these could overheat you during the night, so we recommend flannel in most cases.
Check Out Our Guide: Top Rated Men’s Pajamas
Should you wear underwear at night?
As you put on your pajamas for bed, there’s a different clothing item you should consider removing: your underwear. Wearing underwear at night may not seem like a big deal, but according to health experts, it’s healthier to go without. This gives those parts of your body a chance to breathe, and it’s particularly beneficial for women since it can help prevent yeast infections.
You can opt to wear pajama bottoms or none at all, but if you do wear bottoms, make sure they’re loose. If you feel more comfortable wearing underwear, go for a cotton pair since they’ll be more breathable.
While it’s tempting to stay in your pajamas all day when you’re working from home or enjoying a day of rest, it’s critical to ensure your clothes are clean. Sleep is one of the most critical components to a happy and healthy life, and snoozing in dirty PJs can hinder your sleep.
When aiming to be our best, we have to look after ourselves, and that includes good rest and a healthy environment. Making sure your sleep is supported by fresh pajamas and clean sheets should equip you to snooze safely and comfortably, and prepare you for bigger things ahead.
Jill Zwarensteyn is the Editor for Sleep Advisor and a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.