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What Is It About Bedding That Men Can’t Stand to Wash?

While a majority of single women wash their sheets every two weeks, most single men say theirs hit the laundry every four months. What is going on here?

Until recently, I was never too concerned about making the bed every morning or cleaning my sheets on a regular basis. It was probably around the time I started working from home that washing my bedding weekly became a top priority. I wish I could pinpoint what, exactly, led to my revelation, but right now I can only hope that others make the switch too, as apparently most men are allergic to regular bed maintenance.

A recent study in the U.K. surveyed 2,250 British adults and found that whereas 62 percent of single women claimed to clean and change their sheets every two weeks, roughly half of single men admitted to going four months between washings. Four months!

Some men who rarely wash their bedding argued that they don’t have another set of clean sheets to put on while the dirty sheets get cleaned, while others reasoned they don’t need to regularly clean their sheets because they shower before going to bed. By and large, the general forsaking of clean bedding comes down to the fact that their sheets just aren’t top of mind come laundry day.

The question of how often you should clean your sheets is frequently posted to Reddit’s r/AskMen, wherein the answer most respondents give essentially boils down to “whenever it feels right” or “whenever they get wet.” 

“I wash mine once every three months, or once every month in the summer, or after I recover from a cold or flu,” writes one redditor. “Since I barely spend time in bed, I’m not terribly concerned about anything but if they feel clean enough.” 

“I don’t really know how often I wash my bedsheets,” adds another. “It might be two to four times a year, it might be more, it just isn’t something that I keep track of.”

Following the belief that washing bedsheets is only necessary upon visible or aromatic signs of filth, some men appear to have developed complex sleeping behaviors that allow for a twisted sense of logic behind their decisions. For instance, some redditors sleep with a fleece blanket on top of their made beds specifically to avoid having to clean their sheets; others use two sets of sheets so the bottom set “never gets dirty.” 

If there’s one thing in common among men who refuse to wash their bedding, it’s that the presence of a significant other is what triggers a change. “Pre wife: twice a year,” explains one redditor. “Post wife: twice a month.” 

And while I might arguably fall into this category myself, my wife tends to be a little gremlin who revels in filth. Do I enjoy seeing her luxuriate in the fragrant, immaculate sheets I just cleaned? Of course. But partner or not, there is a veritable (literal) laundry list of reasons to clean your sheets on a regular basis. 

So if you haven’t already, get your sheets into the wash before it’s too late. Four months will be here before you know it.