A third of Brits apparently only wash their bedding once a year, according to study

We genuinely don't know what to do with this information.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 27th October 2022

We hope you’re not eating right now, because we’ve just found out that a study has revealed a third of Brits apparently only wash their bed sheets once a year.

Just once.

It’s not entirely new information, as the survey is couple of years old now and seems to have reared its ugly head to do the rounds on social media once again, but the shocking research – which is based on a survey of 2,000 conducted by Hammonds Furniture – found that Brits are falling behind when it comes to keeping up with the laundry, as one in three (30%) have admitted to washing their bedding just once a year.

While we know that the rising cost of living crisis is sadly forcing people nationwide to have to reconsider the frequency of a lot of their energy-using practices as a way to manage finances, is this unsavoury habit taking it a bit too far?

According to experts, not washing bedding regularly enough can lead to bacteria build-ups, itchy skin, and mites – which doesn’t take much to believe.


If that wasn’t bad enough as it is though, Brits’ gross habits apparently don’t just stop at the bed sheets either, as 36% of people claimed they only wash their blankets once a year, and 18% admitted to only washing jeans annually.

Winter garments such as scarves, gloves, and hats were reported to be rarely washed too, even though experts say they should be washed after every five to 10 wears, as gloves can very easily pick up germs, and dirt and oil can quickly get trapped in scarves and hats.

A third of Brits apparently only wash their bedding once a year / Credit: Susan Wilkinson (via Unsplash)

Luckily though, there are some positives to take from these survey results.

People tend to be cleaner when it comes to their towels, with 40% of Brits washing these after each use and 45% ensuring they are washed after five uses, and thankfully, most of us are not quite as disgusting with underwear as 80% claim to wash garments after every wear.

But there are some significant gender differences.


A quarter of men admitted to washing their underwear after every five washes, compared to just 13% of women and worryingly, one in ten men (10%) claimed to wash their underwear after every 10 washes, compared to just 3% of women.

Dr Giuseppe Aragona – GP and Medical Advisor at Prescription Doctor – claims that changing your bed sheets once a week is best for optimum cleanliness. He said: “Washing your clothing items and bedsheets regularly is important for overall cleanliness and ensuring your body remains clean and healthy.

Brits have been found to be falling behind when it comes to keeping up with the laundry / Credit: Marco Verch (via Flickr)

“If you do not wash clothing items often, you could be at risk of infection or just feeling and smelling unclean.

“Bed sheets and pillowcases should be washed as if they are dirty this could promote acne, spots and other skin issues due to the dirty bacteria on the sheets transferring to your skin.”

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There are some really shocking statistics to get your head around here, but at least it’s all out in the open now.


Right, we’re off to put a wash on.

Featured Image – Marco Verch (via Flickr)