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How Often Should I Wash My Duvet Cover?

One of the major joys of using duvet covers is how simple it is to keep your bedding smelling clean and looking fresh. The length of time between washings depends on how you use your duvet cover.

Here is a look at what you need to consider when deciding if it’s time to clean your cover and a look at how to make them last.

Girl With A CatWhen to Clean:

Do you sleep directly under your duvet cover? Most people do. In that case, wash it as often as you would a sheet. For most people that means once a week or every two weeks.

Does your pet lounge on your bed often? He is dropping hair, dander and dirt, whether you can see it or not. Cleaning your cover at least once a week will keep it smelling good, free of allergens and healthy.

Do you use a sheet between you and the duvet cover? In that case, monthly washing is fine.

Do you use a sheet plus a blanket between you and the duvet cover? You can wash your duvet cover once a season in that case. If you spill something on it or it gets dirty, wash as soon as possible.

Making Duvet Covers Last:

Your duvet covers can last for years if you treat them right. Here are five important factors to consider.

Clean each fabric the right way. Cotton and cotton blend fabrics are easy to clean and last for years with the right treatment. Just throw them into the washing machine and then the dryer, just like your sheets. Take silk and linen covers to the dry cleaners.

Check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Each cover has a tag with washing instructions. Check it to make sure you know the specific type of care you cover needs.

Rotate covers. Buy several duvet covers for your bed and cycle through them during the year. This stops each individual cover from wearing out quickly. It also lets you change your décor, with new patterns, colors and styles.

Air the cover out. Hang your duvet cover on your clothes line, fence or balcony railing during the summer months. A few hours in the sun and fresh air will get rid of odors, dander and dust.

Store them correctly. To keep your covers in the best possible shape, clean them before you store them. Make sure they are completely dry. They store well in a closet or chest. Include potpourri of lavender or eucalyptus to keep them fresh smelling.

Is Egyptian Cotton Superior to Regular Cotton?

Egyptian cotton sheets have a reputation for quality but are much more expensive than regular sheets. You are probably wondering what makes them superior and why they cost so much.

The short answer is they last longer, are softer, don’t pill as much and look better than regular sheets. Here is a close-up view of the many benefits of real Egyptian cotton sheets.

It’s All in the Plant

download (2)Egyptian cotton is made from the species gossypium barbadense, introduced into Egypt by its ruler in the 1800s in an effort to improve the cotton crop. Egypt is a natural for growing cotton because conditions along the Nile River are ideal.

One of the benefits of this species and these growing conditions is a cotton that naturally has longer fibers, called staples. This is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of Egyptian cotton, compared to other species.

Longer Fibers

These long fibers mean the staple is uninterrupted when it is formed into threads and yarns. Since it doesn’t have to be spliced to other fibers to make it long enough for manufacturing, it is inherently stronger.

Longer fibers can also be made into an extremely fine thread and yarn. The finer it is, the softer it is. It also has a greater sheen and luster than regular cotton.

In contrast, standard cotton sheets use multi-ply threads that are twisted and combined to produce the right length. This twisting results in a strand with a weaker weave. The surface of each fiber is rougher to the touch. And the end product doesn’t last as long.

 Absorbs Moisture

Another difference with 100% Egyptian cotton is that it is very porous. It naturally absorbs the moisture. This makes them easier and more comfortable to sleep on. Sleepers report that they get a better night’s sleep on Egyptian cotton sheets than with standard cotton or polyester sheets.

Vibrant Colors

Another benefit of its porous nature is the fact that it can absorb dyes more thoroughly than regular cotton. This accounts for the richer, more vibrant tones on Egyptian sheets. The color is deeper and lasts for decades.

Better Feel

Sheets made with Egyptian cotton have a thicker feel. This makes them more comfortable and easier to sleep on. They are softer to the touch and feel better to your skin. They are less rough and produce less lint, which makes them less scratchy when you lay on them.

Long-Lasting

The long staples and the single-ply threads give Egyptian cotton great durability. These sheets last for decades, and get softer every year. They keep their rich colors for years without looking washed out.

When Bedbugs Attack – Should Bedding be Replaced?

Invasion

Bedbugs are one of the most difficult pest problems to eradicate quickly. Bedbugs are notorious hikers and can hide in people’s belongings where they will be introduced into a home, hotel or office. They hide in dark, undisturbed areas like furniture and baseboards near beds. They are attracted by carbon dioxide and the warmth that humans emit. Bedbugs are nocturnal which is why they are more active at night when a person is sleeping. Although they are commonly known to invade mattresses, bedbugs can spread to furniture and other rooms of the house. A female can lay 10-50 eggs at a time, creating a full-blown infestation of bedbugs.

bed bug

What is a bedbug?

            A bedbug is a small parasite that feed on mammals and birds. Adult bedbugs are reddish brown in color, flat, oval-shaped, and approximately 4-5 millimeters in length. There has been a recent resurgence in bedbug infestations worldwide, particularly in developed countries, including the United States. Bedbugs do not fly but they can move quickly over floors, walls and ceilings. Although they are a nuisance, they do not transmit diseases.

Elimination

If bedbugs are discovered in your bed, take action immediately before they spread. By far, the best solution for bedbugs is to hire a pest control company with experience successfully controlling bedbugs. Unfortunately, this can be expensive and beyond the means of many people. There are steps you can take on your own to eliminate the problem. Strip all bedding and vacuum the mattress and box spring. Make sure to discard of the vacuum bag immediately. A highly effective method for destroying bedbugs is twenty minutes of exposure to steam with temperatures in excess of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This kills bedbugs on contact and their eggs. Follow up with an indoor use pesticide for insect control.

Do I need new bedding?

Although it’s not required, it is highly recommended that bedding be replaced once all bedbugs are eliminated. Infested bedding must be washed and dried in the hottest temperature setting your appliances manage, however, this method is not guaranteed to kill all the bugs and their eggs. Protect your mattress with a bed bug proof cover and start fresh with new sheets. You can rest easy knowing those little creatures are no more. Sleep tight, bedbugs won’t be biting tonight.

Organic Bedding – Does an “organic” designation matter?

The word organic means: of, relating to, or derived from living matter; food that is grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizers or products that are developed without the use of chemicals. When we hear organic, we usually think of meat, dairy or produce. What about other products in the home or those we may use on a daily basis? The bedding that we sleep on every night could potentially house dangerous chemicals.

Almost any non-organic bedding in the present day bears a host of petrochemicals and flame retardants. While adding fire retardants to mattress fiber is commendable, there are growing reports of illnesses linked to mattress purchases. Chemicals mixed in with the flame resistant fiber can create symptoms such as headaches and joint aches. The last thing mattress owners would believe is that their own bed may be causing the problems. No need to worry about your mattress being unprotected from fire, organic mattresses can be made with Alpaca fiber which is a natural fire retardant material.

organic cotton

Did you know that cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop? According to the Pesticide Action Network, nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides are sprayed on cotton fields each year — accounting for more than 10% of total pesticide use and nearly 25% of insecticides use worldwide. Bedding that is labeled as “Certified Organic” means the contents have been grown and processed without chemicals. Chemical exposure can be drastically minimized by purchasing GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) Certified Organic cotton sheets. This goes the same for other bedding such as pillows and blankets.

Barry Cik is the founder of Naturepedic Organic Mattresses and states that “memory foam is made with toluene di-isocyanates which are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens according to the National Institute of Health.” He also mentions that conventional mattresses can contain pesticides, formaldehyde, phthalates, perfluorinated chemicals, etc. Barry Cik is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer and Hazardous Materials Manager as well as certified by the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice.

So does the organic designation of bedding truly matter? Certified organic materials are free of chemicals, toxins, pesticides and other harmful additives that could potentially create chronic illness. Studies show that owners of conventional mattresses and bedding immediately started sleeping better and feeling more rested after they switched to all organic.

When is it Time to Replace a Mattress

It’s obvious when it’s time to replace your old tennis shoes or that worn out chair but how do you know when to replace your mattress? Even after your mattress has lost its ability to provide proper support during sleep, it can still feel somewhat comfortable. Restful sleep is critical to our ability to function, so it’s important to determine when your mattress may be past its expiration date.

mattress pile

In the last few years, advertising spots have filled consumer’s ears with “if it’s over eight, it’s time to replace.” Companies claim that the mattress doubles in weight every eight years due to dust mites, sweat and moisture. Yes, most mattresses contain dust mites. They are naturally occurring microscopic organisms that feed on dust and particles where people and pets live. Dust mites alone are not a reason to buy a new mattress every eight years. According to Consumer Reports, when to replace a mattress is up to the owner. The Better Sleep Council states, “How long a mattress will last depends on several factors, such as amount of use and the original quality, but in general, a mattress set that has been in use for seven years is no longer providing you with the best comfort and support and should be replaced.” So when should you actually buy a new mattress? There are several ways to determine when it’s time to throw out your old bed:

  • You tend to sleep better in hotel beds or away from home.
  • You wake up achy or tired almost every morning.
  • You awake with stiffness or numbness.
  • Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse (it sags, has rips or tears, holes or damage).
  • Your mattress looks or feels saggy and lumpy.

To further examine the physical signs of the mattress, remove all bedding and any cover or pad. Does it sag in the middle or where you sleep? Does it show signs of wear and tear? The ragged materials will definitely impact how you sleep. Once a mattress hits five years old, it’s recommended to start observing its condition regularly. It’s best to review your sleeping habits and the physical state of the mattress every 6-12 months. To get the most life out of your mattress, follow these suggestions:

  • Use a mattress cover or pad. This will help keep sweat and moisture from permeating the mattress.
  • Rotate your mattress every two months.
  • Use a bed frame that has a center support.

There is potential to save thousands of dollars by following these simple steps. Top rated mattresses at Mattress Firm range from $1000 to $8000 dollars. Serta’s memory foam beds average around $3000 dollars. If you replace your mattress every seven years with a high quality model, you will spend about $15,000 in 40 years. A cheaper solution would be to replace your mattress cover or pad every five years and keep your bedding clean.

The most important function of a mattress is to promote a healthy, rejuvenating sleep that properly supports healthy alignment of your spine. By simply evaluating how you feel when you wake and the physical condition of the mattress, the decision is yours on when to replace.