The City Mattress Blog

Should You Wash New Sheets?


changing bedding in home

Source: Elizaveta Galitckaia

Buying new sheets can be an exciting experience, adding a fresh touch to your bedroom. However, before you indulge in the comfort of your new purchase, there’s an important step to consider: washing them. This might seem like an unnecessary chore, but it’s a crucial practice for several reasons. 

New sheets, though neatly packaged, have traveled a long journey from manufacturing plants through storage and retail environments. Each of these stages exposes the fabric to various conditions that can affect its cleanliness and overall feel. Beyond the obvious appeal of snuggling into fresh, clean bedding, there are health and comfort considerations that make washing new sheets an essential practice. 

From ensuring hygiene to removing residual chemicals from the manufacturing process, this simple step can greatly enhance your sleeping experience. It’s not just about cleanliness — it’s about transforming your bed into a safe and comfortable haven for rest and relaxation.

Hygiene Considerations

When you unwrap new sheets, whether for a full-size mattress or another size, they might look pristine, but they’ve likely encountered various elements from production to packaging. This journey exposes them to dust, dirt and other unseen particles. Washing new sheets removes these contaminants, ensuring a cleaner sleeping environment. Using fresh, clean sheets is essential for maintaining a hygienic sleep space, especially considering the larger surface area.

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Chemical Residues

New sheets often undergo chemical treatments for color and texture enhancement. While even top brands take care to ensure safety, these chemicals can still cause irritation for sensitive skin, and we don’t know exactly what they can all do if left on sheets while we sleep. Washing new sheets, particularly those made from special or synthetic materials like microfiber fabrics, is wise for removing these residues and ensuring a comfortable, irritation-free sleep experience.

Allergen Reduction

Allergy sufferers should be cautious with new sheets. Unknown to many, sheets can harbor allergens such as dust mites, pollen or even small fibers that can trigger reactions. These generally have settled during manufacturing or transport. This is less problematic for fabrics that have hypoallergenic properties like mulberry silk. 

Do you wonder “What is mulberry silk?” It’s a smooth fabric that’s considered hypoallergenic due to its natural resistance to allergens like dust, fungus and mold, making it an excellent choice for people with allergies or sensitive skin. Nevertheless, washing before use is still recommended. Washing helps in removing these allergens, making your sheets more suitable for those with allergies and enhancing the natural benefits of specialty fabrics like mulberry silk.

girl sits sneezes on bed

Source: Penyushkina/

Enhancing Comfort

Directly from the packaging, sheets can feel overly stiff due to the chemical coatings used during manufacturing. A first wash can transform them, making your bedding more comfortable. This is especially true for high-quality fabrics used in luxury bedding, where the initial feel might not reflect the true softness of the material. Laundering not only softens the sheets but also releases any manufacturing smells, making your bed a more welcoming and comfortable place.

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Understanding and Following Care Instructions for Sheets

To ensure the longevity of your sheets, like Cariloha sheets known for their softness and durability, and maximize their comfort, always follow manufacturer recommendations. Locating the care instructions for sheets is key to ensuring they maintain their quality and comfort over time. Typically, these instructions are found on a tag or label attached to the sheets. This tag usually includes information on the best washing and drying practices, temperature settings and whether or not to use bleach or other specific cleaning agents.

The importance of following these instructions cannot be overstated. Each type of fabric, whether it’s cotton, linen, bamboo or a synthetic blend, has its own care needs. For example, high-quality sheets might require specific washing conditions to preserve their delicate fibers. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to issues such as shrinkage, color fading and deterioration of the fabric, which can significantly shorten the lifespan of your sheets and degrade their comfort and appearance.

hand laundry machine

Source: nito/

As well, proper care ensures that any special properties of the sheets, like hypoallergenic qualities or temperature-regulating features, are maintained. For allergy sufferers or those with sensitive skin, this is particularly crucial, as improper washing can reduce the effectiveness of these features.

In essence, treating your sheets according to the provided care instructions is an investment in the longevity and quality of your bedding. It ensures that your sheets remain a comforting, hygienic and luxurious part of your sleep experience for as long as possible.

Drying Your Sheets

Properly drying your sheets is as important as washing them. Air drying is a great way to maintain the integrity of the fabric, preventing shrinkage and texture changes. If using a dryer, a low heat setting is advised to preserve the fabric’s quality and color. This step is necessary for maintaining the longevity and feel of high-quality sheets, ensuring they provide comfort for a longer time. Never put damp sheets on your bed. 

Final Thoughts on New, Clean Sheets

Washing new sheets before their first use is more than just a good laundry practice — it’s a step toward ensuring your sleeping environment is as clean and healthy as possible. Not only does it remove any potential irritants, but it also enhances the overall comfort of your bedding. 

The process of laundering new sheets can be likened to a ritual of preparation, setting the stage for a more comfortable and reassuring sleep experience. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the care requirements of your new bedding, ensuring they remain in top condition for longer. 

As you tuck yourself into freshly washed sheets, you’ll appreciate the added softness and comfort, making the effort well worth it. This simple act is a small investment in your health and well-being, contributing to a better sleep environment. Remember, the quality of your sleep has a significant impact on your overall health, and little steps like this can make a big difference.