Unseen Germs on Your Bedding…


Much More than Your Toilet Seats   -Research

Have you ever noticed that no matter how clean the white bedsheets and pillow cases are in the night, there’s always some traces of dusty substances by the time we wake up in the morning. A clergy man once gave a scriptural explanation; –“For you are dust and to dust you shall return” Gen. 3:19. But, there are medical postulations to why our beddings are infested with tiny dusty substances both seen and unseen.

Medical experts and journal say that we shed 500 million skin cells every day. Some of the dead skin cells casted out when we sleep become breeding nest for dust mite, in between washing of the beddings. Also, many sheet slackers leave sweat, drool and dandruff in between the sheets for days thereby providing haven for bacteria to thrive.

Another postulation is that the eagerness to make the bed in the morning, rather than peeling back the cover to give the bed a fresh breath, allows moisture to build on the bedsheets thereby making it more attractive to bacteria and mites. Yes, it’s a general believe that the best way to kick start your day is to make the bed, but who says peeling off the sheets, to give your bed a breather, is not a way of making the bed.

When your spouse or you are ill, how quick do you wash the beddings to kill any lingering germs. Most disease-causing bacteria or viruses can survive on soft surfaces for a long period of time, sometimes for hours.

Bedbugs is another source of germs for beddings- mattress; pillows, bedsheet and pillow case. Bedbugs live in warm places and feed on human blood. It is not known to cause any primary disease but can cause secondary skin infection as a result of hitching.

The Germs on bedding

We spend a lot of our time in our beds, therefore its natural we want to make it as comfortable as we can. Even our best efforts to make the beddings homey, it’s as good and appropriate to make it a haven for the germs. This is because beddings have a very high colony forming units (CFU) even compared with most items categorized as dirty.   Just as we feel homey on the bed, so also a legion of germs finds our beds just as homey.

 The Germs Research

 In December 2022, amerisleep reported the result of a laboratory test research conducted by McKenzie Hyde, a certified sleep coach, where swabs from mattresses and bedding of three volunteers, over a period of four weeks without washing them, were put through microscopic examination. Bacteria samples from mattresses of varying ages (from less than I year to seven years old) were also taken for analysis.

The discoveries of the research were as amazing as the germ theory itself. Here are the results from McKenzie Hyde’s study

  • One week after washing, pillowcases and sheets contain between three million and five million CFUs (colony-forming units) per square inch.
  • Four weeks after washing, pillowcases and sheets have almost 12 million CFUs.
  • One week after washing, pillowcases have over 17,000 times the number of bacteria as a toilet seat!
  • Strains of bacteria that love to make the bedding their new home are gram-negative rods, (most common kind at over 41 percent). These bacteria commonly cause pneumonia and other kinds of infections; majority of gram-negative rods are dangerous and can lead to antibiotic resistance, according to the CDC. Others are gram-positive rods and bacilli. Bacilli are the usual suspect in food poisoning and similar infections, but gram-positive rods aren’t typically harmful to humans.
  • Sheets had the most gram-negative rods (about 42 percent) and gram-positive rods (almost 27 percent). Pillowcases had the most for both bacilli (almost 25 percent) and gram-positive cocci (almost 12 percent).
  • While we search for mattress that will make our backs feel better, we never thought of bacteria living in the mattress. This study shows that a newer mattress has only three million CFUs of bacteria, but by the time it is 7 years old, it has over 16 million.



Sleeping on millions of bacteria every night is a key to unlock diseases into the body. Some bacteria, like bacilli and gram-positive cocci, can be the source of a nasty sickness including pneumonia.

Here are some prevention tips to make your bedding and sleep germ free.

  • First, clean sheets and pillowcases with warm wash at least weekly;
  • Consider a more frequent cleaning schedule if you’re apt to fall asleep in a full face of makeup or after a sweat at the gym.
  • Consider a more frequent cleaning schedule if you sleep under a humid condition.
  • Replace your mattress when it’s starting to wear out and is causing you issues, typically every seven years.
  • Replace your pillows more often than a mattress, though how often depends on your type of pillow.
  • If you or your partner has been ill, toss your sheets into the wash right away to kill any lingering germs. Most bacteria or viruses can survive on soft surfaces for minutes to hours. The duration varies based on the specific microbe. For example, flu viruses live on tissues for just 15 minutes, but some stomach bugs can survive on fabrics for 4 hours.
  • If you spend your day working somewhere with a lot of germs, consider taking a shower before bed. Not only will showers help clean you up and maintain a clean bed, but it can also be an excellent way to relax before bed.
  • If you have serious bedroom breakouts like inexplicable worse acnes and pimples, your dirty pillowcase could be to blame. The embedded dirt, dead skin, and bacteria can clog your pores. If you have bad breakouts, change your pillowcases every 2-3 days and the rest of your bedding once a week.
  • Four (S) factors to change your sheets and pillow cases weekly or more often: Sleep in the nude; Snack in bed; Sleep with your kids; Sweat a lot at night
  • You may have heard that the best way to kick start your day is to make your bed. But it might be wise not to rush. That’s because moisture builds in your sheets after each night of slumber. When you wake up, peel back the covers and give your bed a chance to dry. That makes it a less attractive nesting spot for bacteria and mites.

Source: Dare Agbeluyi, Chief Publisher.


Publisher’s Note:

  1. Leave your comments in the comments box below and share the post
  2. Send your health- related articles, stories, tips to compack2006@yahoo.co.ukfor free publication
  3. Like and share our Facebook page: @citizencomfortng
  4. Download our Free Health e Book





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here