How Often to Replace Every Type of Bedding, From Sheets and Pillows to Mattresses

Laundering and spot cleaning these pieces regularly can extend their lifespan.

Whether we're sleeping or lounging, we spend a lot of time in bed. For this reason, you want this space to look and feel its best. While you likely make sure this happens by laundering your sheets, comforter, and other bedding frequently, when was the last time you completely refreshed these items? In an ideal world, our pillows and bedding last forever—but over time, they see wear and tear and irreversible stains, and can become uncomfortable to sleep on.

If you've had your bedding for a while and are wondering if it's time to use the adage, "out with the old, in with the new," we’re here to help. There are some general rules you can follow when it comes time to replace your bedding, from your pillows to your mattress.

modern bedroom with freshly made bed

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Replace: once per year

Has the stuffing in your pillows started to shift? It may be time for a refresh. "I have pillows in my yearly category to replace—they tend to lose their shape and fluff," says Melissa Poepping, the founder of The Chemical Free Home. "After a year, it really is just time, considering the oils on our face and hair that accumulate." Want to extend their life cycle just a bit longer? Give them a thorough wash and dry them the right way to restore their shape.


Replace: every one to two years

Pillowcases should be replaced annually, biannually, or whenever they’ve become worn, faded, or stained. "Since your pillowcases are used every night, they collect a lot of sweat, stains, dust, and dead skin cells," says Katie Dills, the senior vice president of The Cleaning Authority. "To keep things fresh and clean, wash your pillowcases weekly and replace them every one to two years or so."

Bed Sheets

Replace: every five years

With proper maintenance and regular washing, sheets can last up to five years or more depending on their material and quality. "One hundred percent cotton and 100% Egyptian cotton are some of the best long-lasting sheets you can find, due to their durability," says Dills. "Linen sheets also tend to last longer than other fabrics and materials due to their strong fibers. They are extremely durable and can last years when cared for properly.”

bed with quilt

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Replace: every three to five years

Because quilts are often ornate and decorative, they aren't suited to withstand frequent watching—especially when they're hand stitched. "I choose to only spot clean a quilt. I will hang it on the line outside in spring, summer, and fall to freshen it up," says Poepping. "Having quilts that you change with the season helps you keep them for longer, if they are stored properly."

With routine use and maintenance, quilts can last three to five years before they need to be replaced. "If your quilt has become damaged or stained beyond repair, it is time for a new one," Poepping says.


Replace: every 15 to 20 years

How often you replace your comforter depends on its material, but it can have a lifespan of up to 15 to 20 years. "To ensure longevity, it is crucial to wash and fluff your comforter regularly," says Dills. "When your bed sheets or comforters start to look dull or show visible signs of wear and tear, it is likely time to replace them."

Duvet Cover

Replace: every three to five years

Since they're challenging to remove and put back on, duvet covers are often more neglected than bed sheets and pillowcases. "To extend its lifespan, wash your duvet cover every other week or so, and replace it every three to five years," says Dills. Check it regularly for loose buttons or broken zippers, which will affect how well the duvet cover contains the insert.

bed with bedskirt

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Bed Skirt

Replace: every five years

Although bed skirts are primarily used as decorative pieces and don't come in contact with your skin, they prevent dust from getting under your bed, so they can get dirty quickly. Swapping out your bedskirt every five years is an appropriate timeline, so long as you clean it regularly. "If you choose a bedskirt with elastic, ruffles, gathers, or ornate stitching, you will want to replace it the moment it begins to lose shape or has a tear," says Poepping.

Mattress Protector

Replace: at the first sign of wear and tear

Mattress protectors are designed to protect your mattress from stains, allergens, and general wear and tear. For this reason, you want to be diligent about replacing it once it's worn. "Mattress protectors lose shape quickly, and have backings that can only withstand so many washings," says Poepping. "The moment the moisture wicking back becomes visibly worn, it is time for a new mattress protector." About one to three years is a good rule of thumb. 


Replace: every seven to 10 years

Generally, mattresses will last about seven to 10 years. Extend its lifespan by rotating it regularly, investing in a quality mattress protector, and keeping it clean, which you can do with baking soda. "Gently vacuum your mattress with a hand vacuum and spot clean any stains. Then, sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress and let it sit for a few hours," says Dills. "Use a vacuum to get rid of the baking soda and any remaining debris."

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