Is Washing Bed Sheets in Hot Water Advisable?

There are various opinions on whether washing bed sheets in hot water is advisable or not. Some argue that hot water helps kill bacteria and germs while others believe it can damage the fabric and cause shrinkage. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of washing bed sheets in hot water.

Pros of Washing Bed Sheets in Hot Water

  1. Kills Bacteria and Germs: Hot water has the ability to kill bacteria, germs, and dust mites that may be lurking in your bed sheets. This is especially beneficial for those with allergies or sensitive skin.
  2. Removes Tough Stains: Hot water can help loosen and remove tough stains such as sweat, body oils, and blood from bed sheets more effectively than cold water.
  3. More Sanitary: Using hot water can provide a more thorough cleaning and leave your bed sheets feeling fresh and sanitized.
  4. Easier Ironing: Hot water helps relax the fibers of the fabric, making it easier to iron out wrinkles and creases in bed sheets.

Cons of Washing Bed Sheets in Hot Water

  1. May Cause Shrinkage: Hot water can cause natural fibers, such as cotton and linen, to shrink. This can lead to ill-fitting bed sheets that no longer fit your mattress properly.
  2. Can Damage Fabric: Some fabrics, like silk and satin, are delicate and may not hold up well when washed in hot water. It’s important to check the care instructions on your bed sheets before washing them in hot water.
  3. Uses More Energy: It takes more energy to heat up water, so washing bed sheets in hot water may result in higher utility bills.
  4. Color Fading: Hot water can cause colors to fade, especially with darker fabrics. This can lead to your bed sheets looking dull and less vibrant over time.

Related: How Long Do Bed Sheets Last? Expert Tips to Extend Their Lifespan

What is the Ideal Temperature for Washing Your Bed Sheets?

The ideal temperature for washing your sheets largely depends on the material they are made from. Below is a table summarizing the recommended washing temperatures for various bedding materials.

Bedding MaterialRecommended Washing Temperature
CottonWarm (60°C/140°F) to Hot (90°C/194°F)
LinenWarm (40°C/104°F) to Hot (60°C/140°F)
Polyester blendsCold (30°C/86°F) to Warm (40°C/104°F)
SilkCold (30°C/86°F)
SatinCold (30°C/86°F)
BambooCold (30°C/86°F) to Warm (40°C/104°F)
TencelCold (30°C/86°F) to Warm (40°C/104°F

While hot water may offer some benefits, it’s important to follow the care instructions on your bed sheets and choose a washing temperature that is suitable for the fabric. A warm or cold wash can still effectively remove dirt and stains while being gentler on your bedding. To ensure a thorough clean, it’s also recommended to wash bed sheets in hot water at least once every few weeks.

The Best Time to Choose a Hot Water Wash for Your Bed Sheets

Choosing a hot water wash for your bed sheets is most advisable under certain conditions to ensure both cleanliness and durability.

  1. After Illness: Washing your bed sheets in hot water is highly recommended after recovering from an illness. This helps to kill any remaining bacteria or viruses that could linger on the fabric and potentially lead to re-infection.
  2. If you have Pets: For those who share their bed with pets, a hot water wash can help in removing pet dander and hair more effectively. It also kills fleas or any other parasites that might have made their way onto your sheets.
  3. Seasonal Cleaning: Consider using hot water for washing your bed sheets during seasonal deep cleans, particularly in the spring or fall. This practice helps in eliminating allergens that accumulate with the change of seasons, ensuring a cleaner, healthier sleeping environment.


Washing your bed sheets in hot water has its pros and cons. While it can effectively kill bacteria and remove tough stains, it may also cause shrinkage and damage delicate fabrics. It’s important to consider the material of your bedding and follow care instructions for optimum results. Ultimately, whether you choose to wash your bed sheets in hot or cold water, regular cleaning is key to maintaining a clean and comfortable sleeping environment. So, make sure to wash your sheets at least once every week or two for a good night’s sleep. Sweet dreams!

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