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Your bedding needs to be replaced more often than you may think — here's why

It's probably time to give everything a refresh.
Woman putting on sheets on her bed
Kara Birnbaum/ TODAY

Between sleeping, relaxing and the occasional WFB (work from bed) days, we spend a lot of time in bed.

Unfortunately, with all that lounging, the area can get pretty gross. Things like dead skin cells, hair, dust mites and sweat can accumulate on your bedding, pillow cases and mattress over time, says Dr. Philip Tierno, a professor of microbiology and pathology at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. While it's pretty disgusting to think about all those things hanging out with you in your bed, it's more than just the ick factor you should be concerned about: The particles in your bedding can also exacerbate allergies and asthma or even cause you to develop new allergies, Tierno said.

How often should you be washing your bedding?

To prevent this build-up, it's important to wash all your bedding regularly. Tierno recommends washing sheets and pillowcases every two weeks, and comforters every three months or so.

How often should you replace your bedding

Turns out, washing only goes so far. To maintain good bedroom hygiene and stay on top of the wear and tear that comes with frequent cleaning, you should also be upgrading your bedroom essentials pretty regularly. As previously reported by TODAY, you should be replacing your pillows every year, your mattress every five to 10 years and your bedding every 18 to 24 months.

With that in mind, we rounded up the best sheets, duvet sets, mattresses and pillows to shop when yours need an upgrade — because you really don't want to be thinking about those dust mites as you drift off to dreamland.

Sheets | Duvet sets | Pillows | Mattresses

Sheets

Amazon Basics Microfiber Sheet Set

Quality bedding usually comes with a pretty hefty price tag, but these bestselling sheets provide a luxurious level of comfort, without leaving a huge hole in your wallet. There are more than 40 colors and patterns to choose from, and the set includes a flat and fitted sheet along with two pillowcases. One Shop TODAY writer who put them to the test compared the soft feel to silk and said they held up even after multiple washes.

Mellanni Sheet Set

Shoppers truly cannot get enough of these bestselling sheets! They have more than 246,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and reviewers say that they're not just a great price, but also "amazing quality." "These are the best sheets I've ever purchased," one shopper wrote. "I recently bought a new bed and wanted the best sheets I could find. These are it!! They are soooo soft and comfortable. I didn't realize how much sheets make a difference in sleeping but I feel like I'm well rested and as soon as I lay down I'm automatically comfortable and snug."

PeachSkinSheets Night Sweats Sheet Set

Sweaty sleepers will appreciate these moisture-wicking sheets, which are made from high-quality performance fabric. They’re designed to be quick-drying and breathable to keep you cool all night long. Plus, the fabric is said to be stain-resistant and pill-resistant, too, so the sheets will stay looking their best, even after plenty of nights of wear.

Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set

Upgrade your sleep setup with these buttery-soft sheets from Brooklinen. Choose from eleven different color and pattern options, including a few fun limited-edition releases. The best part? The fitted sheet has labels for the “short” and “long” sides, to eliminate the annoying process of figuring out which way to put it on.

Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheet Set

These sheets made Oprah's Favorite Things list in 2018, so you know they're bound to be good. Lightweight and breathable, they promise to keep you cool throughout the night. And according to the brand, they’re “the world’s softest bamboo sheets, guaranteed.”

You’re sure to love the luxurious feel, but if you’re not totally convinced, the company has a 100-night sleep trial policy. If you don’t love them, you can send them back (also for no cost).

Boll & Branch Signature Hemmed Sheet Set

Made with 100 percent organic cotton, these sheets are insanely soft from the first use, and they're designed to only get more comfortable with time.

Duvet sets

Nestl 3 Piece Queen Duvet Cover Set

Love sleeping next to your furry friend? This bedding set is designed to be pet-friendly, which means their paws won’t tear or snag the material and pet hair and fur won’t cling, the brand says. Plus, it’s super comfortable. “It is cushiony soft and almost cloud-like,” wrote one of the more than 58,000 people who gave the set a five-star rating.

Parachute Brushed Cotton Duvet Cover Set

Made in a family-owned factory in Portugal, Parachute’s bedding delivers on quality and comfort. The lived-in feel of their duvet set is said to be like sleeping in your favorite t-shirt. The 100 percent cotton set comes in three different neutral color options that will easily match any bedding you already have.

JELLYMONI Natural Cotton Striped Duvet Cover Set

Bring a cute and casual feel to your room with this affordable striped duvet cover set. It includes two pillowcases and a cover which has corner ties to secure your comforter in place.

Pillows

Coop Home Goods The Original

Searching for the perfect pillow can often turn into a Goldilocks situation. Firm pillows feel way too hard, but the softer options don’t provide enough support. This adjustable pillow solves all those issues. The inner fill, which is made with microfiber and memory foam, can easily be added or removed, so you can create the perfect size and shape to suit your sleeping style.

DreamyBlue Premium Pillow

For another customizable option, look no further than this top-rated memory foam pillow. Like the above, this one comes with shredded memory foam that can be added or removed, so you can find the most comfortable fit.

Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow

A cover can double the life of your pillow, and this one comes with one that’s said to be soft, breathable and machine-washable to make cleaning easier. The foam pillow is made with cooling beads which will pull heat away from your body to help prevent you from getting too hot during the night, the brand says.

Mattresses

Linenspa Memory Foam Mattress

Finding a quality mattress that won't cost an arm and a leg sometimes seems like an impossible task, but this bestselling option has more than 62,000 perfect ratings and rings in at under $250. The hybrid mattress combines memory foam and inner springs to provide a medium level of firmness.

Zinus Memory Foam Mattress

No matter what position you like to sleep in, this memory foam mattress promises to conform to your shape, for the most comfortable snoozing experience possible. The top layer of the mattress is made with gel-infused memory foam that is designed to keep you cool through the night.

Allswell The Brick

The Brick is the newest mattress from the popular home brand, Allswell. Just as the name would suggest, it provides a high level of support, thanks to a two-inch layer of high-density foam and a firm top layer, the brand says. It also features individually-wrapped inner coils, to help minimize motion transfer, so you can sleep through the night even if your partner is tossing and turning.

Casper Original Mattress

The foam in Casper's Original Mattress is divided into three ergonomic zones to help keep your spine aligned. It also features thousands of miniature perforations throughout the mattress that allow air to circulate through, so you'll stay cool, the brand says.

Meet our expert

Dr. Philip Tierno, PhD, is a professor of microbiology and pathology at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. He has more than 40 years of experience in the field of clinical and medical microbiology, and is the author of several books, including "The Secret Life of Germs" and "First, Wear a Face Mask."