How to Wash Bed Sheets

Clean sheets are a key part of getting a good night’s sleep—but how do you care for them properly? With different fabrics, weaves, and styles there are lots of possibilities when it comes to washing bedding. Use this guide to learn how to wash, dry, and store your sheets—including specific care instructions for different sheet fabrics.

Always wash new sheets before use, and change your sheets weekly—fresh, clean bedding can help you drift off to sleep easier. We recommend having three sets of sheets per bed: one for the bed, one for the wash, and one for the linen closet. This means you can rotate your sheets to reduce wear and tear and you’ll always have a fresh set of sheets to put on the bed on laundry day. These step-by-step instructions walk you through sheet care, including washing machine instructions, how to dry your sheets, and tips to extend the life of your bedding.

How to Wash Bed Sheets in the Washing Machine

Washing sheets can be confusing so let us help. It’s hard to know what cycles to use and when, or which cleaners and additives are best. For best results always refer to your sheet’s tag for care instructions and try these simple techniques when washing your sheets.

Don't Overcrowd the Washer: Overcrowding can cause wrinkles and pilling, so wash each set of sheets individually and avoid combining your sheets with other laundry like towels.

Pre-Treat Stains: Spot-clean, pre-soak, and use an oxygenated stain remover to pre-treat as necessary before putting your sheets in the washing machine.

Choose the Right Temperature: Choose the right temperature: Always check your sheet’s care label for specific instructions—but usually, you’ll machine wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. Always avoid hot temperatures, which can contribute to wrinkles and shrinkage, weaken fibers, and fade colors.

Use the Right Laundry Enhancers: Use non-chlorine bleach when needed to get white sheets white again, but avoid traditional fabric softeners as they can weaken the fibers. The good news is that our sheets are already crafted for softness, so you shouldn’t need fabric softener at all.

End of Cycle: When the washing machine cycle is complete, untangle the sheets and swap the load to the dryer right away to help prevent wrinkles.

PRO TIP: Check out our spring cleaning guide for more information on sheet rotation and other tips for tidying up.

How to Dry Bed Sheets

Drying sheets in a machine can enhance their softness, but drying bedding for too long or at a high temperature can cause wrinkles, shrinkage, or even damage the fibers. Always follow the instructions on your sheet’s care tag for optimal results, and refer to these basic instructions if the care tag is unavailable:

  • Tumble dry your sheets on the low-heat setting to reduce wrinkling and prevent unnecessary wear.
  • Using a low-heat setting also keeps your fitted sheets fitting snugly—if the dryer is too hot, it may damage the elastic.
  • Avoid dryer sheets, as they can weaken the material and cause pilling over time.
  • Remove your sheets while they’re still slightly damp to limit wrinkles or shrinkage. Hang your sheets outside to line dry for a fresh scent, if desired.

PRO TIP: Add a few wool dryer balls to assist with the drying process. You can add a few drops of essential oils to the dryer balls for a light, comforting fragrance.

Caring for Your Favorite Sheet Fabrics

Carefully washing and drying your bedding and storing it properly can help preserve your sheets. Incorrect care can contribute to common issues like wrinkles or pilling. All of our bedding includes specific care instructions, but some fabrics require extra consideration. Here are some tips to help keep your sheets super soft for years to come.

Sheet Fabric Care Tip Benefit
Cotton Percale Use mild detergent and avoid bleach Enhances longevity
Cotton Sateen Dry on no-heat setting and use low-temp iron Restores sheen
Cotton Flannel Dry on medium heat, remove while slightly damp, then air dry Prevents shrinking
Linen Use mild detergent and low heat Keeps material soft and strong
Rayon made from Bamboo Use mild detergent and line dry Prevents tears and holes
Stacked Sheets

Storing Bed Sheets

Proper storage can be the difference between soft, fresh-smelling sheets and wrinkled, mildewy fabric. Store your sheets properly with these suggestions:

  • If you wish to iron your sheets, do it when they’re fresh from the dryer—use a low-heat setting.
  • Not a fan of ironing? Opt for one of our wrinkle-resistant sheet sets for crisp, less-wrinkled sheets straight from the dryer, no iron necessary.
  • When folding your sheets, use your hands to press away any creases to prevent wrinkles.
  • Stack coordinating flat and fitted sheets together and store them inside a matching pillowcase. This trick will not only save you time when making the bed, but will also keep your linen closet clean and organized.

PRO TIP: Add a light scent to your bedding by tucking a small organza bag filled with dried lavender into the linen closet with your sheets.

Your bedding sets the tone for a restful night. When cared for properly, your sheets stay bright, beautiful, and wonderfully soft. These simple laundry steps and care techniques help keep your bedding as comfortable as possible for years to come. For more information about choosing sheets that are perfect for your lifestyle, explore our Sheet Buying Guide.