How Often Do You Really Need To Change Your Pajamas?

Setting a routine cleaning schedule for changing the bedding, scrubbing the sink, or vacuuming the living room can feel pretty straightforward. But when the topic shifts to things like makeup brushes or pajamas, people get a little fuzzy on just how often those items should be washed. In 2015, the Daily Mail published the findings of a survey that asked people how often they changed their pajamas. Women, it turns out, wore their pajamas for an average of 17 days while men wore theirs for 13 days.

If this seems a little long to you — or far too long — then you would be right. The Daily Mail spoke to Professor Sally Bloomfield at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a constituent college of the University of London. Pajamas, said Bloomfield, should never be worn for more than a week and that's the absolute longest one pair should be worn. This isn't a random number, however. And Bloomfield isn't alone in her advice.

Pajamas should be worn for a week at most

Good Housekeeping looked into the same survey as the Daily Mail. Rather than reach out to an external lab or university, however, they consulted Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Clean Lab. Forte recommended switching pajamas every three days, though she says people who shower at night can probably get a week out of their sleepwear.

After that, as Professor Bloomfield told the Daily Mail, skin cells and bacteria build up in the clothes people wear to bed. Most bacteria that find their way into cuts or scrapes don't cause major skin issues, but in the worst case scenario, it could lead to infection.

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) also supports the three-to-seven day time frame for pajamas. Specifically, the ACI advises that most people wash their pajamas every three days. The seven day time frame is meant for those who shower at night, reducing the volume of bacteria and skin cells shed in their sleep.