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Health & Lifestyle

America’s Dirtiest Sleeping Habits, Revealed

In this article

Most of us know that you should wash your bedsheets weekly, flip or rotate your mattress every so often, and brush your teeth before bed, but just how many Americans put this theory into practice?

We wanted to find out just how hygienic the average American bedroom is, so we conducted a survey of 2,000 people across all 50 states to uncover their dirtiest bedroom habits, and the results are pretty eye opening!

Image of a messy bed with a laptop and phone in it.

66% of Americans let their pet sleep with them in bed each night

Two-thirds of Americans admit they’d let their pets sleep with them in bed, with a further one in ten saying they’d consider it. Three quarters of dog owners admitted to their pooches sleeping with them, alongside 55% of cat owners.

of cat owners let their pet sleep in bed with them

It’s a great way to bond with your pets, with some of the benefits of sleeping with your cat and dog including helping to relieve any stresses, and providing comfort, but there are steps you’ll need to take to ensure it doesn’t become unhygienic.

Outdoor cats can bring muck into your bed, and indoor cats could bring in kitty litter, so make sure you stick to a weekly routine of washing your sheets. And, if you’re sleeping with your dog, you’ll want to make sure they have a consistent bedtime routine, which includes plenty of exercise, so they don’t keep you up all night wanting to play!

Almost four in 10 Americans wash their bedsheets every two to four weeks

If you’re wondering how often you should wash your bedding, the answer’s once a week – especially in the summer months, when the weather gets warmer!

However, not every American sticks to this, with 25% of people washing their sheets every two weeks, 5% every three, and a huge one in 10 only switching to fresh sheets once a month!

With more than half of Americans admitting to not washing before going to bed each night, and 32% not always washing their hands when they use the toilet at night, bacteria builds up quickly in your bed, which is why it’s so important you wash your sheets at least once a week.

41% of Americans rarely – or never – flip their mattress

Flipping your mattress can add years to its lifespan – provided you have the right mattress for it. If the manufacturer explicitly states it should be flipped, then you should do so every six months, as it can stop the coils from wearing out.

However, many mattresses should be rotated, as it can reduce the chance of lumps and bumps building up, by giving the memory foam and springs a chance to recover.

Despite this, more than four in 10 Americans don’t flip their mattress, and just 15% follow the ‘every six month’ rule.

Image of an overflowing laundry basket on top of a stripped bed.

One third of Americans don’t always brush their teeth before bed!

Cleaning your teeth before bed is extremely important, as it removes any plaque built up from food and drink you’ve had throughout the day, which over time, could cause your teeth to decay. Not only that, but it’s an important part of your bedtime routine, and can help your body start to relax and get ready for sleep.

However, only 65% of Americans say they brush their teeth before bed every night, with 19% saying they occasionally miss it, and a further 17% saying that they occasionally, rarely, and sometimes even never clean their teeth before going to sleep!

of Americans brush their teeth before bed

The other activities Americans get up to in bed besides sleeping

Okay… we know where your mind was going, and it might be surprising that sex was only the third most popular activity on our list, with two thirds stating it as something they get up to in bed.

Whilst most popular activities like watching TV and scrolling on your phone aren’t causing a mess; nearly half of Americans say they eat food in bed, alongside 21% saying they smoke or vape, and 11% saying they exercise.

smoke or vape in bed

So, if you don’t want a build-up of stale food, ash, and sweat in your bed (and let’s be honest, who does?!), then you definitely need to be prioritising cleaning your mattress, sheets, and duvet on a regular basis.

Alternatively, if your mattress is on the way out and you want to treat yourself to a new one, make sure you browse our range of memory foam, pocket sprung, hybrid mattresses and more, all available in a range of sizes and firmness, from the best bed brands.

Man and woman smoking vapes in bed.


US survey primary data from questions from 2,000 respondents commissioned by 3Gem survey company.

An image of the author, Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Bio & articles

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