Most of us have a pretty regular clothes-washing schedule. We might wear a pair of jeans or a sweater a time or two between washes. But, when it comes to pajamas, what’s the standard? Different variables and habits affect the timeline of when you should change your PJs, so the answer to this question isn’t cut and dry. Are you changing your pajamas as often as you should?
The experts at the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) have detailed a helpful guide for how often we should wash our clothes. For pajamas, they suggest washing them after three or four wears. That’s about two pairs of pajamas a week.
While this standard is a recommendation, it’s not the general norm. According to a poll published in the Daily Mail, on average, men wear the same pajamas for two weeks in a row while women wear them for up to 17 days. The participants polled reported varying reasons for their extended pajama-wearing habits. Some simply forgot how long they’d been wearing their pajamas, while others figured that since they were only worn at night, they didn’t need to be washed as much. Many respondents also claim they didn’t own enough pajamas to change them often. Our advice? Invest in more pajamas, and make a point to put them in your laundry basket after three or four days of use.
The guidelines to how often you should change your pajamas are not cut and dry. Various factors affect how long you can go without washing your bedtime clothes. The first factor begs the question: how long are you wearing your pajamas for? Maybe you put them on a couple of hours before bed when you’re winding down so you can feel comfortable. Or, perhaps you spend your Sunday wearing them until you need to leave your home. If either of these are true, you’re spending enough time in your PJs to necessitate changing them more frequently.
Another factor to take into account is your personal hygiene. If you shower every night before you get ready for bed, you won’t need to change your pajamas at much because you’re clean every time you put them on, according to the ACI. However, if you lather up with body lotion after a shower, your clothes are picking up oil and minerals in your lotion, and it is probably best you change your PJs more frequently.
A final factor: night sweats. Do you tend to sweat at night? If so, changing them frequently is strongly recommended. Night sweats are something that’s hard to control, especially if the sweating is linked to an underlying medical condition. Waking up in pajamas soaked in sweat could very well warrant changing them every day.
Stains and body odors are obvious reasons for washing a pair of pajamas. But even if they seem clean, you’re better off washing them after three to four wears, for the same reason we wash our sheets regularly. While you’re sleeping, you shed skin cells that become a feast for the dust mites living on your mattress. Washing your pajamas and sheets helps get rid of these skin cells and dust mites, which is better for your hygiene and helps prevent allergies. In some extreme situations, overexposure to unwashed pajamas could even increase risk to certain health conditions, so it's best to air on the side of regularly scheduled pajama washing.
If you hate doing laundry, or aren’t able to do it as often as you’d like, we have some tips for you. First off, limit the amount of time you spend in your pajamas so you’re only wearing them while you sleep. If you like to dress comfortably around the house, designate some sweats for out-of-bed lounging. Next, adjust your shower schedule so that you shower before bed. And if you tend to sleep hot, open your window or put a fan in your bedroom. Our last piece of advice? Buy some more pajamas! There’s no reason you can’t be stylish when you’re catching some Z’s.
So, how often do you change your pajamas? While we’re all probably guilty of extending their wear period longer than we should, we can all benefit from sleeping better in a clean pair of PJs and a crisp set of sheets.