How often do you change your kid's bedding? Hey, no judgement here - but we ask two experts as the debate rages on TikTok

Is there even a 'right' answer?

Child hiding under duvet
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The comments section of a TikTok post asking “how often do you change your children’s bedding?” was ablaze with answers – and served as a reminder that, when it comes to the endless to-do lists that parents face, it’s a case of each to their own…

When former nanny and parenting specialist, Kirsty Ketley posed this simple question to her TikTok followers, she couldn’t have anticipated the conversation that erupted.

The mum of two shared that she changes the bedding in her household every single week, and went on to question whether she was being “a bit too over-clean” following a conversation with someone who followed a once-monthly changing routine.

The post quickly generated over 500 comments and highlights common themes of mental load, mum guilt, and some of the challenges of matresence.

You can watch the video below, along with an exploration of the range of answers, and why psychologist Anna Mathur says that there's no "right" or "wrong" answer when it comes to the never-ending list of items that make up a parent's mental load.

How often do you change your kids' bedding?


♬ original sound - Kirsty Ketley

One thing is clear from scrolling through the 500+ comments on Ketley's post, and that is that the answer to her question varies from parent to parent. Whilst many echoed her once-a-week policy, some said they changed the bedding every few days, whilst others left it a couple of weeks – or even longer.

"Honestly?" ventured one brave voice. "Probably fortnightly... but no set day. It's just when I feel it needs doing.

One comment in particular stood out for me: “I do sheets and pillows every week and every fortnight I do the duvet as well. Would do more but it is about how much I can fit in.”

That comment hits the nail right on the head. For many parents, time is a precious commodity that means tasks such as changing the bedding need to be fitted in as and when life allows.

It was a theme that repeated in other comments on the post, with one user writing that she changed the sheets “every two weeks… otherwise I would be doing sheets all the time!”

Baby girl lying in bed wearing a baby sleeping bag

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another gave a fortnightly change the thumbs up, explaining: “I can’t do them all at once cos I can’t get them all dry.”

As mum to a two year old, I definitely fall into that camp. When life and work place heavy demands on both my own and my partner's time, changing the beds (one of my least favourite chores) is definitely one of the tasks that has a tendency to slip further down our priority list, in lieu of things like attempting to make vaguely-healthy meals, making sure our son has clean clothes for nursery, and spending time playing and reading with him.

And whilst our bedding gets changed once a fortnight by our lovely cleaner (and absolute clean-house saviour), my son’s bedding typically gets changed when a snot stain reminds me that it’s been a while. That might be once a week, once a fortnight or – yes – once a month.

For Anna Mathur, a psychotherapist who's passionate about mothers' mental health, there's no "right" or "wrong" answer when it comes to the never-ending list of items that make up a parent's mental load.

In her book Raising a Happier Mother (£10, Amazon), she writes: "The truth is that when we compare our moment to someone else’s moment, our choice to someone else’s, our opinion to another person’s opinion, it leads us down the track of someone being right and someone being wrong. When, actually, we’re simply ‘different’. 

"What if it wasn’t about doing it right compared to someone else, but about doing it right for yourself?"

In the midst of the anxious spiral my mind went down on first reading of the comments on Ketley's post (in short: "yikes, I'm CLEARLY a terrible mum and should definitely be changing my son's sheets more often"), Mathur's words were a helpful reminder that I'm really just doing my best – much like every parent out there.

When to change your children’s bedding more often

Whilst timings may vary when it comes to regular sheet-changes, there are certain scenarios that may prompt a more rigorous approach than we practice in our household. 

“If your child suffers from night sweats, allergies, asthma or eczema, or wets the bed, then you may need to wash their bedding even more often,” says Emily Attwood, co-founder of bedding company Scooms.

“Dirty sheets can also worsen existing health problems, encouraging dust mites which can make asthma worse and set off allergies.”

A bout of illness might be another prompt. "When your child is ill, you may need to wash their bedding every few days rather than weekly,” Atwood says. “It can be a good idea to give them a clean pillowcase daily, particularly if they have a horrible cold or flu.”

A young boy asleep in bed

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Some commenters on the post said they changed their children’s bedding more regularly in the summer months, when their child became hot and sweaty.

If that’s the case for you, Attwood suggests swapping their duvet for one with a lower tog to reduce the need to change sweaty sheets, or using a sheet instead.

Many users also revealed that they had a secret weapon when it came to their children’s bedsheets: antibacterial spray.

“I do four-weekly in the winter, fortnightly in the summer, but the beds get aired and sprayed to freshen them in between,” one wrote.

“Five to seven days, all three beds, every single week! Always spray with antibacterial spray as well,” shared another.

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Attwood also makes an excellent suggestion that will likely appeal to time-poor parents – although perhaps not their children! 

“As your kids get older, get them involved in the routine of changing their own bedding,” she suggests. “It's a great way for them to start taking on some responsibility in the home.”

We’ll give the final word to OG conversation starter Ketley, who shared in her post: “I love fresh bedding day, it’s my favourite night of the week to get into bed.” No matter how often you change the sheets, we can probably all agree on that.

Image of woman smiling at camera
Anna Mathur MBACP Accred

Anna Mathur is a mum of three, psychotherapist and bestselling author. She's passionate about taking therapy out of the therapy room and sharing her own personal and professional experiences to support mums through motherhood. She shares supportive insights on her Instagram (@annamathur), and her podcast, 'The Therapy Edit', has over a quarter of a million downloads. Psychoeducation is a big passion of Anna’s as she believes that knowing yourself and understanding your thoughts and feelings is a huge part of enabling change.

Enjoyed this article? Elsewhere on GoodtoKnow, discover the age at which kids are ready to do chores, 14 questions to ask kids after school and how slow parenting can improve connection with your kids.

Stephanie Wood
Family writer - freelance

Stephanie is former Acting Editor at GoodTo,. She is a first time mum to son Woody, who was born in November 2021 (and he doesn't share her surname, so he's not Woody Wood, it should be noted). As a journalist, Stephanie has over 15 years' of experience. Elsewhere, she has worked as a digital editor and writer for brands including Stylist, MSN and Woman&Home.