The Truth About How Often You Should Change Your Pajamas

Most of us change our outer garments every day, right? Or at least fairly often — although maybe a bit less often if we're not really going to be leaving the house for a while. Still, it's pretty much ingrained in us from an early age that we need to put on clean clothes and most especially clean socks and undies every single day.

What about pajamas, though? How often do you change these? If you're like most of the respondents to a poll conducted by mattress company Ergoflex, then, ah, not all that often, really. In fact, the Daily Mail reports the somewhat shocking results. On average, men wear the same pair of pajamas for 13 days in a row, while women wear theirs for 17 days — that's 2 ½ weeks! And while yes, this does cut down a bit on laundry, thus being good for the environment, wearing your pajamas for weeks on end turns out to be not all that great for your overall health.

Why you should change your pajamas every few days

The American Cleaning Institute recommends that you change your pajamas every three or four wears, although you might get another wear or two out of them if you shower each night before going to bed (and aren't a heavy night sweater). Still, you should probably count on changing them about twice a week, and Professor Sally Bloomfield, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine says at least once a week is an absolute must. 

She warns that pajamas are worn directly against the skin, and our shed skin cells are full of microorganisms. While these are generally not dangerous in small amounts, they can be if allowed to accumulate. As Bloomfield told the Daily Mail, "Washing should get rid of most microbes, but not all if you have worn them for two weeks. The clothes won't be hygienically cleaned because the microbes will have built up." As a result, infections can occur.

Refinery 29 also notes that you should toss your pajamas in the washing machine right away if they are stained or soiled, and that white or light-colored ones will show dirt sooner. What's more, you'll need to change more often in hot weather than you would when it's colder. Luckily, the pajama problem is one that can easily be solved. If only getting a perfect night's sleep was as easy!