4 Signs It's Time to Get New Sheets

Closeup of a bed with linen sheets

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You make use of your bed sheets literally every day—but is one of your sets looking a little worse for wear? We certainly aren't here to judge: It's all too easy to buy a great set of sheets and hold onto them until they're literally falling apart! Given how much time we spend sleeping, though, you owe it to yourself to refresh your bedding if it's looking a little too worn or just isn't ultra comfortable anymore.

We spoke with the pros to determine which factors signify that it is indeed time to search for a new sheet set or two. Keep reading so that you know what to keep an eye out for the next time you're making your bed!

Meet the Expert

  • Ben Hyman is co-founder and CEO of Revival.
  • Monica Bhargava is the chief design officer at Pottery Barn.
  • Jenny Reimold is a HomeGoods style expert.

1. You're Seeing Large Holes

Small holes can likely be mended most of the time, but if your sheets have larger holes, it's time for them to go before it's too late, says Ben Hyman, co-founder and CEO of Revival, which recently launched a bedding line. "Large tears indicate the fibers have worn down and things might just get worse from here," he explains. Plus, large holes simply aren't aesthetically pleasing. If you want to create a true sleep sanctuary, you'll want to make your bedroom feel as hotel-like and serene as possible. This means prioritizing both comfort and beauty when it comes to bedding.

bed sheets

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2. Your Sheets Have Lots of Stains

If you're one to sip coffee or enjoy a glass of red wine in bed, you most definitely get it—stains happen! And small spills are not necessarily the worst thing in the world, at least in some cases. "We like the look of faded linens, and most stains in natural fibers are removable with some combination of hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and dish soap," Hyman states. "But if your sheets have started to look more like a painters' drop cloth, it might be time to switch it up." Or maybe they're just not quite the color they should be. "With white bedding, you’ll also want to look out for any irreversible yellowing," states Monica Bhargava, the chief design officer at Pottery Barn.

If you're not sure how to part with worn sheets in an environmentally friendly manner, we're here to help. Note that you can always hold onto old sheets if you're a frequent DIYer and need a tarp for those spray paint projects. You can also cut up sheets and use them as rags. This is sustainable, budget friendly, and super simple!

3. Your Fabric Has Seen Better Days Overall

Different fabric types are subject to various forms of wear. No one style is completely immune from wear and tear! "With percale, you might have to deal with shrinkage," Bhargava explains. "The surface of a sateen sheet can pill over time. Linen–my personal favorite–can stretch and feel a little looser."

bed sheets

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4. Your Sheets Have Been Around for Some Time

Sheets aren't meant to last forever, plain and simple. You may be surprised to learn that they actually should ideally be replaced fairly regularly. "The golden rule of 'sheet keeping' is two to three years, or 100 washes, depending on usage," HomeGoods Style Expert Jenny Reimold says. "Much like cotton t-shirts, white sheets will turn yellow with age or printed sheets will also fade, become thinner after years of washing." These are all signs that it may be time to part ways with your go to pair. And when you stock up on new sheets, be sure to grab a few sets. "Rotating sheets between washes helps cut down on the wear and tear that a single set would endure with multiple washings," Reimold explains. So if you find a set that you absolutely love, it's worth it to buy in bulk.

Unsure where to begin when shopping for bedding? Reimold suggests focusing on a thread count between 200 to 500 "for optimal softness without feeling heavy."