Home Decor

How to care for your bed and bath basics

And when you should spring for new ones.

Pillows, from $106, Schweitzer Linen.

Pillows, from $106, Schweitzer Linen.

How to love them:
Use a pillow protector, which fits underneath the cases, to make them last even longer. Wash your pillows twice a year.
When to leave them:
Every three years. This may sound excessive to some, but pillows get a lot of use — every night for an average of seven hours, to be exact!

How to love them: Maximize the life of your mattresses by using a mattress cover. It protects against dust and perspiration, which will age your bed more quickly.
When to leave them:
Every seven years, at minimum. (This, of course, depends on whether you bought new or inherited a used model, but seven is a good ballpark.)

How to love them:
Wash them in warm water, not hot.
When to leave them:
When you notice wear and tear — or when they’re not feeling as soft.

How to love them: To keep them fluffy, shake out your just-washed towels before putting them in the dryer.
When to leave them: Every two years. Like sheets, you likely use towels every day, and frequent washes will lessen their softness and fluffiness.

Bath mat
How to love them:
Hang your bathmat to dry after each use to avoid mildew. 
When to leave them:
Every two years — max! We’re guilty of forgetting about this small accessory, too, but it probably gets more mileage than any other bath accessory.

Pillow talk: How to mix patterns and prints
Why splurging on an expensive pillow is worth it
Four clever bathroom storage ideas