Thread Number: 74383  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Average American Washes Sheets Every 24 Days
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Post# 981748   2/7/2018 at 13:17 (254 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        


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Post# 981752 , Reply# 1   2/7/2018 at 13:28 (254 days old) by RevvinKevin (So. Cal.)        

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Boy, what the hell is wrong with people?   Is it simply a matter of being THAT lazy???  Imagine those people who shower in the morning rather than at night and go to bed dirty or sweaty... those sheets would be SO gross!


I shower @ night before bed and change/wash my sheets every week.   Period.  

This post was last edited 02/07/2018 at 21:07
Post# 981754 , Reply# 2   2/7/2018 at 13:37 (254 days old) by washerboy (Little Rock Arkansas)        

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I think I just threw up in my mouth...I change mine every Saturday morning; sometimes twice a week in the summer..again...gross!!

Post# 981755 , Reply# 3   2/7/2018 at 13:41 (254 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Damn, what the hell is wrong with people!

I know someone like this.

Changes sheets every other month or so and lets the dog sleep in the bed during the day, mind you, not on the bed, IN the bed, on the sheets and pillow.

Post# 981757 , Reply# 4   2/7/2018 at 13:47 (254 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
Thatís just plain disgusting! Iíve never known anyone that let their sheets go more than 2 weeks, and that too damn long to wait for a sheet change too. Iíve always changed the bed sheets once a week, I was raised that way. No wonder people have to buy new mattresses so often. If you keep filthy sheets on the bed for weeks on end that has got to have a detrimental effect on the mattress

Then these slackers that wait 6 weeks between sheet changes probably wash these filthy sheets in cold water with some kind of ďgreenĒ detergent that canít cut the body oils. Why I can imagine how these rank linens must smell right now.


Post# 981758 , Reply# 5   2/7/2018 at 13:51 (254 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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And I thought it was bad the few times I didn't wash them for 2 weeks. I generally make it a point to wash them once weekly, if not more. My down comforter gets the same treatment every 3 weeks.

Post# 981759 , Reply# 6   2/7/2018 at 13:55 (254 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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If people do not know how to do a proper by the time they are in their late teens... Lord only knows about their personal hygiene.

I always launder my bedding once a week and with hot water. Whites are in Hot water and Colours are in Very Warm to Warm.

I worked with a young man this past summer who was a joy to work with. Unfortunately, the first day I worked with him he suffers from Coldwatercoccus.

Coldwatercoccus is that Sour Smell once the body heat activates all the soil,sweat, body oils and kitchen grease only to be masked by Over fragrance d detergent and quarts of Fabric Softener left in the fibers of the material.

He wears that I call it "Slinky" material. Like that polyester type stuff that that is "Wicking. I have a few of those shirts I wore to the gym and find that type of fabric very hard to release body odor. The only way I have found to get them Fresh Smelling is to soak in detergent in warm water for a couple of hours then Wash on a Very Warm Wash.

Just dancing around the campfire, I asked him after a week, "Do you wash in cold water ? " And he said yes. Then I asked him Front Load or top load ? He said front Why ? I told him I was a laundry fanatic and just liked to know people's washing habits. Kinda snapped his head and said Oh.

Post# 981761 , Reply# 7   2/7/2018 at 14:03 (254 days old) by superocd (PNW)        


I wash the sheets, blanket, comforter, pillows and mattress pad once a week. We have four sets on rotation: as one set is in the wash, the other is rotated out of the linen closet and onto the bed.

My wife and I both agree that we like to use Persil to launder our bedding (except for pillows and mattress pads, it creates way too many suds with those, so in those cases, Huracan 40 powder is used). It smells so great; if only the unmotivated took in the nice, clean scent of Persil (or heck, just about ANY detergent) they would be washing their sheets and bedding constantly if not for being convinced that it is the hygienic thing to do.

I wonder how many other basic housekeeping practices of average Americans are lacking?

Post# 981768 , Reply# 8   2/7/2018 at 14:14 (254 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Yuck is right!

Once a week has been since I was a tott. Especially when nice Damask sheets say use cool water because they are all cotton.
No wonder some people get bed bugs and hives or rashes.
Cleaner bedding also keeps the mattress cleaner. Maybe you can wash only the mattress cover a few times yearly.

Post# 981770 , Reply# 9   2/7/2018 at 14:30 (254 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        

I'm sure that average people use too cold of water to get their sheets actually clean. On top of not doing it frequently is a huge culprit of skin issues. My sheets are washed weekly in hot water, enzyme detergent, a splash of bleach, and dried throughly on high. That some times is barely enough for my liking.

Post# 981774 , Reply# 10   2/7/2018 at 14:52 (254 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
probably wash these filthy sheets in cold water

Oh yeah, forgot about that.

The person I mentioned washes everything in cold water as far as I know.
However, they do use Tide liquid detergent.

Post# 981776 , Reply# 11   2/7/2018 at 15:03 (254 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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you would be surprised how many times clothing is marked to wash in cold or cooler temps, can really withstand hotter temps....

if my sheets were labeled COLD WASH ONLY, I wouldn't buy them....then again, I would wash them in HOT no matter what....

and, if your using a dryer, your dryers temp is hotter than what most water heaters can reach!...

unless your dryer has a modulating heat source, the LOW setting still climbs upwards of 160+....then cools down until it reaches a temp of 110/120 before firing up again...

I have backup sets for the beds if needed, but always liked taking them fresh out of the dryer and back onto the bed...I keep spare sets in the closet, top and bottom sheet stuffed into the pillow case, folded over and placed on the shelf, saves times from searching for all the pieces when needed...

Post# 981777 , Reply# 12   2/7/2018 at 15:07 (254 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        
Re: Eddie

ken's profile picture

"Coldwatercoccus is that Sour Smell once the body heat activates all the soil,sweat, body oils and kitchen grease only to be masked by Over fragranced detergent and quarts of Fabric Softener left in the fibers of the material."


Maybe that 's the reason someone I work with usually has a smell that I would describe as a combination of sour milk and BO. She's a rather large girl and I always thought that fact in addition to not bathing often enough was the reason for it but maybe not. In addition she's a smoker and then every so often she'll spritz on some over powering body spray she keeps in her desk after coming back in from having a butt. The combination of all just about makes me hurl.

This post was last edited 02/07/2018 at 23:53
Post# 981784 , Reply# 13   2/7/2018 at 15:27 (253 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Frequently is a huge culprit of skin issues

Yep, they have skin issues too, some type of eczema or dermatitis I believe.

Re: Smelly co-workers.

In my opinion, if said person were a friend of mine I would tactfully try to bring it their attention. They probably just aren't aware of the problem, nor what to do about.

Personally, if I had undiagnosed body odors I'd want to know about it ASAP!

Post# 981787 , Reply# 14   2/7/2018 at 15:49 (253 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I wash everything in hot water, except the slipcovers for the couch and sweaters, which get washed in lukewarm water. My clothes donít shrink excessively. Actually, I think the old excuse of hot water shrinking most clothing is really attributable to weight gain, not shrinkage, LOL.

And Iím with Martin! I donít care if sheets or towels are labled to wash in cold water. I wash them in hot water, and if thyíre white they get a dash of LCB too. Any thing thats made of cotton can stand hot water washing.


Post# 981789 , Reply# 15   2/7/2018 at 15:58 (253 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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@ goodshepard...

He is such a good kid, and in the restaurant biz, help is hard to come by. So I just looked the other (and smelled) the other way :0


"Coldwatercoccus" is a name I made up to fit the description of the bacteria in a washer that has a build up of stink and slime. And the stench that comes from clothes that have not been properly washed and rinsed so the odor remains in the fiber.

19 years ago when Febreze came out, I had a waiter that was out all night and didn't go home before his lunch shift. I caught him in the employee changing room spraying his pits and body with that nasty toxic stuff. YUK.

Post# 981792 , Reply# 16   2/7/2018 at 16:10 (253 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I grew up with fresh sheets and pillowcases every other day. Been a twice-a-week guy since college in the late 1970s (Wednesday and Sunday). Can't fathom going 24 days between changes. Yeesh!

Post# 981793 , Reply# 17   2/7/2018 at 16:19 (253 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Average American... Considering that people here wash their sheets more frequently means other do much worse...

Post# 981794 , Reply# 18   2/7/2018 at 16:19 (253 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
Just a slight detour...

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I've gotten into several heated discussions with people who think it's perfectly acceptable to give their dogs a bath in the kitchen sink where they prepare food. I'm sorry, I think that's disgusting. 


Shower before going to bed, sheets once a week. Dogs (I have 2 Springer 's) sleeping on the sheets in the bed...that gets another disgusting. I do have thin king sized, lightweight quilt that covers the bed and the dogs sleep on the end of that. It's easily washed. At one time my/our dog slept on the floor. But when my partner suddenly passed away the grief counselor told my friends "you go over there and tell him to make sure he lets the dog sleep on the bed with him". It made things better and it has  ever since.

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This post was last edited 02/08/2018 at 00:07
Post# 981797 , Reply# 19   2/7/2018 at 16:44 (253 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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When I was young and my mom stayed at home. All the sheets were changed every day, line dried, and ironed. Thinking of that now, I wonder how she got anything else done.

Weekly, Saturday, Hot wash, and line dried weather permitting is what I manage now. Sometimes Mom's bedding is changed more often, as it isn't us kids that are having the accidents now. Ironing sheets, yea, forget that.

My kitties do sleep on the bed(s), goggie does not.

Post# 981798 , Reply# 20   2/7/2018 at 17:18 (253 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

Our winter sheets are a nice set of flannel sheets with blue stripes. They're marked "wash cold", but they get washed in very warm water every weekend, and it doesn't seem to hurt them any.

Post# 981800 , Reply# 21   2/7/2018 at 17:36 (253 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

This is just so gross. Children are not trained in how to take care of themselves or their living quarters any more. I wonder when they will stop bathing. They do not know how to sort or wash laundry so all of the whites turn gray. What they call washing just serves to build up oils in fabrics that can lead to dryer fires. They do not know how to load dishwashers.

I grew up with sheets laundered weekly and bath towels used once. I remember when I was a kid how if I was sick with something that kept me home and in bed for more than a day, Mom would change the linens while I was having something to eat or drink at the table.

As to horrible smells, the woman next to me fixes some frozen dish for her breakfast in our microwave every morning and then eats it at her desk. The odor is a combination of hard boiled egg fart and puke. I checked the ingredients on the box as it sat on top of the microwave. It has eggs, cheese, chicken and other stuff. It must be some sort of quiche. Before she got back to her desk, I sprayed a line of Febreez into the burlap like material near the top edge of the partition between our desks and it partially subdued the stench then the perfume went away or was overwelmed. Thank God it is not as permeating and long-lasting a stench as microwave popcorn. We finally had to put a stop to the popping and eating of that in the office and the poor souls who consume that lethal chemical concoction are always the overweight to morbidly obese.

Civilization is going to hell.

Post# 981804 , Reply# 22   2/7/2018 at 17:53 (253 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        
6-8 days MAX

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more often in the summer.  And in spite of the wash temp of the label, I use a nearly tap hot wash for sheets.  Been doing that for 20+ years and nary a problem.


Generally speaking, people today are disgusting. 

Post# 981807 , Reply# 23   2/7/2018 at 18:27 (253 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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As bad as some people may be today just think how odoriferous people were 100+ and more years ago. In the 1800s and even into the 1900s before indoor plumbing people took a bath once a week on Saturday night in a tub in the kitchen. Water heated on the wood or coal stove. Children first. Then mother. And lastly father using the same water.


During the Renaissance period in Europe perfume became very popular with royalty and the wealthy to mask body odors because of the sanitary practices of the period. At about the same time the popular tradition of the June bride came about in Europe because it was when people took their yearly bath and brides took advantage of that so to have a decent smelling crowd. It was also convenient because flowers were available and very necessary to mask the smell of those who hadn't yet cleaned up. The tradition of a bride carrying a bouquet came from a time when she carried it out of necessity to mask odors.  



Post# 981824 , Reply# 24   2/7/2018 at 19:34 (253 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

Ken wrote: " And lastly father using the same water"

I thought Dad went first, and the baby last. Hence the term: "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water".

Post# 981825 , Reply# 25   2/7/2018 at 19:38 (253 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture

Cant say 100% for sure but I always understood that father bathed last because he was the dirtiest. I am thinking with the mindset of where I live which is very rural and was dominated by farms where people worked hard everyday. May have been different in cities where father may not of had a physically strenuous job.   

Post# 981826 , Reply# 26   2/7/2018 at 19:44 (253 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        
People are disgusting

Wife changes the sheets weekly. Back when I used to deliver a lot of furniture, I canít tell you how many times I walked in to a bedroom and saw NO SHEETS at all on the bed.

Post# 981827 , Reply# 27   2/7/2018 at 19:54 (253 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        
Great Thread!

iowabear's profile picture

Cleaning habits are like religions, there is the "light and the way" and everyone else is doomed!


I loved this MMM essay on cleaning...and boy did it generate a lot of comments.


Post# 981828 , Reply# 28   2/7/2018 at 19:57 (253 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Mine get changed usually every Sunday but sometimes I'll go up to 10 days.  Hot water and heaviest soil to allow heater to boost water temp.  When my partner and the 4-legged kids are here, then Allergen cycle is used (130 degrees for sure).  With queen size bed, I wash 2 sets together and I always picks colors/shades which can be washed together.  I've already told him when they're here full time, we'll have a king size bed and I'll wash sheets every 3 to 4 days.  I've also told him they'll each have 2 "blankets" each that will get switched and washed every 3 or 4 days as they roll up/around in them and lay on them all the time when awake or asleep during the day.  (It's what's put on the couch as a "cover")  the Dependable Care dryer will need to be replaced by the time they're here full time with all that laundry too. 

Post# 981829 , Reply# 29   2/7/2018 at 20:06 (253 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
24 days is average, many likely wait much longer...

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Once a week here as well, usually annoys my 24 year old son, but it takes only a couple of minutes to put new sheet and pillowcases on a bed.  We do our mattress pads once a month and vacuum and turn/flip mattresses at the same time.  All hot washes, always.


I have rarely had clothes shrink in hot water, Martin is right, the dryer will be the culprit in most cases of shrinkage as the evaporation of moisture can make natural fibers constrict when dried.   Chocolate causes more shrinkage than any laundering process.


I have known some who obviously wash clothes in cold water, nowhere is this more obvious than the gym.  I wonder if anyone gives any thought at all of the temperatures it takes to make the polyester and nylon threads their workout clothes contain and that 100-120F won't hurt them one bit.   The olfactory evidence is clear on that pondering.  Blech.

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Post# 981832 , Reply# 30   2/7/2018 at 20:31 (253 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Meanwhile, those who admit they drool

Quote from the article- "Meanwhile, those who admit they drool when they sleep donít seem to mind the browning of their pillows. Those folks change their pillowcases every 31.8 days on average".

Well, I may be one of those people that drool when sleeping, but no way am I going a month+ on the same pillow case!

Post# 981842 , Reply# 31   2/7/2018 at 22:30 (253 days old) by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
And we also donít want to know

How many days the average person goes between showers, and how many times they re-wear garments before washing them in overloaded machines on cold, and how many times they re-use towels...

Post# 981845 , Reply# 32   2/7/2018 at 22:38 (253 days old) by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        
Not to mention the crazy trend of not washing jeans often

Revolting to me. Jeans should be worn once, period. Otherwise can you spell crotch odor???

Google something like celebrities wth poor hygiene if youíre in the mood to be grossed out. I was surprised that Anderson Cooper popped up on the list. He looks so squeaky clean. Not so at all.

Post# 981860 , Reply# 33   2/8/2018 at 00:13 (253 days old) by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

Sheets are changed weekly here (Friday is laundry day). Try to clean both bathrooms and dust the bedroom and get everything freshened up on those days too. Funny, but I think of how the maids in the hotels clean everything when a guest leaves.

My mother used to iron the guest bed sheets, but not for the other beds. She kept the bathroom(s) so clean all the time. Fixed meals everyday. I don't know how she did it!!!

After visiting relatives this year, I really appreciate my laundry and home. You all hit the nail right on the head concerning what others do. Then again, they wouldn't understand collecting and appreciating vintage appliances.

Post# 981861 , Reply# 34   2/8/2018 at 00:46 (253 days old) by Maytag85 (SoCal )        

I always clean ALL of my bedding every week! I can't stand dirty bedding! I wash my bedding every Thursday, and I dry most of my bedding on high heat. I can't stand dirty bedding!

Post# 981872 , Reply# 35   2/8/2018 at 06:53 (253 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Sheets and pillowcases changed weekly.  Mattress pad washed monthly.  Washed in hot water, rinsed in warm water, and dried on high in the dryer or line dried weather permitting.

Post# 981875 , Reply# 36   2/8/2018 at 07:45 (253 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Children first. Then mother. And lastly father using the sam

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Actually IIRC it was other way round; father, children then mother.

In all things the bread winner and provider went first. He got the lion share of food, waited on hand and foot, word was law, etc...

Thus it would be natural that His Nibbs went first at bath time. Water was not only cleanest but hottest as well. Ever self sacrificing mothers would go last after seeing to it husband and children were sorted.

Some mothers got round this by simply bathing their children earlier in day while His Nibbs was out.

Post# 981885 , Reply# 37   2/8/2018 at 10:12 (253 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        

I wear my jeans until there is some form of visible soil. No odor ever. It normally is three times worn, albeit not in a row. I always wash them in cold with Tide PurClean and I have no issues. I am not a sweaty or dirty person, and only wear them for a few hours at a time. My family wears them once and done. I do prefer lighter jeans so they can be washed in warm or hot, but most of our pairs are dark.

Post# 981900 , Reply# 38   2/8/2018 at 11:35 (253 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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What a disgusting read (in the link)!

Do they even teach 'Home Economics' at school these days? If they do, they'll probably have dumbed that that down too.

I blame all the crap about washing at 30 deg C and lower, peddled by detergent makers and clothing manufacturers, on useless politicians, who wouldn't know the difference between one end of a thermometer and the other.

Post# 981931 , Reply# 39   2/8/2018 at 15:04 (253 days old) by kd12 (Arkansas)        
Kids Today

I don't understand where the millennials get this from. Maybe their parents are to blame, but their parents are my age, and we grew up knowing better. Tom, I'm afraid many of them have already stopped bathing. Kids today are like the Baby Boomers at their worst in the 60s/early 70s. Millennials remind me of the crowd at the Ozark Music Festival in '74.

Post# 981959 , Reply# 40   2/8/2018 at 19:40 (252 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        
We each do our own laundry.

petek's profile picture
Recall I was saying about my other half. He used to jam the washer so full there wasn't room for water and then throw it all in the dryer to bake for an hour or more.. What a pong. Smelled like a locker room in the laundry room as the clothes dried. Even days later when he wore that "freshly washed clothes" it had a faint smell like sour milk. I don't think he could smell it or he'd gone nose blind. Finally got him wised up.

Post# 982002 , Reply# 41   2/9/2018 at 08:23 (252 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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We wash the dog's queen size bed every week. More often if she has been rolling in the dirt. Ours never more than every seven days and face clothes and towels get used once, ditto kitchen towels.

And I feel as though we're not the least bit overly tidy or unusual.

Once a month? Seriously?


I flat out don't want to know how often they change underwear. Is there nothing nicer than coming home, taking a relaxing shower and putting on fresh clothes for the rest of the evening? Getting out of a (clean) bed to fresh towels and a shower and fresh clothes?



Post# 982059 , Reply# 42   2/9/2018 at 16:38 (251 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I wash bedding at least every 10 days, and more often in hot weather. I almost always take a shower before bed, so sheets stay pretty clean. I use hot water for sheets, underwear and socks.

Post# 982205 , Reply# 43   2/10/2018 at 19:34 (250 days old) by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

Here, bed linens are changed weekly and a new towel for every shower (sorry, but I and my dermatologist agree on that one). Hot water, 15 minute soak and a full wash. Since all bed and bath linens are white, a little Clorox and some bluing in the rinse water. Since I work in NYC, I end up showering at night and again in the morning so sheets don't get that grungy - but still we all sweat during the night. I also spread a towel across my pillows just in case of a sweat attack. Keeps both pillow cases and the zipper covers underneath whiter longer. Also hate changing pillowcases during the night if I sweat too much...

Sadly I have friends who consider themselves fastidious and use the same towel for 3-4 showers ("after all, I hang it in the bathroom to dry"). Really!!! And another who only changes sheets every three weeks. I simply don't understand that!!! Of course this is the same person who prides himself on the fact that he is still using the same 50/50 blend sheets since 1978... Hate to break this to him but any last vestige of cotton was probably worn away a long time ago. But then every quote begins with "as an engineer, I know all about these things"...

Post# 982212 , Reply# 44   2/10/2018 at 20:25 (250 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Angus, I too have started wrapping a towel around my pillow. I find it comfortable and easy to change.

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