Personally, I’m a big bed maker, and the thought of leaving the house without a made bed fills me with dread. I’d prefer to leave the iron on, because at least in case of a fire, all evidence of an unmade bed would be eliminated. Call it OCD, discipline, or the result of a strict upbringing, a made bed is an indicator of an organised, well-rested and ambitious character. Not to mention that when it comes to the dating game, it’s a little more impressive to bring your Tinderella or Tinderfella home to an organised bedroom, rather than a pile of sheets intermingled with last week’s laundry. However, science may have provided us with the perfect excuse to roll out in the morning and walk out the door without feeling guilty about completing the mundane task, as making the bed can be bad for your health.
According to one scientist from the US, Dr Stephen Pretlove, leaving your sheets in a mess disrupts the ideal environment for dust mites to thrive. According to the statistics, there are already 1.5 million dust mites in the average bed, causing asthma and allergy issues for millions of sufferers, so this research is welcome news, not just for the lazy.
Dust mites live in warm, damp environments explains Dr Pretlove. “We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body,” he explained. “Leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”
His argument was unsurprisingly countered by Carolyn Forte of the Good Housekeeping Institute, not solely because the research would be counterproductive to the work of the Institute. She suggests that most homes are already slightly humid, so the dust mites are going to flourish there regardless, however she still admits that airing the bed briefly before making can help the cause.
The verdict: although it’s suggested by Dr Pretlove that making the bed is bad for your health, the risk of mites can be countered through good hygiene and regularly airing and washing your bedding. In fact, making your bed is one of many tactics you can employ for a better night’s sleep, with bed makers 19 per cent more likely to have a good night’s sleep.
If it’s still a drain on your energy, go full millennial and ditch the top sheet. A quick pull on the duvet and your bed is made faster than you can say ‘dust mite’.