Making your bed is bad for you – just ask the experts on TikTok

A tidy duvet is heaven for dust mites and hell for asthma sufferers, claims a post that has been viewed more than 2.7m times

Name: Making the bed.

Age: Almost as old as lying in it.

Appearance: Taut sheets, hospital corners, smoothed pillow cases, nice straight duvet.

Are you telling me to make my bed? The current guidelines on best practice are conflicting.

What does that mean? Some people say you should, others say you shouldn’t bother.

Who’s in the make-your-bed camp? Your mum, most drill sergeants, Jordan Peterson.

Jordan Peterson? The meat-only-eating Canadian philosopher? His book 12 Rules for Life implies that a tidy bedroom lays the foundation for a well-ordered psyche.

Who’s in the lazy camp? TikTok, basically.

I don’t take advice from TikTok. Well, a staggering amount of people do. A single post insisting you shouldn’t make your bed has been viewed more than 2.7m times.

Having said that, I’m susceptible to the notion of ignoring common household chores. The post is one of many offering the same argument.

What is the nature of that argument? It’s to do with dust mites.

Dust mites? We routinely share our beds with up to 1.5 million of these microscopic creatures, and making your bed traps in moisture, creating an ideal environment for them to breed.

What else do they get up to? They feed off dead skin cells and produce allergens that can trigger asthma.

Forget about making my bed; I think I’m going to stop sleeping in it. According to TikTok, an unmade bed allows air and sunlight to kill off dust mites.

Is any of this true? Dust mites are certainly real, and the TikTokers all seem to be referencing 2005 research from Kingston University, suggesting that leaving a bed unmade may cause mites to dehydrate and die.

Great, so I’ll just sleep on their tiny dead bodies. Not everyone agreed anyway. “Most homes in the UK are sufficiently humid for the mites to do well,” said the allergy expert Prof Andrew Wardlaw. “I find it hard to believe that simply not making your bed would have any impact on the overall humidity.”

As usual, we’re doomed either way. More practically, experts suggest you wash your bedding once a week, at a temperature of at least 60C.

Fine, I’ll do that. And you should also wash your pillows – not just the cases, the actual pillows – every four to six months.

You start by telling me lazy is good, and you end up giving me more chores. That’s life.

Do say: “I just thought I’d let it air out a bit, Sarge.”

Don’t say: “Goodnight moon, goodnight light, goodnight microscopic mite.”

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Pantry porn: why the obsession with perfect kitchens has to stop
Are your cupboards full of neatly labelled glass jars? Is your fridge spotless and gleaming? If so, you might want to think again

21, Mar, 2023 @3:13 PM

Article image
Kitchen dangers: are you being slowly poisoned by your spice rack?
A study from the US has emerged that shows those innocuous jars of seasoning might be among the germiest parts of your home

20, Feb, 2023 @3:10 PM

Article image
Cheugy: the word you need when passé or basic just won’t do
It’s the new buzzword for being off-trend, but if you fit the description, never fear. Being a bit cheugy is acceptable and probably unavoidable

03, May, 2021 @4:31 PM

Article image
Dirt, dead skin, 10m dust mites: maybe it’s time you cleaned your mattress – here’s how
Worried about asthma or eczema? It could be time to break out the baking soda and vacuum cleaner

06, Sep, 2022 @2:42 PM

Article image
The morning routine backlash: you can get up at 5am – but it won’t make you popular
The 5-9 trend has been a viral sensation for a while, with its exhausting approach to self-improvement. Now lie-ins are back

25, Apr, 2023 @4:20 PM

Article image
Behind the bathroom door: are people really eating oranges in the shower?
Eating cool, juicy citrus fruit in a hot shower is ‘the most liberating act of food consumption ever’, according to one TikTok user. And it isn’t the only bizarre bathroom trend

28, Feb, 2023 @3:51 PM

Article image
Not just for drunken sailors: how sea shanties took over TikTok
Once the preserve of salty old sea dogs, the folk songs are the latest craze on the social media site. But is it wholesome fun, or a sign lockdown has broken us?

13, Jan, 2021 @2:29 PM

Article image
Wordle: why the inventor of the fiendishly addictive online game doesn’t want your money
The mobile phone game Josh Wardle launched in October now has 300,000 people playing it daily – but, he says, he is not cashing in

04, Jan, 2022 @3:47 PM

Article image
The disgusting food of TikTok: is it designed to eat, provoke – or arouse?
Social media has a long history of gross-out content. But on FoodTok, the recipes are more bafflingly repulsive than ever

Emma Beddington

18, Apr, 2023 @5:00 AM

Article image
Can’t see a thing because your glasses keep steaming up? Science to the rescue!
A light coating of gold and your spectacles could be several degrees warmer and 100% less foggy. And the same goes for your car windscreen

13, Dec, 2022 @4:20 PM