How to Dry Your Bed Sheets

4 Min Read | By Sophia Rimmer

Last Modified 20 December 2022   First Added 14 July 2021

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Cleaning bed sheets can be a tedious task, but the results are very rewarding. We don’t know about you, but we think there are few things better in life than getting into a comfy bed with freshly washed sheets. However, they must be fully dry to really enjoy them – if they’re damp, it can feel uncomfortable and smell a bit funny. In this article, we’ll go through different methods of how to dry your bed sheets so you can enjoy fresh bedding each and every time.

How to dry bed sheets

Generally, bed sheets are machine washable but when it comes to drying them, not all can be tumble dried and not everyone has access to one. Always check the care label before washing your sheets as some fabrics are dry clean only, such as silk.

Drying bed sheets outside

When the weather permits (it can be unpredictable in the UK!), drying your bed sheets outside in the sunshine is a quick and efficient method. It’s free, environmentally friendly, and leaves a fresh, outdoor scent. Depending on how warm it is and how thick your sheets are, drying time can take anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours. When it comes to hanging the sheets, here are two ways to do it:

  • Create a ‘sack’ to allow the sheet to catch the wind and speed up the drying process. To form the sack, simply fold the bed sheet in half, then pin each corner of the open end to a spot on the washing line until you form a square or diamond shape. Your sheet should look like a large pouch hanging. This will capture the breeze and dry quickly.
  • Another way to hang your bed sheets outside is by simply folding the sheet over the line and pegging it in place. Traditional but effective.

Although hanging your bed sheets outside can help speed up the drying process, watch out for flying bugs, bird poo and other outdoor nasties before you bring them inside!

tumble dryer with bed sheets inside

Can you dry bed sheets in the tumble dryer?

If it’s raining outside or we’re in the depths of winter, drying your sheets outside is obviously a no-go. If you have a tumble dryer, make the most of it and stick your sheets in there for a soft finish. Be sure to check the care label first though as some sheets will require different heat settings and some can’t be tumble dried at all. As a general guide, sheets can take anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour to dry in the tumble dryer.

How to dry bed sheets indoors

If you don’t have a dryer and it’s a cold and wet day, you can still get your bed sheets dry inside your home. Simply hang over a large clothes horse and perhaps use a freestanding fan to help with airflow. You can also hang smaller sheets over radiators, and these will dry quicker. Drying bedsheets inside unfortunately takes the most amount of time – usually around a day or so.

How to wash and dry a duvet and pillows

Washing and drying your sheets is a weekly task but duvets and pillows need cleaning every once in a while too. In our guide to how often you should wash your bedding, we recommend washing your duvet twice a year and pillows every 3 months. Of course, your sheets and duvet cover will need washing much more often!

Can you put a duvet and pillows in the tumble dryer?

Usually, both pillows and duvets can be tumble dried on a low setting. However, due to their size you probably need to dry them separately and require a large tumble dryer – something with a 10kg load capacity at least. However, always remember to check the care label before tumble drying your bedding. Adding dryer balls can help smooth out any lumps and bumps and keep your bedding comfy. Drying duvets and pillows in the dryer will usually take around a few hours.

How to dry a duvet and pillows without a dryer

If you don’t have a tumble dryer, drying your duvet and pillows at home could take a while. You might find it easier to take them to the dry cleaners. If this isn’t an option, you can simply dry them outside in warm weather or perhaps invest in a heated clothes horse to help speed up the drying process.

Looking after your bedding and ensuring it’s regularly cleaned will also expand the lifespan of your mattress. To find out more, check out our guide on How To Protect Your Mattress and Pillows.

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