Monday, August 20, 2007

Airing out your bed and bedroom...

I LOVE the book by Cheryl Mendelson called "Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House". It is chock full of incredible information and very well organized.

While reading, I got to the chapter about caring for your bedroom. On page 660, Ms. Mendelson advises us to air out our bed and bedroom at least an hour every day.
"Each day when you arise, air the bed. Open the windows, if possible; throw the bedcovers back over the foot of the bed. (If the bedding will otherwise drag on the floor, stand a chair at the foot of the bed to support it.) Let the bed stand this way, unmade, while you shower and eat breakfast. The bed should air for at least an hour if you are going to work, or even longer if you are staying home. This helps immensely toward keeping the bed feeling and smelling fresh until you next change the sheets."

WHY exactly should we bother to do this???
"While you are sleeping, you breathe about two pounds of moisture, along with breath odors and flocks of microorganisms, into the air, your pillow and your bedding. You also perspire, perhaps a cup's worth, and exude skin oils and body smells. And you use up the room's oxygen and replace it with exhaled carbon dioxide. When there are two or more people in the bed or the room, these effects are multiplied. All this explains why, if you sleep with closed windows, the room has a characteristic stale morning smell (although you might not perceive it until you leave for a few minutes and then return.) Unless you leave the bedcovers pulled down and the windows open for an hour or two, the moisture you have left in the bed either does not evaporate or evaporates very slowly, which makes for an environment in pillows and mattress in which dust mites, molds, and other microbial life have more of an opportunity to multiply. Opening the windows lets in new air to dilute the pollutants (microbial and particulate), carry them off, and bring in fresh supplies of oxygen."

Good gracious alive!!! (That's what I said when I first read this!!) Just thinking about all the ickiness that she describes is so, ugh, disgusting!!! Needless to say, after reading this, I started letting our bed air out daily. I do not always open our windows each morning, but I do when it's not incredibly hot, freezing or raining. I want our bedrooms as fresh as possible. And thanks to Cheryl Mendelson, I can achieve that more easily now.

(photo taken from Fredericksburg Texas Bed and Breakfast Lodging)


Melissa said...

You're right, that is pretty disgusting! Yuck! I never really thought much about airing out my bed, I just figured I should make it up ASAP, which is what I've begun doing, as soon as I get out of bed I turn around and make-it up. I might just open the windows for a little while this morning.

Thanks Mrs. U.!

Melissa :D

Tammy said...

Oh my goodness! That IS disgusting! I have heard before that you should air your bed out, but I've never heard why you should. Our window in our bedroom needs replacing, so opening it on a daily basis isn't an option (plus it has no screen!). But I'm going to start airing it out every morning, for sure!

Jodi said...

Eww ~ I air mine out weekly, but not daily. Guess that's something I'm going to start ... TODAY! ;o)

When I do my weekly airing, if it's nice outside, I hang outside all my extra linens (comforter, extra blankets I leave at the foot of the bed, etc.). Then when I put clean sheets on the bed, I bring everything in and the whole room just smells outdoors fresh! [I do wash those items ... just not every week. :o)] Of course, Mrs. Mendelson may change my mind about that, too ~ lol!

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

Yuck! Very soon I will pulling the sheets off to wash and throwing the windows open!

When I lived in Germany it was custom for the windows to be open for at least 15 minutes a day regardless of the temp.

Trixie said...

Hello Mrs. U,

I'm pretty big on airing things out in general, esp. the bedroom.
It does make a difference.

Often except in the dead of winter ever couple of weeks I hang the blankets and non-sheet covers out on the line to freshen and it makes them smell WON-DER-FUL.

Take Care and have a great week.


Darcy said...

I'm going to go open the windows in the bedrooms right now!

Paula said...

Mrs. U, this is a good tip. I'm not good about doing this--in the summer it's so sweltering hot that when opening the window, it makes the bedroom more humid, plus I'm one of those that likes having their bed made early in the morning. However, this fall I may start doing this more often!

Thanks for the tip!!

Kimberly said...

Hi Mrs.U,

I have this book as well and have learned a lot! I used to make my bed immediately upon rising,this is the FlyLady way. ;) When I read this book a couple years ago, I started to leave the beds unmade for a couple hourse and opened the windows too. It feels good knowing the airing out process is happening. Thanks for posting this and for your practical ideas and godly encouragement!

Gena said...

I love that book. I got it a couple of months ago and I've learned so much. I try to air our room, but it is so hot here in the summertime, it isn't possible. But, the rest of the year, the windows are open!

Christina said...

Great advice!!! I remember hearing this a while back. However, I forgot. Thanks for the reminder.

Mrs.B said...

I don't open the window but I do air my bed every day. When it gets cooler outside I'll open the windows. In the meantime I run my ceiling fan to get all of sweat and 'ickies' out of the sheets.

I also have to wash ALL of my bedding every week because of our dogs.

Ron and Ginny said...

Well, my bed and bedroom get plenty of airing. It's the bed-making that is my problem. However, I found this post right after I had made another commitment to bed-making. Thanks for the inspiration! :-D

Charity Grace said...

As soon as I read your post I went and changed my sheets! I will be airing the bed more once it cools off as well.

Betty-Jo said...

I have this book and love it!!! I am not as far as you are in it. Thanks for the tip. I am off to air our bed.

Desia said...

I have that book too, and re-read the part about bedding a few weeks ago; the only problem I have with airing out the bed before making it, is that I then forget to go back upstairs to do so. And then guess what surprise we find when it’s time to sleep...unmade bed! I was wondering if there is a new version of her book, it would be a nice gift for a newlywed, or it could overwhelm her totally!

Mobunny said...

Oh me! We can't open our windows! We would melt...... I hope I can get to sleep tonight......(btw...we love Fredericksburg!!!)

Emma said...


Thank you for posting this, Mrs. U.! I usually make the bed pretty soon after getting up, but I will be doing the other things in my morning routine first from now on!

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Shenoi victor said...

Good article. Buying the best mattress is the key to comfort. You can stay warm and enjoy during the winter season.


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