Don’t let the bedbugs bite: How Polygiene can help us have a safer night’s sleep
On average we spend around a third of our day in bed – which works out at around 240 hours a month – and most experts recommend washing our bed sheets every one or two weeks, depending on how often we shower.
Yet, according to studies undertaken in the past year, the average person in the US changes their bed sheets roughly every 24 days¹, while in the UK 30% of people admit to washing their sheets just once a year².
These habits can cause danger to our health, says microbiologist and author Jason Tetro, known to many as the ‘Germ Guy’.
“The biggest issue we have as humans when it comes to microbes is the fact that we’re coated in them,” he explains. “And we shed millions every single hour, even if we are just simply sitting down on the couch, for example. So when we’re in a bed, we’re continually sloughing off microbes that are going to get into the sheets.
“Now, if you happen to be in the middle of a desert it doesn’t matter because there’s no liquid, and as a result the bugs are going to die. But the majority of us live in areas where there’s a humidity that is about 40% to 60%, and usually higher. And in these conditions those microbes will grow.
“Then, if you add in sweat and other secretions that come from our bodies, it gives food to these microbes. So over time they will grow, and, depending on the species, potentially lead to a risk of some kind of infection. That could be a skin infection like cellulitis, or it could be a respiratory infection from pillows.”
Tetro acknowledges that some bedding and mattress companies play on people’s fears about the number of microbes we shed while asleep, encouraging us to buy new items. And he notes that while there are millions of bacteria present on your sheets, most are not going to harm you.
However, he stresses that the more time we spend in bed, the more bacteria get into our sheets, and therefore the more likely it is that we may suffer an infection.
But is laundering our bedding more often the only answer? Here again, Tetro urges caution. “A lot of people look to washing as being the solution here. However, washing machines can become contaminated when we use cold water – this has been known since way back in the 1970s when several studies looked into this³,⁴. So, unless every four or five times you’re running a hot water cycle with bleach, your washing machine could actually be a vehicle for spread.”
He adds: “Ideally, you want to have something that is passively disinfecting within the sheets themselves, so they can be used over a longer period of time. And what we’ve learned is that silver, which has been used for over 6,000 years, has that ability to control the level of microbial growth.”
And this is where Polygiene comes in. Polygiene BioStatic™ antimicrobial technology is based on a silver salt solution, embedded in the fabric, which stops odor at the source by permanently inhibiting the growth of bacteria*. This means products stay fresh and hygienic for longer and can still be washed less frequently.
All this helps explain why a growing number of bedding and mattress brands are treating their products with Polygiene BioStatic Stays Fresh technology. Chinese brand 8H, for example, recently launched a new flagship mattress treated with this technology. The company also offers pillows, as well as bedding sets and quilted mattress pads featuring Polygiene BioStatic.
Many of these companies are now also turning to Polygiene ViralOff™, an antimicrobial treatment sparked by Covid-19 that reduces over 99% of microbes in a treated material or product**. This technology enhances a product’s hygiene and protection qualities – as well as extending its life, as with all Polygiene treatments.
Dreamsville, which is now treating its products with both Polygiene BioStatic™ and Polygiene ViralOff™, states: “Our Polygiene treated weighted blanket requires a lot less washing, which saves water, energy, time and money, and it improves the lifespan of the blanket so you can enjoy it longer.”
And it’s not just bedding. More and more sleeping bags are also being treated with Polygiene, from brands including Trangoworld from Spain, Aura from Poland, Rab from the UK and Nomad from the Netherlands.
Further reading: Bedding; the facts.pdf
*The technology is active only in the fabric and does not interfere with the natural bacterial flora of the skin
**Polygiene ViralOff® does not prevent diseases but protects the treated material.