June 10, 2024 3 min read

While towels and sheets are technically both linens, it’s not always a good idea to wash them together. In most cases, these items are made of different fabrics, have different weights, and require different care. So, is it OK if bath towels and sheets washed together in the same cycle? Read on to learn when washing sheets with towels is okay, and when they should be washed separately.

Consider Weight Imbalances

If you’re unsure whether you should wash sheets and towels together, keep in mind that these items have different weights or thicknesses. Washing sheets and towels together could create an imbalance in your washing machine drum, causing the part to become off-kilter. This could lead to more wear and tear on your machine, reducing its lifespan and potentially causing the need for costly repairs. Separating the bed sheets from your towels in two different wash loads is the best way to prevent this.

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Keep Materials in Mind

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Sheets are usually made of a lighter weight fabric than towels, like organic cotton or linen. This means they require a much gentler washing cycle. Towels are typically made of thicker fabrics that often require a longer, stronger cycle. Although many towels are made of the same material such as cotton, for example, they should still be washed in a separate load. Towels produce a lot of lint, which could end up covering your sheets, causing damage and early wear. Always look at the care labels on your bedding and towels to find out what temperature, cycle, and type of detergent you should use. Most towels can handle harsh laundry detergent and different wash cycle types better than sheets can. If you have white sheets, you may be able to use bleach to keep them nice and white, but always check the label to be sure.

Pay Attention to Temperatures

So, can you wash bed sheets with towels? This largely depends on several things, including the water temperature. Sheets should typically be washed in cool or cold water to prevent shrinkage. However, some materials like polyester can handle higher temperatures without causing too much concern. Towels need higher temperatures and a bit harsher detergents to get them clean. The towel fibers can accumulate bacteria when you get out of the shower, so they need more powerful cleaning. Washing towels in hot water helps to kill germs and remove oils from your skin that build up on your towels after every use.

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Don’t Forget Drying Times

It’s not just the temperature, weight, and wash cycle you should consider whether to wash sheets and towels together in the same load. Drying times vary based on the material’s weight, so drying these items separately will help them dry faster and prevent overloading your appliance. And, since towels produce tons of lint, this prevents it from transferring onto your bedsheets. Sheets tend to dry faster than towels, simply because they’re made of lighter materials. Avoid using fabric softeners for towels, since they could affect their absorbency.


Here are some common questions and answers to ensure you’re doing your laundry correctly.

Can you wash sheets and blankets together?

In some cases, it’s okay to wash your sheets and blankets together. This usually applies if you’re just washing a lightweight blanket together with your sheets on the same cycle. Always check to ensure you’re not overloading your washing machine and keep similar colors and fabrics in the same load.

How often should I wash my sheets and towels?

Sheets and blankets should be washed at least every one to two weeks to remove body oils, sweat, dead skin, and other things that can accumulate while you sleep. As for towels, they should be washed after every two to three uses to keep them sanitized.