The British public is divided into three main groups on the topic of bed sheet washing: the "Weekly washers", the "Two-weekers", and those who launder less often than that... the "Au naturels".
A new YouGov poll finally settles the debate. A third of the British public (33%) fall into the "Weekly Washers" category; the largest group is the "Two-Weekers", at 35%; and the third group, those who wash sheets less frequently, every 3,4,5,6 or 7 weeks, we call the "Au Naturels". (There is a marginal super-hygienic grouping, numbering 3% of the population, who told us they wash their bedsheets more often than once a week. Not having any mechanism to check, we will take their word for it - we call them the "Washmaniacs.")
As to the factors deciding which camp you fall in, age is unsurprisingly important. Over a third (37%) of 18-24 year olds fall into the "Au Naturels" category, compared to only 14% of over 60s.
Meanwhile 42% of over-60s are Weekly Washers, compared to just 16% of 18-24 year olds.
We also asked people at what stage they feel unwashed sheets become "unhygienic" and at what stage they become "disgusting". Men have lower standards of cleanliness, as their definition of unhygienic bedsheets is, on average, those not washed after four weeks, while women say three weeks; mens' definition of disgusting sheets is not washing them until after 6 weeks, while the average British woman says that after 5 weeks a bed would already be disgusting.