Tuesday, 28 May, 2024
HomeMicrobiologyPillowcase bacteria 17 000 times more than on toilet seats – US...

Pillowcase bacteria 17 000 times more than on toilet seats – US study

Recent research in the United States has concluded that after just one week of use, pillowcases and sheets contain between 3m and 5m colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria per square inch (2.5cm) – meaning it contains 17 000 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

In the study, conducted by Amerisleep, volunteers were asked to swab their bedding for four weeks without washing them.

The most common bacteria found were gram-negative rods, which commonly cause pneumonia and other infections.

Bacilli – bacteria that usually cause food poisoning – were also found on the bedding, reports News24.

The team also compared dirty pillowcases to other germ-infested objects:

  • A pillowcase washed two weeks ago has 332 times more bacteria than a tap handle.
  • A pillowcase washed three weeks ago has 405 times more bacteria than a kitchen sink.
  • And a pillow washed four weeks ago has 39 times more bacteria than a pet bowl.

What about sheets?

  • A sheet washed one week ago contains 24 631 times more bacteria than a bathroom doorknob.
  • A sheet washed two weeks ago has 302 times more bacteria than a pet toy.
  • A sheet washed three weeks ago has 280 times more bacteria than a coffee reservoir.
    And a sheet washed four weeks back has 5.4 times more bacteria than a toothbrush holder.

 

Amerisleep article – Bacteria in your bed (Open access)

 

News24 article –  Sheet happens: Pillow cases have 17 000 times more bacteria than toilet seats, according to new study (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Popular misconceptions about ‘good bacteria’ and ‘good hygiene’

 

Exposure to sunlight kills bacteria living in dust

 

Energy-saver washing machines may fail to eradicate pathogens

 

 

 

 

 

MedicalBrief — our free weekly e-newsletter

We'd appreciate as much information as possible, however only an email address is required.