​How to Dry Bedsheets Indoors: Keeping Up with Bed Hygiene in Winter

Posted by Rachel Marshall - Brand Manager on 22nd Sep 2023

​How to Dry Bedsheets Indoors: Keeping Up with Bed Hygiene in Winter

As the months turn colder and the weather less laundry-friendly, our home becomes our primary choice when it comes to drying our bedding and sheets. But with that comes its own trials and tribulations. With energy prices still high, turning the heating on isn’t always an affordable option. And hanging the clothes on an airing maiden won’t always work. Damp, musty smells will make themselves known if your bed sheets take too long to dry!

And so, if you want to keep your bed sheets (and home) smelling fresh and inviting, you’re in luck. We’ve lined up some tips and tricks on how to dry bedsheets indoors this winter. Read on to learn more.

Why does my washing smell?

A 2014 study revealed that drying wet washing indoors could pose serious risk for anyone with a weakened immune system or severe asthma (1). Most of us have experienced the smell associated with washing that has taken a long time to dry at least once in our lives. This stale, damp scent is usually mildew. And that mildew has been created by a combination of bacteria and moisture (2).

What’s more hanging wet items on your indoor radiators can actually encourage mould and bacteria to thrive in your home. The heat from the radiator causes the wet washing to produce condensation which can quickly lead to the growth of mould.

So, what’s the solution? Let’s find out.

The best ways to dry washing indoors

Here is the best we’ve come across when it comes to ways to dry washing and bedsheets indoors.

1. Use a tumble dryer

Washing drying indoors in a tumble dryer

Okay, we know this is an obviously useful tool when it comes to drying washing indoors. And we understand that you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog post if you had access to one in your home. But, we wouldn’t be thoroughly exploring the topic if we didn’t mention the good old tumble dryer in this line up.

That said, you may not have thought of taking a wash load in need of drying round to your parents’ or in-laws’ house while you’re having your weekly cuppa. Providing you okay it ahead of time (as opposed to just turning up with it), family don’t usually mind too much. Short-term at least.

Anyway, let’s learn about some of the other ways we can dry our washing indoors during the winter or on rainy summer’s days.

2. Try an extra spin cycle

Washing in a blur of colour as it endures an extra spin cycle to get rid of excess water

The spin cycle on your washing machine is a handy tool when it comes to getting rid excess moisture. And so, popping clothes and bedding on an extra spin cycle after the wash cycle has finished will result in the items coming out much drier. That said, always check the label on your bed sheets and other laundry items as some fabrics are too delicate for a higher intensity spin (3). And others, such as cotton and linen, are prone to creasing (4).

Adjusting your washing machine so that it’s set to a lower spin speed. Faster doesn’t necessarily mean better so be sure to check the manufacturer’s instruction manual (5).

The results of an extra spin cycle could help you dry clothing and bedding indoors much more easily – even during the colder months.

3. Invest in a dehumidifier

A lady knelt down emptying her dehumidifier.

Or, get it out, dust it off and set it to work if you already have one! Humidity in the air prevents your washing – bedsheets included – from drying properly (6). And so, even if you spread them out really well on your airer, they could still end up smelling damp and musty.

That’s where a dehumidifier comes in. By drawing the excess moisture from the air in the room where you’re drying your washing, your bedsheets and clothes alike should dry faster and smell fresher. If investing in a dehumidifier, you can pick up a small budget-friendly model anywhere from £4o upwards at various online marketplaces and retailers.

4. Use your fan year-round

A floor-standing fan positioned next to an indoor clothes airer to circulate the air and encourage the washing to dry faster

Fans, whether desktop or floor standing, aren’t just handy for helping with sleep during the summer. In winter, using your fan next to your airer (as long as you leave a window open) could help to speed up the indoor drying process. Your fan keeps the air around your washing in circulation which can enhance the efficiency of indoor drying time and keep mould and mildew growth at bay in tandem (7).

One thing to note is that you will need to leave that window open. Doing so allows the excess moisture to escape the room as the wet bedding and other washing items dry (8).

5. Consider installing a retractable washing line indoors

Washing and bedsheets drying on a collection of indoor washing lines

In this country, we can dry our washing outside at best 50% of the year. And even during those summer months when most of us are well into the routine of hanging our bedsheets and clothing outdoors after a cycle in the washing machine, a month of continuous rainfall can quickly upset out laundry equilibriums!

And yet, we still have our retractable washing lines or collapsible airers in place outside ready to go when the sun does put his hat on. So, why don’t we have a similar set up indoors?

Putting a retractable washing line indoors in a room that’s designed to cope with condensation (like your bathroom or kitchen) could be a go-to solution. Excess moisture in the air becomes less of a worry thanks to extractor fans.

And if you’re lucky enough to have super high ceilings, pulley clothes airers are great at saving space. Raise the bed sheets and clothing up to the rafters and they’ll be well out of the way.

A quick note on this one though, if you’re opting for an indoor washing line in your bathroom, be sure to leave the door open after a shower. Otherwise, you could end up trapping in more excess moisture. This will only slow down the indoor drying process even further.

6. Splurge on a heated clothes airer

Heated clothes airers are an actual thing! And, while not a massive splurge at somewhere within the range of £50 to £150, they could save you money on indoor drying costs long-term. Depending on the energy consumption (kWh) of your chosen model, running costs will be somewhere between 3p and around 30p per hour (9). When compared with a tumble dryer, which can cost anywhere from around 60p per hour upwards (10), it could work out to be a way more affordable option depending on the longevity of the product purchased.

The importance of keeping up with bed hygiene in winter

Bed hygiene matters. And whatever the season, its importance doesn’t change. If you want to learn more about the importance of regularly changing and washing your bed sheets, check out our guide here.

Sleep Better with a Bensons for Beds Bedroom

If it’s time to rethink your current sleeping scenario, you’ll find everything you need both online and at your local Bensons for Beds store. Not only will you find a wide range of mattresses to suit every sleeper, but you’ll also have access to on-trend bed frames, divan bases, bedding and more.

To place an order or if you want to pick the brains of our experts call into your local showroom or contact our customer service department on 0808 144 6160.


  1. https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/why-drying-washing-indoors-can-pose-a-health-threat/
  2. https://www.wikihow.com/What-Causes-Musty-Smell-in-Clothes
  3. https://www.ariel.co.uk/en-gb/washing-machine-101/how-to-use-a-washer/washing-machine-cycle
  4. https://www.electrolux.co.uk/support/support-articles/laundry/washer-dryers/clothes-are-too-creased-after-washing-in-the-washer-dryer/
  5. https://inthewash.co.uk/washing-machines/lowest-spin-speed/
  6. https://www.danthermgroup.com/en-gb/aerial/laundry-dryers-5-reasons-to-use-a-dehumidifier-for-drying-clothes
  7. https://inthewash.co.uk/laundry-and-ironing/dry-clothes-with-a-fan/
  8. https://blog.meaco.com/prevent-damp-when-drying-washing-indoors/
  9. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/product-reviews/house-garden/g44774195/best-heated-clothes-airer/
  10. https://www.idealhome.co.uk/property-advice/how-much-does-it-cost-to-run-a-tumble-dryer-295558
authors profile
Rachel Marshall
Brand Manager
Rachel has worked at Bensons for Beds for 4 years and has almost 20 year’s experience in marketing. In her role at Bensons, Rachel looks after all things brand including PR, brand communications, brand identity, brand partnerships and new product launches.
Read more from Rachel