Can Head Lice Live On Pillows or Sheets?

Head lice (or nits), as the first name suggests, tend to stick exclusively to the head and scalp.  Head lice can be found anywhere on the scalp but they also have favourite places where they like to lay their eggs such as the temples, nape of the neck and behind the ears.  If you find lice elsewhere on the body it is likely to be a different type of louse.  There are two other types of lice that can infest humans:

Head lice cannot live for long on pillows or sheets.  It is possible for a live louse that has come off a person’s head to crawl onto another human host who also puts their head on the same pillows or sheets.  However, the risk of catching head lice this way is very small as head lice do not like to crawl away from their host.  If you are still worried about the risk of catching head lice from pillows or sheets, then vacuuming or tumble drying these items can help further reduce the risk.

Tips for reducing the spread of head lice

While we have recommended our own products as the number 1 product to treat head lice, you can reduce the risk even further with the following strategies.

  1. Minimise or avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact with someone who you suspect may have head lice
  2. Avoid sharing head-touching items such as combs, brushes, hats, helmets, scarves, headphones and towels.
  3. Separate personal belongings – although the likelihood of transmission through clothing and fabrics is minimal, you can reduce the risk by separating an infected person’s clothing away from communal areas such as closets, lockers, cloakrooms, etc. 
  4. Tumble dry or vacuum fabrics that have been in close contact with an infested person’s head such as pillows, sheets, mattress, stuffed toys, etc.
  5. There are some over the counter head lice repellents available that may also help prevent the spread of head lice.

We strongly recommend that you use the NitNOT comb alongside our NitNot Eco Head Lice & Nit serum to combat head lice. Our hypoallergenic, pesticide and chemical-free treatment kills all lice and eggs without harming sensitive scalps, meaning you only need to concentrate on removing dead lice and eggs with the comb*.

Not only is NitNOT certified by the government's Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), but it's also the only lice treatment that has been endorsed by The British Association of Professional Nannies (BAPN).  Contact us for more information about our products or head lice.