Sleep Facts & Guides

How Often Should You Replace Pillows?

When you think about your bed, pillows may not seem as important as a mattress. However, they have a very important role to play.

Using the right pillow will ensure your head and neck are supported throughout the night, guaranteeing a good night’s sleep and no neck pain or stiffness when you wake up.

Given enough time, though, every pillow, no matter how great it is, will stop giving you that much-needed support. And that will mean it is time to find a replacement.


Why Should You Replace Your Pillow?

Supporting a heavy head every night for an extended period of time eventually wears out the pillow. However, this is not the only reason to replace your pillow regularly. Your body is constantly shedding dead skin cells, hair and body oil.

When you lie down on the pillow, it absorbs everything you release, which then build up over time. This will cause your pillow to smell. You can remedy this by washing your pillow regularly.

However, even if you do, the micro-ecosystem of a pillow naturally attracts dust mites. They will inevitably grow in the pillow, multiply and add extra weight to it, making it lose its ability to stay supportive. Luckily, dust mites are not dangerous to the human body.

However, can you imagine billions of tiny creatures living in your pillow and feeding on your dead skin every night? Plus, if you have allergies, dust mites can make them flare up and worsen the symptoms, especially at night.


Signs You Should Replace Your Pillow..

There are several signs you need to look out for if bad nights sleep are causing you to miss out on your beauty sleep that will let you know it is time to get rid of that pillow:

  • If you notice lumps in the filler materials or the foam in the pillow
  • If you notice permanent stains on the pillow from body oil and sweat
  • If you wake up in pain, with your body aching especially at the neck or shoulder regions
  • If you wake up fatigued due to constant aches and pains interrupting your sleep patterns
  • If you wake up with headaches or if you develop tension headaches in the course of your day
  • If you have a feather pillow, constantly having to re fluff it to get comfortable is a sign that it needs replacing
  • If you have allergic reactions or you wake up sneezing due to dust mites. People with allergies generally need to replace their pillows more often than people who do not have allergies.
  • If you have a feather pillow, try folding it in half. If it stays that way and does not unfold immediately you let go, it is time to replace it.
  • Sometimes your doctor can recommend changing your pillows.
  • Changing your sleeping position also requires a pillow with new specifications. For example, if you change from sleeping on your side to your back, you need a pillow with a different height to keep your head, neck and spine aligned.


So When Should You Replace Your Pillow?

The big question has always been this:

how long can a new pillow last?

The actual answer depends on a variety of factors, such as the overall quality and materials used. However, to be on the safe side, always get a new pillow every one or two years.

Here is a list of average lifespans of different types of pillows, from most durable to least durable:

Type Of PillowLife Span
Latex Pillows3-4 Years
Buckwheat 3 Years
Feather 18-36 Months
Memory Foam18-36 Months
Down2 Years
Synthetic Down18-24 Months
Polyester6-24 Months

How To Maintain Your Pillow?

  1.  Check the label of your pillow and determine whether it is machine washable. Down and synthetic down pillows are usually machine washable. Other types usually need to be dry cleaned or spot cleaned.
  2. Wash your pillow once or twice every six months if it is washing machine washable. Use the hot water setting and mild liquid detergent. Put two pillows at the same time into the machine with detergent, and a second rinse cycle without the detergent.
  3. Dry your pillow on a low heat setting or air only setting. Thoroughly dry it and make sure you have no moist clumps which may encourage mould growth.
  4. As a rule of thumb fluff your pillow daily if it is a feather pillow or if it has shredded material filling. This will help it maintain its shape.


What About Pillow Covers?

Pillow covers are an essential component of pillows. You should always use your pillows with pillow covers and a pillowcase.

Pillowcases should be changed regular. If you can get a pillow protector with a zipper, enclose your pillow in it then slip on the pillowcase.

This will help prevent your dead skin, hair and oils from seeping into the pillow.

A protective case can double the lifespan of your pillows.

Be sure to change your pillowcases and wash them every 3 to 4 weeks.

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