How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?

Although a pillow may not seem to be so important to a good night’s sleep as the mattress is, it actually plays a crucial role in maintaining your spine properly aligned. It supports your head and neck throughout the night and allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and without any stiffness and neck pain.

But, eventually your pillow will lose its features and signal you when to buy a new one. By replacing your pillows regularly, you will constantly enjoy a comfortable and restful night’s sleep and avoid pain and stiffness and certain health issues that can result from sleeping on an old pillow.

But, the question is how long you can expect your new pillow to last and how to know when it is the right time to replace it? Read our article and find out why is it so important to replace your pillow and when you should do that.

Why Should You Replace Your Pillow?

Every night as you sleep, your body lets body oil, sweat, sheds hair and dead skin cells that your pillow absorbs. As the time passes, these materials will build-up in your pillow and cause it to smell.

Besides odor, these materials will also attract dust mites and allergens and create a perfect environment for the growth of bacteria. Not only is this unpleasant to think about, but it can also make your pillow feel heavier and be less supportive.

Dust mites are usually not dangerous and can be kind of useful as they feed on your dead skin that your body sheds every night, but it is uncomfortable to think about sleeping with millions of tiny bug-like creatures that you can’t see but know they are constantly present. For some people with allergies, dust mites can worsen their symptoms and interfere with their sleep.

Even if you wash your pillow regularly, it can’t last forever and eventually you will need to replace it. Over time, it will flatten in spots due to the weight of your head and neck and it will lose its original shape and with it the ability to provide your upper body with the right amount of support necessary for a comfortable and painless night’s sleep.

How Can You Tell If It’s Time To Replace Your Pillow?

There are some signs that can show you that it is time to replace your pillow. These include:

  • Noticeable lumps in the foam or other filler materials
  • If you constantly need to fluff up your pillow to support your head
  • If you fold it in half and it stays folded
  • Noticeable, permanent sweat and body oil stains
  • Waking up with neck and shoulder pain
  • Waking up feeling tired and with headaches
  • If your allergy symptoms worsen
  • If you constantly need to change your sleeping position

When Should You Replace Your Pillow?

To ensure a good night’s sleep, you will need to replace your pillow every 1 to 2 years. Some types of pillows can last longer than others, it all depends on their quality, construction and materials used.

Latex pillows are usually the most durable with an average lifespan from 3 to 4 years. Buckwheat pillows can last around 3 years, memory foam pillows 18-36 months, feather pillows 18-36 months as well while polyester pillows have the shortest lifespan and are expected to last only 6 to 24 months.

How To Maintain Your Pillow and Prolong Its Lifespan?

To use your pillow maximally and make it last longer you need to maintain it properly. Here is how you can do it:

Use Pillow Cover

You should always use a pillow cover. It will protect the pillow from absorbing all of your body oils and sweat at list a little and keep allergens at bay. You can use a pillow protector as well. It will further prevent some of that dead skin cells, body oil and sweat from getting into the pillow. Using a protective case can double the lifespan of your pillow and you should wash your cover every 3 to 4 weeks.

Wash You Pillow

To get rid of any odor, dust mites, oils, dead skin cells and prolong the lifespan of your pillow, you should wash it every 6 months. But, before you wash it, you should check it’s label and see if it is washable because not all pillows are washable. There you will find detailed instructions on how you can wash it. In most cases you should use only a mild liquid detergent and warm water.

Once you wash it, you should dry it on low-heat setting or on air only and keep drying it until it is fully dry. If any moist remains inside, this will leave room for mold to grow.

As for non-washable pillows, you can vacuum them or throw them into the dryer on air only setting for some 15 minutes. You can clean stains with a cloth lightly moistened with mild soap and water.

Do You Need a New Pillow?

If you decided it’s finally time to replace your pillow, but you don’t know where to find a quality pillow that will totally suit the shape of your head and neck and all of your specific needs and sleep preferences, you can check out our Best Pillows page. Read our in-depth pillow reviews, learn more about certain pillows and pick one that would perfectly work for you.