How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?

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Written By Berry Mathew

Experts generally advise replacing your pillows every 1 to 2 years to maintain their supportiveness, cleanliness, and allergen-free properties. Additionally, proper care of your pillows is essential to ensure their longevity.

One can typically determine when it’s necessary to replace their pillows. If they wake up with neck pain or struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position, it could indicate that their pillow no longer offers adequate support. Similar to a mattress, pillows should be replaced when they begin to sag or form lumps. If you observe excessive yellowing or experience nighttime allergies, it may be time to consider purchasing new pillows.

Different pillow materials have varying levels of durability. For instance, a polyester pillow typically lasts for only a year, whereas a latex pillow can last for up to three years. However, the quality and density of the materials used can also impact durability. Opting for a high-quality pillow made from top-notch materials usually means that it will need to be replaced less frequently.

Regularly washing your pillow and pillowcase not only protects them but also extends their lifespan. Make sure to wash your pillowcases every time you wash your sheets. Additionally, many pillows can be safely machine washed and dried periodically.

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Why is it essential to replace your pillows regularly?

Although it may seem like a chore, replacing your pillows regularly can help prevent allergic reactions, skin breakouts, and sore muscles. Over time, pillows can accumulate allergens such as dust mites, mold, fungus, and pet dander. Exposure to these allergens during sleep can lead to a runny or stuffy nose, itchy skin, and irritated eyes, which can affect sleep quality. To prevent pillow-related allergies, consider investing in pillows that are designed to be antimicrobial and breathable or replace your pillows frequently.

Pillowcases are not impervious to facial and hair oils, sweat, drool, and other debris, which can penetrate them and accumulate inside pillows, resulting in unsightly yellow stains. These substances may also obstruct pores, leading to skin problems such as acne breakouts and rashes, particularly for those with delicate skin. Regularly washing pillowcases and pillows using a mild detergent can aid in removing any accumulation, while replacing pillows frequently can provide a clean start that is gentle on the skin.

The primary purpose of pillows is to provide support for your neck and head while sleeping, which helps to relieve muscle tension and maintain healthy spinal alignment. However, a pillow that has become flattened or sagged over time will not be able to provide the required support, which can result in waking up feeling sore or fatigued. However, side sleepers may experience shoulder pain due to a lack of support from a flattened pillow. Attempting to fluff or fold the pillow will only be a temporary solution, and if it is no longer providing sufficient support, it may be time to replace it.

Signs Your Pillow Needs Replacing

The pillow is flat and lumpy

A pillow that is flat and lumpy is a clear indication that it needs replacing. Over time, the stuffing inside the pillow will start to break down, and the pillow will lose its shape and support. This means that your head and neck will not be properly supported during sleep, which can lead to neck pain and discomfort. To know when it’s time to change your pillow, below are some signs you will see when your pillow needs replacing:

You wake up with a stiff neck

If you wake up with a stiff neck, it could be a sign that your pillow needs replacing. A good quality pillow should provide the right level of support for your neck, keeping it in a neutral position during sleep. If your pillow is no longer able to do this, it can lead to stiffness and pain in your neck.

You are constantly fluffing your pillow

If you find yourself constantly fluffing your pillow during the night, it may be time to replace it. A good quality pillow should hold its shape throughout the night, providing consistent support for your head and neck. If your pillow is no longer able to do this, it may be time to invest in a new one.

The pillow is discolored or stained

A pillow that is discolored or stained is not only unsightly, but it can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and other allergens. If you are unable to clean your pillow and remove the stains, it is time to replace it. Not only will a new pillow provide better support, but it will also help to improve your overall health and well-being.

You have had your pillow for more than two years

Even if your pillow looks and feels like it is in good condition, it is recommended that you replace it every two years. Over time, the stuffing inside the pillow will start to break down, reducing its ability to provide adequate support for your head and neck. However, pillows can accumulate a significant amount of dust, dirt, and other allergens over time, which can be harmful to your health.

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When should you replace your pillows?

The general rule of thumb is to replace your pillows every one to two years. However, this timeline can vary depending on the type of pillow you have and how often you use it. Here are some factors to consider when determining when to replace your pillows:

Pillow type

Different types of pillows have different lifespans as per research and what we have been providing our customers. For example, down and feather pillows typically last between two to three years, while synthetic and foam pillows can last up to three years. However, memory foam pillows tend to last longer than other types of pillows, with an average lifespan of four to five years. Latex pillows can last even longer, with a lifespan of up to six years. However, it’s essential to note that these estimates are not set in stone and can vary depending on the quality of the pillow and how often it is used.

Frequency of use

The more frequently you use your pillow, the faster it will wear out. If you use your pillow every night, it will wear out faster than a pillow that is only used occasionally. So, if you are using your pillow daily, it’s essential to replace it more frequently than a pillow that is only used occasionally.

Sleep position

Your sleep position can also affect how quickly your pillow wears out. If you are a side sleeper, you will put more pressure on your pillow, causing it to compress and wear out faster. In contrast, back and stomach sleepers put less pressure on their pillows, causing them to last longer.

How Do I Dispose of My Pillow if I Can’t Repurpose It?

At times, a pillow may come to the end of its useful life, and repurposing it may not be feasible. In this section, we will explore some possible ways of disposing of old pillows, thereby avoiding unnecessary clutter in your home.

One option to repurpose your old pillows is to donate them to a local animal shelter. While many charities don’t accept heavily used bedding, shelters often welcome old blankets and pillows as they can provide comfort to dogs, cats, and other animals waiting to be adopted.

While some charitable organizations may accept pillow donations, it’s important to ensure that the pillows are in good condition and meet the organization’s donation guidelines. Donating clean and unstained pillows can help ensure that they are safe and usable for those who receive them. It’s also a good idea to contact the organization before donating to confirm their specific donation guidelines and to ensure that they are currently accepting pillow donations.

Dispose at the Landfill

If you are unable to locate a charitable organization that accepts pillow donations, you can dispose of them at the landfill. To dispose of it easily, place the pillow in your regular trash collection bin. However, if your bin is not sufficient, you may need to take the pillow directly to the nearest landfill for proper disposal.

Pillows are an important part of our sleep setup, and it’s important to replace them regularly to maintain their effectiveness and keep ourselves healthy. The lifespan of your pillow depends on the type of pillow, how often you use it, and how you care for it. As a general rule, it’s recommended that you replace your pillow every one to two years, but if your pillow loses its shape, starts to smell, or causes you pain, it’s time to replace it.