How Often Should You Change Your Pillows for Better Sleep?

how often should you change your pillows

Having a good night’s sleep is important for our health. We usually think about having a comfy mattress, but our pillows are just as important. They help our neck and head stay in the right position. But pillows wear out over time, so it’s important to change them regularly to make sure you’re getting the best sleep possible. See how often you should change your pillows and get some tips on when it’s time for a new one.

Understanding the Lifespan of Pillows

The frequency with which you need to replace your pillow depends on several factors, including the type of pillow, the materials it’s made of, and how you care for it. Most experts recommend keeping your pillows for 1–2 years. However, this is just a rough guideline, and the actual lifespan of your pillow may vary.

Memory foam pillows last longer, usually 1.5–3 years, because they keep their shape well. Feather and down pillows don’t last as long, about 1–1.5 years, because they can get clumpy and flat. Synthetic pillows are in between, lasting about 1-2 years.

Signs That You Should Change Your Pillows

Knowing when it’s time to get a new pillow is important for your comfort and health. Here are some signs that your pillow is due for a replacement:

  • Lumps and Clumps: If your pillow feels lumpy or clumpy, it’s a sign that the filling has shifted and isn’t supporting you properly. This can lead to neck pain and poor sleep.
  • Flattening: Pillows naturally flatten over time. If yours has become noticeably flatter, it’s not giving you the support you need.
  • Discoloration or Stains: Stains from sweat or oils can build up over time. While a bit of discoloration is normal, excessive staining can indicate a buildup of bacteria and allergens.
  • Odor: A musty or unpleasant smell coming from your pillow is a sign that it’s time for a new one. Sweat, oils, and other debris that accumulate over time may be the cause of this odor.
  • Allergies or Respiratory Issues: If you’ve been experiencing more allergy symptoms or breathing problems, your pillow could be to blame. Dust mites and allergens can collect in old pillows, worsening these issues.

Time to Replace Your Pillows: Tests You Can Do

Here are three simple tests you can do to check if your pillow needs replacing:

  • Folding Test: Fold your pillow in half and let go. If it doesn’t expand back to its original shape, it might be time for a new one. This test is for hollow fiber and synthetic pillows.
  • Saddlebag Test: Place your pillow over your arm. If it flops over and doesn’t hold its shape (like a saddlebag), it’s probably time for a new pillow. This test is also for hollow fiber and synthetic pillows.
  • Press Test: Press your hand into the pillow. If it doesn’t spring back or takes too long to regain its shape, it might be time for a new one. This test is for foam pillows.

These tests can help you determine if your pillow has lost its support and needs replacing.

Tips to Make Your Pillow Last Longer

Here are some easy tips to help your pillows last longer:

  • Use a Pillow Protector: This helps keep your pillow clean and fresh by protecting it from sweat and oils. Pillow protectors are easy to wash, too.
  • Fluff and Rotate: Regularly fluffing and rotating your pillow helps it keep its shape and prevents it from getting flat in one spot.
  • Wash Your Pillow: Most pillows can be washed to remove dirt and oils. Just follow the instructions on the tag.
  • Consider Your Sleeping Position: Your sleeping position affects how your pillow wears. If you’ve changed how you sleep, you might need a new pillow that supports your new position.
  • Replace Pillows in Sets: When it’s time to get new pillows, consider replacing them all. This keeps your pillows consistent and ensures you get the best support and comfort.

Is it time to get a new pillow? Check this guide!

How often you should change your pillows depends on what kind they are, what they’re made of, and how you look after them. While experts say it’s good to get new pillows every 1-2 years, it’s also important to keep an eye out for signs that your pillow needs replacing, like lumps, getting flat, stains, smells, or if you start having allergies or breathing problems. By following the advice and keeping an eye on your pillows, you can make sure you get the best sleep and wake up feeling great.


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