Let’s get to the answer straight away.
Ideally, you should replace your pillows every one to two years, but this time frame can vary based on several factors. Below, we’ll break down how often you should replace the pillows, why you should replace them, signs to replace them, and how to maintain them.
A pillow actually has a very important purpose: to support your head and neck throughout the night, so that you can wake up without neck pain or stiffness. And after some time, even the nicest pillow will stop doing that.
How long can you use a pillow? Even the nicest pillow won’t be able to last over two years. Here is why.
Why you should replace them
It gets very dirty
Night after a night's sleep, people will produce body oil, dead skin cells, and hair all over the bed. As gross as it sounds, it gets worse. Those leftovers will make the pillow smell and also create the perfect environment for dust mites and allergens.
Dust mites accumulate over time on your pillow, adding extra weight and impairing its ability to support long-term. Dust mites feed on your skin and will worsen the symptoms for people with allergies.
Washing it regularly could certainly help, but will not solve the problem essentially.
It gets out of shape
Our heads are heavy, and bearing the weight of your head night after night will eventually wear your pillow out and cause it to flatten in spots.
After nightly use, a pillow will lose its fluff and start to resemble a pancake. While some pillows might last a little longer (for example, down and natural feather pillows are more durable than those with polyester filling), they all will ultimately lose their shape. If yours is looking a little flat, fluff it every morning.
Signs to replace them
You’ll know it’s time to replace your pillow if you notice any of the following:
- There are noticeable lumps in the foam or filler materials
- There are noticeable, permanent stains from body sweat and oil
- You wake up with aches and pains, in the neck or shoulders
- You wake up tired (due to the above aches and pains interrupting your sleep)
- You wake up with headaches or are developing tension headaches
- You wake up sneezing from the dust mites
- You constantly have to re-fluff your pillow to get comfortable (feather pillows only)
- If you fold your pillow in half, it stays that way instead of expanding back out (feather pillows only)
- Sometimes you need to change your pillow for other reasons than old age. Other factors that can affect the usage of your pillow include health conditions like allergies or sleeping positions.
For example, if you’ve switched from sleeping on your side to your back, you’ll need a new pillow with a different height. However, if you purchased our Morpheus Pillow, you would not need to worry about the change of sleeping positions. Our double-sided pillow consisted of two types of foam. The high elastic foam side is supportive and suited for the side sleepers who need firmer support, while the memory foam side is soft and comfortable, suited for the back sleepers who like to have their head surrounded nicely.
Check to see if any foam or batting in the pillow is lumpy and, if it’s a feather pillow, ask yourself if you constantly have to fluff it up to support your head or if it still does it on its own. Another test: Fold it in half and see if it stays that way. If it does, it’s time for a new one.
How to maintain them
To help prolong your pillow’s lifespan, wash it every six months and add a protectant case in between the pillow and pillowcase. Check your pillow’s label for laundry instructions before you wash it, for example, you can’t wash foam pillows—only ones with down or synthetic down filling. Hot water and mild detergent will help get rid of any dust mites that are in there.
Always use a pillow cover in addition to your pillowcase. A pillow protector with a zipper is ideal for enclosing your pillow before you put it on the pillowcase. The extra buffer helps prevent some of that excess skin and body oil from getting absorbed by the pillow and attracting dust mites.
Using a protective case is more effective than you think. It can double your pillow’s lifespan. Make sure to wash the cover every 3 to 4 weeks.