The Honest Truth On How Often You Should Replace Your Pillow

The Honest Truth On How Often You Should Replace Your Pillow

DTC Thrasio

Some of us think of our pillow as a long-term friend. We spend a lot of effort (and maybe a lot of money) to find the "perfect" pillow for ourselves, and after that, we think it will be our sleeping companion for life.

In reality, pillows are not people, or friends, but rather tools that support our bodies. And when these tools can no longer serve their purpose, they need to be replaced for our own well-being.

Stick around and find out what it takes to maintain your sleeping routine healthy and comfy

1. But first... Why should you replace your pillow?

Here’s the truth: Most of us hang onto our pillows far longer than we should. 

You actively use it for sleeping for up to 7-9 hours. Multiply that by the time you spend reading or scrolling through your phone in bed. If we’ve done our math right, that’s too much wear and tear time and many hours of sleep in a year. So, as time goes by, your super-plush sleeping tool becomes a breeding ground for some pretty gross stuff – skin cells, dust mites, sweat, leftover make-up, even, you guessed it, drool. 

Your pillow then acts like a sponge, soaking all of that nasty stuff in, causing stains, and sometimes even a foul odor. You may think, “But I got my pillowcase to prevent that from happening!” The truth is, even the best pillowcase or regular washing can’t provide you with enough protection, especially from allergens. Over time it’s not only your pillow that’s affected; you can develop skin irritations, watery eyes, an itchy throat, and breathing difficulties as a result.

And don’t forget that the essential purpose of your pillow is to keep your head and neck supported, along with your spine. Naturally, our pillow is bearing the weight of our head night after night. This will eventually cause your pillow to flatten in spots. A worn-out pillow is not your sleeping buddy since it can’t provide you with the perfect amount of support, and a flat pillow can ultimately lead to neck pain.

Young woman suffering from neck pain caused by using an old pillow

Here are some signs your pillow is long overdue for an upgrade:

  • You experience allergy symptoms like a stuffy nose, itchy throat, and skin rashes during the night or first thing in the morning
  • There are lumps in your pillow caused by accumulated moisture and dirt in your pillow stuffing
  • You wake up with neck pain and headaches frequently
  • Those tiny yellow spots caused by sweat, drool and body oil won’t go away despite washing 
  • Your pillow doesn’t pop back up on its own (a proven sign it’s gotten flat)

2. So, how often should you change your pillows?

Experts recommend replacing your pillow every one to two years. It may seem excessive, but if you’ve noticed any of the warning signs listed above, then it’s time to treat yourself to the pleasure of a new pillow. Snuggle-Pedic offers a great selection of pillows made to reduce allergies and improve neck pain, so you wake up feeling refreshed. You’ll be amazed at how much better you sleep when you finally get rid of your lumpy, worn-down pillow.

Your pillow’s lifespan can also depend on the type of material inside. Some are more durable than others, like bamboo and memory foam pillows, due to their quality and construction, and the density of the foams.

3. How to maintain your pillow for maximum lifespan?

Although you will need to replace your pillow eventually, proper care can extend the lifespan of your sleeping companion by a few years. Like the other bedding accessories, pillows come with their instructions on the care label. Always check it to make sure yours is machine washable (only pillows with down or synthetic down fillers are). Others you may have to dry clean or spot clean. If your pillow can be machine washed, it’s best to wash it every four to six months at a higher temperature. That way, you’re getting rid of allergens breeding in your pillows. 

Remember to use mild detergent and not overload your machine by inserting more than two pillows at a time. You can dry your pillow on a low-heat setting or even let it air-dry (better for the environment too). Make sure your pillow is fully dry since any residual moisture can lead to mold growth. That’s something you want to avoid!

Pillows being machine washed to clean and extend their lifespan

4. How long do bamboo foam pillows last?

Choosing a pillow made with higher quality materials generally means you’ll have to replace it less often. That’s the case with bamboo pillows. Their usual lifespan is two years, and if you’re new to the bamboo pillow party, the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo pillow offers pressure relief and support in every sleeping position. With its Kool-Flow Technology, it’ll keep you cool on hot nights. Its conforming shape makes it great for the back, stomach, and side sleeper. These fluffy pillows are the stuff dreams are made of.

5. How long do memory foam pillows last?

Much like their bamboo cousins, memory foam pillows are a great alternative to down and synthetic pillows. If you opt for a higher quality memory foam pillow and look after it carefully, it can serve you well anywhere from three to four years. Shredded memory foam has become the ultimate go-to filling, even surpassing traditional memory foam. While this bed accessory is very similar to standard memory foam, the shredded fill has more breathability and moldability, making it a serious contender in the mattress-filling game.

If you’re in the market for one, the Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Memory Foam Fill gives you extra filling to create your perfect pillow. This bedding item contours to your neck and self-adapts to keep your spine in proper postural alignment. You’ll get the feeling of sleeping on a cloud and your pillow won’t go flat!

Pillows often get overlooked compared to sheets and mattresses when it comes to proper care and replacement, but they play an equally important role in your sleep quality. And now that you know how often to replace them, you should plan your next pillow-shopping trip as soon as you notice the first signs of pillow fatigue we mention above. Once you make the change, you’ll find yourself waking up in the morning feeling refreshed. The only thing you’ll regret is not changing it sooner!

Contributing Writer: Milica Ivanović