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How Often Should You Change Your Pillow?

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Written by: Allana Wass
Read 6 minLast updated on

Obviously, pillows are not meant to be used and last forever. Nobody uses one pillow all the time for several years without taking proper care of it. Pillows are in direct touch and contact with our heads, and we should protect our heads from all types of allergens or microorganisms that threaten our health. In this article, we will explain why it is necessary to replace your pillow and how often you should change your pillow.

Why Should You Change Your Pillow

As mentioned before, pillows are not there in your home to stay. They keep inside all the things that can threaten human hygiene. Pillows also get deformed in time, and do not provide as much support as they did once you bought them. These are two important things to keep in mind about your pillow.

Hygiene 

Pillows are in touch with our heads almost every night. They absorb all types of liquids and allergens in saliva, sweat, and body oil and keep them inside. Since we keep our pillows in warm atmospheres, these microorganisms have the opportunity to grow and cause health threats. If you wondered why you’re getting all the rashes, nose waters, and tears for a while now, your pillow can be an important reason. A lot of people overlook what a direct impact pillows have on their health situation. Of course, you can wash the pillow if it is washable, or you can take proper measures depending on the type of pillow you have to get rid of most of these unhygienic substances. This is discussed later in the article.

Comfort

Pillows don’t keep their shape all through their lifetime. Even the best pillows get deformed after a few years. What happens as a result of this loss of shape is that your pillow can’t provide enough support for your head and your neck. [1] A lot of people wonder why they get all these neck pains out of the blue, but the answer lies right in their pillows. This is not something that you can fix or take care of particularly. When the lifetime of the pillow ends, it is time to get another one that provides support. Being comfortable with your pillow and getting a good night’s sleep is more important than anything. Nobody wants to go to work with neck pain.

When Should You Replace Your Pillow

As to the question of how often you should change your pillow, everyone agrees that your pillow should be replaced every 1-2 years. This time differs and depends on how you use your pillow and how you’ve taken care of it. However, there are some common symptoms that can translate to your pillow having gone bad, and it is time to change it.

Pain

In case your pillow is causing you pain, it is seriously time to change it. This is not a minor issue. It means that your pillow is failing to provide support for your neck and spine. Therefore, if you have any kind of neck pain, shoulder cramps, or headaches happening for no particular reason, consider your pillows as a reason for that problem. 

Health Concerns

This is another obvious symptom that can mean your pillow has lived its life. If you notice any kind of dots or stains that smell bad, you should really take care of the situation. These stains and yellow dots get created due to sweat and body oil piling up on the surface of the pillow and growing. In case you also experience unexplainable coughs or allergic reactions, consider changing your pillow or taking care of it by washing it.

Pillow Shape

An easy way to say that a pillow should be changed is that the pillow is deformed. If your pillow is flattened or has lumps of separate tissues inside it, it means that it has gotten deformed. The pillows that can be folded easily or don’t provide support are meant to be replaced. Continuing to sleep on that pillow is a mistake. Remember to check the standard pillow sizes and criteria to make sure your pillow meets those health requirements.

How to Take Care of Your Pillow

Depending on the type of pillow that you have and whether it is washable or not, you should take care of them. Washing is a great thing to do every 4-5 months to make sure allergens and microbes don’t grow inside or on your pillow. If your pillow is not washable, consider drying it. A lot of moisture gets absorbed and stored inside your pillow and provides a perfect environment for fungi and microorganisms to grow. Drying your pillows on a dryer can greatly protect you from that.

Conclusion

It’s important to take care of your pillow and make sure you change it when the time comes. So, how often should you change your pillow? Our answer is every one to two years on a general note, but also whenever you feel like your pillow is posing health threats or failing at keeping your neck in a comfortable posture. 

Thank you for reading this article, and hope we have answered your questions. Feel free to share your thoughts and experience with us in the comments.

References:

  1. Pillow use: the behavior of cervical stiffness, headache and scapular/arm pain (10 August 2010). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004642/

Our research

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Pillows Considered

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